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The New Rules of YouTube Marketing

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RISMedia, May 26, 2011—YouTube has changed dramatically over the last five years. Everyone in video marketing feels like they’re playing Calvinball, the game invented in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. As Calvin once said, “The only permanent rule in Calvinball is that you can’t play it the same way twice!”

So, in this ever-changing world, here are four of the new rules of YouTube marketing:

1. Keep to a schedule and theme when publishing video content. People want to know what type of videos they’ll be watching week after week on a particular channel. They like a recognizable topic and show format for the videos.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t mix it up, but consistency definitely counts. The top YouTube partners highlight when they publish new episodes in the header banner of their channel so fans know when to return for fresh content.

2. Think about the next action and viewer engagement. What do you want someone to do after watching your video? You can ask viewers to rate, comment or share your video. Ask them for their opinions. You can even ask them to click on a link and purchase your product.

3. Cross-platform promotions (the first 24 hours are huge). As soon as partners upload a new video, their YouTube subscribers are automatically notified when they return to the site and log in. Notify your fans via Twitter, Facebook and other sharing options as well. You can also email influential blog editors and traditional media outlets that are relevant to the topic or that have featured your videos in the past.

Leverage every distribution channel you can to promote your new videos. Don’t forget about using paid media to launch new videos, too. Both promoted videos and traditional display advertising can provide lots of additional views.

4. Don’t watch comments too closely, but obsess over insights. Comments can provide valuable feedback and additional information about your videos and your audience. But you need to have thick skin since there will always be haters and trolls; don’t take them too seriously.

Focus on YouTube Insights to determine where and how people are finding your videos and if any external sources are directing a lot of traffic. If you do discover that a particular blog is sending you a lot of referrals, for example, reach out and say thanks. Then add that blog to your notification list for the next time you publish a video. Hot spots tell you when people start to lose interest in your video.

As of May 2011, these were the new rules of YouTube marketing. But these rules can “be changed, amended or deleted by any players involved.” What should you do then? It’s pretty simple—make up the rules as you go.

Greg Jarboe is the president and co-founder of SEO-PR, a search engine marketing firm that provides search engine optimization, search engine advertising and search engine promotion services. Reach Greg at greg.jarboe@seo-pr.com.

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