Nielson Net Ratings reported in 2008 that YouTube has over 68 million unique visitors per month and has the 6th largest visitor audience in the U.S. (ahead of eBay, Amazon and Wikipedia). More than 2/3 of the U.S. population over the age of 25 has watched a YouTube video and 91% of users have purchased something online. YouTube represents a very powerful marketing channel and opportunity for exposure on the net.
There are ways to tap into this immense audience with big ad spend, however I will focus on more cost effective “organic” tactics. These require time but not a direct cash outlay. For the purposes of this article, I will assume that you have already created a branded YouTube channel and are now looking for ways to leverage your channel, broaden your reach and increase your subscriber base. (If you are new to YouTube and have not yet built your channel, the YouTube help center is a great place to start.)
The first step in maximizing the effectiveness of your YouTube channel is to take a step back and examine your purpose for marketing on YouTube. Is it traffic, distribution, brand? Once you have established a firm purpose, you can begin to put together a targeted plan of attack. Your channel design should reflect your purpose and it is necessary to regularly to take a look at your layout, logo, images and profile information. Make sure your design adequately reflects your brand and message. Think of your YouTube channel as an extension of your website; therefore, it should closely resemble the look and feel of your website and other business materials.
Include information in your profile that describes the type of content that can be found in your channel and website. Further, make sure that you link to your website and include your contact information outside of YouTube. Further, make it known in your profile that you would like users to add comments, rate, share, add video responses and to subscribe to your channel.
When adding video content to your channel, make sure that each video has a clear message and is not obscure and confusing. Keep your content fresh and upload a steady supply of 1 to 2 new videos per week on the same schedule so your subscribers know when to expect new content. Further, update the featured videos frequently. You have the opportunity to feature nine videos on your channel and can control the order and placement of your featured videos. Further, use the playlist feature as a way to organize your videos. Building out playlists by subject matter will help users and subscribers find videos that they are looking for as well as expose them to content that they might not otherwise see.
Also, pay attention to the quality of your videos. YouTube has the capability of displaying videos at a higher quality level. The quality of the uploaded video combined with the individual viewers’ bandwidth will determine if the video is displayed at higher quality. Higher quality video means improved sharpness and visual clarity. The difference is especially noticeable in videos that contain text or fast movement and in full-screen mode. When uploading a video make sure your video resolution is 480 x360 or higher and a frame rate of 24fps (frames per second) or higher. youtube watch hours