More Than Cat Videos: YouTube as a Dealership Marketing Engine

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of YouTube?

For many, it's probably cat videos, people falling down, and viral challenges that might get you killed.

For businesses and marketers, thinking of YouTube brings to mind the possibilities of video marketing ­— everything from traditional commercials to specially curated digital content.

Video marketing is a booming business and YouTube, with over one billion hours of videos watched per day and a monthly viewership equal to roughly 10 Super Bowl audiences, is the premier online platform for it.

Everything we know about today’s digital audiences suggests that traditional media is on the way out. An estimated 22 million adults cut the cable cord in 2017, up 33 percent from 2016. This is a void that YouTube can help fill, since by its very nature it’s better suited to meet the demands of an increasingly diverse customer base who consume media far differently than previous generations.

About those customers: They aren’t just watching for entertainment, but doing actual research — including on the products and services you offer. Shoppers are watching videos that directly influence their vehicle purchasing behavior.

Boosting SEO

We know it’s important to have a video presence on YouTube for its own sake, but how does that presence boost SEO and link-building?

YouTube is also a search engine. Don't forget that Google owns YouTube, which means the content of the videos you post, depending on the quality and relevance for Google’s users, can help you with your organic search ranking on the only search engine larger and more powerful than YouTube itself.

Using the right keywords in your video description can help you attract a wider audience and help viewers locate your content more easily. How do you know what makes for an effective keyword on YouTube? An easy way to start is simply typing a word or phrase into YouTube’s Search Suggest feature, which will literally hand you a bunch of keywords related to what you typed in. These are terms that people actually type into YouTube, meaning you know they’re popular and thus, effective.

One final piece of advice: always encourage your viewers to comment, as there is a strong correlation between comments (which indicate engagement) and YouTube ranking. That in turn signals to Google that your content is meeting users’ needs and should rank highly in its own search results, as well.

Building Links

Those are some initial steps to optimize your YouTube videos for SEO, but what about building links to the rest of your online presence?

Leveraging your social media presence is really a no-brainer since, in today’s digital age where the lines between the personal, professional, and commercial have all blurred, building your customer base will always have a social aspect to it.

Posting links to your YouTube videos (and, conversely, pushing your social media presence in your video content) will increase your overall traffic and help you consolidate a targeted audience — one that is predisposed to your offers and promotions.

Finally, always be sure to include a link to your website and any other digital resources you can offer potential customers in the description of your videos.

Video marketing is an exciting and popular advertising frontier, but in your rush to create and post content, don’t overlook the fact that this service is fundamentally a search engine. Video isn’t valuable just because of the reach and possible conversions it can offer on its own merits. Video also plays a key part in a larger strategy to boost SEO and build links to your social media.

Approach YouTube with the same mindset you would use to boost your digital presence through other channels, and watch your business boom.