Leveraging teaser videos and YouTube annotations to drive traffic to your site [how to]

By in Video How-To

In our how-to guide on creating the ultimate video marketing studio, we focused on the production side of video and how to enable a steady stream of video content without spending a ton of dough.

This week, we’re shifting gears and focusing on generating traffic to your site. Specifically, we’re going to focus on leveraging the power of YouTube, teaser videos and YouTube annotations. It’s probably one of the most effective 1-2-3 punches you can combine to maximize views that end up where they matter most – your website or conversion page. So, let’s step through each of those punches. First stop, the power of YouTube.

The power of YouTube

Being the smart marketer that you are, you’re likely already using a number of channels to drive traffic to your site, such as email, paid traffic, search engines, social networks and the standard gamut of online marketing and content channels.

However, if YouTube isn’t at the top of your list of traffic generators, you may want to reconsider. YouTube isn’t just the ‘go-to’ site for online video; it’s also the number three most-trafficked website on the Internet. It’s an extremely powerful social network in its own right, with hundreds of millions of daily active users. That makes an even stronger case to include it, and video content, as part of your overall channel strategy.

Our next swing (or jab or stab) is called the “teaser” video, and it packs a pretty mean punch.

The teaser video – leave them wanting more

Recall that your goal here is to drive traffic to your site or conversion page. So, while YouTube can help you reach that large audience, you’re going to need video content to post on YouTube that does two things: engages your audience and leaves them wanting more. This brings us to the technique of creating “teaser” video content.

Your teaser video should work hard to engage your audience and provide full and complete value in and of itself. You certainly don’t want to only “half answer” a question, issue or topic. The “tease” comes from illustrating that even more great content just like this exists on your website.

For example, maybe your teaser video explains three innovative techniques for driving email open rates, so you do a great job of sharing those techniques in your video. But then, at the end of the video, you can also say there are five more tips on driving email open rates available on your website. The idea is to establish that you can deliver valuable content to this prospect and that there is a wealth more at your website. If you’ve done a good job, then that’s exactly where they’ll head.

How can your YouTube video work extra hard to drive prospects to your site for more great content? That’s our third knock-out punch: YouTube annotations.

YouTube annotations: drive traffic to your site

YouTube annotations are short calls to action that appear on the screen while the video is playing. These calls to action are linked to your website, or specific conversion page, where you’d like your viewers to go to next. At Vidyard, we’re big fans of video calls to action, and YouTube annotations are a great example of how to work harder to help people down your conversion funnel.

Earlier we mentioned that you can do a call-out at the end of your video to drive people to your website to learn more. While you should still do this, the annotations provide extra support to drive that next step, and they do this in two ways. First, YouTube annotations can appear throughout the video so the viewer can jump out at any time instead of having to wait until the end of the video to learn how to get more great content. Second, annotations are pretty overt… as a call to action they are providing a super clear next step. The last thing you want is for the video to end and then have your prospect explore other alternatives on YouTube.

Once the viewer sees your annotations and clicks through to your website or conversion page, that’s the moment your YouTube channel is now driving quality traffic to your business. The 1-2-3 punch is complete!

Rare Republic Video

As you can see in the example above, Andrew Coppolino decided to use multiple annotations within his video, including the link to the Rare Republic homepage as highlighted.

In our post about how to use YouTube the right way, we featured Home Depot and their excellent use of “How To” video guides to drive traffic from YouTube to their website. At that time however, YouTube annotations were not available. Now would be a great time for them to go back and add annotations to their video content to drive even stronger results.

Keep testing and iterating with annotations

Just understanding the power of YouTube, implementing the strategy of teaser content and using YouTube annotations will take you a long way. So give yourself a high five once you’ve got your first few YouTube videos up and running this way.

At the same time, know that nailing the right calls to action for your annotations can make a big difference on click-through rates to your site. Using different calls to action and monitoring YouTube analytics can help you realize which calls to action are creating higher click rates than others. Not only does the call to action matter, but the time the annotation is seen and placement of your annotation in the frame can also determine whether or not the viewer will be more willing to click.

Now go do it

So there you have it, your 1-2-3 punch to drive traffic to your site using the power of YouTube, teaser video content and YouTube annotations. No doubt, like all worthwhile marketing endeavors, it’s going to take a little bit of work to put it all together. So make your goal getting that first one out of the gate and take things from there. You’ll be glad you did.

Editor’s Note: Are you video marketing conversion ninja? Have you leveraged YouTube to drive new leads to your conversion point? We want to talk to you! Send us an email or tweet @Vidyard and we can chat!

See how Taulia uses funny B2B videos to generate $125M in pipeline!

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