The best thing about viral videos is that they can come from anywhere – even your backyard.
And although there are simply too many unknowns to deliver a guaranteed viral video checklist, there are a few fundamentals you can learn to get your videos in front of more people today.
It takes a combination of amazing content, the right audience, and a TON of luck. But learning how to pick the right keywords, leverage the hidden value of Google+, and reap the benefits of video SEO can put your brand’s video in a position to succeed, without praying that the next time Charlie bites his brother’s finger, he’s wearing your company’s logo.
All of these core concepts to marketing your video are concepts we use everyday at Grovo, an online education platform for leading sites, apps, and Internet tools. These tips will dramatically improve the success of your video marketing.
1. Video Optimization Basics
Tapping into that large YouTube audience to get more views means making sure that your videos are optimized for people to find them.
The best ways to do this include:
- Writing a relevant video title, description, and tags (don’t be stingy with the length)
- Choosing an interesting thumbnail image to entice clicks
- Taking advantage of social networks to share videos with as many people as possible
These are the bottom line basics. Skips any of these steps and you are digging a deep hole to start from.
2. Find and Compare Trends
The YouTube Trends Dashboard allows you to see what videos are most popular in different places around the world to help you decide what content to produce and who to target.
Use the location dropdown to see popular videos in a specific country or city, use the age dropdown to pick an age range, and filter by gender using the links below.
The “Compare” button lets you select up to three locations, age ranges and gender settings to compare what’s popular with different groups of people.
Use the “Unique” checkbox to see which videos are not in any other list. You can compare geographies or age groups to see which types of videos are uniquely popular to specific audiences.
3. Video Keyword Research
One of the biggest issues with video SEO is that people are typically searching for information; they’re not necessarily focused on purchasing products.
You can use the YouTube Keyword Tool to figure out if there is search volume for a certain phrase on YouTube. The right keywords will make sure your the meta data you attach is semantic and targeted. Make sure your findings are included in the video title and description.
On YouTube, people usually search keywords that are questions or related to information discovery.
Generic guide keywords can be really effective, as can content based on questions and research. If you don’t find keyword volume on YouTube, don’t stop there; also look at information-based sites such as Quora or Yahoo Answers to make sure people are looking for the information you’re providing.
Find questions that your videos can answer.
4. Help Search Engines Find your Videos
Adding tags and video categories can improve the performance of your videos by helping search engines find them when users search for your tags and similar terms.
- You can add tags when you upload your video, or at any time after by selecting “Video Manager” in the dropdown below your username.
- Check off a tag you’ve already used to include it, or type in the box above to find a specific tag or create a new one.
- You can also choose a video category that matches your title, description and tags to help improve your video’s search ranking even more.
Embed Your Video
Embed your video on your website or blog (or multiple websites if possible). Embeds are tracked by Youtube’s stats. With the embed, include text to describe, feature and compliment the video. Give search engines as much context as possible to understand what your video is about.
Link To Your Video
The cornerstone of SEO is backlinks. In the same places you embed your video, also link to the Youtube page with relevant keywords. And link to it from other relevant content you create on your website or others. This gives search engines even more signals and relevance, helping your search ranking changes.
5. Get More YouTube Views
A video’s popularity is a function of many factors, only one of which is the quality of your video content.
Most importantly, before people can even judge the quality of your content, they have to be able to find it. Grovo’s video below will show you how to help people find your videos via YouTube search, with three of the most important elements are, and the top five factors that will influence how well your video will appear in search results.
None of these factors is necessarily more important than the others; they all play a part in determining whether you video will show up in search results.
6. Social Sharing on YouTube
One difference between regular SEO and video SEO is the social aspect, particularly on YouTube.
Because Google owns YouTube, they have much more information about what happens there than what happens anywhere else on the web. Adding a social call to action to have viewers share the video with their friends and networks, to help your video get more views and to spread the content.
In particular, as Google Plus becomes more and more prevalent, it’s going to be important to see Google Plus shares on all videos. This social sharing can help your video rank based on the title of the video, even in regular search results for competitive searches, because buzz on videos is easy for Google to track. This Grovo video shows you how to connect your social media accounts on YouTube.
7. YouTube Sponsored Videos
Anyone can use Sponsored Videos to make sure their videos find a larger audience, target people interested in their content topic, and increase their view count.
The easy-to-use automated tools allow content owners to decide where they’d like their videos to appear, place bids in an automated online auction, and set daily spending budgets. YouTube will display relevant videos alongside the search results, labeled as “sponsored videos.”
8. Press & Linkbuilding
Bloggers, content creators and journalists are very familiar and comfortable with embedding videos on their site. Whether you’re doing a text-based or multimedia press release, include the video or even feature the video as the call to action for your press campaign.
This small addition will help increase embeds, links, and views. It makes it easier for journalists to pick it up, link to it, and share it with their larger audience. Even if they only tweet out the video.
For reporters, embedding related videos in their story will increase their readers’ time-on-site and engagement figures, which is what they’re hungry for. For media pick-up, what works best is providing two pieces of content; a video that is engaging, funny, and viral, and then having something else supporting it on your own site that people can link to. This way, anyone that embeds the video will likely link back to your site for the second resource.