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Fact: video is now the preferred medium for online consumption. On Facebook alone, 3 billion videos are being viewed on a daily basis and each active user is watching about 3 videos on the site per day. While on the daddy of online video hosting sites, YouTube, over 4 billion videos are watched per day. LinkedIn predicts that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by the year 2017, while Cisco predicts that by 2018, 79% of all internet traffic will be video.
Also, according to LinkedIn, video is one of the most powerful ways to show potential employees a side of your company that words and pictures alone can’t convey. A good YouTube channel can help your company to be found by people seeking out your brand, to tell stories, to build stronger relationships with your audience and to ultimately attract more people to want to work for your company. But how can we, as recruiters, put such an incredible tool to work for us? What is best practice when it comes to running and maintaining a successful YouTube channel?
Here are some key lessons that “YouTubers” – a generation of 20-somethings whose full time job it is to create video content for an ever expanding and ever critical audience of viewers – can teach us in Recruitment about telling your business’s story and building your employer brand.
How to: Build and Engage Your YouTube Network (the YouTuber’s way)
Lesson 1: Listen to Your Audience
Whether you’re a YouTuber or a Recruiter, it is vitally important to listen to your audience and take on board what they say.
“I still take suggestions from fans” says Zoe Sugg (Zoella, the UK’s most-subscribed-to channel with over 8 million fans). “I always like scrolling through the comments because I think ‘Oh that’s a great idea! I’ll do that,’ because that’s what people want to see. I want to try and at least give them something that they want to watch“.
When building your employer brand, find out what your potential employees want to know. Compile a playlist of videos answering your most frequently-asked-questions about what it’s like to work at your company. This is especially helpful if you do large contingency hiring campaigns, Graduate-hiring campaigns, or are about to embark on a large headcount increase.
Lesson 2: Measure Everything!
Paying attention to and using data is exceptionally important for both the kids on YouTube and you as a recruiter.
By analysing the analytics surrounding each of their video uploads, Channel owners can see insights like exactly when people start to drop off their video, which topics aren’t as popular with viewers versus those that are, what style of video people clicked on more, which video titles received more clicks and more engagement, etc. I learned not to put credit sequences in if you want people to stay to the end of the video! says TomSka (3.5 million subscribers). He’s learned from looking at his analytics that once the last gag happens, I have to just immediately cut to me saying ‘Tomska out!’ if he wants viewers to stay tuned in until the very end of his videos – incomplete views are not counted.
How can you do the same?
Use the comprehensive YouTube analytics platform, available to all Channel-owners, to measure your KPI’s:
- Likes versus Dislikes
- Most popular videos
- Viewer demographics – are they in line with your target audience?
- Traffic sources – ie, are people finding your videos on YouTube itself, or from your website?
- Subscriber counts
- Audience retention (how long viewers watched your video for)
Take insights from these to make better decisions for future content, like make videos shorter, or target a slightly more refined audience in line with our hiring campaign, etc.
Lesson 3: Don’t Expect Engagement, Ask for It!
YouTubers ask their viewers to give their video a thumbs up if they enjoyed it. They encourage viewers to comment on a topic covered in their video. They ask for their audience’s opinion on a subject. Doing so, helps inspire their next video and helps them keep in touch with how their audience are feeling, what they like and what they dislike.
Similarly, YouTube offers the option to add Subscribe buttons to your videos hovering live as clickable options within your video, as well as live links to other content (like links to apply to jobs or read more information, other videos within your series, etc.).
Lesson: use a Call To Action. Ask your viewers to share their thoughts or questions in the comments, ask them to subscribe to your channel, or to watch other content within your channel. Like in the video below by yours truly Social Talent, we add a 5 second ending to our video where users can click through to our Jobs page.
Lesson 4: Promote Your Content using Cross-Channel Promotion
When I post a video I usually Tweet it out too says Zoella.
Seems like sense to us! We do the same here at Social Talent – each time we upload a new video to YouTube, we promote it across our company’s Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages and through our own individual networks.
This helps to encourage our audiences across different networks find out about our YouTube content, it brings views up, and is all calculated through our Traffic Sources report in our Analytics.
Lesson 5: Be Consistent
There are multiple branding options available to YouTube channels, from custom Hero images, to suggested video content on your front page and About pages.
When a channel is branded and consistent, it gives a more authentic look and feel whereby the viewer is reassured that you take this channel seriously. You can use your Hero images to add further calls to action (like application deadlines for your next Grad hiring campaign), or contact information like your website, jobs portal, etc.
Lesson 6: Be Authentic
“It’s important to our audience and to us that we are ourselves, because if not, it’s not an honest exchange” say popular Youtubers NikiNSammy. “If we’re ourselves, they trust us a lot more. We respect them and they respect us. It’s a two way thing. Because we treat them like humans with an opinion, they feel valued”.
Why is authenticity important for recruiters as well as YouTubers? Because authenticity creates value both personally and professionally, and creates trust amongst your viewers. Viewers will be more likely to be persuaded by what you are saying (for example, when PewDiePie reviews a computer game he does so honestly, and an endorsement from him is worth gazillions to the computer game creator), and will refer the content to their friends.
How you can show authenticity:
- Use your real people, not actors, to answer questions or showcase your team
- Show your real offices or business locations – this is what people want!
- Show off your extra-curricular team events, like Hack Days, charity fundraisers or events.
What lessons would you like to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts (and examples!) in the comments!