Brand awareness refers to people’s ability to recognize you and your creative work. It is the very first step in your marketing funnel. Brand awareness also helps you achieve your goals as an author by expanding your target audience, building brand affinity, and improving brand identity. In this guest post, Andre Oentoro simplifies the process of using YouTube videos to grow awareness for your author brand and business.
Brand awareness is very important for any author because it not only entices readers to buy your book but also keeps them coming back for more.
People are more likely to buy goods or use services from a business that they trust and as an author, your ‘business’ is no exception.
Your brand – how people perceive you and your creative work – is one of the first things that will draw readers in when they are searching for a solution to a problem they have or to fulfill an experience they desire.
In addition, if their experience with your brand is enjoyable, they are more likely to tell other people about your work which helps spread the word, further increasing your visibility and reach.
So, how can you build your brand awareness, and what is the best platform?
According to this post by Ahrefs.com, YouTube is the most visited website in the past few years. It is also the second-largest search engine, proving that people are crazy about video content.
Anyone and everyone has the opportunity to entertain, engage, and rank.–Ahrefs
YouTube videos get good rankings on Google searches because Google has owned YouTube since 2006. This will certainly provide a huge opportunity for you to get noticed, to be known more widely in your topic area or genre, and thus help you increase brand awareness.
When your potential reader searches on Google, they’ll use keywords that relate to your book, genre, or topic.
Videos on your YouTube channel will have a high chance of appearing in the top searches if you pay careful attention to creating video titles and content that match what your potential readers are searching for.
This process of optimizing your videos, playlists, and YouTube channel to rank high in organic search results is referred to as YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And it works exceptionally well to bring more recognition and notice to your books and brand.
Let’s look at 17 ways you can build brand awareness through YouTube videos for your author brand:
1. Set Your Goals
Setting up an objective is the first thing to do before running a campaign. Start by listing the goals you want to achieve, such as increasing brand awareness, growing your reader community, improving SEO, and increasing conversions (moving people from looky-loos to book buyers).
Next, determine how you plan to achieve your goals. Start with S.M.A.R.T goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Then, write them down. Don’t just daydream about your goals — put pen to paper and write them down. This makes your goals more tangible and makes them seem more real.
Make them easier to manage by breaking them down, and put your written goals somewhere you’ll see them so that you’re constantly reminded of where you want to be.
And finally, develop a plan and take action. Even the smallest act makes you one step closer to your goal.
Resource: Believe, Plan, Act: A Platform + Productivity Planner for Writers
2. Keyword Research
The next tip is to do keyword research before creating your video content. Your keywords should be relevant to both your readers’ interests as well as your own. The type of content you focus on will depend on your author business goals and what type of books you write. Aligning your interests with your ideal readers’ helps to increase engagement with your video content.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or YouTube Search Suggestion. These tools help you to find potential keywords based on what your target audience is already searching for.
3. Know Your Audiences
Understanding the wants and needs of your audience is vital when creating a video to increase your brand awareness. Therefore, a good way to get to know your audience is to create a reader persona. A reader persona is a three-dimensional representation of your ideal reader based on existing data, or new market research – so that you can define and attract new readers effectively.
Resource: Audience Building
4. Leverage Storytelling
Conveniently for authors, storytelling is one of the best ways to attract your audiences’ attention because it tends to be more memorable in conveying what’s compelling about your book and brand. As a platform, YouTube is great for this.
Presenting content through storytelling via YouTube videos will make your content more intriguing. You can use various videos like tutorials, sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes info, vlogs, explainer videos, and more.
5. Develop your Voice and Brand Personality
Before you start making videos, develop the voice and personality of your author brand. Doing this will reveal recognizable traits that stem from the way you think and feel about the world, and will also make the tone of your videos more consistent.
An effective brand personality allows you to shine through your brand, making it relatable and unique in a crowded space.
