To understand content marketing in the competitive world of YouTube, why not learn from the best?
YouTube is a powerful force in the marketing world.
Nobody can argue how much value there is in YouTube marketing. It has roots as an amateur video platform where people shared little more than videos of their pets and their relatives maiming themselves on trampolines, but that was only the beginning. Google recognized YouTube’s potential and acquired it in 2006, helping to shape it into the social sharing platform we know today.
The YouTube millionaires
From its days as little more than a digital version of America’s Funniest Home Videos, who could have guessed that YouTube would become a breeding ground for internet millionaires?
Consider online video producers like Pewdiepie: A YouTube sensation who recently achieved 50 million subscribers and currently boasts nearly 15 billion video views (yes, that’s billion with a B). Other users who have built video content empires include comedy duo Smosh, Lilly Singh, and Rosanna Pansino – each of whom are now millionaires due to the incredible content marketing they’ve done.
And while iconic users like Pewdiepie may have locked into a formula for YouTube success, none of these stars has massive companies backing them. Their success is a result of the hard work, creativity, and content strategies they’ve employed to make an impact on YouTube.
And fortunately for your marketing team, all three of these can be leveraged in your own way to make YouTube a value-driving part of your overall social media marketing strategy.
It’s all about the video
We’ve detailed at length the power of video content in previous articles. Users love video. In fact, a report by Cisco predicts that by 2020, 80 percent of global internet traffic will be dedicated to video streaming and downloads.
With that in mind, marketers need to know how to stand out with the video content they produce. To learn firsthand how to succeed with YouTube video, let’s review some key content trends and how YouTube millionaires have put them to work.
The days of grainy, hard-to-watch videos are gone. Vine often suffered from a lack of production value, and we all know how that turned out.
For B2B video marketing, digital video productions may require high-quality cameras, sound recording equipment, structured scripts, and dedicated actors who know their craft. Affordable social media marketing doesn’t need to be expensive – our smartphones are capable of taking high-quality video these days, and many of these other video elements can be acquired without breaking your budget.
Our eyes are drawn to images easier than text – as such, your video thumbnail is just as important as your headline for grabbing user attention. Many users (including most of the highest-earning users like Pewdiepie) craft unique “title cards” for each of their videos. Also keep in mind that creating these image thumbnails with consistency of color and theme can add an air of legitimacy to your content production.
As with every other aspect of your text-oriented marketing, headlines must be engaging, unique, and hold some promise of value for your market. Consider how Smosh handles this process with their in-your-face headlines that leave no question about what’s in store within each video.
This one’s a given, so let’s leave it at that.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication amongst us humans. When we hear stories, our brains naturally attune to the content being discussed, which makes it more likely that the lesson will resonate with us and that we’ll remember it in the future. Look to Lilly Singh for examples of this trend in action. Her videos excel at joining clear headlines with relatable narratives that make each piece of content stand out.
We get that it’s not always possible to frame each of your content marketing points in a narrative format, but if you can, you’ll win engagement points with your audience.
YouTube allows verified accounts to post videos of any length under a 20GB file size, but keep in mind your audience’s preferences when posting your content. B2B users might be willing to sit through longer videos than the average consumer, but even their patience has a limit.
Data by Wistia suggests that audience engagement is somewhat linear with video length: 50 percent of users will stay entirely engaged with videos that end in two minutes or fewer, but by the time you reach the 10-20 minute video mark, that engagement drops by half. Take a journalistic approach to your video content and share the most important details first, including your call-to-action. This will ensure that your message is received before your user attention spans begin to fail.
Singular users on YouTube have built massive brands around these basic concepts, and your organization can do the same. Keep these tips in mind as you create your content strategy, and if you’re ever stuck for ideas, don’t be afraid to check out some of the industry’s top performers for ideas on what works well for grabbing user attention.