Our BombBomb VP of Marketing, Ethan Beute, has always defined YouTube in a way that I resonate with, “its old and new at the same time.” But despite the fact that this platform has been around for so long, creating a solid YouTube Business Channel is still a challenge for many people.
Far before Instagram, SnapChat, and Pinterest, YouTube was launched in February of 2005. At this point, Facebook was still only accessible with a university email address, and MySpace was dominating the social media world. Throughout all the changes we’ve seen in the digital landscape, YouTube has still remained a major conglomerate. It is the second most visited website on the web, and as video content has continued to dominate on social media, it’s watch times have risen by 60%.
As a business professional, creating, updating, and nurturing a YouTube channel can bear many fruits at an inexpensive cost. We’ve pulled together three tips on how to optimize your YouTube channel, and three tips on how to grow your YouTube channel in the article below.
Three Tips to Optimize Your YouTube Business Channel
1 Make Exciting Titles
Titles are something I’m constantly creating. And just like everyone else – I struggle finding a title that is both fun, and searchable. Your title is one of the first pieces of information that your prospects will see before deciding whether or not they want to watch your video. It is important to really nail your title because of this.
Nonetheless, because YouTube is the second largest search engine, you want your keyword to be searchable. It’s important to use titles that are clear and concise – but also, answer a question your target audience is looking to solve. We often use Google Trends to monitor search terms and decide on a title that meets a specific search need. It helps us compare titles like “YouTube for Sales Pros” vs. “YouTube for Business” to see what term seem to be getting more traffic.
HubSpot recommends keeping your titles fairly short, 60 Characters is the ideal title length to prevent search from cutting the title off. Moreover, to improve the chances of your videos ranking in the “videos section” of search results, try using the word “video” in your title. This won’t help with YouTube, but it can definitely help with Google, and Bing (source.)
Mortgage Video Influencer, Kevin Fritz, is a rockstar at creating YouTube titles. Check out the image below where you can see how he’s creating videos around trending topics that his target audience – future homebuyers – are searching. His titles are clean and enticing for anyone who is currently in the lending process. They are also helping him keep a heavy topic like mortgage, a bit more digestible! See his channel here.
2 Craft Search Engine Optimized Descriptions
So you might be asking yourself why you should care about a text description on a video platform. But that text isn’t necessarily for your viewers, it’s there to help your videos come forward in the suggested videos section of YouTube. This is a place where a ton of channels receive traffic, so it’s important to rank there.
You’ll want to start this process by determining specific keywords that your topic could rank for, and make sure that it is included in the first sentence of that description. The key here is to be subtle with placement. You don’t want your users to find it extremely obvious that you’re writing to rank on search.
Your description should be simple summary of your video. Some people even pay a small amount to get their videos transcribed and use that transcription as their description. Aim to write video descriptions that are between 300-500 words. Moreover, the first three sentences of that description are the most important, as those are the words that Google allows for its users to see without clicking more. Make sure to bulk this area up with your call-to-action!
Many people also link out to alternate sources in their descriptions. This should include your social pages, website, email address, and if applicable, the link to the corresponding blog post.
Real Estate Video Influencer, Loida Velasquez, has an incredible YouTube channel with 28,508 subscribers and 1.6 million views. Her descriptions are easy, quick, and optimized. See her example below for her video on how to get Real Estate Listing Appointments by Cold Calling with Mojo.
3 Create Beautiful Thumbnail Images
This works similarly to having a catchy title. If you have a catchy thumbnail, people are going to want to click play on your video. The Creator Academy reports that “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.”
At BombBomb, we actually had our design team create a template for us specifically for YouTube thumbnails. All we do is swap out the background image, and change the text. It allows us to be self-sufficient and remain on brand. If you don’t have access to a design team, we recommend using canva. When creating your image, make sure they are sized at 1280×720 pixels. (Source)
There are some important tips to remember when creating these thumbnails. First off, in 2015, the marketing team at BombBomb compared analytics in our newsletter sends. In this we were able to determine a 78.98% overperformance of people’s faces (and stories about people) in our video email newsletter sends. Because of this, the background images of our YouTube thumbnail images are now always as simple as a close up screen capture of the person in the video smiling, or looking animated in an exciting way.
