So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live
airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.
In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on Video Marketing and Video SEO. We walk through what you need to know about YouTube’s search algorithm and how to get your video shown. Catch the replay here:
In this episode you’ll learn:
- What SEO for video is
- Why you should pay attention to YouTube’s search engine
- How to SEO optimize your videos
- Building your personal brand series – website and tech stack basics: 10/15/2020
- Building your personal brand series – tracking analytics – TBD
- Building your personal brand series social media – TBD
- Building your personal brand series – content calendar – TBD
Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here: https://www.trustinsights.ai/resources/so-what-the-marketing-analytics-and-insights-show/
Katie Robbert 0:37
Hey everyone, and welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show from Trust Insights. I’m Katie joined by Chris and John, I’m wearing my festive Happy Halloween shirt. Because we are now in October. Today we are covering Video SEO. And so essentially, what we want to talk through is that YouTube if you’re posting videos on YouTube as part of your content strategy, it’s essentially its own search engine. And it’s often an overlooked opportunity for really good SEO. And so Chris is going to walk us through some of the tips and tricks and best practices for SEO optimizing your videos on YouTube. So Chris, take it away.
Christopher Penn 1:22
All right. So our good friends at YouTube at Google, as everyone is well aware is, is the largest video site in the world. If you’re going to optimize your video, this is the place to do it. It is the second largest search engine in the world. And our goals as marketers are to be found right to, for the right things, to attract subscribers, and ultimately to drive our subscribers to people to places that we care about. Because we don’t want them to stay on YouTube. We do want them to go and do other things. The big thing that people don’t realize about YouTube is just how sophisticated its engine is behind the scenes when you go to the YouTube homepage, right and just pop this open. And within seconds, what happens is that YouTube makes a whole bunch of recommendations. Hey, look there. I’m on live right now. And there’s a whole bunch of recommendations. How does it know? How does YouTube know what’s going on behind the scenes and make decisions so darn fast?
Katie Robbert 2:23
That sounds almost like conspiracy theory, like, How does it know?
Christopher Penn 2:27
Well, you know, it’s not a conspiracy theory, because Google has told us, YouTube is outright tell us here’s how it works. The challenge is for a lot of marketers, it’s not written in in plain easy to understand language. This is a paper published in 2016 still relevant about the engine behind YouTube, you know, the deep neural network that powers this thing. And they don’t get into the exact code and parameters. Obviously, that’s their secret sauce. But they do outline the model of what it is that makes YouTube tick, if you want to get a copy of this is in Google research, which by the way, is one of those hidden secrets that again, not nearly enough people pay attention to Google publishes like all kinds of academic research, all the stuff that they’re working on. And they’re in some cases, telegraphing months or years before changes go live. Hey, here’s a technology that we think is pretty cool. In this paper, what they show you scroll down here to the network map is how YouTube works. There’s two layers of filtering. And all this happens within milliseconds of you loading the YouTube homepage, or typing something in. And without getting into the technical stuff. What we see is, there are three, there’s a series of decision factors here. One is what’s called the watch factor. And this is based on your watch history, the things that you’ve watched in the past, right, so it can be, I’ll pull this up here again, you can see just based on what’s being shown here, the kinds of things that I’ve been watching recently, I’ve been watching, you know, videos of presidential debates and things. I’ve watched episodes of the hot wings, hot ones show, which is terrific. I watch a lot of Stephen Colbert air. So we have that watch factor. If you are marketing, and you’re trying to, to attract certain types of people to your videos, you better know what else they watch. You better know like, what other things are they interested in. Then there is the search vector. And the search vector is what they’ve typed into YouTube in the past. Now, this is where natural language processing gets all kinds of vaults, look at all the different ways that you could type in a search phrase, and YouTube assembles that there’s some geography stuff, and then there’s some demographic characteristics and this has happens within seconds for degenerate candidates. And these are the