As the world is going crazy about Smartphones, the amount of users watching videos on mobile is increasing the same rate. According to the official YouTube blog, in January 2011 YouTube exceeded 200 million views a day on mobile.
Google also conducted recently a very interesting study surveying more than 16 000 YouTube mobile website users. According to the survey, 75% of respondents claim that mobile is their primary way of entering YouTube, and 38% believe YouTube Mobile will replace their desktop usage of the platform. Google also claims that 70% of the users visit YouTube Mobile at least once a day, and 58% spend in platform more than 20 minutes per visit.
It seems like a good idea to get on board, but how to create a successful YouTube channel?
1. Choose the best YouTube channel for your brand
First of all pick the right YouTube channel for your brand based on your industry, objectives and budget and then personalize it. There are various options to choose from:
- User channel: Free set-up, but basic functions only. Video length max. 15 min
- Enhanced channel: Free set-up, includes also branding box, watch page banner, side column image, channel header and analytics. Video length max. 15 min.
- Advanced channel: Min. media commitment 25K. Has everything Enhanced channel has + standard gadgets, remarketing, 1×1 pixel ad tag support, geo/age restriction. Video length longer.
- Custom Channel: Min. media commitment 40K. Has everything Advanced channel has + bespoke gadget
- Contest Channel: Min. media commitment 60K. Has everything Advanced channel has + contest gadget.
2. Align your Youtube channel with rest of the brand platforms (social media, website…)
To start with, make sure the channel follows the brand guidelines and the message/image is aligned with rest of the brand platforms. Making changes to images, text, flash etc. takes time and effort and having a clear brand image allows user to know it is indeed the official channel of the brand. Remember to test the look and feel also on smartphones.
3. Include reference points
Include the number of times video has been viewed, liked, downloaded, linked or shared, number of subscriptions to your channel, number of comments. More popular the video and channel seem for users, more credibility it gets.
4. Check users comments frequently
YouTube is also a great channel for customer service and data capture. If the user has a doubt or question about the brand or product, try to respond quickly. Good thing is that users have to have a YouTube account to comment and it is possible to send them a direct message privately.
5. Do not forget to link your website, social media sites or campaign minisite.
From SEO perspective including links to your Youtube channel can improve your sites ranking. Also, it will increase traffic to your website, social media sites or campaign minisite. If possible, try to include links when answering the comments (but not unless it is relevant for the user).
6. Engage and capture users with interactive content and competitions
Do not only make videos, but let the users participate. Create a competition across website, YouTube channel and social media platforms and hide “clues” into videos or around the YouTube channel. Let your fans send you videos and publish the best ones. Having their video on your official channel makes users spread the word around their networks and rest of the Internet. It also gives a human face for your brand.
7. Do not expect all the videos go viral
They will not. It is very difficult to create a successful video users spread around the net and sometimes even the viral video creators do not know why it worked. There are some ingredients that add virality to the video: fun, surprise, sex, talent, tips…but of course you need to be careful not to damage the brand image and to make sure the content is suitable for your industry and target audience. If you are a consultancy or B2B firm, usually industry tips, statistics and discussion of current hot topics can add value to the company and let you establish a reputation of an industry expert.
One example of an excellent brand video that will go viral: Mercedes-Benz.tv: Formula One TV Commercial \’Compliments\’
8. Do not forget to include Call to Actions nor contact details in the end of the video
If you are lucky, users will spread your video around the social networks, blogs, forums etc. outside your official online channels. Make sure that you encourage the users to get in touch with you or the brand in the end of the video. Create an appealing phrase and include your website url, facebook page url, Twitter page, Youtube channel url, campaign microsite url or other platform where they can find out more about the brand/company and connect with you.
9. Promote your videos and YouTube channel in social networks and industry forums
Promote your video and YouTube channel in your social networks and industry forums. And your own website of course. As all the online campaigns, this also requires careful planning. You need to be prepared if one of your videos goes viral to support it across the platforms, media and websites for bigger impact. Be also prepared for the negative and positive comments. For tips, which posts require immediate response, which posts can be left for later and which should simply be ignored, click here.
10. SEO optimize your Youtube channel
Include keywords to the video title, description and channel introduction. Both YouTube and search engines (especially Google) classify YouTube videos based on relevancy for the user and keywords he uses. Again, remember not to include only keywords, but direct the description and introduction to user, not only the search engines.