Many people make the mistake of not thinking of YouTube as a social media site. The fact is that YouTube is actually the third largest social media site in the world. Activity on YouTube takes up nearly 20% of all social media activity. With these numbers it is impossible to ignore YouTube when you are trying to establish social media authority in your niche.
There are some important steps that should be taken before you put your first video on YouTube.
Define Your Purpose
The first thing that you need to do is to define your purpose for the video. This will save you money as you will be able to create targeted videos with simpler messages. With messages that are well crafted and more targeted you are more likely to get a return on your investment. When your purpose is clearly defined it will be easier for potential customers to find it. In addition, you will not be competing against larger budget competitors to have your video ranked for a larger and broader search term.
When considering your purpose you will want to think about what you are trying to achieve with your video. In addition, you will want to consider the metrics that you will use to judge whether or not the video is a success. For example, you may want videos that:
- Make sales
- Generate inbound leads
- Build brand awareness
- Position your brand
- Demonstrate new products or services
- Educate the market
- To entertain
Once you have determined what you want the outcome of your video to be and how you will measure its success, the second purpose you will need to define is the audience that you want to reach.
For example, you do not want to make a video that will appeal to junior executives who do not have any purchasing power if you are trying to close a sale and you do not want to create an educational video if the majority of the decision makers already know the topic.
The best way to come up with the answer to who your audience is will be to imagine that you are talking to your perfect customer at an event. What would you say to them? What manner would you use? This is a rough outline of how your video should be portrayed.
Types of Video
The next step is to pick the type of video that you want to create. Some choices include:
- Time lapse
- Talking heads
- On location
- Case study
- Product demo
Once you have decided on the type of video you then must think about the tone. Do you want it to be:
- Colloquial or technical
- Informal or formal
- Irreverent or traditional
- Competitive or collaborative
- Serious or humorous
- New entrant or market leader
- Creative or corporate
The list will go on and on, which is why it is important to come up with your purpose and target audience first.
When you are considering the format for your video think about your current brand and what it is like. You will want to make sure that your video matches your brand. This can help make some of the choices easier. For example, if your brand has a cartoon chipmunk as its mascot, a cartoon may be a good choice. However, if your company is trying to save the world from hunger, a more serious documentary style may be a better choice.
Length of videos is important, but it is somewhat difficult to pin down exactly what length is best. Generally speaking, a video that is between three to five minutes will be best. However, when you search through YouTube and Google the videos that have the most clicks tend to be between 90 to 120 seconds long. This search does only show that these videos are generally popular and does not show the desired outcome with a targeted market.
When considering the right video length for your video, it needs to function within your purpose. There is no way to provide enough information about thought leadership in a minute and a half, so you may want to consider a longer length of 10 to 12 minutes. If you are creating a humor video, you can get it completed in 30 seconds, a product demonstration can easily be covered in 90 seconds. Once again it all comes down to the purpose of your video.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating YouTube videos is to be you. You want to match your existing brand with your video content. This is important when developing the narrative for your video including what your call to action is.
Uploading Your Videos
Once you have created the perfect video for your brand, the next step is to load it onto YouTube. There are a few easy steps to follow to get your video out to the masses.
From a computer you will need to sign into your YouTube account. Creating a YouTube account will only take a few minutes. Make sure that you use the name that you want to appear with your videos. Once you have signed into your account click the upload button that is located on the top of the page. Choose the privacy settings for the video and then choose the video that you want to upload.
When the video is being uploaded you can edit the basic info as well as the video settings. You can also decide if you want to notify your subscribers. Once the video is uploaded, click publish and you are done. It is really as simple as that.
Establishing a presence on YouTube will take some time. You will need to come up with videos that are engaging and interesting, the same as you would any type of written content. YouTube is the second most used search engine and one of the major social media outlets, which means that you should definitely consider posting videos that are relative to your brand.