candidates here like these are the things that you’d think, Hey, I think you’re, if I show you these things, you’re probably going to watch it. In the paper, what YouTube says it optimizes for is watch time. They want your eyeballs on YouTube as long as possible. And so when you look at this algorithm, and this neural network map, understand is optimized to say we YouTube wants us on site long, more. First little tip, if your video is 10 hours long, you’re not getting a whole lot of watch time involved in that, right. So we want to keep things you know, a little bit less than, you know, the massive. And if you are, if you are comfortable inside YouTube’s analytics for your channel, one of the things that it tells you is it tells you exactly how long it is that people watch, you know, where’s the drop off points for any given video to know? Yeah, sometimes our engagement is not great. So this is on, on my channel, here’s, you know, the watch times 1515 hours on this video. See you got here, let’s go into how to use Google Analytics and engagement. And there’s the audience retention, you can see if as long as the video is people get really to about the three minute mark, then I just we just lose them after that point. So you want to spend some time on your videos, if you find that not a single one of your videos, gets more than Neil 14 minutes of watch time. Guess what you’ve just found how long the video should be. There are exceptions to this rule. There are some people who make YouTube videos do 10 hours of something is on repeat constantly. And you know, that’s that’s its own thing. But our goal, as marketers, again, based on this paper is to get to completion, get people to the end of the video. So if you have a choice between a 20 minute video and a 10 minute video, consider the 10 minute version, you know, a be tested, but consider the 10 minute position. So that’s the first thing. Second thing, again, this is all embedded search tokens.
The way this works in natural language processing is there’s texts that’s available within any given video. What is that text? Well, there’s obviously there’s the title, there is the description of the video, there are tags that are going to video. And then there’s the secret weapon, the part that everybody forgets, and that is closed captions. If you are not loading closed captions to your videos, you’re you’re missing a huge part of the text that you could be provided to Google to say, hey, pay attention to this video. YouTube, first some languages will attempt its own closed captions, they are terrible. AR you read the captions, you turn on the closed caption, you start watching the good, that’s not even close to what I said or that actually came out as obscene. So to the extent possible, you want to provide your own closed captioning, the service that we use, is a service called otter is go to Trust insights.ai slash otter, you can you can get like a month free if you want to try it out. And the thing that makes it so valuable for your company is this jargon. We all have weird things that we say. And in, in this tool in particular allows us to put in our jargon, so that it correctly recognizes those terms when we’re saying them and gets them right in the closed captions. And that’s the secret, you’d get it right in the closed captions. And then when somebody if somebody’s typing in like, you know, auto ml model into YouTube search, it’s going to be a much better match than, you know, auto space m space L which is not the not the same thing. So by using a good closed captioning tool, you’re able to really land on that part of this YouTube algorithm. You can’t do much about geographic stuff. But with age and gender. One of the things to pay attention to go into your Google Analytics for your website and look and look at your at the age and gender of that’s in there. Because that’s again, data that Google has that it’s going to apply to your videos. If the people who are on YouTube are demographically very different than the people that are on your Google Analytics, you’re going to get different video performance and you’re probably not going to get the right people because your audience is very different. So any, any questions or thoughts or comments on the super tactical stuff first?
Katie Robbert 9:53
I mean, I’m not gonna lie, it makes my head spin a little bit. But basically, it sounds like and let me see if I’m getting this correct. Chris, but in order to have a really good successful video on YouTube, you should understand, you know, the audience that you’re trying to reach. You should have, you know, your basic SEO checklist of the title, the captions, the tags, those kinds of things, but then also, the length of the video, you know, it’s going to depend on, you know, if it’s that 10 hour, you know, looping thing, or, you know, using your own analytics, at what point do people drop off, and maybe that’s your target, link through a video as that sort of the basics of what you just described in a very technical way.
