I'm often asked: Is it too late to start a YouTube channel?
With a lot of competition online, (and a lot of noise for that matter) you might be wondering if it’s too late to start a YouTube channel. The short answer is definitely not, in fact, video marketing has only just begun! According to Google, 6 out of 10 people would rather watch a video online than television, and by 2022, online videos are expected to make up over 82% of all internet traffic.
While new channels face the challenge of getting your videos to rank in the YouTube search results, in this article, you’ll learn the newest and most effective strategies to properly research your video topics and optimize your channel so that your YouTube videos get found in the search results!
YouTube Keyword Research
The most important part of the process for getting found on YouTube is knowing what your audience is searching for. Video keyword research isn’t complicated, but it is very precise. The problem most small businesses face is that they target too broad in their category.
The objective is to generate a list of longtail keywords that are applicable. A lot of people guess at what their keywords should be, but that isn’t a good idea because if you don’t have confirmation that the search volume on your keywords is large enough (or if the search volume is too large for the size of your channel), you won’t get the results you expect.
Here’s exactly how to find the right keywords for your YouTube videos:
1. Use YouTube’s Search Suggest to generate a list of longtail keywords related to your topic. Go to the search bar inside YouTube and start typing your keyword, note the dropdown of suggestions that YouTube gives you and write them down. These are the words and phrases that people are already searching for around your topic. Keep using this strategy until you come up with 3 to 6 phrases that are hyper-relevant to your intended topic.
If you’re still in the beginning stages, another strategy is to view a popular video in your niche…and then copy a few of the same keywords (making sure they are hyper-relevant to your video topic). When your video is optimized for keywords, meaning, YouTube can recognize in your voice that you actually say those same words and phrases in your video, then you’ll have a better chance of ranking for that exact word or phrase. Optimization of keywords and phrases is a big factor inside the YouTube algorithm.
2. Keywords Belong in 8 Different Places for the Best Optimization. Most people know that you need to have the exact keyword phrase that you’re trying to rank for in these places:
but, I highly recommend that you also do the following:
Say the keyword phrase in your video several times
Add overlay text of the keyword phrase
Add a transcript
Name your file extension
Name your thumbnail extension
Ensuring that your video is optimized in all of these places will help significantly.
I recommend using a tool such as TubeBuddy to ensure that you optimize your keyword phrases against your competition. TubeBuddy will automatically parse all the existing results and then calculate your rank for each variation of your keyword phrase based on the current results. It’s a huge timesaver, and you’ll sometimes find a handful of keywords that you never even would have thought of. This is incredibly important if you are just starting out or have a very small channel. If you go after super competitive keywords, your video will get buried under high ranking results and never get found.
Instead, you want to find keywords that are less competitive.
What does that mean exactly?
Watch this video for an illustration of how I use TubeBuddy to help me find the best keywords and longtail keyword phrases.
While most views on YouTube come from within YouTube’s platform, your video can also rank in the Google search results. Typically, you’ll find Google ranks videos such as:
• Anything fitness or sports related
• Funny videos
High-Retention Videos and Watch Time
After proper SEO, the YouTube algorithm also looks at Watch Time. In other words, can you video keep people watching for the majority of it before they click to something else? If you tend to be too wordy, this can hurt your chances of getting ranked. If YouTube sees that people only watch the first few seconds of your video and then click away, they will stop showing your video in the results.
The amount of your video that people watch is called “Audience Retention.”
The question is:
How do you create a video that keeps people watching?
I am a mentor inside of 2 private groups for Sunny Lenarduzzi’s YouTube for Bosses and Authority Accelerator programs. The correct methodology is this:
Tell the audience what they are going to learn in the video
Indicate who you are and why you’re qualified to teach this to them
Get to the point quick
Ask the audience to subscribe, like, share, and comment
Why ask for comments, likes, and shares? This is what shows YouTube that your video is a good one. It sends the message to the algorithm that people enjoy your video enough to engage with it, and that audience integration is vital to getting you more views. People don’t bother to comment on or share crappy videos, so the more people actively engage the better.
