YouTube Strategy - Keeping your audience

 

When you hand your business card to a prospective customer, do you also hand them a handful of your competitors’ cards too?

Of course not  – but we frequently see the equivalent with website video.

You may choose to pull your video in from YouTube. This works fine in many respects, but we’ve all seen it – watch the video to the end and up pops a grid of 12 further videos to choose from – often including those of your competitors.

And in an instant you’ve lost your audiences. They will be off exploring lots of alternative videos on YouTube, rather than exploring your website further and watching more of your videos.

Well the good news is that this is easy to fix.

 

Block other videos appearing

To get your YouTube webpage video to go back to the beginning without showing other people’s videos, simply add

?rel=0

before the closing quotation marks around the video URL in your embed code. This is the code that you lift from YouTube when you embed your video in your website.

Before and after examples

Video ends with YouTube grid of lots other people’s videos

<iframe width=”940″ height=”529″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/IPkLeIxvE94” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> 

Video ends with going back to the beginning of your own video

<iframe width=”940″ height=”529″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/IPkLeIxvE94?rel=0” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Another fix

Consider using alternative web hosting platforms. By all means have your videos on YouTube, but treat it as an alternative viewing channel to your website. If you use a separate video hosting service for your website video there is absolutely no chance of losing viewers to the maze of competing YouTube videos.

There are lots of other compelling reasons not to use YouTube. For example, when you look at the video viewing statistics, you will be able to see the difference between the viewing behaviour on your website video and the viewing behaviour on YouTube – this can be valuable information not to be missed.

When you use a YouTube embed for your website video, there is no way of telling the difference between the number of viewings via YouTube and the number of viewings via your website. If no-one was watching the YouTube embedded video on your website, you wouldn’t know.

There is a growing choice of video hosting platforms – although unlike YouTube you do have to pay for the good ones, but the charges are usually very reasonable and well worth it given all the extra tools they offer. Vimeo, Viddler, Vidyard and VideoPress are just a few – they don’t all start with V by the way – Wistia is another good one.

 

YouTube Adverts –  A further hazard

So you’ve spent time, money and love on your beautifully crafted video, but when you put it on YouTube it plays alongside distracting adverts. These will frequently contain links to the advertiser’s website, that in just one click lead people away from your video.

To stop advertisements running alongside  your video, make sure you have selected the “Do not allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my video” in the settings.

To change this setting –
  1. 1. Log in to your YouTube account
  2. 2. Go to your Dashboard
  3. 3. Go to Channel Settings
  4. 4. Go to Advanced (yes – it’s pretty buried!)
  5. 5. On the Advance page – select “Do not allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my video.”

 

I’ve changed My Channel Settings but the Adverts are Still Showing

Music Rights and Adverts

Even if you set your channel settings to ‘Do not allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my video”, adverts will still appear if YouTube thinks you are using copyrighted music belonging to someone else –  so be sure to have paid for any relevant music licenses.

 

How to increase click through to your website

So your audience is watching your videos on YouTube. Now, you want to drive them to your own website, rather than lose them to other videos YouTube. You can do this by including a link to your own website in the description box that appears beneath your video. This will need to be a full URL e.g. https://www.blueskyuk.com, as the box won’t take HTML code for you to set your own anchor text e.g. a link saying – Blue Sky Film and Media – Corporate Video Production.

Beware – YouTube gives you a nice spacious box in which to put your description, but if you don’t get your link in the first two lines, most of your visitors are likely to never see it. This is because, even though you can write long descriptions, the standard YouTube video player page only presents the first two lines of the description to people unless they actively click to expand the description – and in the vast majority of cases they are not going to bother to do this.

So get on with it.

Tell them who you are, get your website link in and say something engaging in the first two lines of your description.

To edit your video’s description, log in to your YouTube account and go to
  1. Dashboard
  2. Video Manager
  3. Click on the video you want
  4. A page will appear allowing you to edit the title, description and tags etc…
  5. Save.

 

Further Help

If you would like free advice concerning online video strategy, please get in touch with us at contact@blueskyuk.com