Video is on almost every marketer’s radar.
In fact, 69% of marketers say their video-marketing budget is increasing.
On top of that, mobile video advertising is expected to total 72% of digital ad spend by 2019.
But do you want to hear the best stat of all?
Marketers who use videos boost their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
I’ve even been stepping up my video game as a result!
Why? Because when it comes to channels for driving more sales, we should leave no stone left unturned.
It can be easy to get comfortable with our current methods and tactics. But then we lose out on the big wins and possibilities of other platforms.
If you want your conversions to increase (and you do!), you need to diversify your approach.
You can’t just run ads and grind your SEO to the first page anymore.
More and more people want to watch video instead of reading text.
A picture or video is literally worth 60,000 words.
What does that mean? People process an image or video 60,000 times faster than they do text.
And the numbers for video success are glaring:
Facebook’s video view count is skyrocketing every single day.
So if you want to drive more sales, you need to focus less on producing 60,000 words and more on helpful, value-driven videos.
And there’s no better place to get this done than on YouTube.
I increased my sales by using YouTube. Here’s how you can do the same.
Why you should be using YouTube
No, YouTube isn’t the only platform to use for video marketing.
Facebook video is another great way to drive sales. You shouldn’t necessarily put all your eggs in one basket.
But YouTube’s audience is king when it comes to landing sales and customers.
There are more than 1.3 billion people who use YouTube. And almost 5 billion videos are watched daily.
YouTube viewing has staying power. The average mobile viewing session lasts for more than 40 minutes!
That means you can capture attention and keep it for huge amounts of time.
And YouTube has the best post-click engagement of any social media platform:
YouTube also has the lowest bounce rate after a click-through to your site and has the highest average time on site and pages per visit.
In fact, YouTube accounts for the majority of mobile web traffic!
When it comes to mobile viewing, YouTube videos are the leader of the pack, beating out Facebook and Netflix.
One in four users in the United States watch online videos daily. That already impressive number is even higher in other countries.
YouTube is even growing more popular than traditional video content services like actual mainstream TV!
More people are using YouTube for their video-content needs than they are mainstream television.
People are hanging up the cable boxes and 1,000-channel subscriptions for nearly-unlimited free content.
This means that if you want to reach a massive audience and build your brand, YouTube is the place to be.
And it’s the perfect platform to leverage your following and drive tons of sales.
Here’s how I did it.
Tip #1. Make custom thumbnails
One of the first things that I found to help increase clicks, views, and sales was creating custom thumbnails.
When I first started out on YouTube, I made the mistake of just using a segment of my video as my thumbnail.
I took the easy way out, thinking there was no way that a custom thumbnail would drive more engagement.
I was dead wrong.
In fact, it can increase your engagement by 154%.
Just one look at clickbait-style sites like Buzzfeed can show you how these tactics can work.
They use attention-grabbing headlines and, more importantly, intriguing thumbnails to drive clicks:
Thumbnails are basically like your meta description headlines in a typical SERP on Google.
And YouTube is a search engine. When a user searches keywords, they get results based on those queries.
So the same SEO rules apply. You shouldn’t just care about rank, but also the click-through rate, too.
Your title, thumbnail, and short description are what get people to click.
Notice all those keywords in the titles and description?
It’s just like your meta description on a typical blog post.
You want to target specific keywords to show up.
I digress. Back to the custom thumbnails!
Did you notice how almost every single video on that results page had a custom image?
We’re naturally drawn to imagery rather than text.
So using a compelling thumbnail should be your first step when trying to drive engagement and sales through YouTube videos.
In fact, the YouTube Creator Academy said that 90% of the best-performing videos on their platform have a custom thumbnail.
To create a custom thumbnail, simply start uploading your video and choose the “Custom thumbnail” option during the upload stage:
Here’s how to make your thumbnails compelling enough to drive tons of clicks and boost your CTR:
Build excitement and set expectations.
The best thumbnails on YouTube attract attention to the video and fill the user in on what they can expect.
Sometimes, the best thumbnails are clickbait. But remember: if your thumbnail is clickbait with no follow-through on the actual video, you can expect big drop-offs.
Here is a great example from iJustine on building excitement and setting the right expectations for your videos:
Or this one from Guess That Celebrity Tattoo that uses clickbait-style imagery to drive their CTR:
The title is “Guess That Celebrity Tattoo,” and their thumbnail perfectly sets the trap, almost forcing you to click.
It gets you wondering whose tattoo that is, even if you don’t care.
Make sure your branding is consistent.
Consistent branding is one of the best ways to create a custom thumbnail.
It allows you to stand out from the crowd easily. And helps your audience recognize your brand.
Now, when people are searching for videos, they’ll quickly recognize your stuff amongst the sea of other content!
It’s a great tool that I’ve used to get more clicks and drive more sales.
Let me give you an example. Here’s my website:
I maintain consistent orange, black, and gray colors throughout my site.
When you navigate to my YouTube channel, here’s what you see:
The same consistent colors and branding. Even the same general message!
And then here’s the consistency in branding and colors that I provide on my videos.
Notice the orange, black, and gray colors?
I even keep my clothes within that color scheme to make sure the branding is consistent. The result is that searchers will instantly recognize my content.
The famous YouTube channel Brave Wilderness does the same thing:
He keeps his branding consistent in every single video making it easier for people to find his content quickly.
Plus, it helps with recall, meaning that people will instantly see that branding logo and associate it with his great videos.
Use high-resolution images in your thumbnails.
Not just any old custom image will do. They need to be high resolution.
You wouldn’t post a tweet or Facebook post with a blurry or low-quality image, right?
Then you don’t want to do that on YouTube, where thumbnails are king at driving clicks.
