YouTube Video marketing is a necessary skill for every marketer and business owner.
Video marketing is using video to achieve business goals like promoting your facility, educating families about your amenities and of course, acquiring new residents.
Video has become a common marketing tool because of the growth of video hosting platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia.
YouTube is the most popular video hosting platform in the world. The website contains billions of videos on different subjects ranging from cooking to productivity and everything in between.
Users watch nearly 5 billion videos daily on the service and upload 300 hours of video every minute. With over 1.9 billion users, YouTube has evolved from a video hosting platform to become a search engine rivaled only by Google.
It’s no wonder that businesses are using YouTube marketing to generate leads, create awareness and drive engagement with their audience.
YouTube marketing is video marketing done on the YouTube platform. Hosting a video on YouTube enables assisted living communities to tap into the massive traffic the website generates to achieve marketing goals like lead generation and revenue growth.
Video content gives assisted living communities the opportunity to reach a wider audience on a single website.
Should You Be Using YouTube Marketing for Your Assisted Living Community?
The answer is a resounding yes!
If you aren’t already adding YouTube marketing to your overall marketing strategy, then it’s time to start.
- By 2020, video content will account for 83% of all traffic on the web. Neglecting video means your assisted living community will miss out on the traffic, revenue and lead generation that will come from your audience who primarily consume video content.
- One-third of internet users are on YouTube. This is a huge number that contains your target market whom you can engage directly on YouTube using video content.
- 85% of all US internet users watch online videos. Your target market already consumes this content, it would be remiss of your assisted living community not to create video content that your customers will interact with.
- 1 in 4 people says they have searched for videos on YouTube to help with research when faced with a purchase decision. Your target audience is most likely using YouTube to conduct research on assisted living communities in their area. You can create video content like testimonials, tours or explainer videos to aid potential customers to make buying decisions.
- YouTube mobile consumption is expected to grow 100% each year. The best thing about mobile video consumers is that 92% of them share videos with their friends and family.
Now you know how much benefit YouTube marketing holds for your assisted living community, the question is how do you get started?
Create a YouTube Business Channel
This is the first step in your YouTube marketing journey. Creating a YouTube channel isn’t as straightforward as you’d expect. You can’t just go sign up on YouTube. This is because YouTube is owned by Google and every Google account owner gets a YouTube account automatically.
Open a Google account
If you already own a Google account for your assisted living community, you can use that to create your channel.
If you don’t own a Google business account, visit Google to create one.
When creating your account, choose the “Manage my Business” option when it pops up and fills in your details.
Create a YouTube business channel
With your Google account created, it’s time to visit YouTube and log in. The login details for your Google Account are the same for your YouTube account.
Click on the account icon and choose “My Channel” from the drop-down menu. An option to create a new channel will appear.
Go to the bottom and click on the “Use business name” option. This will take you to a new page where you will input the name of your business and hit “Create”.
The name you choose for your YouTube business account must be consistent with the rest of your online presence.
Say your social media accounts and website bear the name Holy Oaks Homes, your YouTube business channel should follow in the same vein.
You can change the name of your brand YouTube account anytime by going to “Account Settings”.
Customize Your YouTube Brand Account
The next step after creating your YouTube brand account is customization. Press “customize channel” and take the following steps:
This is your YouTube profile picture. It is usually the first thing visitors to your channel will see. Click on the blue profile picture at the upper left-hand side of your screen and follow the prompts to upload your channel icon.
For branding purposes, make sure this icon is also consistent with images (like your logo) associated with your business on other online platforms. YouTube recommends you use an image that is 800 x 800 px. The image of your choice can be round or square shaped.
This is another name for your YouTube banner. To upload a YouTube banner, press the “Add channel art” button in the center of where your channel art is meant to be.
YouTube recommends uploading an image that is 2560 x 1440 px to ensure your banner shows up on all types of devices. Your channel art should also tie into your overall online branding.
Go to the “About” tab and add a short description of your Assisted Living Community. This description should inform viewers about your business and the video content you will be uploading.
Add relevant keywords in your channel description as YouTube and other search engines index the content and incorporate its context as a ranking signal.