Christopher Penn 10:39
It is actually one thing I want to highlight here, oz says, the retention measure is way more complicated. How long should a video be? YouTube’s reporting this stuff is stupid. Your best bet? Yeah, well, oz is a is an Excel God, like he’s literally at Microsoft MVP and Excel, one of the best bets is to actually go into YouTube’s analytics and export the data into Excel, and then do all the averaging of stuff in there. Because it’s, it’s just a pain. But yeah, so those, those are the basics. So let’s talk about how do we address these things from a technical perspective. First, obviously, do the do the basics, right? Do the the title, the description, the tags, the closed captioning, do that? Well, with your videos, do clear preview images, right? You know, a lot of that you’ll see a lot of folks like they are here, there’s absolutely no doubt what that video is about. Because the the image is very, very clear. There’s no doubt what this video is about. Because it’s very clear. Some of these other things, it’s not quite clear what the video is about. So if you’re trying to get from this first impression, to getting someone to click having something that you can see on screen, like okay, I get this video about is about attracts attracts the audiences So, so preview images is a really important thing to have there. And then spend some time in your YouTube Analytics. Again, I don’t love the YouTube Analytics interface itself, I think it is overly simplistic, but the thing that makes it super, super useful is that a, there’s an advanced mode. And then once you’re in there, you can start to customize the report. And you can start putting together all the different data points that you could possibly want. And you could see these are all the ones that are accessible. And you can export this out as a CSV file or an Excel file or whatever. If you want to get really fancy, you can plug into YouTube’s API and pull this data in yourself. But the thing that to pay attention to more than anything else is look at what videos of yours do well. And then try to figure out why. Like, are there specific topics or specific things that like yeah, this video did really, really well and I don’t know why, or this video did really really well and it’s not something that’s relevant anymore. When I look at you know, recent views this one is a video that actually I need to take down and redo because it’s three years old. This was a product review for a hot Amazon product at the time. And it that’s products suck that’s one of the reasons why that video did this is a video from 10 years ago from a world of warcraft channels not about that anymore. Which by the way thematically is something that if I wanted this YouTube channel to be like on target for I should pull down stuff that is relevant anymore I don’t want to be found for and then we have things like the the previous so watch shows so you can see all the stuff that’s in here and then start making this decisions about is this have we attracted an audience on this channel? If so, what are the things that they seem to want so that’s the technical side
from a content side YouTube is it’s an interesting creature because they they have this Google Sheet has a huge playbook if you look at the YouTube Creator Playbook is a fantastic document. If you have not read it, I strongly recommend spending a whole lot of time when maybe a bottle of wine with it. This is this is Google’s you know, consumer friendly version of here’s how to build your YouTube strategy. One of the things that is really powerful in here is they have a framework it’s called hero hub help it’s still the gold standard for a YouTube channel up for any content marketing, which is once a quarter or so you have a big piece of content you know something that is a video premiere like this is your your big conference or whatever and you spend big ad dollars you spend a lot of time promoting it then you have stuff that’s more regular your monthly content maybe it’s your your what content the hub you know what is what’s going on what’s new, and then you have your daily stuff your your your help content. My channel for example is almost all help content is you ask I answer is a daily show. I do it. So Is it it’s much more focused on that is low budget is low, low, relatively low effort, but it’s very frequent. And it’s keyword rich. So that stat that is, you know, an important part of the content. And then another huge part is looking at how people search Oh, hey, Brian is even saying, is there a way in in the tools to find out what search terms your videos are already ranking for? Mm hmm. You know, I don’t know, we would have to look to see if you can, what you rank for, in terms of what you should be ranking for. There are a couple ways to do this. The easiest way and the one that I say everybody and their cousin should be using is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you type in video marketing here to look at what’s trending, changes geography, and then specifically look at how much search volume occurs on YouTube. And this is where this is really, really helpful, because you can get you can get very clear guidance as to what search for on YouTube itself versus what search for generally, and it can differ, it can differ pretty substantially. We’ll show you an example.
Unknown Speaker 16:18
This is pre baked.
Christopher Penn 16:20
I took a bunch of search terms. Here we can see them marketing, video search, YouTube, SEO, YouTube, etc. And this is Google search. And we can see how many searches on a regular basis there are for each of these terms. Let’s move this out. This is a little hard to see. Over the last few years, and we see the video marketing, is YouTube marketing here, YouTube SEO. Originally, by the way, this show is going to be Video SEO. But after I did this, I’m like, nope, we’re calling this a video marketing episode. Because it is a it is clearly much more searched for.
