When Greg Jarboe, president and cofounder of SEO-PR, went to update his book YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, first published only two years ago by Sybex, he guessed that he’d need to update half the content. After all, YouTube is constantly improving itself and the video marketing industry is growing quickly.
He “woefully underestimated,” he said, and ended up having to update over 75 percent of the book. The second edition is now for sale on Amazon.
The Ever-changing YouTube
The changes were all across the board, Jarboe said, since YouTube hasn’t slowed in adding new features. Basic items like the video watch page and the algorithm used to create search recommendations have changed in the past two years (the algorithm now factors in newness, so that recent videos have an edge over old favorites).
Advertising on YouTube has changed dramatically, as well: TrueView, the system that only charges advertisers when their ads are watched fully, wasn’t around two years ago. Jarboe sees TrueView as a big reason why YouTube’s advertising has grown strongly in the past year.
Jarboe also notes that the YouTube Create section, which lists browser-based apps that can be used for editing videos or adding effects, didn’t exist two years ago. Now, you can make videos even without a camera. The GoAnimate tool, for example, creates animated videos from only a script.
Just this week, YouTube introduced YouTube Analytics, which provides deeper viewer insight than the previous YouTube Insight. Read our feature on it for more information.
Pre-Internet, small businesses needed to splurge on television ads to reach viewers, something many couldn’t afford. YouTube marketing, says Jarboe, removes cost as a barrier and lets companies put their messages in front of 800 million worldwide viewers. YouTube is a blessing for small businesses, he says, and he’s seen it put young companies on the map.
For those just starting out with YouTube marketing, Jarboe offers these five beginner tips.
1. Find Someone Who Can Shoot and Edit
In the old days, you needed to hire a professional videographer to record your message. The barriers have been lowered, and now all a small company needs is someone who can work a camera and do a little editing. The cameras built into smartphones or tablets are good enough, and semi-pro models go for under $500.
2. Grab the Viewer in 15 Seconds
People watch online video differently than they watch television. With online video, Jarboe says, you need to get their attention immediately; the first 15 seconds is crucial. “You’ve got to hook ’em fast,” he says.
3. Optimize Your Search Terms
There are now 48 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube every minute, Jarboe says, which he estimates to be 9.6 million new videos per week. Standing out in that crowd is a challenge, and just uploading your work isn’t enough. Research what keywords will get you the most viewers, and load those words into your titles, tags, and descriptions.
4. Let the Bloggers Know
One of the reasons YouTube took off in the first place and triumphed over similar sites, says Jarboe, is that it made sharing and embedding easy. Shared videos are still a powerful tool for discovery. Let the bloggers who cover your industry know whenever you have a new video up, and encourage them to post it.
5. Keep an Eye on the Analytics
If you’re not studying the free analytics tools that YouTube offers, you’re missing a valuable resource. Learn where your viewers are located and which blogs are giving you the most referrals. Study where people stopped watching your videos and learn what the weakest points are. That research can help make your next videos even better.