YouTube allows you to add 5 links in the “About” tab. You can fill that space by adding the URL of your assisted living community website and social media pages.
Adding your social media pages will make it easy for subscribers to connect with you on other platforms. Also, add your business email so subscribers can contact you directly from YouTube.
Set permissions to your YouTube brand channel to grant access to other team members if you won’t be managing the channel alone.
To grant access, go to “Settings” and click on “Add or remove manager” and follow the prompt. Bear in mind that only owners and managers can edit a channel.
Develop a YouTube Marketing Strategy
Like every other form of marketing, YouTube marketing needs a defined strategy. This strategy serves as a roadmap that enables you to reach your business goals.
This is how to create a YouTube marketing strategy for your assisted living facility:
Define your goals
What goals do you want to achieve with YouTube marketing? Your goal could be to increase engagement or the number of subscribers to your channel.
Whatever your goals may be, they must be SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound).
For example, a SMART goal can increase engagement on facility tour videos by 30% over a 4-month period.
Defining your goals gives you a benchmark against which you can measure the success of your YouTube marketing efforts.
Knowing your target audience makes it simple to produce a video they will interact with. So audience research is a crucial part of your YouTube marketing strategy.
Since you already have an audience for your assisted living community, audience research is as good as done.
You just have to research the video content those visiting your assisted living community want to see, like resident testimonials, and produce exactly that.
Content creation and frequency
Create a content calendar with video ideas and posting schedules. Turn your video ideas into fully developed scripts to make video production easier.
Having a content calendar with all your video content ideas in one place enables you shoot and produce videos en masse.
This makes it easy to stick to a posting schedule. A set posting time keeps your audience engaged as they know the exact day to expect content from your channel.
A Call to Action encourages your audience to perform actions you need them to. This action may take the form of subscribing to your channel, watching more videos or visiting your website.
Too many CTAs in one video can be annoying and may turn off your viewers. This is why the placement of your CTA is important. The general consensus is to place your CTA towards the end of your video to ensure viewers know the next step to take.
External distribution channels
Given that video content gets more 1200% more shares on social media than text, distributing your YouTube videos on social media is a must.
Videos also do amazingly well in emails. Use your email newsletters and social networks to drive traffic, views, and subscribers to your YouTube channel.
Remember, most social media platforms prefer videos that are posted directly on their platform rather than a YouTube link.
A good compromise is to create short snippets that work for different social networks with a link to the full video on YouTube.
Another external channel to consider are Q&A sites like Quora. Search for questions that relate to your videos and answer them.
Add a link to your video so readers who want further information can watch your videos.
Collaborating with other channels helps you find a new audience and grow your subscriber base.
Collaborating with other brands and influencers in the assisted living industry positions your channel as a trustworthy source.
Find channels and influencers in your niche whom your audience will love and reach out to them.
You can even feature influencers from other platforms on your YouTube channel provided they are in the same industry.
Craft Video Content
The belief that creating video content is expensive has stopped many assisted living communities from tapping into the magic of YouTube marketing.
Crafting video content doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.
Choose types of video content
The goal you wish to achieve with YouTube marketing will determine the video content you create.
Explainer, Q&A, facility tours, open houses, resident activities, and testimonial videos are great for educating your audience about your facility.
A one person style vlog can be your go-to video for engaging your audience on topics they care about.
A behind-the-scenes and interview videos make creating awareness of your assisted living community a breeze.
Write a video outline and script
Writing a video outline is creating the sequence of scenes your video will follow and the talking points in each scene.
This outline will have a short explanation of each scene and all the lines you plan to say.
If your video requires graphs and infographics, add them in the scenes they appear in. A video outline will make shooting your video effortless.
Scout a shooting location
Your shooting location may vary depending on what kind of video you plan to shoot.
An interview with an assisted living industry influencer may take place in an office. A resident testimonial video may take place outside in a garden.
Scout your shooting location beforehand and make sure it’s quiet enough to promote strong audio.
How long should your video be in this era of dwindling attention spans?