Another signal is subscribers. If someone subscribes to your channel after watching that video, this sends a message to the algorithm that you have a good video.
How Long Should Your YouTube Video Be?
There is a lot of speculation around length, but the best advice I can give is to make your video an appropriate length for the topic. Obviously if it’s longer then your audience retention can have the potential to go up because you’re keeping people watching longer, however, depending on your topic the information could get very dry.
If it makes sense for your video to be 20 minutes long, go for it. But if you can get the job done in 5 minutes, then do that. Track your analytics carefully to determine where you lose people and you’ll begin to understand how well your videos do (depending upon your topic). It’s kind of like buying a house….the market will dictate!
Promoting Your Video
Promoting your video is the part that most people forget about and it’s probably the hardest part. In order to prove to YouTube that your video is awesome, you need to get views. Posting it once on your Facebook page and hoping that will continue to generate views and engagement will never get you enough views to rank.
Here are some strategies you can use to get more targeted views to your videos:
1. Promote your video on ALL of your social channels, especially during the first 2 days
2. Embed Your Videos in Your Blog Posts
Always embed a video in your blog post to help increase views. I would not recommend transcribing the video and then adding the video to a post where you’re writing the exact same thing that is spoken in the video. A lot of people will say this is a good way to repurpose content but I disagree. If I’m reading something, I don’t want to start playing a video and hear the exact same thing I just read. The video should compliment the written article but not be exactly the same content.
Don't have a blog yet? Check to see if your www is available!
3. Use Playlists
Playlists are a great way to get more views on your videos. A playlist consists of at least 4-5 videos on your channel that have a common theme or topic. You can also add keyword rich descriptions into the playlist itself, as well as add videos from other channels to help get your channel found.
What next? If you enjoyed this article, be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube channel because I publish a brand new video every Wednesday. What questions do you have about video marketing? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you a small business owner who is thinking about incorporating a video strategy into your online marketing?
If you’ve been considering creating a video strategy to promote your blog or business, there is no better time than now to start planning. Lets be real though…it’s not the easiest medium to master. This article will give you some golden nuggets so you can get started in the quickest and most efficient way.
Preliminary Work: Get Clear About the Focus of Your Video Strategy
I know what you’re thinking…I’ve already got a focus. I thought the same. I had already brainstormed more than 30 topics, but it takes a lot more effort than that to nail it. Before you get started, I recommend taking some time to answer the following questions:
What sets your blog or business apart from others? Write down a few things that make you different. You’ll need this in the introductory section of your video, but zero in and be able to articulate what you do in just 5-10 seconds. No really….I'm not kidding. This seems obvio but you've got to be able to state with confidence exactly what you do in 5-10 seconds flat. Great video is not just a screen capture, in order to nail it, you've got to pretend like you're a news anchor.
Who do you serve? This question is vital to understand who your audience and your target market is. Here are a few tidbits to get you started thinking clearly: How old is your ideal customer? What do they do for a living? What are their hobbies? What brought them to your blog? How can you help them? The truth is, producing engaging content for your blog or video strategy is not about figuring out who is reading it or watching it…it’s more about deciding who you want to be your target, and then producing content for them.
Who are your competitors? Before you launch your blog into a business, and your business into a video strategy, it’s imperative that you know exactly who you are competing with. Give me a name and URL, not just a broad “I’m competing with people who blog about making money online.” This is not going to be about looking at what others are doing in comparison to you, it’s about looking at what they are doing that is working well and how you can capitalize on that knowledge.
Once you get through the initial stages, planning a collaboration with your competitors is ideal, but not at the very beginning. When you focus on relationships and building each other up instead of competing, you both win! There is more than enough space online for everyone, so don’t feel that your nîche is too saturated. There will always be room for your own personal expertise, and your personality with inevitably resonate with someone better than a competitors.
