Using YouTube for marketing is a smart way to reach the video-obsessed masses—which comprises the vast majority of people browsing the internet today. Populating a YouTube channel with content for your brand provides yet another way for you to be seen—by both your followers and search engines that determine your search ranking. To benefit from YouTube to the fullest extent, there’s more to it than simply uploading a video and calling it a day. Crafting effective YouTube video descriptions can help your audience identify what it is watching and tip off search engines to the keywords you would like to rank for.
What is a YouTube video description?
A YouTube video description is the text that appears below a video describing what it is. There are also YouTube channel descriptions that summarize what an entire YouTube channel is all about. These appear in the “About” section of a YouTube channel.
Pretty simple, right? To optimize your brand’s yield from running a YouTube page, pay attention to these specifics of crafting effective YouTube descriptions.
Writing effective YouTube video descriptions
Be clear and accurate
A description should clearly and accurately describe what a video is about. While your copy should be original, this is no place to get too fancy with your wording. Simply get to the point—and make sure that you are telling viewers exactly what they can expect from your video.
Keywords, keywords, keywords—they are so important! YouTube descriptions offer yet another venue to associate your content with keywords. Select one to two main keywords to use in your video descriptions. These keywords should be relevant to your content and should be ones that you would hope to rank for. Repeat your selected keywords two-to-three times throughout (but no more than that). You can also employ secondary keywords to better let search engines know what said content is associated with.
Structure copy appropriately
In newswriting, the idea is to start with the main point and then fill in with the most-important to the smallest supporting details from there (called the inverted pyramid). This is done so that if someone only reads the beginning of a story, he or she still gets the gist. Structure your YouTube descriptions similarly. The rule of thumb here is to start with keywords and end with links. More on that in our next point.
End with a call to action
Never forget your call to action! YouTube allows you to include any number of links in your video descriptions, so use that to your advantage (without overdoing it). At the end of your description, include links to your relevant websites, product pages and/or other social media accounts. It’s an opportunity to let people know where they can go to find out more about your brand.
Take advantage of additional features
Other features, like hashtags and timestamps, can come in handy when writing effective YouTube video descriptions. Hashtags work here like they would on any other platform—acting as links to content that shares the same hashtag. Don’t go overboard on the hashtags, however (stick to 10 or less), and make sure they are all relevant!
Timestamps are another way to make your descriptions user-friendly. Using timestamps, you can break up your video into palatable parts for your consumers.
Give credit where credit is due
Keep it kosher—make sure to give credit when necessary in your descriptions! If you used someone else’s music, photos or even footage, make sure to list them and links to their contact info at the bottom of your YouTube video descriptions.
YouTube is a powerful tool to take out of your digital marketing toolbox. To make the most of the platform, make sure you’re taking the time to craft effective YouTube video descriptions to help both your viewers and search engines better digest your content.
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