Katie Robbert 16:54
You know, that’s you didn’t give me the notice, Chris.
Unknown Speaker 17:00
Christopher Penn 17:02
Katie Robbert 17:03
But tomorrow’s blog post we have already changed our SEO
Christopher Penn 17:06
noted. Exactly. But when we look at that same data on YouTube, a the keyword list got a lot shorter, right? Because these are just things that you know, people type in smaller, shorter search question and a fewer terms into YouTube. And the big one is how do I clear my YouTube search history. So if you wanted to.
That said, if you want to create a video that would probably do well align it with what we know is going to be a search for so video marketing. And here. Interestingly enough, though, it’s been on a pretty slow decline over the past few years. So using tools like Google Trends, and you can either use the web interface, which I think is appropriate and fine for most marketers, there’s also a way to do it programmatically through code, which will get you bigger data, but it’s kind of a pain to do. And then spend some time in your SEO tools. To Brian’s question. I know we’ve worked with two buddy in the past, and I don’t I recall quick, I don’t believe even two buddy had those rankings inside it either. We’d have to go look,
John Wall 18:18
you know, one is Tim Street just recently turned me on to gospel and I’m supposed to be talking with them over the next week. I’ve heard other people talk about them as a good trend, and YouTube tracker. So maybe a future date, we’ll be able to throw out more and that stuff.
Christopher Penn 18:32
Yep. So that’s part two. So we’ve covered the technical stuff that you need to do with YouTube videos. The content stuff itself, doing all the topic research, treat it like any other content initiative, right, treat it exactly like anything else. If you do the same research for your blog posts for your white papers, and ebooks and all that stuff, do it do it for YouTube. The third thing that is that people forget about with YouTube is the distribution side. And this is this is huge, because, again, remember this paper, this paper says that your watch history forms a substantial part of what gets served up. If I can get you to watch previous episodes of so what then the likelihood that YouTube is going to recommend it the next time we do an episode is higher because it’s already in the algorithm. So if I can get your eyeballs onto something at all on my channel, that’s going to they’re going to help bring you back. So one of the things people don’t do nearly enough is cross promote. They don’t cross bow on other social networks. They’ll cross promote in all sorts of places. Let me show you an example of just a super simple cross promotion, one that I think should be in everybody’s stuff and that is ye old newsletter. Right? We have a we just call it section The bright idea that we just renamed it binge watch, and in our newsletter every week is sending people to our YouTube videos, right? Just get people back to the YouTube videos that we’ve been creating again to get eyeballs on them. Because even if you’re not watching live, as long as I’m taking advantage of this part of the algorithm, I can get you like more probable to see new stuff as it comes out, we saw when I first signed into my own YouTube homepage, it’s like showing me that I’m premiering a live video I great, we know that’s working because I’m spending the time on on the channel. So cross promote as much as possible. Especially if you have email, an email list, because you can send people directly to the link, there’s very little disintermediation. And it’s going to send people to YouTube itself. We don’t know for sure. Because again, it’s not in the paper itself. Whether or not YouTube deals differently with players or embedded on other sites versus sending people to YouTube itself. But I’m going to make a guess, here. And the guest I’m going to make is that Google who can show you way more ads on YouTube itself than it can in an embedded player. And thus, if you send people there, it would not be unreasonable for Google to treat that traffic a little more favorably because they know they can make more money off of you. So in your cross promotion, send people to YouTube itself. Something to think about in chip, you’ve just reviewed again. Well, yeah, you know, that happens.