After you’ve done some soul searching with these questions above and conducted some hard core research and competitive analysis, you’re ready to get started with the actual video production strategy. Keep in mind, though, you will not reach your goals if you spend too much time checking in on what everyone else is doing and trying to replicate it. Instead, do your research, decide what works for you, and then create
your own plan.
The Methodology: A Video Strategy that Works
There are 4 parts to this video strategy. Although they may seem somewhat obvious at first glance, don’t get all rockstar on me…pay close attention, because there are some critically important factors that you’ll need to understand completely that accompany each part:
1. Research the Video Topic Thoroughly
2. Scripting, Recording, Editing
3. Publishing and Optimization
4. Engagement & Sharing
Lets dive into research first. Yes, you’ve got to do some competitive analysis (i.e.: take note of what is working for your competitors) to see what others in your nîche are talking about, but you’ve also got to understand how to do proper keyword research so that you’re choosing the topics and keywords that will actually benefit your ranking ability based on the size of your blog (or the size of your YouTube channel).
By the way, I would love it if you'd Subscribe to my YouTube Channel…I post a new video each week, and if you love learning about tips for bloggers and small business owners, you'll enjoy my channel!
One of my biggest pet-peeves I have is the nîche blogger who decides to tackle an unrelated topic when they don’t really understand it. This is what promotes the stereotype whereby most digital agencies and corporate online marketers don’t take bloggers seriously. (I can attest to this first hand, as I spent 14 years of my career working in corporate and agency marketing before starting my own blog in 2006).
I admit, I used to be guilty of stereotyping bloggers…there was a time when I thought bloggers didn’t know what the heck they were talking about. Not ironically, it was because most of those writers (and some vlogers too) went off track for the low-hanging fruit. What do I mean by that?
When you have a nîche blog about a topic that you have an expertise in, such as a finance blogger, and then you suddenly gain some perspective on SEO so you decide that you’re qualified to write a blog post about it, that is going off track. So when that happens, here’s what the rest of us are left with…instead of actually getting some good advice by reading the blog post with a catchy headline about SEO, you get one or two regurgitated tips that are not helpful because my goodness you’ve already updated your alt-tags and meta-data descriptions with keywords and you’re still not ranking in the search results.
…So you and me…we spend hours reading blog posts that offer nothing new on the topic we're researching. We fall victim to clicking on those catchy headlines, yet we're lucky if we come across a blogger who actually knows what Schema means.
Just like Mr. Finance Blogger spent 15 years working in finance before starting his blog, keep in mind that a truly qualified digital marketer likely spent 15 years performing and implementing SEO research on hundreds of websites, and might even remember what life was like before Penguin. Ok this rant is over.
The moral of this story is stay in your nîche. When you really focus and stay on point, with your writing and your video, you will grow your audience and thus your revenue much faster. When you chase low-hanging fruit and deviate from your expertise, thinking that it’s working for others so you might as well give it a try, then you’re just fooling yourself. Stay in your lane, capisci?
Here’s a quick example of how to do keyword research (the right way!)
Lets say you are writing a blog (or producing a video) about how to do affiliate marketing. Let's assume your email list has less than 1,000 subscribers and your following on social media is around 100 to 500 per channel. You already know that using a free Chrome browser extension, keywordseverywhere.com will allow you to look up the keyword phrase “make money online” which returns a result of 201,000 results per month (as of the date this blog is being published). Do you think that seems like a good keyword phrase to use in your meta-data?
I mean heck, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND people are searching for that phrase every single month, it must be good, right?
The answer is a resounding “NO!” You will never rank for that keyword with the stats above. No matter how many times you type the words “make money online” into your meta-data, your foundation does not support enough of the other ranking factors to get you on the first page of Google. In fact the first organic search result is for Entrepreneur magazine. Is that magazine one of your competitors that you identified above? Not likely. In order to get the strategy right, you’ll first need to clearly understand how to conduct keyword research the right way.
