These days, no internet marketing strategy is complete without a strong YouTube presence. According to Hitwise on November 13, 2010 – YouTube is now the #2 Social Networking website in the world with a market share of 19%, second only to Facebook. Also, YouTube continues to increase their share of the search engine market – especially among users 18 years old and under. If you have not created a YouTube channel for your company, it must be on the top of your to-do list.
YouTube has revolutionized the way that you can demonstrate what you do through inexpensive video productions. That this medium is increasingly preferred to standard text and static image ads has been statistically proven. Add to this the fact that you can quickly create compelling AdWords campaigns with high quality score tied directly to your YouTube videos, and the opportunity becomes even that much more appealing.
However, there are two immediate challenges that arise here:
- How do you position your YouTube promotions so that they do not compete with traffic to your primary website?
- If your website requires a login for access to video content that is now openly available via your YouTube channel – how do you handle users circumventing the process by simply visiting your YouTube channel and viewing the content there instead?
The answer to both questions are somewhat one in the same – and it requires some uneasiness.
- Accept that you are not going to be able to prevent people from viewing the video(s) unless you make them unavailable to the public…
- Next, accept that you must promote your YouTube channel for the reasons aforementioned.
- Finally, you must accept that there will be instances where users visit your YouTube channel and never make it to your primary website. Not every prospect will make a purchase.
The idea of keeping your YouTube channel “in your back pocket” to be distributed on a directional basis is not the answer.
YouTube now offers the ability to create a “call-to-action” overlay for your video. The overlay – similar to an AdWords ad, allows you to create a title and two descriptive lines of limited advertisement – along with a link back to the desired page on your site.
Following the steps below will prove to be the best approach to addressing these challenges:
- Set your latest or most compelling video to play automatically upon visiting your YouTube channel.
- Apply the “call-to-action” overlay to this video:
- Do not build a YouTube “call-to-action” around a signup for collateral such as videos…as this would be redundant. Build the call to action around another way to create a “conversion” – whether you define that conversion as a sale, a data capture, or a phone call. A data capture to schedule an online demonstration would be perfect here. If the user is interested enough to watch your video, they are likely to be receptive to this invitation
- Carefully promote your YouTube channel through AdWords with an emphasis on one specific aspect of your vertical market strategy. For example, if you are concentrating on selling cellphone accessories to college students – limit the demographics to those of college age and within regions where there are college campuses. Limit the spend to something minimal at first, and if possible set the bidding strategy up to focus on conversions.
Measure the total amount of views to your targeted YouTube video. Measure this against the number of users who are reaching the “call-to-action” overlay target page on your website. This will provide for a percentage of user who are coming to the site as a result of the YouTube promotion. Take a look at the number of conversions resulting from this traffic. You will likely find that your tangible ROI exceeds what it was beforehand, and you now have a select group who are asking to be contacted for a demonstration!