YouTube is one of the most valuable tools in the arsenal of the content marketing professional. By posting well-crafted, professional videos to this site you not only can increase your search engine rankings, but get your message out to thousands (even millions) of viewers who consume video content on this site every day. In order to get the best results, however, you need to optimize your YouTube content to ensure that you get the right hits in the right numbers. Here are 4 key strategies you should be using to optimize videos on YouTube.

You Need to Optimize Videos on YouTube

YouTube is a great tool, but it’s also a massive community with millions upon millions of people searching through millions upon millions of videos every day. Not everyone knows the right keywords to search to find yours, and you want to reach as broad an audience as possible. In order to do so, there are key strategies you need to apply in order to ensure you get the most hits. These strategies are:

  • Metadata
  • Thumbnails
  • Annotations
  • Channel Optimization

1. Metadata

Metadata is a must for any website, blog, image or video you post on the Internet. What metadata does is tell the search engine (and user, if they are looking for keywords) what your content is, in just a few words. YouTube uses metadata to help create an index of your content, which in turn leads to more views from searching and from the site’s “Suggested Videos” tool.

Metadata consists of the title, any keyword tags, and a brief description, preferably under 65 characters in length. Be specific and concise with all of your metadata; avoid unnecessary fluff.

2. Thumbnail Images

Every video on YouTube has a thumbnail that displays in search or suggested video results. You have the ability to create a custom thumbnail image. This image should not just be the first frame of your video. It should be something eye-catching and dynamic, which entices a potential viewer to click “play.” The thumbnail needs to represent your brand, have a clear and hi-res image, use colors, shapes and personalities to catch the eye and look great both small and when magnified.

3. Annotations

Annotations allow you to put notes right over your video as it plays. This is a great way to create “subscribe” buttons or clickable links within your video as well as to present the all-important call to action. Just be sure to keep them engaging and entertaining, while remaining non-intrusive. You don’t want them to interfere with your video; they need to complement it.

4. Channel Optimization

Don’t let YouTube automatically generate metadata for your channel. Make sure that your channel is organized, easy to navigate and follow, and clearly lists the name, logo and metadata for your company. Include web and social links and organize your videos. Including playlists—another useful YouTube tool—is always a great idea.

For more information about optimizing your video marketing, check out our Video Marketing Services and get in touch with us today to answer all of your questions.