Getting your Video Discovered

You may be familiar with this philosophical question;
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” 
There have been many answers to this question including this one –
The falling of the tree will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.

So with that in mind, I like to ask you, “If your video is on YouTube and no-one is around to see it, does it exist?” I’ll give you my answer at the end this.

One of the greatest challenges for video creators is to get your hard-worked videos seen by as many viewers as possible. There are literally billions of video views made each day and wouldn’t it be wonderful to get our share of the eyeballs. We’re not greedy, just one percent per day would do just fine.

The good news is that we don’t need “everyone” to watch our video – just our target audience. So our first step is to decide what the objective of the video will and that in turn will determine the target audience that will help us achieve that objective.

For example, if we want to increase our brand awareness, then obviously our target audience will not be our existing audience but a new audience.

Once we have identified our audience, we need to create a video that they actually want to watch. Use online platforms such as Quora, Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook Fan Pages Google Communities and Twitter to find out what your audience is searching for. This will reveal their Wants and Needs. More importantly, it will reveal their pain points – the issues that keep them up at nights. The more pain they have, and the more you can resolve them through your videos, the more success you will have with getting views.

With your list of potential topics, type each key word phrase in the Google search and observe the results. Do you see any video links on the first page? When Google believes that video will be preferable to text for any search result, such as “How to tie shoelaces”, it will reserve video results on the first page. So if you see video results for your key words, then this will be a good topic for a video.

You can use the Google Adword Planner to see how often you keywords are searched for each month and if the result is over 500, than it will certainly be worth making.

When you are creating your video, there are two things to consider; the technical stuff and the actual content. The technical stuff includes such things as the video’s image quality, proper framing, sufficient lighting and clear audio. Keep the editing tight and the presenter’s performance should be authentic and engaging.

However audiences will put up with some technical deficiencies if the content is hot. That is the information presented is accurate, insightful, interesting and relevant. It does not matter how great the production is if the content sucks. At the end of the day, content is still king and drives the engagement of viewers which in turn has the most profound effect on ranking your video.

Once your production is complete, it’s time to upload your video and optimize it. Start with the actual video file and re-name it using your keywords. Again use the keywords in the Title, Description and Tags. If you have used a script, upload it as a transcription or place it in the description. This allows Google to better understand exactly what your video is about and that should help it rank higher for the appropriate search results.

A customized thumbnail is like a mini-poster for your video and many of your potential viewers are visual people and they will make the decision to watch your video based on its thumbnail. So make it attractive, bright and clearly relate what the video is about.

YouTube allows you to share your video to numerous social media platforms so make most of this feature. You should establish a strong presence in whichever platform your target audience use by consistently engaging with your community. Don’t just engage only when you deliver your content but be consistently involved as leader in your community.

End your videos with strong and focused Call to Actions that encourage your audience to Like, Share and Comment. All of these actions tell Google that your video contains quality content and this will help you up the ranking ladder.

Whilst the number of views your video receives is important, nothing beats viewing time. Regardless of how long a video is, the higher the retention, the better the video is perceived to be. And viewers that subscriber to your channel after watching you video is also a powerful indicator to Google that the video has quality content.

So back to question posed at the start, “If your video is on YouTube and no-one is around to see it, does it exist?” Well it’s a bit like Pluto. On 17 February 1930, Pluto did not exist. That is until it was discovered the next day. Your video will not exist until someone discovers it and watches it. The moral of the story is for you not be satisfied that you have your videos online. They are useless until your target audience discovers them.

Gerry Tacovsky
Video Marketing Strategist