When choosing to invest in a video marketing campaign, a company, large or small, will inevitably ask itself this question: should i have a YouTube channel? The answer: most certainly! It is however important to take into account the field of activity of the company, the type of content created as well as the targets for each video …

In this article, I will try to provide a detailed analysis of this response and describe the many possibilities that YouTube offers as a marketing tool. Thus, the questions how to take advantage of these possibilities and when to use YouTube to host your videos will be addressed.

What can YouTube do for me?

YouTube is an interesting phenomenon for many reasons: it is both a search engine, a hosting service, an advertising platform, a social network, but also a community site. For users, however, its use comes down to finding and watching videos on the Internet.

YouTube is similar to Inbound TV. No matter how you get there (via Google search, social media, or directly from their YouTube.com browser) the goal is the same: watch a video. Generally, people don’t go to YouTube to find products or services to buy. They also don’t go there for information, restaurant recommendations or travel destinations. They only go there for one reason: to watch a video and find something informative or entertaining.

For YouTube presence to be profitable, video marketing strategy must be based more on user expectations rather than against them. In other words, it’s important to meet their needs by providing them with informative, informative, or entertaining content. It is also possible to create ads used as pre-reading content for Internet users watching videos relevant to your activity.

With the right content, a user watching information or entertainment videos will get to know a brand better from a better perspective. The ads, like TV advertising, will improve brand awareness, legitimacy and reputation.

Being on YouTube also provides other benefits and, while minor, these are just as important.

Integration in social networks

Google+, Facebook and Twitter each offer access to YouTube. Their users can thus view videos from their account without having to change platforms.

Possibility of resale of the video

As part of a PPC-Pay Per Click campaign, you can resell videos from a YouTube channel to people who have watched them. Ads can appear on the network itself or across the Google Display Network.

More effective public relations campaigns

Audiovisual press releases appear as an effective promotional tool, but also as a means to obtain links from news sites. They operate in the same way as a media item used to be a source of information for journalists. YouTube is also the ideal platform for sharing audiovisual press releases since editors and journalists became familiar with its operation: uploading content and integrating videos on their site.

What kind of content should we create for YouTube?

20131211-213-youtube-don't-invest-in-video-marketing1 YouTube is both a community site and a search engine, the shared content must be specially intended for this platform. There is therefore no room for chance in this process. If your activity is limited to the production of videos and that all your products (regardless of the content and target audience) are automatically uploaded to YouTube, the marketing campaign will prove to be ineffective while the potential benefits on each content may be cannibalized. Greg Jarboe further stated in this article on YouTube channel-ization: To be successful on YouTube in 2013, having a consistent channel strategy in 2016 is essential.

Generally speaking, real big YouTube campaigns don’t take into account one-hit wonders or other content that hasn’t been successful. The big chains (like The Slow Mo Guys and Old Spice) link success after success and produce quality videos after quality videos.

The chain strategy should basically be akin to a blogging strategy. Indeed, successful blogs like SEOmoz did not build their reputation on a single quality article before continuing with others of lesser success: their readership constantly expects to have quality, hence the need to satisfy it. In addition, Google tends to offer more results on channel search pages on YouTube and Google Search as well as on individual video pages. If a channel has videos with low marketing value, it will affect the rest of the channel (and therefore all other videos) because of the algorithm that will push it down the search page ranking.

Your YouTube channel should therefore be significant and reduced to the bare minimum. Its content should be relevant and likely to interest visitors who do not necessarily know your brand. By integrating this principle into a broader video marketing strategy, the chain will have to follow these rules:

  • The content you want to classify (oriented conversion) is either self-organized or organized using a paid online video platform;
  • Content that you want to share with others that is not part of the conversion tunnel (branding focused) is sent to YouTube.

The channel must have different content intended to arouse the interest of Internet users who will actively seek them and who will want to watch them.

How do I know if my business should have a YouTube channel?

If your customers or those who may influence your customers view videos related to your industry, then it’s important to have a YouTube channel.

All companies have an interest in promoting their brand, because notoriety and reputation often result. YouTube is proving to be an effective tool for achieving this objective, provided that the main idea is to have ideas to produce valuable content.

If you do paid research, YouTube helps with integrated communications; if you do public relations, it helps you become a source of information for journalists; and if you engage with people through social media, YouTube strengthens that engagement through your messages and campaigns.

When is YouTube not the right platform for my videos?

In any case, it’s best to host your own videos or use a paid online video platform. This solution guarantees better management of different content as well as redirection of links and all traffic to your own site.

How do you assess the size of a YouTube marketing campaign?

The sole and main indicator of success for a YouTube campaign is: brand search volume. This is true if you use an advertising campaign on YouTube Advertising, if you favor social sharing to attract a community or if you do SEO to optimize ranking on YouTube and Google Search.

If people want to know about your activity and search for you on Google and Bing much more often than before, you’ll know if your videos have achieved their goal. Unfortunately, queries (not provided) make it difficult to accurately measure the amount of traffic on a site, especially because of brand keywords. However, by following the increase in search rates for a brand, the variations on Google Trends and by observing the queries in the tools that Google provides to webmasters, it is possible to have an overview of positive trends. On the other hand, if you are making a PPC for your brand name (which is certainly possible), be sure to buy an unlimited amount of banners and increase their number regularly.

In addition, the appearance of brands should also be followed. Businesses will even have the opportunity to conduct reconnaissance surveys and consider spontaneous recalls.

