How to Optimize Your Small Business Video on YouTube

Considering that video was the fastest growing ad format of 2012, it’s no wonder that small businesses are quickly jumping on the video marketing bandwagon.

And with YouTube now planted as the #2 search engine on the web, small businesses are starting to understand the value of using video in their marketing efforts.

However, as a small business owner, you may be left wondering where to start.

In this post, we’ll go over 4 quick tips that are easy to implement and will have the biggest impact on your video marketing.

#1: Create a Video Worth Watching

Gone are the days when YouTube was just a place for one-hit, user-generated viral videos. If you’re serious about building a successful marketing campaign on YouTube, you have to consider your long-term goals.

Do you want to educate or entertain your viewers? Are you looking to increase subscribers or attract new visitors to your website?

Earlier in 2013, YouTube changed its algorithm to give more visibility to videos that retain viewers through the entire video. 

Studies have shown that viewers decide during the first 15 seconds of a video whether they are going to keep watching or not, so it’s important to put your most compelling content first.

Here are a few ways you can quickly engage your viewers:

  • Gain the trust of the viewer with a quick, animated introduction.
  • Spark the viewer’s curiosity, or tease the rest of the video, with hosts/personalities.
  • Start with a quick clip that previews the rest of the video.

#2: Video SEO Tips

While search engine optimization (SEO) is regarded as an important tactic to drive new customers on the web, it is often overlooked when optimizing for video content.

The simplest thing to do when optimizing for Video SEO is to put your target keywords on the left hand side of the title. Google will give priority to those keywords.

For example, if you own a seafood restaurant in San Francisco called “Catch”, then you’ll want the title of your video to be “San Francisco Seafood Restaurant – Catch”.

This allows you to increase the likelihood that your video will rank well when someone searches for the terms “san francisco seafood restaurant”.

If you’re unsure of which keywords you should be optimizing for, then try typing in a few words into the Google Keyword Planner (formerly Google Keyword Tool) or ask your customers how they found you and what they typed into Yelp or Google.

It’s also important to optimize your video tags. The rule of thumb is to place your important terms first. Use quotes for keyword phrases such as “video production” and provide a blend of common and long-tail keywords.

There’s no standard as to how many tags you should have, but you do want to provide enough tags to thoroughly and accurately describe your video.

When considering what tags to use, think about what your potential viewer may be searching for on YouTube.

Lastly, be sure to include a link (with the http://) back to your website in the first two lines of the YouTube description.

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#3: Properly Embed Your YouTube Videos

YouTube has an excellent video player that is mobile compatible. However, given that it’s free you will want to make sure you have certain settings turned off.

You want to make sure that the “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” check box is uncheck. This will prevent YouTube from playing other videos, especially a competitor’s video after the viewer has finished watching your video.

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You may also want to consider using SmartShoot’s custom video player if you want more control over your video – it too is mobile compatible.

Once you have your embed code, you now have to consider which page of your website the video should appear. Depending on the type of video, it may make sense to have the video in the “products/services” portion of the website.

However, most small businesses should place their video on their homepage especially if it’s an overview video. In addition, having the video on your homepage will help your website better rank on Google.

#4: End with Calls to Action

One of the keys to an effective marketing campaign is creating clear and concise calls to action. This rule even applies to YouTube.

However, having too many call to actions can cause confusion, so keep them simple and don’t have more than three. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for viewers to perform an action after they watch the video.

While there are many ways to end your video, here are a few important actions that small businesses should use:

  • Like / Add to Favorites / Share: Ask your viewers to “like,” “favorite,” and “share” the video so your content appears in more places across YouTube. You’ll be amazed at the reaction you get when you simply ask for it.
  • Video Graphics: Create a video “end slate” that appears at the end of the video to direct viewers to your website.
  • Make an Announcement: At the end of the video, you can have the on-camera talent announce what you’d like the viewer to do – call, visit the store, etc.

Conclusion

If you are not using video, what is your #1 concern about video marketing? How else can we help you? Leave a comment and let us know.