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#SEO

A Successful Content Strategy Includes Video

Video consumption continues its upward trajectory into 2021 as a popular source for information and entertainment on the web. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to a recent study by Cisco. YouTube is still the world’s second largest search engine, making it a great driver of organic traffic and brand awareness.

The platform has progressed tremendously since the days of cat videos. While it is primarily a home for independent content creators, brands have traditionally kept a distance from the platform. Those that have, continue to produce short bursts of content akin to advertisements. These can sometimes prove to be ineffective as a strategy to engage your target audience. We suggest taking advantage of all the below platform features to enhance your YouTube strategy and to engage your audience.

Suggested Clips:
Google has always strived to improve search and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for. The search engine giant first introduced “suggested clips” in 2017, a feature that allows users to jump to the point in the video where the answer to the search query appears. The purpose of suggested clips is to make it easier for users to find the answer to their questions. Consumer behavior often results in the user viewing the answer to their question then continuing to click through to gather more information.

 

(Source: Google)

Key Moments:

Google has also added another enhancement to video featured snippets by introducing the Key Moments Feature. This update shows users exactly what the video contains, organized by time stamps.

 

A Search Engine Journal article from May 2020, pointed out that “appearing in suggested videos can generate almost as many views as appearing in YouTube’s search results.” For the brands that have invested in YouTube, they have positioned themselves well for video search in both search engines – Google and YouTube.

 

 

Watch Time and Engagement:
Google was granted a patent for an algorithm that uses “watch time” as a ranking factor for videos. An August 2012 article by Google explains that watch time is used as part of their video discovery feature, an existing part of their algorithm. To promote rich, informative content and combat click-bait, the video discovery feature recommends videos based on engagement. The greater the watch time, the more times the video will be recommended, and in turn the more traffic the video will receive. This “survival of the fittest” approach naturally buries low-value, click-bait content and rewards high-value, informative content designed to enrich the lives of its viewership.

Informative and valuable content for viewers acts as a lever brands can use to speak directly to their audience and expand their reach. Brands should not be afraid to build out long-form content. Consumers will engage with their brand if it’s entertaining and valuable without clicking away. Some great examples of Brands building audiences on YouTube with engaging content includes Lego and BMW.

Lego invests into building short movies using Lego characters. They also host podcasts with designers who have used Lego to build unique things such as models of race cars and skyscrapers. This, and other types engaging content has helped Lego build an audience of 11.5 million subscribers. BMW uses their YouTube channel to build How-to videos showing their audience – both owners and would-be owners – features of their latest model. BMW’s videos are much shorter, often just over a minute in length, but are extremely useful. Users will often watch the same video multiple times if they are trying to learn about a new feature in their car, thus organically enhancing watch time.

 

Mobile:
More than 70% of YouTube views come from a mobile device. This makes YouTube a staggering tool for audience engagement. While mobile usage was already increasing across the world due to an increased number of commuters using mobile devices on their way to work, research from Statista.com shows that world wide mobile phone use has increased by 70% as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  

The average engagement time from mobile users is 40 minutes, meaning that users are looking to learn something new and research new topics as they spend more time in their homes. The NY Times reported that traffic to YouTube.com has increased by 15.3% since the start of the pandemic.

 

According to Think With Google, 91% of smartphone users use their device while completing a task. These tasks including anything from fixing a sink to shopping for jeans. With the mobile phone as a key research tool during a consumer’s journey, Google’s featured snippets updates allow consumers to find answers quickly and easily to their questions. Furthermore, users can use suggested clips and key moments to find the answers to their problems within a video, thus saving them more time. Convenience is what consumers are after, and brands can win in this space by creating video content useful to users.  

 

Smartphone usage isn’t just a consumer trend. Google has also increasingly favored mobile devices over desktop. Since 2015, Google has pushed for a more mobile-friendly internet. YouTube is already optimized for mobile, offering a seamless jump from a Google video result to the YouTube app on a mobile device.

In the below graph, we see the growth of video impressions over the course of 16 months for a CPG iProspect client in the shave care space. This growth was accomplished through a content strategy focused on long-form, how-to style video content.

 

 

Brands should consider YouTube to further establish themselves as an authority within their vertical. With over one billion hours watched daily and almost one-third of the internet using YouTube, brands have the potential to accumulate a large volume of views which lead to improved brand awareness and an increase in sales. As you plan for 2021, YouTube and video content are important strategies to consider for your brand to ensure you are meeting your customer during every stage of their online search journey.