Video Engagement Methods for YouTube’s One Channel
Even as brands become more savvy about the importance of video marketing and YouTube, many of them still aren't taking full advantage of best practices for video that can have the greatest impact. If you're still skeptical about video as a major part of your marketing mix, consider this: videos are 50 times more likely to hit the first page of Google and retail sites with video increase conversion rates by 30 percent and boost average average values by 13 percent.
When it comes to YouTube, best practices can be loosely grouped into two categories: discovery and engagement. While there are a number of great websites and articles that outline strategies and tactics to improve discovery through video search engine optimization (here's one from Room 214's Capture the Conversation blog), there's much less information on how to use video to help engage consumers once they've found their way to your videos. And since engagement is a critical step before conversions and sales can occur, it's important to understand the features available within YouTube that will enable you to get more out of your content.
Let's begin with YouTube Analytics. Your goal in this first step is to understand the data YouTube provides to determine which existing videos are most popular with your audience in terms of views, time watched, audience retention, traffic sources and engagement (e.g., subscriptions, likes, comments and shares). All of these metrics can be found by exploring the sub-menus within Analytics and can be analyzed for your channel as a whole, as well as individual videos.
The biggest thing to remember is that as of late 2012, YouTube search is now optimized for watch time, so you're rewarded more for the time your viewers spend watching your videos rather than for views alone. Once you understand which videos are the most engaging, you can prioritize additional optimization and promotion of those videos, as well produce complementary videos that capitalize on similar content themes, production styles, etc.