This is an article by Cley Williams. He is a marketing consultant, specializing in influencer outreach and marketing. The backbone of what he does is creating a lasting connection and relationship between a brand and its influencer and by extension bringing in loyal return customers. When not dreaming about content, Cley is scaling sheer rock faces.
A Guide to YouTube Influence Marketing: Ways to attract and engage with your audience.
LinkedIn is for resumes, Pinterest is for crafts, YouTube is for cat videos. Isn’t this what most people think? But otherwise-savvy social media marketers who are ready to relegate YouTube to the crazy cat ladies of the Internet are missing out. YouTube has a tremendous capacity to reach people across a wide range of demographics and topics. It is an excellent way to attract and engage with your audience, which is the first step in creating customers and conversions.
The goal should not necessarily be to create the next viral video. While that might be fun and flattering, it’s also a flash in the pan and not something that you can build a business or personal brand around, especially if your viral video is tangential to your brand identity. Views are only one metric, and views of one video are not the most important thing to measure. Your goal should be to establish your brand identity and actively engage with an audience.
One of the best ways to do this is to educate your viewers. This works well on Pinterest, where instructions and infographics are among the most popular posts, and it works even better on YouTube. YouTube is the perfect platform for tutorials about your product, service, or personal brand and your current clients will be grateful for step-by-step walkthroughs or answers to common questions. It is also a way to draw new viewers who may soon become clients. Surely you have plenty to share about your industry or sphere of influence. Producing content that provides value is an excellent way to draw people in so that they can learn more about you. Even if they’re not quite ready to buy quite yet, they’ll want to come back to learn more, and they’ll have your brand in mind when making purchase decisions.
People use YouTube quite a bit for those purchase decisions and educational intent. Vidooly reports that 66.7% of all online shoppers have watched at least one video to make a purchase decision. While this is true across all types of purchases, it is especially prominent in the beauty product, automobile, and smartphone spaces. If these are anywhere near your target markets, you absolutely cannot afford not to have your brand represented heavily on YouTube.
Another way to maintain an audience is to maintain consistency throughout your content. Visual consistency is important, of course, but it can be fun for both you and your viewers to include themes, running gags, or returning characters in each video. Not only does this compel watchers to subscribe and check back frequently, but it provides personality to your brand, which will keep it fresh and foremost in your audience’s minds.
When you produce your videos, remember that the National Center for Biotechnology Information has concluded that the attention span of a human is less than that of a goldfish! Also, the longer that a video is, the less a viewer will retain. What this indicates is that you need to grab everyone’s attention right from the beginning. Consistency in content helps with that as well because the video will require less background or set up time if the appearance and characters are immediately familiar.
You can also use your About page and your channel description to provide more information about your brand. Be concise and readable, but remember that attention span! You must be compelling so that people will want to learn more about you and what you have to offer. Keywords are essential so that you are easily searchable, and this applies to the metadata for your videos as well. Optimizing your metadata and your titles will help you rank higher in YouTube and Google (who owns YouTube) searches, so make sure that the title, description, and tags for your videos contain accurate, relevant keywords that reflect what audiences are searching. The tactics that your website development team uses for search engine optimization will also apply here. You can also curate some of your related videos into playlists. The playlists can be searchable themselves; plus, if a video is grouped with other videos on similar topics, viewers are likely to continue through the entire playlist once their interest was piqued.
There are many ways that you can engage with your audience now that you have their interest. Even just adding annotations to the YouTube videos makes them feel more interactive, which is always a plus. You should also be active in the comment and discussion section of not just your videos but videos on other channels as well. This behavior increases your visibility as well as provides more opportunities to establish and strengthen your brand identity. As with other social media platforms, being active and present builds your reputation, social proof, and credibility. Comments give you the invaluable opportunity to engage directly with current and future clients as well as with thought leaders and industry influencers. If viewers like what you have to say in threads on other channels, they are likely to come over to your channel to learn more about you. Don’t miss the chance to invite them!
Direct calls to action are as important on this platform as they are everywhere else. Once you have an audience, ask them to leave a comment, subscribe to your channel, visit your site, or share your videos. The call to action not only achieves the desired result but it has been proven to make viewers feel more actively engaged. An audience who invested and is participating in your campaign is what you want!
Viewers are 200% more likely to retain and recall content seen online than on television, according to none other than Nielsen. And YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, which means that there are hundreds of millions of people all over the globe intentionally searching for content. You want that content to be yours, and you can make sure that happens by providing educational media, creating a consistent brand identity, and engaging with everyone from individual commenters to industry giants.
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