The best thumbnail practices also involve including fun text in the image. The text should be large with highlighted / magnified areas. Make sure your text format matches your branding and all of your thumbnails are given the same look and feel. The text should not mirror the title exactly, but should still be relevant to the keyword.
Real Estate Video Influencers Michael Thorne and Jesse Peters recently created an online community called RE Video Studio. They created a complete brand for the project which included – AMAZING YouTube Thumbnail templates. We absolutely love their thumbnail images as they focus on people, fun text, and magnified areas.
Three Tips on How to Grow your YouTube Business Channel
For our last three tips, we spoke with Mortgage Video Influencer, Kelly Zitlow. Many mortgage professionals have been using YouTube longer and have uploaded more videos, but few are growing as quickly as Kelly. In the few weeks between her nomination and this write up, views are up 21% and have hit five figures. She’s also growing in subscriber count. Because of this, we thought she’d be the perfect person to talk about how newcomers can work to grow their YouTube Following!
Let’s hear what she has to say…
1 Continuously Push for Subscribers
Kelly lets us know that she is constantly focusing on gaining new subscribers to her YouTube channel. She’s consistently pushing the link out to her sphere in her email blasts, and social media channels. Even when she’s teaching classes in person, she reminds her students to subscribe for consistently updated content.
To get a little more in depth on this recommendation, we suggest utilizing a “sub confirmation link” when pushing your subscribers to your channel. We realize that sounds intimidating – but it’s definitely not! A sub confirmation link will link directly to the homepage of your channel, but will include a popup that asks users if they’d like to automatically subscribe.
The best way to get that link is to take your normal URL – For example: https://www.youtube.com/user/BBVideoEmail and simply add the “?sub_confirmation=1” after your username. No space is required. The final URL should look like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/BBVideoEmail?sub_confirmation=1. It’s that simple!
2 Utilize Influencers
Kelly suggests utilizing industry influencers to help grow your YouTube follow. When planning what to do next in your YouTube videos, keep in mind your connections, and engage with them on topic ideas. Make sure your audiences share similar goals. Kelly creates collaboration videos with local real estate agents because they are also looking to work with new homebuyers. She’s also consistently on her local news show, the American Dream, and she repurposes those clips on her channel.
Pick a time, and place, and create a video with your chosen collaborators. This can even be through a recorded Zoom meeting. At BombBomb, we have a weekly series that we call “The BombCast,” where we bring on local video influencers and talk to them about what they are doing with video to set themselves apart. This is always done via Zoom. We send the influencers specific promotional materials like graphics, and videos, and always make sure to tag their social channels.
3 Keep Momentum and Focus
Stay motivated with your channel and continue to give it love. Kelly claims that video is the least expensive way that she’s been able to grow her brand and she’s seen a major return on investment since doing so.
In order to stay motivated, Kelly recommends keep a running list of real-life events that happen while you are conducting business. She keeps a list of the challenges she comes across as a lender and the common occurrences that happen when applying for a loan. She then takes these ideas and produces a video.
Kelly is producing anywhere from 2-3 videos per week on YouTube – but she’s a pro! When first starting out, we suggest sticking to releasing one YouTube specific video per week. The key here however, is to stick to a regular release schedule. This is crucial to your success. Why? It sets expectations for your viewers, and gives them a reason to continue to come back to your channel. At BombBomb, we release the BombCast every Thursday, and see many repeat and engaged viewers as result. We even get messages on Thursdays to check-in and see if we’re still going live!
Want to learn more tips from more mortgage video influencers just like Kelly? Learn how to use video, when to send videos, and the types of videos you NEED in your business from some of the best marketing professionals in the mortgage industry. We’ve both ranked and collected info from the Top 25 Mortgage Video Influencers and compiled their knowledge into this informative guide.