How to Make the Most of YouTube: Think Inside The Box

YouTubeThere have been a lot of conversations about how to use YouTube to earn money but I want to discuss how to use YouTube as a part of a social media strategy; specifically, how to best take advantage of the description box below videos. Let’s start with this: YouTube is the place people go to discover music. It is often the first stop on the customer journey. It is the #2 search engine after Google and the #1 search engine for music. So what should you do with this information?

Let’s look at a basic customer journey that starts with interest, leads to becoming a fan and ends with a paying customer. People discover music on YouTube. They hear about an artist and search for them on YouTube. It doesn’t matter if it is a new artist or a new video. It is new to the person searching. So what do you want to say to them? They just discovered you.

This is where the box comes into play. You know there is a text box under every video. How you fill that box with information is critical. This is your first direct contact with a potential fan. Do you leave the box empty? Do you fill it with the name of the video director? The copyright information? Label name? Sadly this is the common use.

Instead this could be a welcome message. A little info about the artist, links to social networks, websites or other videos. Or what about lyrics? Or links to tour dates? If an artist is active, shouldn’t they update every video regardless of how old it is with current tour dates? Shouldn’t all the older videos also mention newer videos or new albums? In fact, updating that box should be at a minimum a weekly function. If you are not updating the box you are essentially ignoring all the potential fans. If you were a retail store it would be like ignoring every person that walked into the shop — and not even displaying any of the new merchandise.

The key is to message appropriately. A new potential fan should get information that assumes they don’t know anything about the artist. That is how you should use the box. A person that has been converted to a fan that follows an artist on Facebook or Twitter gets different information. And the most engaged fan that has given an email address and might purchase directly gets yet another level of information.

So don’t just think outside the box. Work inside it.

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