PRO TIP: How to get Keyword Research Right
To rank a small blog or small channel, you need to focus on long tail phrases that offer a search volume of less than 100 per month. Here’s an example long tail phrase that is more focused on one are: how to make money online using your phone
There is much less competition for this phrase (the volume is only 40 per month) because it is much more targeted.
How can you zero in and get crystal clear about your topic to make the search volume much less? Start with the keywords everywhere free browser extension.
So it’s not like you’re going to just sit in front of the camera and start talking about your topic! If you did that, you’d have a completely failed video strategy, kind of like I did back in January. I literally sketched out 30 topics and planned a rough outline of what I was going to talk about. My thought was that I did not want to read from a teleprompter because I wouldn’t look natural and relaxed. Well, I muddled through it, but I can tell you it was not effective in building my business one iota. I was about to give up, but instead I invested a substantial sum of money and hired a very specific, niche, video mentor.
I was determined to get it right. I learned that there is a specific script formula that needs to be followed in order to get it right. The short description is “Hook, Story, Offer” but unless you’re a superstar sales person, that might not make complete sense. (By get it right I mean monetize….in other words, grow your subscriber base and your revenue with an evergreen lead magnet that plays off the video).
Once you’ve got your script written, there are some tools you’ll need to deliver it well. I started out by stacking my laptop on some books and recording myself in front of a white wall. I still do this because I think it’s less distracting for viewers than having a messy office behind you.
Here is a list of some of my favorite tools and resources that I use personally. (Please note: I do not recommend products that I do not personally use, so if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask me.)
Editing Software (for Mac): Screenflow
Webinar Software (if you are seeking an all-in-one solution for a lead magnet): Webinarjam
Landing Page Builder with ECommerce Functionality Built in: Clickfunnels
On to the third step. Publishing is not as simple as clicking Publish…at least not if you’re going to do it right! It’s important to pay close attention to the tags you use in your videos. One way you can begin is to research the tags that your competitors are using, (again, use TubeBuddy because that will highlight exactly which tags you can rank for). You can also enter those tags into a Google search bar to find out the search volume. Using Google’s Keyword Planner is another way to give you an idea of long tail phrases and search volume. As you prepare to publish your video, you’ll pay close attention to the title, description, and tags. These should be repetitive, and since voice recognition is increasingly important, you should also repeat these key words and phrases in your actual video script.
PRO TIP: Meta-Data is much more than just Title and Description
Other places you can incorporate these tags are within the subtitles, the featured image meta-data, and by using hashtags. Adding hashtags anywhere inside the description box will allow your hashtags to show up right under your title.
Want to learn exactly where to add your meta-data for video SEO? Watch this video.
Tip: If you don't know how to lookup the Source Code to find Keywords inside your competitors videos, you can use TubeBuddy to do it more easily and efficiently.
Engagement & Sharing
Lastly, the methodology of sharing should be done in a strategic way so that you can get as many eyes on your video as possible when it goes public. The first 24 tho 48 hours of publishing a video is the most important, because that indicates to the YouTube algorithm that people are genuinely interested in your video and it allows your video to rank in the search results. Assuming you’ve followed the protocol with tags, descriptions and optimization, this will help your video get as many eyes on it as possible.
Plan to send an email to your list encouraging them to watch your video. Also post or schedule on your other social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to drive even more views to your video.
Create multiple Pins for your video as well, as Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to your videos. Did you know that Pinterest now attracts 150 million people per month? If you’d like some additional tips on using Pinterest to drive massive amounts of traffic (to your blog or your videos) check out my Free Pinterest Business Plan Checklist.
Boost your Engagement!
By the way…if you're interested in boosting engagement for your own blog or video, I provide share opportunities for all nîches inside my private Facebook Community, the Digital Collective, where we come together for the purpose of connecting and sharing, and growing each other's social media and blogs! I currently post share threads every Friday (since the group is still small) but we are growing…and as the group grows I will move the threads to more often with a goal of once a day! Click here to join!
Have you tried video yet in your marketing strategy? Let me know in the comments below!
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