A poignant question marketers may want to ask themselves is, if YouTube has been a fan favorite for over ten years, why do inbound marketing analysts still list video as a disrupter in 2017? The answer is simple—search engine optimization.
That’s because, despite also being a social media site, YouTube is primarily a search engine. That means, unlike with Facebook, people still mostly discover videos via search, not shares. The obvious benefit YouTube enjoys because of this is that their content has greater reach and longevity than shared material on Facebook. So because marketers have focused on Facebook and written content for so long, the full power of video marketing has yet to be realized—until now.
In this post, we move beyond YouTube celebrities and influencers to illuminate how B2B marketers can successfully leverage the clips site as part of its overall digital strategy.
No matter the product or service your company is selling, your YouTube video titles should be, clear, catchy and concise. Also, you’ll have a slight edge if you use a keyword in your title that’s an exact match to what your audience is searching for. There are many keyword strategies you can implement, but they don’t have to be complex.
Whether you’re a guy with a homemade product, or a Fortune 500 company specializing in enterprise software, the official advice (even from YouTube itself) is to use tags to tell viewers what your video is about. The key, of course, is to use relevant tags—using eye-catching but irrelevant tags could get you penalized by the site.
As a case study, let’s use this explainer video by laboratory-information-management-systems (LIMS) company Rural Sourcing Incorporated. Digging deep into the data of this video we were able to see that they used five video tags, all incorporating variations of relevant keywords. These included “LIMS,” “Laboratory Information Management System,” “Rural Sourcing Incorporated,” and “RSI.”
So not only has RSI let us the audience know the subject of their video (as well as that they are the creator), they’ve also told YouTube. YouTube relies on these tags as well, so they now know exactly how to categorize the video. So, using relevant tags means greater exposure for your B2B content.
We’ve all seen the “description” text pane beneath those videos we watch on YouTube. Some B2B marketers may be inclined to fill this section with optimized content. But try to think of it from the audience’s perspective. They wound up at the clip in question because they wanted to watch something, not read something. So even though there is officially a 1,000 character limit to the description text, SEO best practices recommend not using all of them.
In fact, you don’t want to use most of them. Notice that the description pane only allows viewers to see the first 100 characters before they have to click and expand the text box. This is your showcase spot for text. So, using the same ad example from RSI, notice that they don’t even bother with the full 1,000 characters. Knowing that viewers only see the first 100, they opt for a short and sweet single sentence of description that incorporates only relevant info.
Now, you may be thinking, Will these tactics really work? To that, I point you back to Dollar Shave Club, which launched into the stratosphere of a billion-dollar valuation from nothing thanks mostly to that irreverent YouTube video. Take note of the length of their description
Long-tail video keywords
The question is, how do marketers properly optimize their content? The analysts at Backlinko, for example, don’t put much stock in single keywords as far as they concern ranking factors. They prefer to highlight the importance of comments and overall video views.
However, the pros at both Hubspot and MediaPost agree that while single keywords might not boost rankings much, long-tail keywords do have an effect. So just as SEO best practices tell you to focus on the long tail of the market with written content, so too you should with video. That means adding descriptive keywords into your phrasing.
They recommend optimizing your YouTube content according to video-friendly keywords; i.e. descriptive words that show rather than tell. To do this, first generate a big list of keywords and find out which ones are the most illustrative. You can do this simply, by typing in a phrase relevant to your B2B operation in the search bar and looking at the results.
For example, when I typed “enterprise software” into a YouTube search, it returned a number of video-friendly, long-tail phrases including “enterprise software sales,” “enterprise software architecture and design,” and “enterprise software implementation.” Those are all visual examplesand it takes nothing more than this to tap into what your B2B audience needs.
The ultimate takeaway
Using the above techniques, you can find exactly what your target audience is searching for on YouTube. Then you’ll have the tools to position yourself in prime position to get the most eyeballs on your content. It’s the digital roadmap to providing visual answers to the problems your customers want solved.