Creating an online brand of your organization is very important, as a brand value gives you a decent amount of market goodwill and recognition. Whenever you see people buying a product or subscribing to a service, you will find that they are, to some extent, influenced by the value and name of the brand.
A brand is a name, design, symbol or any other feature which identifies you (the seller) globally and makes your service distinct from your competitors. A brand commands a sheer amount of power which convinces the customer that this service provides something, using which he can derive value.
Projecting a strong online brand is becoming more important than ever before, if you are focussed on winning customers and expanding your online business,. Branding is all about presentation. The way you present yourself to the customer and show your posture. Now how do you kick things off and involve directly with the people?
The answer lies in how you engage with customers and the medium you are using to reach them. As far as online reach is concerned, social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus are some, if not all of the ways to reach your customers and engage with them.
In this article, we will look at some ways how you can create a strong brand on YouTube and how you can use video content to make your online image even stronger.
Brand Your Profile First
People will recognize and connect to your brand only when it is consistent with your other web properties. If your Facebook fan page has a different logo and your YouTube channel has a different username, fans will have a difficult time recognizing the same brand. In fact, the branding never happens with different logos and names, it has to be uniform across the web.
Before creating a YouTube channel, make sure that the name and URL of the channel is equal to your brand name. Many companies first check the availability of a username and then decide the brand, so this proves online branding holds an importance of highest order.
Upload the same avatar, choose a theme a fill out the description and title tags properly. Play close attention to the cover page of your profile as this is the landing page and it has to be of top notch quality. You will never get a second chance to create that first impression; hence it is important that you fill out your profile and add as much relevant information as possible.
It is also a good idea to create a customized background image for your YouTube profile and brand your channel the way you want it to look like. This will make your channel stand out from the crowd and it will also add to that “wow” factor.
High Quality Videos
Whenever you upload video content, bear in mind that quality is going to be a deciding factor. If your video is shaky, blurry and doesn’t look good to the eyes, viewers will lose interest within 10 seconds. Audio and sound is also equally important as a video is considered incomplete, if there is no audio.
Never use your mobile’s camera to shoot videos for your YouTube channel. You should get a really good handycam or a camcorder and invest in a professional setup. Without those pro lenses, it is very much impossible to get to a standard and provide your viewers an amazing and entertaining video experience.]
Editing and post production is also of utmost importance. You should render your video with professional video rendering software and avoid the army of junk tools available in the marke. My preferred choice is Sony vegas Pro for animations and effects, Camtasia Studio for screen recording and Adobe After Effects for post production. Audacity is the best tool for processing and mixing audio files.
I highly recommend reading this tutorial – The best settings and formnats for capturing high quality videos for YouTube
Grab The Attention With Brief Videos
Keep it brief.
Nobody wants to watch a long video which is half an hour long and not concise. Your video must be as short as possible and should convey the purpose right when it begins. Avoid boring introductions and jump directly to the point.
For example, see any video of Revision 3 and you will understand how beautifully they convey the purpose yet keep their branding intact. Their introductions are no longer than 3 seconds and the video length varies between 3 to 4 minutes depending on the subject.
Brief videos have the power to grab the attention of first time viewers as they convey the value very very quickly. If you are struggling to create a lasting YouTube presence, my advice would be start with brief videos and gradually expand the length, after you’ve built a strong subscriber base.
Recency Is Important
You will be able to create a strong online brand, only if you are regular. Discipline is not only important, it is critical.
Before rushing out to shoot a video, ask yourself these questions:
- How often would you be able to update your YouTube channel with fresh video content?
- What’s your niche? Does this niche demands a new update every other day? (e.g technology, consumer gadgets, entertainment, news, event based)
- What is your current schedule? Would you be able to upload two or three videos every week or is this a one time monthly affair?
- What is your goal? Do you want to gain more subscribers or do you want to be an authority in the subject and provide detailed information about a product or service?
The answer to all these questions will determine the recency of your YouTube channel.
If your objective is to gain subscribers, my advice would be to start slow and focus on creating value. If you create value, people will subscribe to your channel independent on the number of updates. However, if your objective is to be an authority on a subject that is “time critical” in nature (e.g consumer gadgets, news, rumors and events); you will have to update your YouTube channel with new videos, as frequently as possible. Start with 3 videos a week and gradually improve your schedule, depending upon the state of your niche.
Use Channel Posts To Drive Engagement
When your channel has already gained some momentum, it makes sense to engage your audience with channel posts. Video content is king but you should never ignore text posts because of two reasons.
First, search engines can’t read a video and they are clueless about what this video is all about, unless you have some textual content surrounding it. Hence, in order to drive organic traffic to your YouTube channel, you must have some valuable and meaningful textual content in your channel. This textual content can be in the form of metadata and user comments but a better way to do this is through channel posts, as shown in the following example:
Moreover, channel posts drive engagement and entices user interaction. You can post a valuable link, a playlist, another video or point to a resource on another part of the web. When your users see that post and interact with it, it helps in strengthening your brand even more.
Feature Your Most Popular Videos
You have uploaded quite a good amount of content on your YouTube channel but you should always feature your best work in the front page. Make life easy for your channel viewers, leverage your best content through featured videos.
Featured videos remain glued to the front page of your channel and it is one of the best ways to show your best product to the viewer.
Know Your Visitors – Use YouTube Analytics
YouTube has a very useful and interesting Analytics section where you can learn more information about your visitors, some common metrics are cited below:
- Playback locations
- Visitor demographics
- Traffic sources
- Likes and dislikes
- Comments and favorites
For example, the Call-to-Action report helps you understand the performance of Call-to-Action overlays for particular videos. Judging these reports, you will be able to conclude the working methodology of your channel. Knowing what works and what does not, you will be able to decide the direction of your branding.
I personally know a medium sized consumer goods brand which was struggling to get the word out on YouTube. They tried everything, from adwords campaigns to giveaways to contests but nothing was working. But when they dived deep into YouTube analytics, they found that most of their viewers were from Australia but their contests and giveaways were limited to US only.
Guess what happened? They immediately diverted their plan and organized a contest for Australian users. Within three weeks, their subscriber count tripled!
The YouTube Partner Program
The YouTube Partner Program provides creators with resources and opportunities to earn money from their YouTube channel and build over a large audience. However, if your goal is not just earning money, you can still use the partner program to drive brand engagement.
Registered YouTube partners get greater visibility and reach, as their videos are displayed at the very top in search result pages. Your content is exposed to a greater audience worldwide which solidifies your brand even more and drives more traffic to your video pages. Moreover, YouTube partners have greater control over channel customizations, video scheduling etc, when compared with a general YouTube user and non partners.
About the Author!
Lior Levin is a marketing consultant for Barilliance a startup company that created a shopping cart abandonment solution for ecommerce websites. Lior also consults for a credit card monitoring startup called Billguard that developed an interesting Passbook solution.