YouTube has over one billion users and is growing by the second, however only 9 percent of small businesses take advantage of it.
There are so many benefits to building a presence on YouTube. Here are just some of them:
- YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the United States
- YouTube has local versions in more than 88 countries
- Youtube is available in over 76 different languages, covering 95 percent of the internet’s population
- The average time a user spends on YouTube is 40 minutes on mobile devices
If you want your customers to really resonate with your brand, creating videos is often the way to go.
By creating videos your customers and clients have the opportunity to get to know your brand on a more personal and deeper level.
Creating videos also allows your content to stand out from the crowd and offers a different way for people to gain information or knowledge about your brand.
With so many people using YouTube on a daily basis, the platform also offers many opportunities to get your videos seen. In fact, even with minimal to no marketing we have seen videos fetch thousands of views.
While viewership is not the only metric worth paying attention to when it comes to creating a successful video marketing strategy, it does help if you can get a large audience tuning into your content.
If you are curious about how to get more viewers for your YouTube video, or if you are curious about how to turn your videos viral, here is all you need to know to get started.
Step 1: It all Starts With Great Content
If you want your video to earn thousands or even millions of views, you need to offer something of quality.
Even though it seems obvious, many marketers overlook this step and forget that quality content is key if you want your content to go viral.
Quality content is not just about well thought out lighting and awesome angles, it is also about offering your audience valuable information.
The trick to really getting videos to go viral is to offer content or valuable information that your audience is craving. Of course, a well made video is also important but your content is really key.
The truth of the matter is that for your video to go viral, everyone that watches it needs to also share it with their own audience.
Research shows us that people share content that is interesting, thought provoking, funny or is aligned with their own beliefs and values.
If you can keep this in mind when creating your content, it will also help to add to the virality of your video.
To get more specific with the content you choose to share in your videos, you have to first know your audience.
All marketers know how important it is to know their audience, but with video marketing don’t be afraid to go that extra mile to see what is really going to peak their curiosity.
To do this, take a look at the blog posts or social media posts that have earned the most engagement. You may also want to look at common customer queries or questions that your company gets asked all the time.
By getting your ideas and inspiration from your customers and clients, you are more likely to produce something that they are going to find immensely valuable.
When you have valuable content, you can also get away with producing longer YouTube videos.
Even though most people have a short attention span when it comes to searching for information online, it is also important to remember that the average person spends 40 minutes on YouTube.
That is a considerable chunk of a time and more than enough time to also get your viewers hooked on your content and on your channel.
Step 2: How to Deliver the Information
Before you even get the cameras rolling, the next step is to work out how you are going to deliver your valuable information.
There are a couple of fail proof ways to do this, such as-
- Talking Head Video: as the name suggest this is a video that simply involves you or someone else talking or explaining something to your audience.
- Screen Capture Video: this video is of a computer screen or power point presentation that has a voice over.
- Slideshow Video: this is a slide show or presentation that is accompanied by a voice over or music.
- Product Demonstration Video: this is a video that demonstrates how a product is used. Shots are a combination of the product and the demonstrator.
These are the most common video formats that your brand will need to familiarise yourself with. They all offer their own pros and cons, so the best way to decide which is the right choice is to think about the individual needs of your business.
No matter which option you choose, you should also keep in mind the production costs and whether you will be able to pull off the look you are after.
With today’s technology, creating a high quality video is easy. Even if you don’t have a large budget to spend on videos, even snapping a short clip on your smartphone can be enough to start building up a presence.
Once you have chosen how you are going to present the information, it is also important to think about the following factors-
- Does your information solve a problem or provide a solution?
- Is your information well presented and laid out in a logical manner?
- Is your information easy to follow along?
- Could you use diagrams or pictures to help explain your content?
- Could you use some data or case studies to back up any claims?
- Do you have a beginning, middle and end?
- What type of personality or vibe do you want the video to have?
If you are still struggling to develop some ideas of how to layout or present the information in your video, perhaps take a look at what your competitors have done.
Watch a few of their videos and see if there is anything you liked or didn’t like about how they presented their information.
