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Starting out with YouTube to Promote a Marine Business

Today, video is the trending content form on all social platforms. So once you have produced some corporate or product videos, inhouse or with the help of dedicated video producers, you should upload them to all, right?

No. Tiktok, Instagram reel and stories, Facebook video are best for content that is designed for that platform. More importantly, unless you have already have a strong following, hardly anyone will find your videos there. These platforms favor low cost, short-lived, “authentic” video. On the other hand, you have to create a lot of that on a regular basis to get traction. If this is part of your marketing strategy, these are the platforms where your social media team and your media-savvy employees can shine and get creative.

But what about your higher end content, like corporate and product videos? These typically live on your home page, on your landing pages or are sent out to potential clients by your sales team.
Should you upload them to YouTube? And what happens after that?

Many businesses load up their videos to YouTube without any strategy, and the results are almost always pretty bad. This is disappointing, and often leads to giving up YouTube.

Neglecting YouTube is a wasted opportunity, to put it mildly. As most marketers know, YouTube belongs to Google and is by itself the second largest search engine on the web.
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Would be a shame to miss out on that one. So let me try and build you a bridge here. I would argue that there are two basic approaches to utilize YouTube organically for your brand.

Approach 1: GROWTH

This is similar to the standards for organic growth on social media platforms. To increase your audience and engagement, you have to post content on a regular basis. And not just any content, but content that is optimized for the ever-changing whims of the algorithm. This is a major task on any social platform, but it gets worse. As YouTube strongly favors well executed videos which takes hours or days to create, a growth ambition on YouTube can easily turn into a full time job.

Is that worth it? I would say: if your goal is to become a YouTuber, yes. If your goal is to promote a small to medium business, no. At the end of the day, you don’t need more YouTube subscribers, you need more sales. And there are more efficient ways to let YouTube help you with that.

Approach 2: SHOWCASE

Instead of creating video content tailored to YouTube, you can start a business channel that features the quality videos you produce for your owned outlets like homepage and newsletter.

(as a side note: you may be tempted to also host the videos on your website via YouTube embedding. This has an array of pros and cons that are too detailed for today. Please let me know if you would enjoy a blog post about that)

Remember, your goal is not to grow your YouTube-channel. You want to be found by people searching for your keywords, on Google and YouTube. Think of your videos as landing pages, and of your channel as an SEO tool.

Here are some tips to get started:

Create your YouTube channel from your Google Business account if you can. This is particularly important for brick and mortar businesses that exist on Google Maps. Obviously, use your business name as the channel name.
Add admin roles for everyone contributing to the channel in your organization, your agency or video production company. No need to share your master password.
Polish your channel by entering all information possible, channel art and, and links to your website and socials. Write a great “about” section with a couple of keywords.
Ideally you create a specific landing page for the above, so you can track the traffic you are gaining from YouTube
Upload your best videos and optimize them for search and CTR. For search, enter relevant keywords and three hashtags in the description. Maximize your click-through rate: have your design team create click-worthy thumbnails and compelling video titles.Make sure to add a link to your website early on in the video description.
Finesse SEO: After YouTube has created an automatic transcript, you can revise and polish it. Make sure your keywords are spelled correctly. Consider to create subtitles in foreign languages taylored to markets you operate in.
Make sure someone in your social media team is monitoring and responding to incoming comments. These can be questions from people almost ready to buy.
Keep an eye on the metrics. See below.


Again, with the “Showcase” approach, we are not chasing likes or subscribers. It is still valuable to keep an eye on your metrics. Your traffic by source, geography, age or gender can be valuable input not just for marketing, also for product development.

A lot of this will be familiar from social media platforms. Let me highlight two data points that are particular to YouTube.

Click-Through Rate

This YouTube metric is valuable. It measures how often viewers watched your video after seeing its thumbnail. It's the percentage of YouTube impressions that turned into views. A high CTR indicates that your video's thumbnail is enticing and that you chose the right title. This means you are presenting an appealing invitation to watch the video.
Conversely, this serves as a reminder that the number of views says next to nothing about the quality of your video. This brings us to the most exciting figure for the creative marketer, the

Audience retention rate

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The audience retention rate tells you how long your viewers have been watching your video before clicking away. More useful than the actual number is the graph. Here is a fairly typical example.

After a slight bump around the 10s mark (when many people realize this video is not for them), we see a slow and steady decline in viewership. This is the norm. Some people loose interest. Also batteries die, phones ring, lunch breaks are over.

If you a see steeper downward bump instead, you almost certainly have something in your video that turns people off. This could be something controversial, boring, or a sharp drop in quality. Conversely, if you find the graph going up significantly at any point, this indicates a very appealing or interesting moment in your video. Either way, you will want to look up any spikes and draw your conclusions for the next video production. Make sure to point this out to your team and/or to your video production supplier.

Wrapping Up

As we have seen, there is a viable alternative to “becoming a full time YouTuber” for small and medium businesses. You can get more visibility, improve SEO, and drive traffic to your website with a “Showcase” approach to YouTube. And there is more good news: If you want to scale it up later, your YouTube channel is an ideal starting point for YouTube-advertising. There are amazing and unique ways to pinpoint targeted ads on YouTube. More about that in another post.

Thank you for your interest.

Best regards,

Gerrit Haaland
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