You may have heard online that 2 minutes is the sweet spot for videos. While short videos perform well on other platforms, it is a different ball game on YouTube. Longer videos work better on YouTube.
While your video can be as long as you want, you need to provide exceptional content to justify the length.
A 5-minute video packed with information is better than a 13-minute video that has been artificially extended with long pauses and transitions to take advantage of the fact that longer videos rank better on YouTube.
Pace your video well and avoid unnecessary pauses.
Shoot the video
This is the part of creating videos that give everyone pause. Shooting videos don’t require a fancy camera and thousands of dollars in the budget.
You can shoot an amazing video on your iPhone. The simple trick is to film your videos in landscape mode.
With a tripod and lapel mic, you can shoot professional quality videos with great audio and none of the shakiness often associated with mobile phones. Lapel mics and tripods are cheap and readily available online.
Remember to shoot more than you need as you may need to cut it down during editing but you can’t always go back and shoot more.
There are tons of software to help you edit the videos you shoot for your assisted living community.
Free editing software like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker come with most computers and can handle basic editing tasks like cutting clips together, adding titles and more.
YouTube also has its own online editing platform where you can do all your video editing. High-end software like Final Cut X Pro offers more editing options than most free software.
Thumbnails are images that viewers will see when on the YouTube search result pages before clicking on a video.
Great thumbnails can increase the number of clicks and views your videos get. While YouTube auto-generates thumbnails for videos, they also report that videos with customized thumbnails get more views.
As you film your video, keep an eye out for great shots that you can use as a video thumbnail. This shot should be an accurate representation of your video content.
YouTube recommends using images that are 1280 x 720 px as thumbnails. Only verified accounts can upload custom thumbnails, visit the YouTube verify page to get your channel verified.
Sound effects and music elevate the quality of a video. A soundtrack may serve as an intro and set the tone for the rest of the video. It may also be used in scene transitions or as background sound depending on your needs.
Quality soundtracks don’t cost an arm and a leg anymore. YouTube offers free soundtracks in its audio library. You can search for a soundtrack by genre, mood, instrument, duration, and attribution.
Pay close attention to the music you select and make sure to attribute the soundtrack if it calls for it. A good practice is to attribute all soundtracks regardless of the attribution license type.
Execute YouTube SEO Best Practices
Besides being the largest repository of videos online, YouTube is also a giant search engine.
Once you have mastered the art of creating videos, video optimization is the next step.
Proper optimization makes finding your videos easier on the search results page.
Keyword research is the first step you take in optimizing your videos. You need to generate a list of keywords.
You can do this by typing the keyword you have in mind into a YouTube search. Like Google autocomplete, YouTube gives you a list of related keywords that people search for.
Using a YouTube tool like vidIQ browser extension, you can pick out the best keyword out of your list.
A great keyword is one that has a high search volume and low competition. A low competition keyword enables you to rank easily while high search volume opens up the potential for more views on your videos.
Search each keyword on your list and use the vidIQ analysis on the right-hand corner of your screen to gauge the keyword search volume and competitiveness.
This tool also shows you the total number of views for your keyword, average views, the average age of videos, top related keywords, and more useful stats.
For example, if you searched the term “assisted living”, you will get a vidIQ analysis that shows a high search volume score of 75, a low competition score of 9, average views of 828k, the number of times the keyword appears in titles (18/20), description (14/20) and related search terms .
Create a compelling title that contains your keyword. Your video title is one of the first things viewers see before clicking on your video.
Adding your keyword ensures watchers will find your videos when they search for it.
Keep your title short, around 60-70 characters, to keep your full title from being cut off when it appears on the search results page.
Just like the title, your video description needs to be optimized with your keyword.
While descriptions on YouTube can be up to 5,000 characters, only the first 2-3 lines show up on the search results page. Viewers have to click “show more” to see your full description.
Make those 2-3 lines count by crafting a striking brief that sells your video and has your keyword in it.
After your killer 2-3 liner, you can include more information with your keywords, links to your social media pages and website.
Attribution for soundtrack and graphics should also be in your description.
You have probably noticed the up next videos on the right-hand corner (desktop) or below (mobile) when watching a YouTube video.
