As you’ve probably read many times before, YouTube is the world’s second-biggest search engine. And so – YouTube SEO makes a lot of sense for businesses. YouTube works in many the same ways that Google does – in fact, you can almost think about YouTube SEO similarly to written media, like blog posts and landing pages.
It’s pretty obvious that so many companies and influencers are generating a lot of views and traffic on youtube – while so many are failing. But why?
B2B SEO Strategies for YouTube
Like all strategies – your strategy will depend on where you are, who you’re trying to reach and what stage you are in. Because YouTube is a Channel and a Platform (i.e. it hosts your content) – it offers a number of routes to market.
As a multi-lane Channel Platform, YouTube has a number of routes to the end user and they can be built and managed entirely within YouTube (Channel+Platform) to partially or entirely driven by extraneous activity – like hosting your videos on your site and using Google Search to drive views.
Dispelling the Myths in YouTube SEO
As with anything, commonly held misconceptions and reservations hold companies back from trying and succeeding in YouTube. There’s far too much emphasis based on subjective criteria – like having a large following, “targeting”, and sometimes misguided production values.
Here are some preconceptions you may hold about YouTube
- High-Quality Product Values are a must
- Being a great presenter
- Flashy Animations
- Having a large following
Its often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While it’s easy to point to a video and say “I like that” – it’s a completely different experience to “I need to know that”. Thats where the key in B2B Marketing is – in both SEO and YouTube. Things like length, presenter vibes, and production qualities are nice to have but end there. YouTube is a search engine just like its parent, Google.
YouTube Myth 1: The Popular or Influencer Myth
When thinking about Marketing on YouTube, its easy to see why so many marketers are hesitant (fear of failure inertia) because they believe that you need to be very popular or very entertaining. The biggest hurdle to get a YouTube strategy is this: its easy to think that content needs to be virally popular in order to work, and it has to be very good in order to go viral.
Good and popular are very subjective and unhelpful ways to characterize communications – and they are not likely predictors of success. After all, who puts out bad content?
Stop trying to Copy and Entertain, Start Experimenting and Educating
Marketers, for good reason, often to try to emulate the brands that they admire and respect, and thats usually a great idea. But companies like Apple and Coca-Cola didnt become global best sellers overnight and when you look back at earlier marketing attempts, they look very amateur.
Here are the broken assumptions people typically make:
- Resolution Quality
But these criteria aren’t how users think – users will watch videos that they find or are suggested to them as long as they add value to them. If a user searches for a CRM or Cybersecurity solution, a car, or how to fix an iPhone, they are invested in the SOLUTION, not the video. The video either helps them understand something to make a decision or it doesn’t. The quality, format, graphics, intro/outro, and so forth don’t matter. If the production quality or animation doesn’t get in the way of solving that problem – then it’s of tertiary importance to no importance at all.
Good is highly subjective
As with Google Search, things like length, style, and production aren’t very helpful. These are things we “assume” because we’re used to seeing the entire span of content and we think that bigger brands put out “better” content. Quality always clouds our judgment as marketers – and my honest opinion after 20 years, is that the focus (and cost) on image vs communication cloud, impeded and render ineffective 99% of the YouTube SEO Strategies I’ve seen.
YouTube: A Channel and a Platform
YouTube is similar to Google in that it’s a channel but it’s also a platform. YouTube doesn’t just send people to content that it indexes, it also hosts that content, and conversations and lets people create profiles and subscribe to content. YouTube is also a heavily organic platform – where the majority of content, discussion, and engagement happens on YouTube.
Why is YouTube paramount to a Digital Marketing Strategy?
SEO aside, YouTube also has a number of organic avenues and is itself constantly trying to keep users engage
Best Budgeting Advice for YouTube SEO: MVP
Minimum Viable Product. That should be your target budget. Budget is the enemy of scale and growth hacking.
For some organizations, building videos in-house is easy. But too many others spend vast sums of money (if you’re spending more than $1k as a company with <1k followers then you’re spending too much). Marketing spends way too much on infrastructure (CRM, Website, Design, etc) and way too little on new traffic acquisition – which is the real point of Marketing. If you’ve never launched a video before – how do you know what will work without trying it?
Trial and Error (aka fail fast) means that you need a budget to try new experiments. So if you spend $15k on a single video – how are you going to build the other 50 videos you need to build a channel? That’s what makes the first time Video strategies end. What company wants to spend $15k on something that gets 10 views?
Building a starter YouTube strategy for B2B Video SEO
Some things you’ll need to build (or repair) a corporate YouTube Channel
- Identity Images
- About Us text
- Social Media Links
- Two-channel intro videos
- New Visitors
- A content plan
- A Keyword Strategy
- Intros/Outros (where appropriate)
YouTube, like Google, is a multi-format, multi-audience platform. Different audiences will consume different content
Multiple Content Formats to Test
YouTube has a desktop and a new special YouTube Shorts format and these add great value to building a YouTube channel. Test clips from long from content in YouTube shorts to extend reach but be prepared to replace them or redo them.
We will be adding more YouTube Strategy Posts – so add our RSS feed and check back often!