YouTube is the second most popular social media platform out there, and yet, so few brands try and make their mark on it. There are more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users that aren’t being properly reached. People watch more than a billion hours of video on YouTube every day. (Keep in mind, that’s billion with a B!)
Here’s another statistic that might shock you: 50.9% of B2B decision-makers use YouTube to research purchases. That’s more than Facebook (48.5%) and LinkedIn (33%)! And we’re betting your B2B company has a Facebook and LinkedIn account. When over 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing it on YouTube, your brand could be creating content that resonates with future customers. What’s stopping you?
Well, what’s stopping you is probably what’s stopping most brands – It’s hard to build an audience on YouTube. Bolded, underlined, hard! It’s challenging to get viewers, snag any engagement and retain them. But when the rewards are so high, it’s worth a try.
Here are our top tips on engaging your YouTube audience to net engagement and views.
Know your audience
Before you even hit record, you need to nail who you’re making your content for. Are you going after savvy SME owners that respect the hustle and answer only to themselves? Or are you targeting the middle-managers that need to do buckets of research to justify themselves to the higher-ups? Every audience will be looking for your content to do different things, so it’s important to cater to their needs.
Consistent content (& providing value)
People like routine. We like it in our professional and personal lives, and we like it in the content we consume too. Viewers like to know when they’ll expect an upload from you and what kind of thing you’re going to deliver. After all, if a user is unsure about what your channel is about, why would they subscribe? Being inconsistent in your upload schedule can also hurt your standing with YouTube’s algorithm. It places a lot of value in consistency and providing valuable content. But what counts as ‘valuable’, anyway? Well…
Ask yourself, ‘would someone gain something from watching my content?’ If the answer is yes, congrats! Your content is valuable! If the answer is no, we’ve got some work to do. Understand what your audience wants to see (and if you’re not sure, check out what your competitors are up to) and start carving out your niche in the market.
Engaging with your audience
A large part of using social media is building a community around your brand’s page. People always want to feel like they’re a part of something. Make sure you’re the most active person in your community. Try replying to every comment with a personalised response and see how users react. I’ll bet they’ll be enthusiastic and twice as likely to comment again.
Let’s be honest, nobody wants to watch a video that looks like it was filmed on a potato in 1996 and sounds like a crackly mess. It’s important to get these things right to maintain viewer retention, but it’s not essential to go out and buy the most expensive kit that would make Spielberg envious. We’d recommend something like a Blue Yeti microphone and a Canon PowerShot for some great hardware that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Title and thumbnail
When someone searches for a video to watch, they’ll be met with a sea of results to choose from. They’ll only have two things to help decide which video to watch: the title and the thumbnail. As such, it’s so important that you nail them both to ensure you get as many clicks as possible. Make sure to create interesting, compelling, relevant thumbnails. Don’t be afraid to notch up the saturation and contrast. It might look crazy in your photo editor, but it’ll look just right when it’s sized down. With titles, it’s essential to write something that creates a ‘curiosity gap’ to compel users to click and find out more.
A high bounce rate (aka if viewers are clicking on your video and very quickly clicking off again) may hurt your chances of being boosted by YouTube’s algorithm. Plus, if nobody can stand to sit through your video, it’s pretty unlikely they’ll want to see more and subscribe.
It might feel impossible to change, but you’ve got all the tools you need right in YouTube itself! There’s a handy dandy tool called YouTube Analytics and it has a bunch of essential information – including your bounce rate. You can find the point of the video that people are leaving and edit your future content accordingly. If you find that people are getting through your video, but don’t watch another, you can put dedicate ‘watch next’ cards to direct viewers to related videos.
Have a little patience
In the wise words of Gary Barlow, just have a little patience. We know it’s no fun, but sometimes the only thing you can do is wait. You’ve done all the hard work. It’s time to sit back and let the viewers come to you. It takes a lot of determination to do well, and you may well have to push forward whilst your videos aren’t doing great numbers. Keep going and you’ll be rewarded!
Maybe you don’t have time to be owner, manager, and content creator all at once. By adding another channel to your roster, you might be stretching your hours even thinner. We get that there’s only so much time in the day. That’s where we come in. We’re experts at content creations and platform management for a range of B2B sectors. Contact us for a free consultation today!