The story of Safety Dave and his fast ride to the top of YouTube

October 17, 2013
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Safety Dave is in the business of selling safety products and has been doing this for 12 years. In the last few years however, Dave faced a challenge. Cheap copies of his high quality safety related products were popping up all over the internet from China and were dramatically increasing competition in his industry. He knew the products were inferior to his but it seemed others either didn’t know or didn’t care. He also provided great customer service both before and after purchase which his customers really valued but was not easy to use as a sales factor on the cold cyberspace, especially when competing with hundreds of suppliers on eBay.

Dave came to us with a problem to solve, how to position him as the trusted authority in safety products in order to drive more traffic, leads and sales to his website. As a web video production company, the answer to us was obvious, it was video content marketing but in order for it to work, it was important to dig deep in to potential customers search behaviour on Google and YouTube and find out what made them tick.
When people are in the consideration phase of the buying process they go to Google and increasingly YouTube for information and they ask questions. For Safety Dave, these were things like ‘How to choose the right fire extinguisher’.

We were confident that if we could generate the right content to answer these questions and optimise the videos using our 20 point method, we could pull prospects in to the buying funnel before they had a chance to check out anyone else and use price as the main decision factor.

Keyword research is the first and arguably the most important phase of video content marketing and where a lot of people go wrong here is treating it the same as traditional keyword research for SEO and PPC. What we are looking for are phrases from higher up the purchase funnel, where people are in the consideration phase rather than ready to purchase. What we also are looking for are phrases which potentially generate video results in the Google SERP’s through Universal Search Results and commercial search terms usually do not. Being number 1 on YouTube is great but appearing in the top of Google as well will really put fireworks under the campaign performance.
Search volume is the next critical consideration in choosing keywords. We choose phrases with the most traffic but are careful not to compete head-to-head with videos already with hundreds of thousands of views, there’s still plenty of opportunity to find keywords that don’t have this level of competition. Back to the fire extinguisher example. Our researched showed at the time that the phrase ‘How to select a fire extinguisher’ had only half the search volume as ‘How to choose a fire extinguisher’ and without too much difference in the competition, the latter phrase was the obvious choice – mind you we did actually optimise the first one as a secondary keyword anyway.
There are a few other factors we use to decide on the best possible content to produce, including localisation potential to avoid competing with the whole world, relevancy in the purchase process, potential to leverage between videos, and potential to use the same content also on the website and other campaigns.
We chose 11 different key phrases / titles based around Safety Dave’s products and began creating pretty basic how-to videos, some filmed on location and others in our Green Screen studio.

We then created Safety Dave his YouTube channel which was optimised along with each individual video and playlists. We also embedded the videos on his website to increase the average time visitors spent on the site, educate the buyers, position Dave as the expert and bottom line to boost conversion- And boost conversions it did! (sorry, can’t really reveal numbers)

We follow an in-house recipe of about 20 on-page YouTube SEO factors to optimise videos. It’s not rocket science but it does take a bit of time and as with all best practice SEO, taking shortcuts won’t pay off. I’d like to share our guide to YouTube optimisation in our next blog.

Figure 1. Ensuring your title matches your primary key phrase is an important optimisation factor.

The results from a VSEO perspective have been great. Most of the videos rank #1 on YouTube and some also on page 1 of Google and most achieved this within a couple of weeks. In the first year total views exceed 200,000 and for new videos being produced this year our target is 500,000 views.
But these were not the success factors for the campaign. Our goal was of course to increase traffic, leads and conversions on Safety Dave’s website and the fact he is producing more videos as I write this blog speaks for itself.
Safety Dave is not a household name, as with most companies, he probably never will be. But in an increasingly crowded market place, Safety Dave has succeeded in standing out from the competition through understanding his prospects buying behaviour and using video content marketing.

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Creativa provides complete video production and animation services for clients direct or for agencies nationwide, specialising in creating content that engages Aussie audiences. Working with local crews dotted around the country to capture live-action video footage, we manage all the coordination for you. Whatever type of video you need, we’ve got you covered.