This is the work of tags. They help to associate your video with similar ones to increase its reach.
When tagging videos, use your keywords first. Use the vidIQ chrome extension to get an excellent idea of the kinds of tags you need.
When analyzing your keyword, you will see an option to enable “inline keywords”.
Enabling this function shows the tags that top performing videos with the same keywords are using. This should give you a great idea of tags to use.
YouTube allows you to choose a category once you upload your video. This is to enable them to group your content with similar ones.
You can classify the video from your assisted living community into 14 YouTube categories under “Advanced settings”.
Captions and subtitles
Captions and subtitles aid viewers who may be deaf or those who aren’t very familiar with English watching your videos.
This helps you reach even more people than you thought possible. Since you will be saying your keywords in your videos, they will appear in your subtitles and captions which will boost your search rankings.
You can upload a transcript or subtitle file in YouTube Studio. Simply click on “Videos” and the title you wish to add a subtitle file to. Choose your video’s language and upload your subtitle file.
Cards and end screens
Cards and end screens let you link to your website or direct viewers to more videos. While similar, cards and end screens are a bit different.
Cards are small notifications that pop up on the upper right-hand corner of the screen while watching a video either on desktop or mobile.
You can add up to 5 cards in a video via Creator Classic Studio. If you’re adding multiple cards in your video, space them properly so viewers can take the desired actions.
End screens enable you to extend your video by 5 seconds or more so you can promote a YouTube video or channel, tell viewers to subscribe or even link to your website.
End screens are perfect for keeping your viewers engaged. YouTube requires every creator on its platform to promote a YouTube video or playlist at the end of each video.
Head over to Video Manager and click on end screens on the drop-down menu to create one.
YouTube analytics is crucial to your overall YouTube marketing success. With analytics, you can gauge your progress against benchmarks you set while preparing your YouTube marketing strategy.
Analytics data enables you to test new strategies and change old ones so you can achieve your goals.
YouTube Analytics houses your dashboard where you can get data on the performance of your videos for the last 28 days.
You can increase the timeframe to get more data by clicking on a drop-down menu in the upper right-hand side.
Watch time is the total time viewers spend watching your videos. When you divide watch time by views, you end up with an interesting metric called average view duration. This metric is measured for individual videos and your channel.
Since YouTube is focused on getting people to stay longer on their platform, they reward videos that accomplish this.
So if your videos have a high average view duration, YouTube is likely to rank your video higher in search results, suggest and recommend your videos to more people.
Audience retention tracks how engaged your viewers are over a certain time. The reports show your average view duration, best performing videos, etc.
Retention rate is the percentage of your video people watch. If you upload a video that is 8 minutes long and people watch only 6 minutes, your retention rate is 75%.
You can track which moments in your videos are popular with your audience by clicking on absolute audience retention.
This can be helpful in guiding future content creation. Use relative audience retention to compare your video’s retention rate to other videos of similar length on YouTube.
This report shows how viewers are finding your videos. This is an important metric that is invaluable in video promotion.
If your viewers are coming from Quora, YouTube Search, and Facebook, you can promote your videos more on these platforms.
This data can also help you refine your videos to appeal to viewers from other sources.
Demographics reports on the gender and age of your audience. You can even get a further breakdown of your audience by geographical location.
This is an important metric for understanding your audience and improving your target audience personas for YouTube marketing.
This provides insight into the content your audience loves. It shows the videos they are clicking on, commenting on and sharing with others.
It shows you which videos resonate best with your audience so you can focus on producing what your audience wants to see.
Engagement report also shows the performance of your cards and end screens. You can change your CTAs placement based on this data.
YouTube marketing for your assisted living community isn’t difficult. As you upload more videos, create playlists to segment your videos so viewers can watch similar content from your channel.
Remember to repurpose your YouTube videos for your other marketing channels like emails and social media.
As you know, I love hearing from Assisted Living communities. Are you producing video content and marketing on YouTube? Please leave a comment and share your experience.
And if you need professional help with your marketing to drive in new residents, don’t hesitate to reach out.