For me, one of the most interesting talks of BrightonSEO came from Phil Nottingham of Distilled (where he has the remarkable title as Head of Trolling and Memes). It’s an apt talk to follow up insights from YouTube at the ConnectedTV conference. Shooting out valuable tips and links at a mile a minute, this is effectively what Phil advised:
Starting on the note that Form Must Follow Function, Phil gave a blueprint for the right attitude and the right tools for creating professional video for marketing purposes, on a reasonable budget. This marketing relies on persona research and competition research, building videos that people want to watch, and want to share. So how do we make these videos?
First and foremost, buy the right equipment. Phil gives lists of exactly what you could afford on different studio budgets – a £7.5k list for a professional outfit, down to a very affordable £1k list. All of these are available to read on the slides from the presentation, here (with links, no less).
He put a heavy emphasis on the importance of correct lighting, followed closely by getting a good microphone – both things that can be done cheaply (for instance by using greaseproof paper to soften lights). And if you can’t afford to shoot or build extra original footage, don’t be afraid to use stock footage – including stock background footage for screenshot placement (check out this link for a recommended source, there). And, something he mentioned a few times, re-use as much footage as possible, for multiple videos.
Getting your videos found
Something that was a big deal throughout the day was the idea of rich snippets; getting the video clips seen in search results using Video Sitemap. Check what works best, to be seen and get conversions, with SERP Turkey. Create transcripts from the videos and upload them in the HTML, not just to get search terms out there, but because viewers like to read, as well as watch, videos.
Use the YouTube keyword tool to find ideas for how to word the videos and summaries, but don’t rely on view counts – look at engagement to find out what people really want.
To give your whole channel more credit, it’s important to remove videos that don’t perform well – so unlist your videos with lower engagement. This makes the channel quality consistent, which apparently helps the search results.
Making your videos work for you
Something that Phil especially firmly asserted is that YouTube popularity does not drive traffic to websites. Looking at some 95 companies with 9 million views, he found an average click through rate of 0.72%. This is very important for video marketing considerations, because the result you want from your videos will greatly change the way you share it.
If you want traffic, it’s important to self-host on your own domain, so anyone who shares the video will link to your site. Otherwise they link to YouTube, which brings no one to your product. If you really want to spread your video through the mass market, you should share it on your own domain first, and put it public on YouTube only when you’ve exhausted your own sources.
Otherwise, use YouTube for building brand awareness, following a different marketing policy.
This is a very restrictive summary of a talk that was packed full of tips – be sure to check out the actual slides here, or the talk itself when it becomes available on the BrightonSEO site.