The Wix Blog Social Marketing Series – Lesson #2: YouTube

Promote Your Site | August 25th 2010
Image by WebWizzary

Hi kidz! Wanna get lots of people talking about you online? We’re dashing forward with the Wix Blog Social Marketing Series, Easing you into B2C social marketing and helping you brand your business website across different channels.

Before we begin with the main topic for this post, just a small reinforcement of the previous lesson on the series, where we introduced Foursquare as a friendly tool for social marketing. Recently, Facebook released their own little (huge) Foursquare called Facebook Places. Like everything Facebook does, the new feature is generating quite a buzz at the moment and we therefore recommend to check it out.
Going Viral on YouTube

The secret of creating a YouTube Hit

Now, let’s continue to today’s lesson – YouTube. Ha ha, you giggle. What can we possibly say about YouTube that hasn’t been said before? Well, we’re looking at YouTube adopting the viewpoint of an average Wix user. We cross the needs and wishes of that user with the technology and setting offered by YouTube. Then we come up with methods for our user to utilize the video-sharing Godzilla for their goals.

First it is important to mention that YouTube’s immensity is not necessarily an advantage. In such a huge playground, it’s very hard to play with everyone. You have to first focus on a certain group or a certain game and then try to win. This means you must always keep the target market in mind – what kind of videos would your target market enjoy? What benefits can your videos offer these people?

 

Second, it must be emphasized that the question “how to create a mega successful viral video and get millions of views on YouTube” has not yet been answered scientifically. There’s lots of gut feeling and pure luck involved. We hope only that this guide will help you recognize the opportunity when these two factors intertwine.

 

We’ll split our guide according to the three major aspects of social activity on YouTube.

Producing Content on YouTube

Content in this context is, naturally, videos. What kind of videos can you upload to YouTube to help promote your website or your online services?
Keep in mind that the videos shouldn’t necessarily be a promotion video for your business. YouTube videos are viewed largely as entertainment (funny, cute or interesting videos) or as education (how to’s, short documentaries, informative videos, etc.). Blunt promotion is perceived as neither of the two and is therefore not welcomed.
Try to think where does your business fit best. A graphic designer, for instance, can create a cute video of photoshop tricks in fast forward, but also a how-to video explaining how to perform these photoshop tricks step by step. A restaurant can upload videos of special events it hosted, as well as videos of the bartender giving his secret cocktail recipe. Interviews, performances, tutorials, video blogs – the possibilities are endless. Keep in mind, though, that producing quality video content is not as easy as it seems and that non-quality content will not get you any hits.
If you managed to produce a cool video, you now need to maximize the exposure this video can give you. Here are a few practical tips to help you with that:

 

  • On YouTube, many times the username is the only piece of information available on the video’s maker identity. It is best to choose your website’s URL as your username, or at least something that leads directly to your website on a Google search.
  • Meta tag the hell out of your video. Never forget the title and the description as well, but use these fields wisely. Good description: “View more pics at viewmorepics.com and add your own killer captions”. Bad description: “Funniest pics ever!”.
  • Use Annotations on the videos. It’s a very effective method because the annotations appear directly on the playing clip, but they must be very well phrased if you don’t want to annoy the viewer. A quick call for action would be best, for instance: “Which shoes go well with this dress? Click here”. Keep in mind that annotations link only to YouTube sites, so basically they lead to other videos or YouTube channels.
  • Prepare yourself for the best scenario of people actually forwarding your video to each other. There’s no username, no title, no description. You can, however, use a small and non-intrusive watermark with your URL to the video and increase exposure.
Adding Annotations YouTube

Annotations can be fun, as long as they don’t disturb the viewing

Understand YouTube

It’s very difficult to say what makes one video a worldwide hit and another a complete failure. However, we can definitely determine that lame content, no matter what infrastructure of social marketing supports it, will not go very far. Quality content is a preliminary condition, without which there is no viral feasibility.

Quality content does not mean high-budget or oscar-worthy. Sometimes it’s not even that good, but there’s something in it that makes people not only watch, but also fwd it to everyone they know.

Here’s a small compilation of videos that indeed won huge success on YouTube during the past month. Some are funny, some are useful, some are just strange. Think about what makes people watch these videos and share them with their friends. Get a feel of what quality content is about:



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