YouTube’s prime thumbnail size, according to Google, is 1280X720:
That’s large if you’re unfamiliar with pixel sizes.
You’ll often have to manually resize most standard, low-quality images. Their image quality actually gets worse.
Instead, you need to start with an image that’s already larger than those sizes. That way, if you do have to crop or resize anything, you won’t lose image quality in the process.
People often have trouble creating designs that match up to the most popular YouTube content:
You don’t have 30 minutes to spend creating a thumbnail for every video, and you probably don’t have five years of experience on Adobe’s Photoshop platforms.
But, thankfully, Canva exists.
And they have a dedicated YouTube thumbnail creator!
The thumbnail editor will walk you through the process in a short, 20-second tutorial if you aren’t handy with design.
And they have tons of pre-set themes to choose from:
It’s an easy-to-use tool that will help you create much better thumbnails in minutes.
Tip #2. Keep your video style consistent
Keeping your custom thumbnails and branding consistent is a good start.
But you should be consistent in upload time, video length, and your niche.
Consistency across the board will only further help build your following.
It lets users know what they can expect from you. And that work is as concise and valuable as possible.
If you uploaded one video this week, five the next, and then waited another two months to publish again, you’d slowly start to lose traction.
You need to keep pushing out content to keep people interested and coming back for more.
If you are inconsistent, you can expect inconsistent traffic.
Start with the best upload times and days.
One of the best ways to maintain consistency is to upload at the same time, every time.
According to most major studies, the best times to post each day are:
Best times to post are based on daily primetime viewership hours.
When you think about typical daily schedules for people, these times make sense.
Many get off work around 5 p.m. or out of school at 3 p.m. on weekdays, so uploading just before that will help get your video directly to the people who have some free time to watch.
In addition to the best time, the best days to post tend to be later in the week:
Try to align your content schedule on YouTube with these dates and times if you want to pull in traffic and drive more sales.
Next, pay attention to the “best” video length.
Video length is another significant factor in driving more sales with YouTube.
Depending on your niche, you’ll want to keep your videos around the same length.
For example, if you’re focusing on tips and tricks like my channel does, you don’t want to post hour-long videos.
They need to be short and sweet so that people don’t lose focus.
Notice the consistency in video length on my videos:
They all range between the 2-3 minute mark.
Keeping it the same helps people know that I won’t add fluff to my videos and that I respect their time.
Instead of sifting through a 10-minute video, they get all of the action in just 2-3 minutes.
And this isn’t something I made up on my own: it’s backed up by data.
The videos on YouTube that get the most views are around that time range:
Wistia has found similar results, too.
The longer their video, the more engagement dropped off:
The key here, again, is to keep things consistent. If you are developing videos that are 2-3 minutes in length and are finding success, keep on doing it!
If your typical videos are long and people aren’t sticking around, try reducing the time and removing any fillers.
Tip #3. Use CTAs in every video
One of my favorite tactics to increase sales on YouTube is using calls to action in every single video.
You can use end-screen CTAs to drive people back to your site and convert them to new customers.
It’s incredibly easy, and they work well.
And if you’ve been immersed in the marketing industry for awhile, you know the value of being explicit when asking users to take action.
If you want someone to like your video, you have to say it.
You can’t assume that people will do it on their own or even remember that they can.
Heck, I forget to like videos all the time on YouTube. Unless someone says it.
Why? You’re too busy watching the video to think about clicking like. If someone says it, it triggers that action in your mind.
Here’s an example from Brian Dean:
Instead of assuming that someone will like your video, tell them to do it!
In a YouTube channel study, Internet Marketing Ninjas found that using a subscribe CTA lifted a channel’s subscriptions by 3,100%.
Yes, you read that correctly. 3,100%.
You can drive tons of traffic and sales by using CTAs that link out to your site.
Here’s how to set them up yourself.
YouTube recently changed their capabilities to feature End Screen annotations, rather than during the video itself. They nudge users to look at other videos from your page or take other actions you set up.
Thankfully, these are very effective.
Here’s an example of what they look like:
To get started on yours, head to your YouTube account under the “Video Manager” section:
Next, click on the video that you want to add CTAs and annotations to:
Click the “End screen & Annotations” option from the drop down menu.
Then, on that video, select End screen:
Next, choose the option to use templates that YouTube already gives you:
These templates are all free and can quickly help you link back to your site, a new ebook, or anything else for which you want to drive traffic and sales.
Is your video about a particular product? You can easily link back to your site when the video is over, driving tons of relevant traffic:
Another way to replicate the old YouTube annotations is using Cards.
These Cards help you drive traffic to your website, include interactive questions or polls, or simply use basic CTAs that drive people to like and subscribe.
They are also very easy to setup. And can be perfect for driving tons of traffic and new customers.
Here’s how to get started.
First, navigate back to the “Video Manager”:
Edit the video of your choice, and select “Cards” from the menu:
Next, click “Add card” and choose the card that you want to use:
You can link to your products, website or blog, or promote different videos and even encourage users to participate in a poll.
Just enter your link and get started.
If you need a little extra help with your Cards, check out this video:
The popularity of video marketing is jumping sky high.
It’s worked for me. I started making YouTube videos and was able to drive tons of traffic.
Videos have helped me build a loyal following that engages and interacts with CTAs.
And they work.
People like seeing images and video more than reading text. 4X more, in fact.
If you want to drive more sales, consider prioritizing video.
There are many ways to do this, but when it comes to daily views and time spent on the site, YouTube is unparalleled.
Make high-quality custom thumbnails, keep your videos consistent, and be sure to always use a CTA to drive traffic back to your site and convert those leads.
How have you used YouTube or other videos to grow your business?