As the internet continues to advance, digital marketing, its platforms, and intricate strategies advance along with it. In today's world of marketing, video has emerged as an essential piece to any effective communications mix. In this blog, we'll provide you with some best practices that will help optimize your video usage. Topics covered include user demographics, specific platforms, and in-depth steps to keep your company ahead of the curve while implementing video into your marketing strategy. Before diving into best practices, we must establish 3 golden rules:
Rule #1: Don't Exclude the Baby Boomers.
Contrary to popular belief, the internet is not entirely dominated by younger generations. Today, nearly all age groups are spending time on YouTube and other video-based social platforms. A 2014 Facebook report showed that folks aged 55 and older comprise the fastest growing demographic using Facebook, which only continues to grow. Older demographics are spending nearly 20 hours online every week, with YouTube and other video-related social platforms consuming one third of that activity.
Rule #2: Make YouTube a priority.
We cannot stress this rule enough; invest the majority of your video marketing efforts towards YouTube. YouTube is the most utilized video platform, and effectively reaches the 55+ age range more than any other web or social site. That being said, we still recommend using additional video platforms to market including Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram.
Rule #3: Treat Video like SEO.
After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. With that in mind, your objective is to elevate your video to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), or your metrics will take a major hit. Not sure how to? Below, we'll provide you with tips on how to boost and maintain your video's ranking.
Now that we've covered the basics, we can move on to Traktek's Best Practices for Video Optimization.
Best Practice #1: Use Schema.org & Sitemaps.org
Schema.org is a site that produces markups used by Google's SERP ranking algorithm. These "markups" are data that provide information about your content and help give Google a better idea of its purpose. Google can help generate richer search results using this data.
Once you've finished your markups, turn to sitemaps.org to help Google's algorithm understand the content you're creating. Sitemaps generates information about each URL on a website, including insights on recent updates and relevance to related pages. By providing this organizational information, content on your site can be crawled and categorized by Google's algorithm much faster.
Best Practice #2: Create video transcripts
Transcripts are textual descriptions of the spoken content on your video. These transcripts, which can be easily produced using several software programs, are essential for ranking algorithms and user convenience. For Google's SERP ranking algorithm, much like Sitemaps and Schema, the transcript helps depict the nature of the content. For users, the transcripts allow for closed captions, which are essential for those with hearing impairments and other auditory needs.
Best Practice #3: Optimize for YouTube rankings
It's essential to understand that YouTube is a massive search engine, similar to Google, but the results are entirely video. In order to optimize your presence on YouTube's SERP, you'll need to examine its ranking algorithm. Unlike Google, this algorithm is straightforward and primarily dominated by the following five attributes:
1. Watch time:This indicates how long your viewers stick around to watch your content. Regardless of the video's length, watch time measures both the duration and percentage of the video watched.
2. Keywords: It's essential to identify keywords that are relevant to your content and user needs. YouTube uses 'Broad Match' in their search results, so your keywords don't need to match the search word-for-word. This gives you some freedom in the words and phrases that you choose. These keywords can be placed anywhere in the video including the title, description, or the video itself. By saying your keywords in the video, the transcription of the video will include them.
Additionally, these keywords will be used when calculating your ranking on Google. Choose your keywords wisely and effectively because they can make or break your ranking within relevant searches.
3. Subscribers: The number of subscribers to the uploader carries significant weight in the eyes of YouTube's ranking algorithm. Large scale channel subscriptions are deemed more credible and ranked higher than channels followed by only a few subscribers.
4. Video reactions: The viewers reaction to the video is important when deciding which videos to recommend. Positive engagements with the post including likes, shares, and comments will positively impact the ranking. On the other hand, reporting the video will harm its standing. Surprisingly, dislikes are not seen as negative and have no harmful impact on a video's standing. This holds true on other sites, such as Facebook, where reaction emojis ("like", "love", and "dislike") are counted equally.
5. Video Length: The ideal video length varies by platform. Producing a video outside of its boundaries can have a major impact on watch time, clicks, and viewership. Posting on YouTube is much more generous than other social media platforms. The ideal length spans anywhere from 2-15 minutes. For Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, anything over 60 seconds is challenging the limits of consumer interest and attention span.
Best Practice #4: Describe your video
A strong description of your video takes some of the pressure off your keywords. First, you'll need a creative, descriptive title that captivates attention. Shorter titles fare much better than lengthy ones, and an ideal title ranges between 20-40 characters. Focus on incorporating keywords to optimize the title.
Next, focus on the description section, where viewers get a brief written preview of the video. YouTube's ranking algorithm, and the average reader, prefers a concise description over a lengthy one, so we recommend that you make your point in less than 350 words. Do your best to include targeted keywords to further optimize your video's presence on the search engine.
Lastly, make sure to add descriptive primary and secondary tags to inform Google of the video's purpose. There are four types of tags: specific, compound, generic, and misspelled.Specific tags are one-word tags that provide specific insight on the video's content. Compound tags are composed of several words or phrases. You can exclude any conjunctions or prepositions for these, as YouTube won't take them into account. Generic tags are general, broad terms that aren't relevant to the specific topic. For a travel-related video use tags "travel" and "advice". Misspelled tags cover common typos related to your topic. By tagging these common mistakes your video will still appear in these accidental searches.
Best Practice #5: Captivate your audience
In the technological age where consumers lose interest in the blink of an eye, you need to find a way to grab their attention within the first 10 seconds. 75% of viewers take relevant action after viewing a video, but only when they are compelled to do so. Failing to captivate and maintain your audience will result in very short watch times and significantly lower conversion rates. This will hurt your YouTube ranking and your business.
If you can't stop viewers from bouncing after a few seconds, it's vital that you build brand recognition during their brief stay. Start your videos with a full-screen graphic displaying your brand. If the video buffers or fails to load altogether, the consumer will still be exposed to the brand.
The growth of video has made it a necessity to be part of a successful marketing plan. Its diverse audience and high conversion rates make it a top technique in both attracting and converting new customers. At Traktek Partners, a digital travel marketing agency agency in Needham, MA, we specialize in implementing and optimizing digital solutions for your company. For more information on our digital travel marketing agency and our wide range of services, visit www.traktekpartners.com/travel