Everyone knows that YouTube is great at finding the video a user needs, but how is this possible? YouTube is able to present the right videos to users because it works very similar to its parent company, Google. YouTube uses the information in profiles and video descriptions to understand what videos will be best for individual search results. The process of ensuring your powersports dealership’s video information is accurate and best describes what your video holds for YouTube to use in search results is known as optimization.
What is Optimization?
Optimization is the process of making something (your YouTube video) as functional and effective as possible for your powersports dealership. If you’re still unsure of what this means for your dealer YouTube channel don’t panic! Here are 7 key optimization points you should implement into your YouTube channel and videos.
- Setup of Your Dealership YouTube Channel
Optimization should start at the bones of your YouTube channel. Ensure that the imagery used is consistent to the imagery used on your website. For example, use the same logo for your YouTube channel profile picture that you have on your website. When a user finds you on YouTube you want them to immediately recognize your brand and know that your YouTube profile is managed and up-to-date! Also, take advantage of YouTube’s opportunities for linking and connect your YouTube channel to your website and your social media profiles. Ensure that any dealership information on your channel is true and up-to-date including your address, phone number and any additional contact information.
Through the power of calls-to-action you can control a user’s journey within your dealership marketing. Provide them with “next steps” within your video and your video’s description. You can encourage a user that watches a new dealership inventory video to then visit that particular inventory page and complete a contact form! Place your calls-to-action in both your video and the video’s description.
YouTube allows you to choose your video thumbnail, giving you the power to select the “preview image” users will see. This is significant because users have proven to be more inclined to click on a video with a selected thumbnail versus a video without one. Visibility IQ released a Social Video Report where they shared these findings. In their test, a video without a thumbnail received an 11 percent CTR while the same video with a thumbnail image produced a 28 percent CTR (click-through rate)!
- Video Tags and Keywords
It’s known that keywords are important to include in web content to help Google understand what your content is about, but not many know that YouTube works in the same fashion. Keywords and tags tell YouTube what your video is about and what searches your video will be most relevant for. Use keywords and tags that are fitting to your video’s content and that match your existing keyword strategy.
YouTube channels that utilize playlists are reported to have higher engagement due to a better user experience. Playlists help you keep your videos organized and keep your visitors from getting overwhelmed! Each YouTube playlist maxes out at 200 videos and can be public or private. You can create as many playlists as needed and can share them with the public. Videos that can be included in a playlist may be categorized by anything such as the make and model of a vehicle, brand of bike, ATV sport or utility, jet skis etc. Keep general interest and user search in mind when creating a playlist strategy.
- Engage and Syndicate
YouTube is a form of social media and is an ideal platform for engaging with your fans. Answer their comments, thank them for their views and encourage them to share your content. Syndicate your videos too and harness their power on all platforms available! Share them on your Facebook timeline, Twitter timeline, or even embed them on your website and within your email campaigns.
- Review the Results
Data holds the key to success. Take advantage of YouTube’s data and monitor the progress of your channel. Test different keywords or thumbnails and check the data to see if the changes you made worked. Data can also show you areas that need improvement. By reviewing average view duration, demographics, watch time, traffic resources, devices, engagement, likes/dislikes, and comments you can tailor your videos to target the audiences you are looking to engage with. Remember, it’s important to give at least two weeks for data to collect before you make decisions based on it!
YouTube is a great platform for reaching new audiences and spreading brand awareness. Don’t let the idea of joining such a large platform overwhelm you, let it excite you with all its possibilities!
Jim Jabaay is the vice president of Sales and Marketing for LotVantage, a leader in digital marketing for automotive, powersports, marine and RV dealerships. Jim has grown up in the automotive industry with the family dealership in the suburbs of Chicago. Jim started at Manheim in sales and continued to grow his career running sales teams throughout Texas for nine years. Following Manheim, Jim spent two years at Dealertrack expanding his career in the software side of the business. LotVantage utilizes data to help dealerships understand which inventory to post and when to post it for a local, national and social presence. Jim’s number one goal is helping dealers succeed in an ever growing and changing dealership world.