Social Video Optimization

Social videos, sometimes called vSEO, present a tremendous opportunity for brand growth, lead generation, more conversions, and a greater ROI. Video content can have tremendous reach, especially for the 18-33 old demographic.

For social media marketers, video content channels–such as Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram–present opportunities for massive social outreach. Consider these facts:

  • 60 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute
  • More than 70% of B2B and B2C companies have invested in video content
  • 40% of people respond to visual content versus written
  • Videos generate 3x more links than written content
  • According to comScore, 90% of online shoppers find brand videos helpful in making a purchase

If you’re still debating on investing company money into social video content, than it’s important to note that video content is a more effective means of content creation than written, and it’s more shareable.

Optimizing video content can be more challenging, but the same rules of content creation apply across all content mediums. Capturing audience attention immediately, optimizing meta-elements, and producing a timely video production schedule will help ensure your videos get massive social outreach, rank high, and generate conversions.

Here we run down some of the major video sharing channels and offer some tips on optimizing your social video campaigns with these unique sources.


YouTube is by far the biggest social video site on the internet and owns the second largest search engine on the market after Google.

YouTube has over 800 million unique monthly visitors and it’s estimated that over 4 billion videos are viewed daily. As a product of Google itself, YouTube presents a great opportunity for increased video search rankings and greater brand visibility.

  • Designing Your Channel

Your YouTube Channel should be about displaying your brand as rich as possible. Insert your Logo in the top left corner of the page and upload a custom background that fits your brand. This will give your page striking visual appeal. Take advantage of the social signals present on the channel’s page by inserting links within the social logos and below the description section.  YouTube allows your channel to set up an “about me” section on your channel’s main page and has keyword tags at the bottom of the page for searchers.

  • Quality

Consider hiring a team to produce high quality video production. Since this channel allows for extended videos, quality is going to determine dwell times and if your CTA is at the end of the video many searchers may never even see it. Content is the keystone to any SEO campaign and video is no different. High quality videos will get more views, be more readily shared, and rank higher on Google and YouTube’s search engine. Videos should be brand relevant and capture user attention immediately.

  • Meta Descriptions

Each video page has a meta-tile and description present right below the video. Meta-titles should be keyword specific and should be relevant to the content. Think of them like headlines, they are going to be the first thing users see when searching for a related video.

Meta-tags allow videos to be better indexed by YouTube’s search engine and many viewers may consult the meta-descriptions before viewing a video. Within the meta-description be sure to include a link to your website at the beginning and aim for a 250 word count that utilizes your keyword research thus far. Keyword tags are also a unique way give viewers a quick description of the content elements present in the video and predict how users will encounter the video. 10-20 keyword tags are ideal to place on each video.

  • Annotations

Youtube allows video producers to create six unique annotations within videos that can engage viewers. Some of these include notes, speech bubbles, titles, etc. Optimizing which annotations you place in videos should be relevant to the video content itself and should not hamper the video viewing experience. Annotations are important because they present CTA opportunities for viewers to subscribe at the bottom of the video or even follow different pages that you’ve linked within the annotation.

  • Playlists

Playlists act as a sort of PLA and allow you to group different videos together based on their relevance to a particular topical interest. Grouping ads together and separating them from customer testimonials is important because viewers are more likely to view a video of the same subject matter as the last one they viewed.  Correctly titling your playlists based on your keyword research is important because playlists can rank within both Google and YouTube’s search algorithm and this will suggest other videos of similar keyword usage to viewers of your videos.


Vimeo is a niche community filled with video producers and loyal followers. Vimeo is ad-free, supports HD quality, and doesn’t play competitor videos after your video has finished being viewed. While Vimeo has considerably less traffic than YouTube, it’s more community driven and provides better opportunities for loyal consumer interaction with your brand.

  • Video Optimization

Vimeo’s niche lies in its reputation as a professional source of video production and consumption. Video optimization and creating high quality videos is especially important for the Vimeo community. You will not get as many shares on Vimeo as YouTube, but subscribers will come to channels that frequently produce professional quality videos. As a brand, you want to present knowledge over a particular topic and you want to present quality. Mastering a Vimeo video campaign is the right step to communicating this notion with consumers.

