But what separates a YouTube business channel from other channel types, and why should you think about yours differently?
Difference in mindset: How we should think about approaching YouTube as a business
Generally, businesses tend to think the first thing they should focus on with YouTube is building the perfect community, when in reality, it is creating the best answer to specific questions your prospects are asking even before they know who you are.
We should be searching for Google snippets and search results we can own as a business.
This needs to be nailed before we make high-level catch-all content.
When it comes to types of businesses, it doesn't matter who you are, you can do this well.
Rather than approaching YouTube as a community center, businesses need to view YouTube as an indexable hub of videos that answer the questions of their buyers.
This means an obsession over the fears, worries, and concerns of those buyers and creating videos that speak to those exact things.
You don’t have to be in the entertainment industry to be successful with YouTube
Will is currently consulting with a small law firm in Santa Monica, California that specializes in trust and probate litigation.
They are just beginning their journey with YouTube, but it's a perfect example of a niche company that can still succeed on the platform.
At first, they had a hard time coming up with the content they were going to create, but under Will's guidance, they began to write down 10 Google snippets they’d like to rank for and create clear answers to those questions.
To find some of those questions, Will suggests using tools like Google Analytics, but also to leverage your sales team. They should be able to provide a list of questions they typically hear early in the sales process.
Businesses need to think of their YouTube channel as more of a content hub or learning center than a place to go for entertainment.
Once you’ve developed videos, what now?
Sometimes after we create videos we start asking, "how many views and subscribers should I have within six months?"
But, is that really where you should start?
There are many SEO factors you have control of that are more important than subscribers; factors that determine who YouTube and Google show your videos to.
The three biggest factors YouTube's algorithm cares about are:
Click-through rate: The ratio of video impressions to video clicks.
Audience retention: The percentage length of your video that viewers watched.
Session watch time: The amount of time that the viewer spends on YouTube after watching your video.
So, in a nutshell, you shouldn't want your video to be seen by everyone.
Instead, you want viewers who are specifically looking for what you're talking about, not people stumbling upon your videos and not watching all the way through.
As you get started, do an audit each week to optimize your tags and A/B test your titles and thumbnails.
What produces the quickest wins after an audit?
One of the first things Will suggests after an audit is looking at the performance of your YouTube video tags.
A great tool for this is called TubeBuddy, which will show you rankings and help you optimize each individual video.
It should be clear which tags are bringing you the right audience for your content. Will suggests comparing how tags are ranking by audience retention. In other words, which tags are bringing people who are watching all the way through versus which ones have people dropping off?
Typically, the viewers who lower a video's audience retention tend to be those who shouldn’t have gotten the video in the first place.
Will also suggests adding different iterations of the tags that are performing well.
Zach summarizes with this...
"Recently, when YouTube redesigned their analytics dashboard called YouTube Studio, they added a funnel chart that makes this easy to understand. At the top of your funnel, you have your impressions. In the middle you have your view counts, and at the bottom, your retention rate. As the adage goes, 'Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you’re dumping a lot of impressions that aren’t going to turn into qualified views or long viewing sessions it will ultimately hurt your content performance. "
Title performance and A/B testing
Will walked us through a specific A/B test campaign with a current client.
After they started ranking top five for important search phrases, they started to look at the competition.
Turns out, after making some minor adjustments to titles, in this case adding "..what's the best for YOU?" they were able to double audience retention.
This was a sharp increase from a three-minute average view duration to six minutes.
To manually A/B test with YouTube videos, you can tweak your videos on a week over week basis and, if you’re getting enough views, conclude what performs best.
If you want to double down on tool you can use TubeBuddy to A/B test. It allows you to make a variation of your titles, tags and thumbnails and automatically test in realtime.
To close this episode out...
Our biggest takeaway is that you must treat your YouTube channel how you would treat your website. A golden rule of video, if you will. You should be testing, making updates, and looking for ways to continue to optimize.
You aren’t creating your channel to become a big entertainment center, but a learning hub. You need to obsess over creating the right types of content, answering specific questions your buyers are asking, and then optimize to find the right viewer.
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