You may even want to scan through the comment section to see what their audience felt about the video and if they made any suggestions on things to improve or include.
Remember, having valuable content is important but how you choose to present this information is also important.
Experiment with presenting the information in a number of ways and get creative. Come up with a few inspirational ideas that will get your audience hungry for more and engaged with what you have to say.
Step 3: Filming and Producing Your Video
Once you have worked out your content strategy, the next step is to film your video.
Depending on your production values and budget, your filming day could vary. If you have a big budget and have hired a cameraman to film you, they will most likely be able to help you set up great lighting and great shots.
If you are doing it on your own however, here are a few things to keep in mind-
- Ensure that the room is well lit. Natural light is always going to look best so try to film early in the morning or in the afternoon when the sunlight is often best.
- Use a microphone or position yourself close enough to your smartphone for good audio quality. You may also want to close the door and windows in the room that you are filming, to keep outside sounds and background sounds out of your video.
- If you are using a smartphone, try mounting it on a tripod or lean it firmly against something so the camera doesn’t shake or move around.
- If you make a mistake, pause and keep going. You can always edit it later.
- If you are shooting a talking head video, look directly into the lens of the camera, this will help to build trust and will allow your audience to feel like you are talking directly to them.
If you are hiring professionals, you may want to film a couple of videos to make the best use of your time with them. If you are just filming on your own however, you can film as much or as little as you need to.
Once you have your filming complete, it is time to download and edit it. There are many great programs that will help you with this, or you can even outsource it to a professional.
A few things to keep in mind when editing your video are-
- Sound quality and editing
- Lighting/ white balance
- Smooth transitions
- Music (if any)
If you are going to use music in your video, be sure that it doesn’t violate any copyright laws, as this could land you in trouble.
Step 5: Optimise your Video
Once you have the finished video and are happy with the results, it is time to optimise.
If you want to give your video the best chance of going viral, there are four important factors that you need to consider when it comes to optimisation. These include-
- The title
- Video description
- Video image or thumbnail
Let’s take a look at each of these individually-
The title is one of the most important components of your video. Just like a blog post title needs to engage and peak curiosity, so too does your video title.
If you want to get really pushy and create a clickbait type headline you may want to think again. Historically these do not perform as well on YouTube, especially if you are looking to offer quality information or content to your viewers.
The best titles that perform well on YouTube are the ones that explain what the video is about briefly but also offers some excitement or curiosity.
Besides making your YouTube video title creative, you also need to consider using a keyword. This keyword needs to be clearly covered in your video and be included in both your title and your description.
Here are some video title examples from the most viral videos on YouTube-
- Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial)
- Crazy Plastic Ball PRANK!
- Love Has No Labels- Diversity & Inclusion- Ad Council
- Top 10 Favourite Natural Curly Hair Products
- $5 Pizza Vs. $135 Pizza
- 20 Predictions For the Future You Won’t Believe
- Biggest Football Hits Ever
- Leaving Prison: How an Inmate Spent Her First Day
As you can see, crafting an epic YouTube title is very similar to crafting an epic blog post title.
It may take some trial and error to work out what titles are going to resonate with your audience best, but if you are looking for some inspiration, think about what type of questions or buzz words your audience would be interested to know.
On YouTube the tags are very important as they are going to make your video searchable. For your tags, you want to include keywords that relate to the topic of your video.
Aim to include at least 10 tags, but no more than 12. This will help your video to have the best chance of showing up in search results. Here is a good example of tags you can use:
Video Title: How to Create an Instagram Account
Tags: how to create Instagram account, Instagram, create Instagram account, create Instagram account steps, Instagram account, how to create an Instagram account easy…and so on.
When it comes to writing your description, you need to include your keyword but also provide your audience with a clear indication of what to expect from watching your video.
Essentially, the aim with your description should be to explain what your audience will gain from watching your video.
While what to include in your description is going to depend on your audience and the type of video you are creating, here are some golden rules to follow-
- Include your keyword in the first 25 words
- Keep your description to 250 words maximum
- Include your keyword 3-4 times
Another great technique that you may want to include is offering time stamps. This is a great strategy if you are offering a lengthy video or a very detailed video.