Your audience will better understand who you are, the style of your writing, and the depth and nuance, that makes you and your work relatable to your target audience – which is the key to building a strong brand that they can recognize. Your brand voice and personality will also help you to build reader engagement.
This is the part of your brand that your readers identify with and build a relationship with. Because of this, it plays a huge role in building brand awareness.
Resource: Define and Build your Author Brand (And Why You Need To)
6. Determine Video Length and Complexity
Over the last few years, it has become a trend to make longer YouTube videos. That is for one main reason: to increase watch time. And since watch time is the most important ranking factor on YouTube, creators naturally strive to make longer videos.
But the ideal video length depends on your specific needs or goals, the type of video, and the information you want to convey.
The best thing to do is not overthink your videos – the run time should match the content. If it takes two minutes to communicate what you want to say make a two-minute video. If it takes 20 minutes, make it 20 minutes.
Over time, you can look at your analytics and reader response to your videos to find the right mix of length and detail in your videos that works best for your audience.
7. Invest in Explainer Videos
Explainer videos can help more clearly present your books, services, or vision. Explainer videos are 1-2 minutes long, capture your brand’s key message, and encourage viewers to find out more. This is a simple, but effective way to build brand awareness through video.
When creating an explainer video, it’s always a good idea to tell a story. People can connect with stories emotionally, and this will make them feel stronger about your brand and more likely to share your videos with others.
8. Optimize Your Videos for SEO
One of the main rules of video marketing is optimizing content. The right short-tail and long-tail keywords and other SEO strategies will bring your video content to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) when potential visitors search for that word or phrase.
You can think of the words that best describe the video and find potential keywords for your target readers. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and define the words, phrases, and questions they might ask Google. As you get higher in the search results, your author brand becomes more visible, which in turn, leads to more conversions.
Resource: Video SEO: The Definitive Guide
9. Make Engaging Videos
Regardless of how careful your keyword research has been, it is still important to make sure your video content is engaging, valuable, and answers the needs or desires of your audience. Keywords will lead a potential reader to your content, but they will stay (and share) because of the quality.
Hold their attention by adding eye-catching visuals, and use nuanced storytelling to create a compelling narrative for your video.
And don’t forget to appeal to their emotions. Content that has an emotional appeal is more memorable and impacts the audience in a profound way. The result is that your viewer remains engaged and forms a bond with your brand.
10. Collaborate With Influencers
One of the hottest trends in marketing right now is influencer marketing. Working with industry influencers, and particularly YouTube influencers, can give your books and brand the exposure it needs.
By collaborating with influencers, you can reach a larger audience and gain credibility by association. The right influencer can:
- promote your book to their followers
- boost your follower growth or help you grow your reader community
- increase trust in your brand with reviews and other engaging content
Ideally, you want to build a relationship with an influencer who already engages with your ideal target audience, aligns with your brand’s value and message, and will promote your books and brand honestly and authentically.
Here’s how to find your niche influencers who are willing to work with you and your business:
- reach out to authors in your genre, sub-genre, or topic area
- branch out to other genres that reach the same or similar target audience
- consider ‘sister’ industries – businesses, organizations, media, blogs, or professionals – that influence your ideal readers outside of the publishing industry.
Network, brainstorm, and work together to create video interviews, reaction videos, cross-promotions, behind-the-scenes, or day-in-the-life type video content – whatever appeals to your target reader.
11. Display Appealing Visual Design
Building brand awareness through video requires having a visually consistent and recognizable display of channel content, including:
- the choice of your channel name or logo
- banner image
- organized playlists
- and video thumbnails
When people see your video appear, they should have a good idea of what they’re going to get. Your YouTube channel and videos should seamlessly integrate with your website, social media, and the rest of your author branding.
Cross-promotion is when authors work together to market each other’s creative work to their respective audiences.
This is often a win-win for increasing brand awareness and increasing sales. When authors team up with other credible people who are also reaching the same target market, they can reach their readers more efficiently, with more credibility, and with more enticing offers and incentives.
