Video has quickly become one of the most popular ways to consume content on the internet. Studies estimate that internet users now spend one third of their time online watching videos. And it’s not just funny cat videos either. Half of internet users watch at least one business video a week. (1)

While there dozens of video sharing websites the king is undeniably YouTube. Every single month over six billion hours of video are watched on the site. Consequently this is where most businesses will benefit from concentrating their attention. Here are five tips to help you improve your own video marketing on YouTube.

#1 Keep It Short

Keep your videos relatively short. A study conducted by Unruly Media looked at the amount of times videos were shared on social media websites. The study showed that the average length for highly shared videos was 2 minutes and 54 seconds.

This is supported by similar studies conducted by video marketing platform Wistia which looked at the drop-off rate for various video lengths. Their study showed that the average 30 second video was viewed 85% of the way through. For a two minute video this dropped down to 50%. For videos longer than 45 minutes the number fell to less than 20%.

This is important because it shows that even for a video only two minutes long a large percentage of audience will not watch the entire video. Consequently any calls to action should be included near the beginning of the video to ensure that it achieves its marketing purpose.

#2 Incorporate YouTube Annotations

YouTube annotations are clickable text overlays. Annotations can be used for many different purposes including linking to other videos and social media properties, asking viewers to like, favourite or share and to make it easier for viewers to subscribe to the channel.

When using annotations you want to avoid placing them in the lower third of the video. Placing annotations here can lead them to be obscured by YouTube’s own advertising. As noted above the drop-off is about 50% for a two minute video so annotations should be near the beginning of the video and then repeated at the end. Finally make sure that the annotations do not disturb the viewing experience.

#3 Link To Your Website

On the first line of the description of your YouTube video should be a link to your website or a landing page designed specifically for the video. The link needs to start with http:// and not www. so that the link is clickable. Include a call to action in the video to click on the link below.

#4 Optimise For SEO

Make sure that your video is optimised for SEO. Keywords are the phrases or words people type into Google or YouTube to find videos on a particular subject. Include the keyword in the title, tags and description of the video. It can also be helpful to use the keyword in the file name for the video before your upload it. This will make it easier for YouTube to correctly categorise the video.

It will also improve the probability the video will show up in the side bar when someone is watching another video on similar subject. If you place the video on your own website include a transcript of the video. You can outsource this task relatively inexpensively on sites such as Fiverr.com or oDesk.

#5 Hold A Video Contest

Video contests are a great way to leverage user generated content and engage your audience. With a video contest your audience creates a video around a particular theme, with the best videos winning prizes. Videos can then be shared on your YouTube channel to attract more attention and build your audience.

You can alert your audience to the contest by creating an explanatory video. Splice in footage such as this cinematic effects promo video to give your contest the requisite glamor.

It’s important that when running our video contest that you make all of the expectations and rules clear. This should include which videos can be submitted, how long the video should be, what file formats are acceptable, what the prizes are, and if the entrants have to be of a particular age. Video contests require more work from the audience than other types of social media contests. Therefore important to give away a great prize in order to get as many people involved as possible.

VideoBlocks has a great selection of royalty free video stock footage that you can use to promote your business. You can use these videos by themselves, with a voice over or with text overlay.

Don’t let shyness of appearing in front of the camera hold you back from using video marketing to promote your business.