  • Customer Engagement

` Vimeo is a highly community focused website and engaging with a loyal consumer base is the surest marketing strategy to getting repeat business. Invite users to leave comments at the end of videos or provide promotional opportunities throughout your videos or Vimeo channel to engage with consumers.

  • Rich Snippets

Vimeo is one of the only video sharing sites with the capabilities to create rich snippets directly with Google. Aside from having its own Twitter Card capabilities, Vimeo allows businesses to index videos for search platforms with schema markup and provides the structured data needed to be displayed on organic search results pages. This is why Vimeo videos often outrank YouTube videos and optimizing meta-titles, tags, and descriptions with highly focused keyword research will allow viewers to discover your videos in organic listings and rank videos higher in those listings.  

  • Channel Customization

Vimeo provides better tools for channel optimization than YouTube and the color and images you use in your channel should match those of your brand. Vimeo also allows businesses the opportunity to insert logos at the top of videos and allows for visually striking page elements for every video and not just the channel homepage.

Facebook Video

Facebook is the largest social media site in terms of active users and Facebook video is one of the easiest ways to reach Facebook users and be shared across the social media spectrum. Facebook video is seamless and easy to upload. Facebook video is often one of the most viewed items on the newsfeed and is one of the most effective ways to reach viewers with the automatic player enabled.

Businesses can use video to communicate mission statements on their profile page, provide up-to-date company information and build their brand with emotionally compelling content that users will share. The thing about Facebook is that many users actively follow brands on Facebook and are always hungry for more content from the brands they love.

  • Thumbnails

Some users don’t have the automatic player enabled so creating a visually striking thumbnail will be the most effective means in capturing audience attention and getting them to watch the full video. For users with the automatic player enabled, the first few seconds of the video will be the most important. Remember retention rates drop sharply after the first few seconds of a video so previews are just as important as a visually appealing thumbnail. If there is not a satisfying image within the video that you want to use for the thumbnail, Facebook allows you to upload a thumbnail. Make sure the thumbnail is at least relevant to the video itself and your brand.

  • Tags

Be sure to tag relevant people or pages to your video to market your video directly to them and allow these pages and people to market your videos for you. Posting your video on relevant Facebook pages and tagging others in it will allow you to reach users of different communities and allows your consumer base to interact with these communities to promote your brand.

  • Calls-to-Action

Including a call-to-action at the end of your video that ends up in a user linking to your website or subscribing to your webpage is the easiest way to create social outreach and even complete conversions. Within the ad carousel, Facebook allows you to submit links and CTAs directly below video player buttons.


Instagram currently holds over 150 million active users and is one of the largest picture sharing sites in the world. In fact, 59% of the world’s top brand brands are active on Instagram and Instagram gains about one new user per second. Instagram is built on creating a cultural channel that gives users an inside look at the personal and behind-the-scenes stories happening at a business.

  • Integrate Consumer Content

Consumers often upload videos of users interacting with a brand in some way. Research shows that “Instagram users crave off authenticity, trusting customer photos more than retail photos.”

Incorporate this into your video channel, such as showcasing a user at a recent company event, fundraiser, or using a recent product release.

If you want to repurpose user videos you can either communicate with users directly in the comments section or set up a hashtag campaign for users to use with images or videos. This will communicate your brand’s authenticity and increase brand loyalty.  

  • Behind the Scenes Videos

Uploading videos of upcoming news and day-to-day operations are especially important over Instagram, which holds a more loyal consumer base. Just like Pinterest and other image sharing sites, Instagram users loyally follow the brands they love and the Instagram feed is a unique way to reach loyal fans of your brand and communicate with them about the human side of your business.

  • Video Optimization

The same holds for any video platform, but on a purely visual based platform that holds very little written text, videos are held to a much higher standard. Creating high qualities videos will be shared very quickly over Instagram’s vast user base and has the potential to reach other social networking sites.

Be sure to create links below your videos and invite users to engage with your business through a CTA at the end of your video. Instagram is different because users crave authenticity and strict retail marketing videos may not be the best way to go viral over Instagram.