Delivering value through video: how to best use YouTube

As video grows in power and popularity, YouTube becomes an increasingly important social media channel for marketers.

Consider the fact that online consumers spend 2x as much time on YouTube than other sites; this goes to show the power that YouTube has to inform purchase decisions.

Millions of people use YouTube on a daily basis to learn about solutions to problems.

In fact, YouTube is known as one of the most powerful search engines on the internet. 

Whether someone wants to go to a specific location, buy a product or learn how to do an activity, YouTube is often the first place people go.

Not to mention the fact that online video accounts for 50% of mobile traffic…

The power of the platform

So, why is YouTube so powerful?

In addition to the strong search feature, there is a ton of functionality within YouTube that make it the most popular place to host your videos, including annotations, YouTube cards, descriptions and advertisements.

All of these features make it easier for marketers to include branding elements and calls to action on their videos, making it more likely that they’ll drive people to their website as a result.

Unlike Facebook, where video views are accidental, YouTube is an intentional platform.

Facebook video views result from people scrolling through their newsfeed, whereas YouTube video views happen as a result of search.

In order to create a video that is valuable, you should aim to inspire, educate and/or entertain. 

Picking one of those three goals will help you stay on track to creating a valuable video for your audience.

Structuring your videos for success

When creating a video, both the structure and the context are critical.

You want to get clear on your mission for using YouTube, and set expectations for what your audience will get from your videos.

Setting expectations in regards to the topics, frequency, length and location of your videos is going to help generate excitement, engagement and loyalty from your online audience.

Your videos should be centered around the same set of themes/topics, have a similar structure and flow, share the same backdrop and be posted on the same days and times of the week.

Here are a few steps to follow when structuring your videos:

  1. Start strong: Your video should start with you – your face, front and center. Introduce your topic and do it in an exciting way. You want to aim to capture attention immediately.
  2. Be personal: Speak directly to the camera so that your audience feels like you are speaking only to them.
  3. Treat fans like friends: Don’t introduce yourself and go through your elevator pitch at the start of every video; treat your fans like friends and assume they already know you. Diving straight into the content will help make your videos more valuable.
  4. Solution-oriented: Once you’ve grabbed attention, you want to dive straight into the content. Take 10 seconds max to start detailing the problem your audience faces, and propose a solution. Keep your eyes moving throughout the video and use minimal branding to keep your audience engaged and focused on the content.
  5. Length matters: Your videos shouldn’t be longer than 7 minutes. I recommend aiming to create videos that are between 2-6 minutes long. Keeping them short and sweet will make it more likely that your audience watches more than 1 video in a sitting.
  6. Consistency is key: Aim to post your videos on the same day, at the same time, of the week so that your audience knows exactly when and what to expect from you.
  7. End strong: Each video should end with a strong call to action that details exactly what you want your audience to do as a result of viewing the video.

Following the steps above will put you on the path of creating interesting, engaging, valuable videos that keep your audience coming back for more.

Are you using YouTube as a part of your marketing strategy?

I’d love to see your videos; share your channel in the comments below!

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