Unknown Speaker 21:38
Christopher Penn 21:43
In other platforms, other platforms are actually reasonably well equipped to, to re promote YouTube content. So for example, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook, when you fire up a LinkedIn post, if you have a YouTube link in it, it’ll spawn a YouTube player in here. So one of the things you want to experiment with is alternating the use of native LinkedIn video itself, with YouTube videos. And what you’ll find always what I found so far is that they both perform about the same in terms of the number of people who are there who sees thing. But obviously, again, putting eyeballs on YouTube means that it’s entering into that user’s search history. The other thing to look at is collaborations, right? YouTube, the YouTube community itself is really, really strong about getting people to collaborate with each other and getting people to cross promote on each other’s channels. Now, it’s a real simple example. There are a bunch of musicians that all just kind of, you know, group together, and they appear on each other’s channels all the time. So let’s go seen this artist has done a huge number of collaborations with like Nicole Rowland, Christina siano, etc. And though each channel promotes these videos together, so they all act as kind of like a pod, if you remember the old pod marketing ideas. Same thing here, use uses to the extent that you can look for peer channels. So if you’ve got 1300 followers on YouTube, look for other channels in your space, that may or may not be competitive, and try to collaborate with them. So that’s an even exchange. So people can say, Okay, I get that, why would want to work together. Me approaching somebody like this as not topically relevant be that this person has 447,000 subscribers, they’re not going to see any benefit of collaborating with me. Whereas up here, channel might be able to do that. But it’s a really good opportunity. Another thing we’ve seen people do really well is bring guests into, like live stream, you know, bring other folks into live streams and have it collaborate and that ideally be able to cross audiences to let people do takeovers and stuff, think about the way that a lot of people do Instagram collaborations and apply those same tactics to YouTube. So those are the tactical things you can do to improve your performance on YouTube. Right? Again, we are trying to take advantage of everything that we know, based on what Google has said, is in the YouTube algorithm, and we of course, do parts of this have been updated as as the technologies have changed, but the fundamental architecture is the same. Focus on the watch history, focus on the language being used in search, minor demographic stuff, and then build that strategy and follow and just publish publish publishes as much as you can. One of the things that brands do really wrong is they assume that they have to be doing like broadcast quality video make it has to look like a TV commercial or a Marvel Cinematic experience out of the gate. It really doesn’t unless your brand makes videos in which case it should because otherwise, it looks like you look like an idiot. But if you’re not Got a brand that is, you know, doing your multi billion dollar media productions elsewhere, create more, create more. And, you know, the easiest strategy to get started is create more than useful content if you if you go into your customer service inbox, or you go into, you know, core or Reddit or asked calm or just answered, calm and just pull a list of all the How to questions in your industry, start making videos on that, just start making videos as quickly as you possibly can, answering those questions. Another great source we’re actually talking about earlier this week, is looking at Twitter chats, right? So Twitter chats are a fantastic source of just questions to answer. We pull up a spreadsheet, so I keep track of about 15 or 16, Twitter chats in the marketing space. And from all these different companies. Every single one of these things, is a question that you could answer in a future video, right? Like trust is our goal as marketers, how does it fit into our content marketing strategy? Well, guess what you if you know that these are questions that people are asking in your industry, aka YouTube video, spend five minutes grab your phone, put it on a tripod, so such you know The Blair Witch special? And then and answer the question loaded up to YouTube. So with that, let’s open it up to questions with what questions folks have?
Katie Robbert 26:27
Well, not so much a question but more of a pro tip. But you know, Chris, you talked about, you know, finding these questions to answer answering them with a YouTube video. But then you also have transcription services, such as otter, if you’re following the transmedia framework, then you can create the video and then use it a bunch of different ways. As for your content marketing, so you can pull just the audio in as an mp3 and boom, now it’s a podcast, or you can pull just the text. And now it’s a blog post. And so, you know, you can use a snippet and as a social media post, and I think that starting with the video, answer the question, that’s a helpful thing to your customer base, do a bunch of that, and then go back and then do all of your SEO optimization, you can start to look at the analytics, but until you create the video, there’s nothing to look at.
