8 Easy Ways to Optimize Video Content

By Maxtreme

It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words, but internet users have shown that video is worth many, many more. Some studies have shown that 80 percent of users have remembered watching a video ad in the past month, with 46 percent acting afterward, visiting the advertiser’s website or learning more about the product or service.

With all generations, not just millennials, using video platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, it’s important for higher education to use video in their digital marketing campaigns.

Here are 8 easy steps to optimize your video content and reach more prospective students online.

  1. Host your video on YouTube
    It may seem counter intuitive to host videos on a platform other than your school’s website. However, it is beneficial for a few key reasons.

    • YouTube is incredibly popular, with more than 1.3 billion users. It’s also the second-largest search engine in number of search queries. People often go straight to the source, in this case, YouTube, to look for the video content they want.
    • YouTube is owned by Google. This offers benefits including fast load times, an advanced and efficient search capabilities, and user-friendly share capabilities.
    • Statistics on many videos are publicly available, so you can glean insights into the performance of top-rated videos. In addition, YouTube offers its account holders a full suite of analytics tools. This makes it easy for you to measure and improve performance.

    No matter where you host your videos, be sure to optimize them for YouTube by adding tags. Tags function in the same way as keywords and can boost your search rankings. You’ll also want to encourage users to engage with your videos on YouTube. Comments, likes, and bookmarks all factor into how well your content is received and affects your rankings.

  2. Create Unique Web Pages for Your Videos
    It may take some time, but it’s a wise decision to create a unique page for each video on your website. This way you’ll have a unique URL to share on social media, in email marketing campaigns, and through onsite links.

    Having unique URLS can also make it easier to create a video sitemap, or a list of all your video URLs. This allows Google to index the URL appropriately as a video page.

  3. Add Schema to Videos
    An added benefit is adding schema tags to videos. “Schema” stands for “shared markup vocabulary” with the goal of standardizing SEO. Schema is endorsed by top search engines, such as Google, Bing, and YouTube.

    Schema code is indexed differently than the other site content. The schema.org code tells the website what specific content means, not just what is says.

    For example, if you use schema to highlight an event such as an open house, Google will interpret the content as “event” and display it as such.

    Schema tags can include your school’s location, people featured in the videos, descriptions, transcripts of the text, and more. This can boost engagement and provide users the info they need right away—such as a contact email or phone number for an admissions’ counselor.

  4. Add Engagement – and Interactive Elements – to Your Videos
    Maximize SEO and increase leads by overlaying your video content with interactive links. YouTube Cards are interactive options that include text, images, and links. YouTube Cards can be used to link to your website, other video content, and also encourage viewers and prospective students to subscribe to your channel.
  5. Influencer Marketing &Brand Ambassadors
    If you really want your message to resonate with potential students, brand ambassadors are the way to go. This is a part of “influencer marketing,” where the focus is placed on influential persons instead of the target market as a whole. Influencers often have a large social media following, but may also have a smaller, yet targeted following.

    These influencers or brand ambassadors help promote your school to the target market. Because of their social media cache, they have a direct line to markets you want to reach. Perhaps most importantly, these influencers have built a level of trust with their audience, which goes a long way in generating leads and creating conversions.

  6. Optimize Video Metadata
    Title, description, and thumbnail metadata are the most important search engine ranking factors in videos. Keep your titles clear and concise, so users (and search engines) know exactly what the content will be. You can add more details and relevant keywords in the video’s description.

    Use tags wisely. Time is of the essence, as Google cares more about how long people watch, instead of how many watch. Use ample, relevant keywords. Make sure they fit with your brand and that they will interest the people for whom the video was intended.

    Create a full description. Don’t skimp on detail! Clearly describe key points of the video. This will make it easy for web crawlers to see not only what the video has to offer, but also that it’s valuable content.

    Also, be sure to use relevant keywords, to help optimize the video for YouTube and Google. This can help boost your video’s SERP position.

  7. Closed-captioning and transcripts
    It’s part of optimizing your video, but is important enough to warrant its own checkpoint. Closed-captioning and transcripts are a great service to provide for audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also allow users to watch the video on mute, but still get all the information they need.

    Closed-captioning and transcripts also can help you in search. When closed-captions are created, they generate a text file that the video references as it plays. This text file is read and indexed by web crawlers, which can help boost your video in the SERPs.

    Web crawlers index the text found in video transcripts. This helps them gain a greater understanding of the content, which can help boost your SERPs results. Transcripts are also great for pulling quotes and soundbites that can be used as pop-up visuals in the video, or other campaign marketing, like banner ads.

  8. Know your audience
    It may sound obvious, but it’s worth saying: When you make a video, know your audience. Don’t fall into the trap of delivering what you think they want; instead, find out what they really want. Create personas so you can better tailor content to your different audiences. Are they returning students, who are going back to school after taking a break? Are they high school students looking to jump right into college after graduation? What time are they usually online? You can have a perfectly targeted video but if you’re playing it at a time when your prime audience is away from a screen it’s a waste.

To Sum It Up…

In short, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least a million! Today video is the method people of all ages use to get the information they need, whether it’s from a desktop at home or checking their mobile device when they’re on the go.

That’s why more and more digital marketers are not only using video, they are optimizing it for maximum ROI. Follow these tips to optimize your video content and you’ll be sure to watch your return grown.

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