Posting to YouTube: 4 Best Practices for Video Marketing

May 03, 2013 | Sabrina Cote
Posting to YouTube: 4 Best Practices for Video Marketing

Everyone knows that posting to YouTube is easy. But by making a few extra efforts, marketers can ensure more people find their videos, share their content, and ultimately, learn more about their brand.

Following our recent webinar on video marketing with YouTube and beyond, I wrote about the new YouTube channel design changes and what they mean for video marketers. Of course, there’s much more to talk about on the subject of video marketing with YouTube. 

Before you can take advantage of the new YouTube channel design options, you first have to publish your videos.  While the process for publishing is very simple, there are a few best practices to keep in mind to optimize your videos and take full advantage of all the features YouTube has to offer.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind when posting to YouTube.

Titles

When selecting a title for your video, keep it short but informative, and use relevant keywords that will help viewers find your video in search.  Remember, since YouTube videos generally have very little text for search engines to crawl, it’s especially important to optimize your YouTube video titles for SEO, as this is the best way to get found in search.

In addition to the title, the thumbnail image that represents your video will also help attract viewers to your content. YouTube provides three thumbnail images from frames at the beginning, middle and end of each video – try to select the image that best represents the content of your video and is the most aesthetically appealing. In other words, you should think of the thumbnail image as your video’s first impression.

Descriptions

The description field presents a prime opportunity to link back to your company’s website, which should always be a primary goal when marketing on YouTube.  When including a link to your website, make sure to add http:// at the beginning of the URL so YouTube recognizes it as a clickable link.

It’s also a good idea to position the link to your website near the top of the description when posting to YouTube. This way it will be the first thing viewers see and you won’t have to worry about it being hidden beneath the “Show more” part of the description.

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It’s important to capitalize on this opportunity to drive viewers back to your website, especially since in general, YouTube does not allow for linking to external websites from annotations within videos, but rather only to other YouTube videos.

Tags

Tags are crucial for helping viewers locate your video in search, so make sure to tag your video with applicable keywords that speak to the content of your video. When posting to YouTube, think about what words viewers might be searching to find your content. 

Along with their importance to search, tags have an even greater relevance with the new YouTube Sections feature for your YouTube channel. With this enhancement, tags can now be used as an efficient means of curating meaningful related content into lists that can then be featured on your YouTube channel’s main page. 

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With this in mind, it’s a good idea to review your existing list of tags for relevancy and consistency.  For instance, if you have several product demo videos on your channel, and some are tagged with the word “demo,” while others are tagged with “demonstration,” you can consolidate these videos under a single tag so that when you feature a tag as a section, you are truly pulling a comprehensive list of videos related to that subject.

Annotations

YouTube annotations can be set to display at designated intervals during a video, and serve as a way to provide notes about a video or link to other related YouTube content. Not only is this is an excellent way to connect similarly themed videos, but it’s also an effective strategy for pointing viewers to updated versions of your video content.

Keeping these best practices in mind will help you get the most out of your video marketing efforts as you’re posting to YouTube.  Whether you are uploading a video file from your computer, or publishing a presentation directly from Brainshark to YouTube, you can make use of these tips to optimize your videos, and amplify your brand’s YouTube presence.  

More video marketing tips and ideas:

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