With nearly 6,000 Tweets being published every second and over 60 million Instagram photos being posted every single day, finding a way to drive long-term value from online content seems like a difficult task, to say the least. Yet, in a world filled with fleeting content, one platform seems to hold true when it comes to long-lasting return: YouTube

Because YouTube must provide viewers with the best possible videos related to their search queries, the platform has the potential to drive results for your company years after a video was published, if used effectively. Want to learn how? Here's where to get started.

Create "how-to" content.

When it comes to creating evergreen online content, it's important to know the power of publishing "how-to" content. Defined, how-to content is simply material that walks viewers through how to do specific things, usually in the form of a tutorial. The main reason this style of content outperforms other forms of content in terms of longevity is because it doesn't become irrelevant after a short period of time, which cannot be said about more "newsy", trending content. As long as people are asking a certain question, they will need an answer to that question, and YouTube is one of the first places users will consult. 

Here are a handful of ways to identify which particular questions people are actually asking online as it relates to your niche.

Find questions your audience is actually searching for.

  • Quora -- sifting through popular, industry-related questions on Quora will give you a great idea of the problems people are dying to get answers to.
  • Google -- begin typing in keywords related to your industry into the Google search bar. The questions that populate the drop-down menu will all be good ideas for how-to content topics.
  • Serpstat -- this platform is an absolute treasure trove when it comes to pinning down common search queries on any keyword associated with your industry.

Find holes in previously published YouTube videos.

Even the most obscure, niche topics are likely to have been covered by YouTube creators before, but this shouldn't cause you to shy away from your competition. In fact, having a healthy amount of competing content related to your niche is a good thing because it shows people are actually interested in the topic. 

To better position your video for long-term success, being sifting through the already-published videos on the you wish to cover, and ask yourself a few questions: What points do they leave out from the videos? Are the videos boring or poorly edited? Is the host of the video unlikable? If "yes", then all of these holes within this content presents you with a ripe opportunity to integrate into your own YouTube videos.

Find new versions of old questions.

While there might be stiff competition in your niche, one pro tip you can always use to separate your content from the rest is finding newer versions of common questions. For instance, if you're creating a video covering how to set up and manage Twitter Ads, but there already are 50 videos to compete with, you can switch the topic to how to set up and manage Twitter ads in 2019. You could also focus on features Twitter has added to their advertising platform or new privacy policy updates given the current political climate.

By breathing life into saturated topics with a new twist, you'll be able to rise to the top of search results faster than you otherwise would have.

Include a call-to-action that won't expire.

One final trick which can easily change a video's lifespan from one year to three years, five or more is avoiding time-sensitive call-to-actions. Unless you already have a solid following who religiously watches your videos the moment they're published, putting a deadline on your call-to-action will only hurt your chances of landing business deals with YouTube. 

For example, if you're trying to create a piece of evergreen video content on YouTube, instead of making your call-to-action signing up for an upcoming webinar you'll be hosting, change it to subscribing to your email newsletter, inviting viewers to send you a personal email, follow you on Twitter or something else that viewers will still be able to do years from now. Today, I'm still receiving emails from people who watched a batch of videos I created well over two years ago. A handful of these prospects have turned into consulting clients or agency partners.

Creating how-to content on YouTube is one of the simplest yet effective ways to generate leads for years to come. In a world filled with short-lived content, missing out on long-tail traffic is something no entrepreneur can afford to do. By using these tips laid out in this article, you'll be ready to get started on YouTube today. Best of luck.

Published on: Nov 20, 2018
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