Time stamps allow your audience to scroll to the perfect time in the video to gain the information they are looking for. It also allows them to get a clearer idea about what to expect from your video.
Many popular podcasts offer time stamps so users can scroll directly to the content they are looking for. This also helps you to know what your audience are most interested in as well.
Your video thumbnail is also an important component of getting your video to go viral. People automatically look at the thumbnail and judge whether or not that is a video they want to watch.
In fact, when scrolling through videos, people are most likely to notice the image before the title of the video. This should give you a pretty good indication of how important it is to have a thumbnail that accurately reflects your video.
When it comes to selecting the perfect thumbnail here are some things to keep in mind-
- Use images of people in your thumbnail where possible, this has been shown to improve the chances of your video being watched.
- Edit your thumbnail to include a text overlay to explain what your video is about -this was also shown to improve the chances of your video getting opened
- Include an image that reveals and interesting section of the video, as this will help to peak your audience’s curiosity.
You may need to experiment with what thumbnail images work best, but the three points mentioned above are definitely going to be the best place to start.
Now that you have optimised everything from your title to the thumbnail of your video, you are in pretty good shape to getting your video to go viral.
Step 6: Advertising
Even though it would be awesome to have your video go organically viral, the chances of this happening are very, very slim.
Running a YouTube ad is probably your best bet to getting your video to go viral, but there are also some other avenues which we will explore in a moment.
YouTube Ads are fairly easy to navigate through, but the most important component is to find your right target audience.
Selecting your right target audience is going to help your video to be seen by the people that want and need to see it the most.
The next most important thing to think about is how you are going to deliver your YouTube Ads. Currently, there are two ways to do this which include-
- Instream Ads: ads that appear before or while people are watching YouTube Videos
- Search Listing Ads: ads that appear in the search results on YouTube
When first starting out, you may want to experiment with both of these advertising types to see what is going to work best for your video.
If you are experimenting with Instream Advertising, it may help to find videos that you want your ad to show up on. Choose relevant competitor videos and include their URL’s when setting up the targeting for your ads. Start with at least 10-15 videos as not all the videos you choose will allow ads to be shown.
If you are experimenting with the Search Listing Ads, your keywords are going to be very important. To find relevant keywords, we recommend using the YouTube search box and using the auto suggested phrases that appear in the drop down.
When it comes to finessing your ads on YouTube, it really comes down to trial and error. You will need to experiment with what works for your brand and the type of content you have created.
Step 7: Promoting Your Video
Once you have your advertising campaign set up, the next step is to promote your video everywhere. This includes your social media channels, your email list and on your website or homepage.
There are really no limits on where you can promote your video, so get creative and get sharing. The more platforms you can share your video on, the more chances you have for it to go viral.
If you want to increase the likelihood of your video being watched and shared across social media channels, consider the following helpful hints-
- Include a catchy description that gets your audience interested in your video
- Encourage engagement by asking questions about the video
- Encourage your followers to share the video
- Offer a special promotion or reward followers who share
There are endless ways to promote your video, so experiment with your channels and see what resonates the best with your audience.
Remember, the more people you can get sharing your video, the greater chance it has of going viral, so make shares your number one priority.
When it comes to creating a successful video, it all comes down to consistency. The chances of going viral overnight can happen, but creating viral content is often a long process.
You need to establish a user base on YouTube and you need to tweak and finesse your videos through trial and error to determine what your audience really wants.
Getting views on YouTube is definitely worth the effort however, and will allow your business and branding message to shift to a whole new level.
Here is a quick summary of the key points included in this article-
- Creating viral content starts with creating quality content
- Offer valuable information that your audience actually wants to hear about
- Create a highly quality production with great sound, lighting and picture quality
- Optimise your title, description, tags and thumbnail
- Take advantage of YouTube Ads
- Promote your video on all social media channels, your website and your email list
- Keep creating consistent content and test, experiment and finesse what your audience really wants to see
By following this easy guide, you will be well on your way to creating viral videos that get people talking about your brand for years to come.