Every business operating on the Internet needs to find ways to attract visitors. Most people think Google and search engines are the best way to generate web traffic, but there are plenty of other good options. Marketing with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be very powerful, and you can drive thousands of visitors to your website if you build a following. One of the most commonly overlooked traffic generation methods for Internet marketing is YouTube.
Why Should I Use YouTube?
Google paid close to two billion dollars for YouTube back in 2006. This was because they recognized the threat the video sharing site presented to Google’s search engine. YouTube’s popularity has continued to grow in recent years, and there are now over one billion users. Over four billion YouTube videos are viewed every day. These numbers are staggering, and there are huge profits to be made if you can tap into just a very small percentage of the potential website traffic.
You may think YouTube is all about with music videos and viral jokes, but there are thousands of other ways it’s used. As well as feature films and advertisements, there are millions of tutorials, reviews and videos offering consumer advice.
Don’t think that because your friends keep sending you links to funny videos about cats that YouTube doesn’t have potential for serious business users. As well as direct traffic, having links to your website from YouTube can also be good for SEO (search engine optimization).
The most popular videos on YouTube can attract over a hundred million views. These include the ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Rolling In The Deep’ music videos, but others made by unknown people have attracted audiences of a similar size.
What Makes An Effective YouTube Video?
Don’t worry about getting millions of views if you’re using YouTube to generate website traffic or promote your business. It’s quality that counts, not quantity. If the people who view your videos are potential customers ready to buy your products, just a few hundred a month could make a big difference to your profits.
One of my most profitable online businesses is a website offering advice and tips for photographers. I earn money from this as an affiliate selling photographic equipment, books and courses. I’ve filmed a number of videos for YouTube, including ones in which I explain how to choose a digital camera, how to take portraits and offer tips for shooting sports and action pictures. These videos bring hundreds of visitors to my website every month, and these are all potential buyers of the products and services I offer.
One of the common mistakes people make when they make a start on YouTube marketing is to produce very poor quality material. A video shot on your smartphone is fine for sharing with friends, but think about how this will reflect on your business. If viewers can’t hear what you’re saying, your message won’t get through. Think about the lighting, background and how close you are to the camera if you’re shooting a video for YouTube. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood movie quality, but you’ll lose your viewers very quickly if it looks like it’s been shot by a child.
It’s all very well getting thousands of people to view your videos, but how can you turn that interest into profits? If you’re a celebrity like Jennifer Lopez, someone watching your latest music video may then pay to download the track or buy your CD. A different approach is needed if you have a venture like my photography tips website.
Some things don’t change in the world of marketing and advertising, and one of these is the so called ‘call to action.’ A traditional marketing flyer might say ‘call this number now for a quotation’ as its call to action. The same technique can be used in YouTube and other online marketing. In its most basic form, a YouTube video should mention and have a link back to your main website. The content description of your video should include some text to attract viewers to visit your site.
More advanced methods for turning viewers into visitors include having a so called ‘Overlay’ on your video. An overlay is a simple banner that sits at the bottom of your video, and viewers can click through to your site directly from it.
It’s important not to over-sell things in YouTube marketing, and the most effective videos are more about entertaining and informing viewers. For example, I have a number of videos explaining how to use photographic filters on YouTube. At the end of the videos I say ‘You can find out more about these filters and the best places to buy them by clicking the link below.’ This works very well, and most viewers come to my site and are ready to buy.
How Can You Promote YouTube Videos?
Once you’ve decided on a topic for your videos and created them, it’s a simple process to upload them to YouTube. The next challenge is to get people to find and watch them. There are over two hundred thousand new videos added to YouTube every day, so the competition can be intense.
Getting your video to appear in searches on YouTube is a bit like getting your website to appear in search engines. Keywords, titles and descriptions are some of the most important things to consider. You can also add ‘video tags’ to your videos, and these can help YouTube’s software to understand what they’re about. For example, I add the tags ‘photography,’ ‘camera,’ ‘photography tips’ and ‘digital camera’ to my videos.
Any video title and description should be optimized with relevant keywords. Make sure keywords are used in a natural writing style, and don’t publish anything ‘spammy.’ Getting viewers to leave comments can help to improve your ranking, so encourage this if you can.
Promoting your videos in social media and blogs is a great way to attract visitors. If the content you produce is of high quality, people will be happy to share and promote them for you.