Christopher Penn 27:18
Exactly, there’s that. And the other thing is, once you’ve got the video, once you’ve got a video, it is relatively trivial to to, as you say atomizer to start turning into little pieces. With a piece of software we use, we use Camtasia. And so after we record our podcasts, we record our podcast in in stream yard, you can use any any recording service, that doesn’t matter, we’ll download the file, we’ll then take the file, rip the audio out to pull up the closed captions. And then I’ll load the closed captions back into Camtasia. So you can see here, this is last week’s podcast, I load the closed caption back into Camtasia. And now you can see the closed captions in the video itself. And then say I want to do about a minutes worth of video here with with this, export this out from Camtasia. And they’ll have the captions burned right into it, this thing goes on Instagram. So this is a 45 to 62nd preview that goes up with the captions burned in. It goes into scrap that promotes it can promote the video. So one piece of video, you can slice up into a tremendous amount of stuff as long as you’ve got the tools and do it in the right order. So don’t let a video just sit out on its own, like recycle as much as possible. Yeah, as far as organic spread on that, too. We see that a lot where you know, you get some of these videos where it’s an hour or two hours worth of content, but then they’ll go back and chop it all up into five minute chunks, and throw all the five minute chunks out there. And a lot of times you’ll get a small clip that does spike because it answers a specific question. Whereas people don’t want to have to wade through 48 minutes of video to get to that chunk. Exactly. Another thing podcasts if you have a podcast and podcasts and things like that, and you are not recording video at the same time. headliner is a fantastic app is one that we’ve used a lot. You can take your podcast audio, dump it into headliner, and then it will create a video of your of your audio that’s it’s not a picture of you obviously has no idea what you look like. But it gives you a waveform that looks like this. And now you’ve got video that you can load to YouTube, right? Is it the most exciting thing to look at? No, but it allows you to take audio and and turn it into video in some fashion that you could then put up on YouTube. So we have occasionally forgotten to turn on. We make our podcasts and on those occasions we can take the audio run through headliner and and spit out video. You can do this in Adobe After Effects as well. But it’s a lot more work than to let this app do it. This by the way also folks were wondering how do you get your podcast onto LinkedIn? This is how Do it if it’s not a video to begin with. LinkedIn does not accept audio files Lincoln does except video files. So take your podcast render like this. And now your podcast is on LinkedIn. Remember that you have a 10 minute limitation. So make it the best 10 minutes of your show.
Katie Robbert 30:14
Well, you know, it’s funny I was this is a little aside, I was listening to Michelle Obama on a podcast yesterday, and she actually started her own podcast. And she was saying that one of the nice things about having a podcast is not having to do your hair and makeup anymore, because it’s all audio. But we’re actually saying that from a marketing perspective, it’s better to have video in association with your podcast, purely for recording and reusing the material and assets. So you don’t have to be like 100% camera ready, but just a little camera ready. is probably not a bad thing.
Christopher Penn 30:51
Yep. And the last thing we’ll say on video itself is the rule from David Tamez of Kenai and mass Art Institute is great video begins with great audio, people will watch, he makes us example, in a number of his lectures, people will sit in a bar and watch a game, you know, on a crappy TV like go to a bar like South Boston, that’s like the old old TVs, not even flat screens. And people like throwing stuff at the screen. And as long as people can hear it, they are engaged. They’re there, they’re active, go to another bar, where there’s like a wall of TVs, but no sound coming from any of them. And people will look at them, you know, every now and again like that. But then go back to other things because that it’s not that engaging experience. make great audio spend the 50 bucks hundred bucks on a decent microphone so that your videos sound good because people will listen to it. And again, if you’re doing it if you’re turning into a podcast, you definitely don’t want to stick crappy audio into into people’s ears either. But that’s the basics of this stuff. Get going with it.
Katie Robbert 31:58
Agreed. All right.
Christopher Penn 31:59
So if there are no other questions, we’re going to roll on out of here. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more. Check out the Trust Insights podcast at Trust insights.ai slash ti podcasts, and a weekly email newsletter at Trust insights.ai slash newsletter. got questions about what you saw in today’s episode. Join our free analytics for markers slack group at Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. See you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Need help with your marketing data and analytics?
You might also enjoy:
Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!
Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.