Cross-promotion is used to create leverage in a competitive market, where new authors can join forces to ‘compete’ with more established authors.
13. Track YouTube Analytics
Learning to track your analytics is vital, as it will help you create better videos in the future.
YouTube offers insight into all the videos you upload so you can see how many views you’re receiving, who you are reaching, where they are from, and how long they stay to watch the video.
Pay attention to how viewers found your content, audience retention data, and other channels your audience is watching.
All this data is helpful in improving your channel content and the performance of current and future videos. And of course, the better your videos do in terms of watch time and shares, the greater the increase in your overall brand awareness.
Resource: How to Use Youtube ANALYTICS to GROW your Channel (in-depth tutorial!)
14. Build Customer Engagement
Engaging with readers is an important step in building a community around your book and brand.
YouTube users will often engage with authors and video content creators, which is your opportunity to interact with your readers, gain valuable feedback, and develop relationships with those who resonate with your author brand.
You can also invite readers to share their experiences and ask questions in the comments below your video, respond to their questions, or share additional insights.
Most importantly, listen to them. Your viewers want to watch quality content, so remember to give them what they want. The higher the engagement on your video content, the greater the chance of getting more eyes on your videos and the work that you do.
15. Try YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts – YouTube’s answer to TikTok – is a relatively new (and engagement-driven) format for YouTube, focused on short, vertical videos that are easy to consume on mobile devices.
The ability to upload YouTube shorts is now widely available for authors and creators – which is great, considering it presents an incredible opportunity to help drive more views and subscribers to your brand. Now authors can share mobile-friendly short videos to make their content more engaging, fun, and interactive.
Resource: YouTube Shorts Explained: 21 NEW Things You Need to Know About
16. Optimizing Your YouTube Channel
Optimizing your YouTube channel leads to a rewarding viewing experience for your viewers. You can start creating playlists with the different types or categories of video content found on your channel.
Then, feature your best videos and create a video series. These playlists help visitors to find your video content easily and ensure they stay on your channel for longer.
In addition, optimizing your title, video description, and tags are essential components to have your video easily discoverable in YouTube search. And your video thumbnails encourage viewers to click and watch your video, rather than simply scrolling by.
17. Maintain Relationships With Customers
The last important part of building brand awareness with YouTube videos is maintaining a relationship with viewers and readers. Purposefully interacting with your YouTube audience can give you another opportunity to share what you have to offer and why readers should invest time in your brand.
Consider removing spammy comments and trolls from your comment section. Differing views are welcome, and can often spark a lively discussion.
But unmonitored trolling or disrespectful commenting can quickly ruin a viewer’s perception of your brand and the quality of the new community you are forming around your creative work.
So, now you can hopefully see how YouTube videos can be used effectively to increase your visibility and grow your brand awareness.
With a growing market, unique features, and great opportunities for authors to build recognition, reach a wider audience, and increase visibility for their books and creative pursuits, this is a marketing platform you shouldn’t miss.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). Twitter: @breadnbeyond
Believe, Plan, Act: A Platform + Productivity Planner for Writers
A complete platform + productivity planning system for your author business.
Everything you need to discover, plan, and execute your writing and business goals – so you can finally remove the word “aspiring” from all your profiles…
Paula Judith Johnson says
I’m not one to run with the crowd, so I loved your blog about building an author brand using videos on YouTube rather than Tik Tok & Book Tok.
I started a YouTube channel to get URLs for videos and was surprised when I started to get subscribers because I made all my videos Private. Well, it didn’t take me long to change the videos to Public and garner more followers.
Kimberley Grabas says
Hi Paula! Yes, sometimes it’s better to ‘zig’ when everybody else is ‘zagging’. 😉 Just because other authors are doing it, does not mean it’s a good option for every author. Your strengths, your brand, and your readers all have to be considered before you can choose a social platform that’s a good fit for you. Best of luck with your continued growth on YouTube!