Let me tell you something you already know: You need to promote your business on social media. No question about it. The ‘why’ should be pretty self-explanatory. The ‘how’ – on the other hand –is a much more complex matter. Social media marketing can be a challenging technique to master. And even for the seasoned pros, it’s a daunting task every now and then.
Truth be told, social media marketing can be a low-cost alternative to traditional advertising and a very powerful and worthwhile tool to help you achieve your goals. But surely it takes time and patience to achieve social media success. It’s not a day to day process – and with social media, success is never a given (though you might feel like you’ve earned it).
Even the most sharp-shooting content will fail to hit bullseye, if you aim awry. If you find yourself – again and again – struggling in vain for Facebook engagement and followers, maybe you should look elsewhere for new audience. After all, what good would a billboard do – even though it’s packed with killer copy and intriguing visuals – if nobody bothers to look at it?
So, what are you doing wrong? Well somehow, you’re probably playing the game wrong. Maybe your social media activity and goals aren’t unified with your business strategy and needs. Maybe you need to revamp it – or maybe, just maybe, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Even though Facebook has the largest audience of any social network, it might not be the right hunting ground for you.
YouTube – a valuable place for marketers
As the runner-up to Google as the most popular search engine worldwide, YouTube is one of the most powerful platforms for businesses trying to capture customers’ attention. 80% of web users watches YouTube videos. Needless to say, it might just be your best option for creating a cost-effective advertising campaign. Obviously, you shouldn’t ditch the senior citizen of social media channels as part of your overall social media strategy. Your social media presence shouldn’t be monogamous. For instance, uploading a video to Facebook will increase your organic reach on Facebook since their algorithm prioritizes native videos. But, uploading it to YouTube will get more bang for your buck as YouTube will do way better from an SEO perspective.
If you feel persuaded to begin marketing on YouTube this year, you need to separate yourself from the talent pool as the platform has more than 50 million content creators putting out videos on a regular basis. This might sound discouraging, but it shouldn’t keep you from getting started.
Here’s a few pointers that will push you in the right direction.
Use data to learn about your audience
No matter what you’re selling, your social media marketing strategy should rely on data. Forget about the likes, shares and love-hearts. These look good, but are merely vanity metrics. Your social media KPIs should be highly focused on qualified engagement, reach, leads and conversions.
Tracking audience data from YouTube analytics will help you move beyond assumptions and feel more confident that you’re not addressing the wrong people. It will help you fine-tune your content strategy to reach your desired audience. But, it may also reveal that your product is resonating with an unexpected crowd.
A quick tip: Remember to monitor your performance. Whenever you publish new content, check YouTube Analytics for changes in subscriber count and behaviour, audience demographics and watch time.
Research your competition
Competitive analysis is key if you want to stay ahead of the game. Go through competitors’ YouTube channels and find out which (type of) videos get lots of views and which ones doesn’t. Use that to inform your own content strategy. As with your own videos, don’t be afraid to read the comments on competing videos. The information you find here can be useful in various aspects of your marketing strategy – on YouTube as well as other channels.
A quick tip: Consider influencer collaboration. According to Google, 60% of YouTube subscribers trust the opinions of their favourite influencers
Learn from your heroes
Even adults need heroes. Especially social media marketers. Studying your favourite YouTubers will unveil the winning techniques and best practices they follow to drive views and engagement. Ask yourself: How do you succeed in grabbing and withholding attention?
Your attention? A quick tip: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try out some of the quirkier trends.
In this day and age, good SEO is critical to your web presence. Good SEO comes with increased engagement, traffic and conversions, but also better user experience for your audience. SEO is not just about using the right words. It’s so much more – and can be done so badly it’s scary. SEO is about the right titles, relevant hashtags, keywords and (inbound) links, unique meta descriptions as well as disciplined content creation and publishing.
A quick tip: Optimize for mobile (mobile playback accounts for more than 50% of videos watched on YouTube).
Optimize your channel
Optimized videos are one thing. An easy to navigate YouTube channel is a whole other story. But a crucial one. Treat it like any other webpage, get a custom URL and customize the layout. By providing a consistent and user-friendly experience across your channel, you’ll be able to bring in more views and – more importantly – convert those views into devoted followers and subscribers.
First, add a keyword-rich bio, a visually pleasing banner, links to your website and/or other social media profiles and obviously location and contact info. Next, organize your videos into playlists and remember to curate them thoughtfully.
A quick tip: Translating your videos into different languages or/and adding subtitles to them could be a good investment to expand your reach.
Obviously, relying on these tips doesn’t make you a YouTube stalwart overnight. A perfect YouTube strategy doesn’t help much if you lack quality content. Quality content relies heavily on proper craftsmanship, relevant storytelling and your ability to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes; on being trustworthy, and – most importantly – being yourself (how cliché that may sound like).