There are secondary success indicators that offer the possibility of predicting a significant increase in traffic or search volume. These include:

Refer to traffic from YouTube

Traffic from YouTube is certainly only a fraction of the actual number of people viewing the videos. Nevertheless, it can be used as an indicator to measure the interest aroused by each content. People who leave YouTube quickly to connect to another site are certainly intrigued by the offer in the video.

There are three ways to insert links to a site from YouTube videos:

  • Include a link in the description. It can be a URL or an anchor;
  • Set up the advertising content and obtain an ad recovery link;
  • Get YouTube partner status (by allowing other advertisers to pre-roll on your videos) and include links to the site in the comments.
Join YouTube

YouTube Analytics has an Audience Retention Report option. It provides an overview of Google’s impressions of content and is based on the number of people who started watching a video. It collects information from the moment it is viewed and thus progresses to the end.

This type of graph is one of the main tools used by Google and YouTube to determine the ranking of a video through search results. It is therefore important to continually improve and optimize content in order to keep the user interested as long as possible, at least until the end of the video. The goal is to get the percentage of average view time for each product downloaded.

If certain contents have a duration of view lower than the average of the other products, it is recommended to remove them. They will therefore have no impact on the overall performance of the chain.

Do not measure views

The view counters on YouTube mainly correspond to hits on websites. They are triggered when someone uploads a video, whether or not the video is actually watched.

In order to judge the actual performance of a site, it is essential not to take into account the hits, but to turn to more significant indicators of success. It can be the bounce rate, the time spent on the site or the conversion rate. For some reason, most advertisers unknowingly want YouTube videos to be based on the number of views. However, views have never been taken into account in the ranking of content and represent nothing more than the number of downloads. As such, they appear as a measure of the vanity of advertisers who wish to see the number of viewers in the manner of traditional television. YouTube’s reports on estimated view time and average view time are a better indicator of success.

FAQs on YouTube and video marketing

Couldn’t YouTube drive more traffic to my site while helping me build my brand?

An anonymous advertiser, having set up advertising notifications, placed links in the descriptions and included notifications in the video in order to create a link pointing to his site. Its goal was to generate traffic from YouTube. The result: 415,000 views on all of his videos during the month of December 2012. Thanks to these views, he received a total of 19 references from YouTube.com, for a click rate of 0.005%. While this is an extreme example, there are certainly examples of channels with click-through rates greater than 1%.

So, yes, YouTube offers the ability to generate traffic. However, this will always be a secondary criterion in branding as well as the reputation built through videos. Downloading videos to YouTube for the main purpose of generating traffic thus appears to be a bad strategy. It is more recommended to use a secure and paid hosting service, and create a sitemap for videos so that they are indexed with rich extracts on its own site.

YouTube is owned by Google. So, isn’t embedding YouTube videos on my site, rather than self-hosting, better for better SEO? Does offering YouTube videos on my site rank better in search results?

No, because there are apparently no restrictions on embedding YouTube videos. If one person is empowered to do this, then so is everyone. In addition, there is no specific way to determine the ownership of the videos offered on the Google platform.

In general, YouTube videos are integrated into iframes since it is a light, reliable and mobility-friendly solution. When reading iframes, Google provides the content of the original source if this page is indexable (that is, it is not blocked by robots.txt).

So when you embed a YouTube video, you should think of it as a vote or a link to that video on YouTube.com. There are many reasons why this is a positive thing: since widgets and links have become ranking factors, offering videos has helped improve SEO in search results on YouTube and Google Search. Only, it’s YouTube.com, not your site.

It is certain that this trend will not change anytime soon. Google wants advertisers to use YouTube to host their videos, which will generate more traffic (and therefore more ads) to its sites rather than yours.

Conversely, by using a secure content host or by choosing to use your own solution, the integration of restrictions will guarantee the visibility of the video only on your site. Googlebot will therefore consider that the content is unique, especially when an encapsulated version of the video is referenced in the content_loc tag of a video sitemap. Thanks to such a process, it is possible to “canonize” one’s own page in relation to embedded content, which is impossible via free social platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

What was said before does not mean that self-hosting or using YouTube is best for SEO. This means that Google has much more to gain from improving the ranking of its own sites rather than those of users. YouTube is not preferred in search results, however. Self-hosted videos can indeed be classified as well as its content, especially if they are integrated into an important site and subject to a video sitemap. If you want to drive more traffic to your site using rich snippets in search results, self-hosting or secure hosting is definitely the best solution.

YouTube is the second largest Internet search engine. By refusing to adopt it, am I not moving away from a large base of potential customers?

To claim that YouTube has a billion unique visitors per month is a common misconception. The myth is that if you don’t have content on YouTube, you don’t have access to a market equivalent to three times the size of the American population. This argument is an abuse of language. The YouTube community does not represent a separate group of Internet users who spend a lot of time on the platform; rather, it is a group of people who watch videos on the net.

In the same way that being present on YouTube allows you to be in touch with its users, being absent from this channel does not prevent you from directing your commercial actions towards another demographic target. Also, since Google’s all services merged last year, Google’s users have been the same as YouTube’s and vice versa. In other words, not being on YouTube does not prevent you from carrying out a commercial action aimed at other targets present on this channel.

Note: this article is a test for the behavioral study of negation at the University of Brussels. Do not be surprised by the title which is a reversal of the situation which leaves the reader surprised with what is especially not to be done when choosing his video strategy on YouTube. So it’s not an inspirational title 😉