5 YouTube hacks to maximise your video marketing efforts


I remember a conversation with a fellow resident many years ago, arguing over the future of print media like we often did. I am a woman of words – always have been. Back in 2010, I didn’t see how anybody would choose video over text. Cut to today, I eat my words all the time as I consume practically all of my information and entertainment from videos, as do you I am sure. From 11-second tips and tricks to a full hour of live interviews, from slo-mo driving videos to hyper lapse dusks, video has truly taken over the way the way interact, consume information, and market products and services.

Image : shutterstock

Today, YouTube alone has the second greatest reach after Facebook. As a search engine, it ranks just below its parent company, Google. Video is a marketer’s Holy Grail these days, and why not? Several native searches are biased to videos and our multiscreen culture is making sure engagement comes from content that says what it has to, entertains while it does, and gets out of our faces quickly. That is exactly where videos are winning.

If you are new to video or YouTube marketing, here is a quick list of cool hacks that not many know about:

Create links that lets viewers start a video at a certain time

Click ‘share’ just below the video title. Under the first tab, you will see a box that says ‘Start at’ the box next to ‘Start at:’. Check and enter when you need the video to start in HH:MM:SS format. You can also pause the video at exact moment you want it to start and it will auto fill this field.

Upload transcripts to enhance your chances to show up in search

Transcription is one of the criteria that Google and YouTube use to rank videos. If you already have one at hand, use it. You only need to click on CC (stands for ‘closed captions’ or subtitles) and you will be presented with three options to: (1) Upload a transcript file (2) Paste a full transcript and YouTube will generate subtitle timings (3) Type as you watch the video

In fact, typing as you watch the video is also not as painful as it sounds – YouTube gives you the option to pause the video when you type.

Custom URLs

YouTube, much like LinkedIn, lets you customise your handle URL. Brands must use it to ensure their handles are easy to remember. To do this, you just need to go to YouTube account settings and click ‘advanced’ in the ‘Name’ section. If eligible for a custom URL, you will see the option there. Click on it and save the URL you want. This process is irreversible, so make sure you think through the URL you want before you claim it on YouTube.

Add clickable links to videos

YouTube lets you add clickable links, or as they like to call them, ‘annotations’, to your videos. Brands can use these annotations to direct viewers to their website or campaign site, subscribe to the channel, etc.

Only verified accounts can add clickable links to their videos and your account would also need external linking turned on. Next, go to Video Manager and find the video you want to add the link to. In the ‘Edit’ drop down menu, select ‘End Screen and Annotations’, go to ‘Annotations’ and select from the five types of annotations that YouTube allows – Speech Bubble, Note, Title, Spotlight, and Label. You can then customise the fonts and general sizing and placement for your annotation. This is where you have a checkbox labeled ‘Link’ – click on it. Once done, click ‘Apply changes’ and you are done!

Find audio for your content – on YouTube

YouTube has a large library of royalty-free, high-quality, 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects at your disposal. All you have to do is go to YouTube's Audio Library in the Creator Studio. You can search for sounds (eg. raindrops) or search by category (examples range from human voices to vehicle sounds). You can also look for music. You will probably not find Ed Sheeran here, but you will find reasonably good music for your videos, ranging from Alternative & Punk to Reggae and Rock, and everything in between.

Clearly, video marketing is not hard or expensive anymore, even if you are a bootstrapped startup comprising of two founders. You just know where to look. And finally, just to end the story of the argument between the fellow resident and me – turns out that seven years later, he won that round!

Here are a few more reads on video marketing, to help you get started:

  1. How to simplify video making process for startups
  2. Lessons in viral marketing from the Content Marketer of the Year
  3. Videos are taking over the internet, here’s how to boost your video marketing
  4. Why you need to get into video marketing right now
  5. 9 affordable video marketing strategies for startups in 2016


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