7 Vital Elements of a Successful YouTube Video

YouTube is a marketer’s paradise.

The statistics are mind-blowing:

  • YouTube is the second most popular social networking site, with more than 1 billion monthly users.
  • In one month, 80 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 49 watch YouTube videos, meaning that there is a ready audience for your content.
  • Additionally, 60 percent prefer online video platforms to live TV, making YouTube one of the best marketing or advertising destinations.
  • Even better is the average amount of time your audience will spend on YouTube. On an average session, users spend about 40 minutes.
  • 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • Millennials also spend a lot of their time on YouTube. Among millenials, YouTube accounts for two-thirds of the premium online video watched across devices.

Oh, and let’s not forget Google’s test leveraging YouTube videos in image search. It stands to reason Google will continue to find ways to test the integration one of its key assets.

It’s for all these reasons (and more) that YouTube is great for marketing.

Unfortunately, despite being exposed to this rich resource, some marketers have failed in YouTube marketing. So, in a bid to help, let’s look at the elements of a successful YouTube video.

1. Branded Intro Footage

The importance of branding in marketing can never be overemphasized. Branding helps build loyalty.

Including branded info footage helps your loyal viewers to immediately recognize your work, hence not losing them to your competition.

Additionally, such branding is important for ensuring that your viewers remember the video, which is especially handy when they need to refer someone to it.

Even though they might forget the actual content and the name of the video, remembering your branded footage will help direct viewers to your channel.

2. An Attention-Grabbing Intro

Did you know that about 20 percent of people will leave after the first 10 seconds of your YouTube video? What’s even worse is that they might give you a thumbs down, and too many of that will only rid you of viewers.

So, what do you do?

It is all about the intro.

After including your branded intro footage, convince the viewer to keep watching. Clearly explain what they are about to see, and how that is of benefit to them.

If you’re showing them how to solve a problem, personalize it so that they feel that you have also been affected. This builds trust, and the feeling that the solution is valuable.

3. Background Music

Should you include background music? After all, people are only interested in what you’re saying.

However, thanks to technology, we get bored. Fast.

There’s nothing more boring than a boring YouTube video. So you need something to keep your viewers interested.

Including background music to your video not only grabs attention instantly, but sets the mood for the viewing session, establishing an emotional connection. In addition, music drives the pace of the video, while a great soundtrack only gives viewers one more reason to share the video.

As you do this, however, be careful of two things:

  • That the music evokes the desired emotions and aura.
  • That you are legally allowed to use the music in your video.

4. Being Clearly Audible

Unfortunately, a great intro and nice background music can’t help if you aren’t clearly audible. Remember, the ultimate goal is for your audience to understand what you are putting across. If your video is just a pictorial illustration, then loud background music suffices.

On the other hand, if your video includes an oral presentation, then make sure you can be heard above the background music.

5. Brevity

Well, maybe not that short. That video has 1.9 million views. Clearly, short videos rule.

With YouTube allowing users to search for videos based on duration, among other filters, we clearly can’t ignore the importance of video length in YouTube.

6. Customized Experiences

Tap into micro-moments — times when people need to know, go, do, or buy something and turn to the closest device. Use data to give people what they want, when they want it.

This can take many forms. Consider establishing a connection between events on TV or the excitement around big moments in pop culture, politics, sports, tech and more. Another option is to leverage data to deliver personalized video content.

To get started with this process:

  • Visit Google Trends to help validate the increasing demand or topic.
  • Learn what people are searching for and tailor your videos to fit into existing conversations. A keyword research tool like keywordtool.io/youtube can help you narrow in on the right keyword targets.
  • Next, this free Chrome plugin from vidIQ will provide you with valuable competitive data for current ads that are going viral including: tags, social shares, average watch time, velocity, and more.
  • Lastly, once the video is created, leverage YouTube Analytics to answer “who is actually watching” and “what they are truly interested in”.

7. A Call to Action

As mentioned earlier, YouTube viewers are short on time. After all, there is too much content to view in one day. They have jobs and lives (presumably).

Consequently, you need to be creative about how you include your call to action because your audience will start to disappear over the length of your video.

Engagement significantly drops off after two minutes. This means, particularly for long videos, that you should not place your CTA at the end. Instead, consider clickable annotations that appear in the first few seconds of the video.

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking to grow your YouTube subscriber base, add the following parameter to your url: ?sub_confirmation=1. Here’s an example: https://www.youtube.com/user/jonleeclark?sub_confirmation=1. You’ll get a nice little popup prompting the user to subscribe.

The Way Forward

Reportedly, YouTube converts more customers than any other social site. This means that a poor performance on the site has a significant negative effect on your sales.

To improve performance, hence amass more in sales, you ought to perk up your videos by including branded intro footage, a great intro, background music, be audible, make short videos and lastly, have a wittily-placed CTA.

Image Credits

In-post images 1 & 2: Pexels

Screenshots taken by author, July 2017