If you’re a basketball trainer, YouTube is a channel for growth you cannot afford to ignore. Simply because the little fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google, it’s about time to get serious about promoting your channel and your videos. It’s not brain surgery but your YouTube channel isn’t going to happen on its own. The fact that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute means you have may have some competition.
Here are 6 Youtube marketing tactics that will give you the best chance to stand out over the competition.
1. Create Engaging Custom Thumbnails
You have just a split second to capture the attention of a viewer as they’re deciding which video to watch. Aside from your video’s title, the thumbnail is critical for increasing the chances of that click. Don’t miss this opportunity to design an image that reiterate what your video is all about. As you can see below, ILoveBasketballTV, Pure Sweat Basketball and Baller Boot Camp all make great use of their thumbnails and utilizes them to their fullest potential:
Keep a few rules in mind, for the size of your custom thumbnail because it will also be used as your preview when someone embeds your video on their site. Google recommends the following specs:
- Have a resolution of ideally 1280X720 (minimum width of 640 pixels).
- Image formats are best as .JPG or .PNG.
- Remain under the 2MB size limit.
You can upload a custom thumbnail as soon as you upload a video by simply choosing the Custom thumbnail option. To add one to an already-existing video, go to your Video Manager, click Edit for the video you want to work with and then click Custom thumbnail.
2. Utilize Google’s Keyword search Terms
When athletes are looking for basketball training videos, their are certain words or keywords they are using to find those videos. There are several different YouTube optimization techniques to improve your youtube search rankings, but the SEO tactic that will have the most lasting effect is all about keyword research and using those keywords in specific places throughout your video page. One way to think about video keyword research is by reverse-engineering Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
The idea here is to focus on keyword searches in Google that most athletes and parents are searching for that will almost always serve you video results. For example, if someone searches for “nba basketball training” in Google, it makes sense that Google would serve a results page with videos first because most people would prefer to watch training in action over an article (although having both articles and videos is ideal). Below is a screenshot of what you would see on a Google search when typing in that keyword search:
If you find a lot of video results instead of just text listings on page one, that’s a great keyword to work with. You may want to try related queries such as “nba basketball drills” or “professional basketball training moves”” to see where you may be getting results that are more related to the video you are producing, and potentially less competitive to rank for.
3. Utilize the “Call to Action” Feature to Ask for YouTube Subscribers
This may be where most trainers drop the ball. Having a viewer watch your video and then leave is not ideal. You want to make the most of every viewer that watches your video. Rather that’s engaging with more of your videos (as discussed in #5 below), subscribing to your email list, visiting your website, etc.
This is where YouTube’s Calls to Action feature comes into play. According to YouTube, there are four main types of actions that you may want viewers to take—subscribe to the channel, watch more videos, like or share a video and leave a comment. YouTube gives several options for including CTAs within a video to get people to take one of these actions:
- Direct Host-Mentions. This is actually a style of video where you talk to the camera and tell people what to do. In this video example by Augie Johnston, right at the beginning, you can see that he directly tells you to “Make sure you Subscribe, New videos every week”.
- Annotations. Annotations are little pieces of text that will appear over your video that a viewer can click on at any time. You get to decide the length you want this overlap to happen and when in your video you want it to appear. Learn more about setting up annotations here. The screenshot above in the bottom left hand corner shows what an annotation would look like if someone was watching a video and it popped up.
- End-cards. The end-card is similar to an annotation except it comes at the end of a video and is very prominent. For example, in the screenshot below you can see that Pro Shot Shooting System has an end-card by including the large phone number and website text at the end of their video. It’s also great practice to use clickable annotations to work as a button, so it makes it easy for the athlete or parent to take that next step. You’ll notice most of Pro Shot Shooting System’s videos have this end-card:
- Video Descriptions. Video descriptions are important as any the tactics discussed above, if not more. Put a link to your website or your social accounts in your description and actually ask people to click! Below is a Perfect example of a very thorough description section from Pure Sweat Basketball:
4. Incorporate your videos in your blog posts.
This may not seems like an advanced tactic, but you’d be surprised how many trainers forget the power of their website for promoting their YouTube channel. Be consistent about how you incorporate videos into your email newsletter and blog posts on your website. Creating detailed Blog posts to go along with your video provides tremendous value to athletes which can lead to potential new clients. If you aren’t familiar with blogging, you can learn about it here. You have to always make sure that the link is relevant to your readers, but if you can help direct them in this way you’ll have a great chance at athletes visiting your channel for one video and clicking around to all of your related videos. It’s as simple as that.
Lisa Willis from Think. Work. Play! uses here website to promote her video series call “For Real For Real Fridays”.
5. Try the InVideo Programming Feature
This feature from YouTube isn’t often used, but it’s a great way to embed different engagement moments within your videos and help viewers navigate to other parts of your YouTube channel. It will allow you to do two things:
- Embed a featured video. This is a great option if you want to promote a particular YouTube videos. It helps a small thumbnail of the video pop-up so that viewers can click on the video quickly and easily (or if nothing else, make a mental note).
- Embed a watermark. This works by uploading your logo or another image across all the YouTube videos in your channel. The cool part about this is that it allows viewers to directly subscribe to your channel if they hover over the watermark. Finding InVideo programming is a little bit tricky at first. It used to be called InVideo programming on YouTube, but now you find this feature by clicking on My Channel and navigating to either Branding (the watermark), or Featured Content (the featured video). You can click this link if you’re already signed into YouTube. Below is a screenshot of what the Featured Content page looks like:
As you can see, you have full control over how long and when your video (or watermark if you clicked Branding) will be displayed. You can create a custom message to go with your video. Simply update and you’re set to go.
6. Create a Weekly Video Series
This is the perfect reason to get athletes to subscribe to your YouTube channel. If they know what to expect, such as a video on low post moves, perimeter defense, etc. every Friday, they will be more likely to subscribe. People love consistency. Of course this also helps you feature your other videos to subscribers, so it’s a great option all around. Probably one of the best examples of this is ILoveBasketballTV. They keep athletes coming back for more, and on their page you can see that they are all located in one place on their channel page because they are so regular:
As you can see, ILoveBasketballTV has a very organized channel thanks to the different categories they’ve created.
Putting it All Together
That was quite a bit of valuable info, so here’s a quick recap for you to take away!
- Create Engaging Custom Thumbnails for more video clicks and views
- Look for keywords that athletes are searching for
- Leverage all the CTA options. Annotations
- Incorporate your videos in your blog posts
- InVideo Programming helps direct viewers
- Create consistent video series for the big time pay off
Hopefully, these tips will give your video promotion a kickstart or the boost you need to keep your subscriber numbers climbing and more leads into your training business.
Do you feel like you’re not leveraging your online marketing efforts to it’s full potential?
Would you like some assistance with putting together a better strategy with a platform to attract athletes?
You may want to take a honest, objective look at your current basketball website. Is it doing a good job of representing your brand in the way you want your company to be perceived?
Maybe you’re starting your training company completely from scratch? Get a leg up on the competition by having your website created by the leading website professionals in the basketball industry.