If you’ve been keeping up with marketing trends, you already know that video is poised to take over SEO in the near future, just like blogging did years ago. The businesses that build a strong video marketing strategy NOW will be the ones that come out ahead in the new marketing environment.
But where do you begin?
Start with the second-largest search engine in the world: YouTube.
Most marketers still treat YouTube like a social media site, using the platform to distribute video content. But a successful YouTube marketing strategy doesn’t focus on sharing videos—it relies on optimizing them.
Here’s how to generate leads with YouTube in four steps:
1. Keyword research
YouTube uses a sophisticated algorithm to rank videos. The algorithm incorporates factors such as upload date (favoring new videos), engagement (favoring longer watch times), and the information YOU upload as the content creator (such as video title, description, metadata, and video transcript).
You may have some content ideas percolating. But there’s a reason keyword research comes FIRST, rather than starting with brainstorming or even filming your video. Because of the structure of YouTube’s algorithm, the keywords you use have to be strategic and effective from the get-go, while your video is still fresh enough to be recognized as a new upload.
The best place to start is YouTube’s search function itself. Type in some keywords that are relevant to your industry and take a look at suggestions. Scour successful videos from your competitors to find out which keywords they’re using. You can also head to Google Trends and explore the popularity of some keyword ideas—just change the filter from “Web Search” to “YouTube Search.”
Ideally, you’ll find iterations that strike the sweet spot between decent search volume and likelihood that your video will rank for a given keyword.
2. Produce content around your keywords
Similar to the way you produce written content, establishing a pillar structure for your video content will help attract organic traffic to your videos. Here’s how it works:
STEP 1: Plan a full-length video, usually around 30-45 minutes long, around your pillar keywords. A video podcast format works well as it is relatively simple to produce and edit.
STEP 2: Time keywords and topics deliberately within your pillar. Using your keyword research, shift topics within your pillar video every few minutes. Ideally, you’ll be able to pull several 3-5 minute segments from your pillar video that can be uploaded individually and optimized for YouTube search.
STEP 3: Break your clips into microcontent (30-60 seconds long) that can be used in your other channels. You can share microcontent clips on social media and web pages to drive traffic to your YouTube channel.
3. Use an effective CTA
The end goal of a YouTube SEO strategy is to collect contact information (usually email addresses) so that you may continue to develop a relationship with prospects. For that, you’ll need a strong CTA.
There are a few places to add a CTA in YouTube:
Build your CTA into the video using YouTube cards, the clickable images typically found at the end of a video;
Add your CTA to the video description;
Place your CTA throughout your YouTube channel page.
Your CTA should link to a powerful lead generation page, offering valuable content in exchange for contact information.
4. Optimize and upload
With a solid pillar structure built around your keywords, you’re ready to upload your videos.
Remember that cadence and “newness” are included in YouTube’s algorithm, so you’ll want to post your 3-5 minute video segments a few times a week and keep uploads consistent.
Ensure that your keywords are included in the video title, tags, description, and transcript.
Here’s what your YouTube SEO strategy looks like for your leads:
Lead finds your video organically using YouTube’s search engine;
Lead engages with your video by clicking and viewing;
Lead clicks on your CTA, either in the YouTube card or description link;
Lead converts via form submission on your lead generation landing page.
Need help building a full-funnel video marketing strategy? Reach out to Tobe! From SEO strategy to video production and YouTube channel management, we’ve got you covered.