YouTube is a serious tool for business, even beyond advertising. It attracts an audience from across the spectrum to the tune of approximately 2 billion logged-in monthly users. It is the world’s second most-visited website (after Google) and second most-used social media platform (after Facebook).
The YouTube audience wants to see more than just Baby Shark, and business is paying attention. From how-to videos to expert content to branded entertainment, businesses are always thinking up new ways to attract shoppers and even B2B traffic.
There are two essential areas of YouTube videos where copywriting comes into play – the headline and description, and the video script.
YouTube headline and description tips
YouTube allocates 100 characters to the total headline, but only 70 will appear before truncation. Getting those few letters and numbers right is critical. Creating a good headline is really a specialty, and that’s why many marketers spend half their copywriting time on it. The first step in building the most attractive YouTube video headline is to figure out the correct keywords.
There are many free tools for this purpose, some of which come straight from YouTube and Google (the owner of YouTube). Google Trends, for example, will show you a graph that portrays user interest in a particular search term over the past year. If interest for your potential term is trending up, then put it on the short list.
You might also want to search for keyword variants, and YouTube’s Autosuggest function is an excellent source for this. Just type in a candidate and YouTube itself will show you similar keywords right in the search engine window.
Once you have settled on the most essential phrases, put them near the front of the headline, which is where the YouTube search algorithm looks first. The trick here is to make everything seem natural. Weird headlines will confuse and repel the audience. In addition, YouTube (like Google) can pick up on keyword stuffing and will penalize you.
Fill in the remaining space with text that is actually interesting to read. The basic idea here is to know your audience, the reason why they would be interested in your video, and the language that attracts them. Then, blend all of that information into a headline that is both intriguing and informative.
The description field in YouTube is another area where good copywriting counts. For any viewer who wants to learn more, the description is a convenient medium for them, and is thus a great way for you to attract more clicks. In addition, when you look for a video on Google, your description will appear as a rich snippet in the search results. In short, good copywriting will earn you more appearances on both YouTube and Google.
Of course, the effort that you put into finding the ideal keywords for the headline will pay dividends for the description. It’s a good idea to include the keywords from your headline in the description as well, plus a few others. After all, you receive 5,000 characters for a description, so you have a lot more room to expand. However, keep the most valuable information within the first 100 characters, because Google search engine results will truncate snippets after that point. Similarly, YouTube will cut off the description at 160 characters and the viewer will need to click “Show More” to learn more.
Additional description recommendations:
- Don’t describe the video at length in the description because it might cause some viewers to exit once they start getting repetitive information
- Use the space of the description to encourage viewers to continue clicking to other videos; your website or eCommerce site; email sign ups; and social media links
- Put a link to your website after the first sentence so that it appears before the “Show More” cutoff of the description window
YouTube script writing tips
Writing the script is the next phase. It is crucial that the script follows the idea of the headline and description; otherwise, viewers will take exactly zero seconds to feel misled and click away.
The basics of writing a script can vary greatly, but there are certain key ingredients that are always wise to include:
- What’s in it for me?
Like a headline, the first part of your video script is the most crucial. You have eight seconds to grab the attention of the viewer, and if you don’t, they are gone. Take this short time to describe what your video is about, and why the viewer should be interested. What pain does it solve? Why will it be fascinating? How will my life be forever changed? These essential marketing questions should be answered in brief at the start of the video, and then expanded upon later.
- Who are you?
After explaining your value proposition, quickly describe who you are and why your brand is important. This is necessary so that the viewer identifies with the company behind the video. Presenting great information, but allowing the presenter to be forgotten, is a definite no-no.
- What now?
End the video with a ‘thanks’ and then repeat, in brief, who you are and why the video was beneficial for the viewer to watch. Finally, finish up with a call to action that leads to previous videos, your website, or other additional resources for information.
Optimizing YouTube marketing goes far beyond the video
Once you’ve completed a script, you may be amazed at how long it took, after hours of writing, rehearsing, shooting, voiceovers, and reshoots. In general, making a quality video of any length takes much longer than beginners realize.
So you want all that effort to pay off, right? The problem is that you are competing with more than 37 million channels that are also competing for views, and which are also constrained by the tools that YouTube provides. If your video is going head to head with a competitor’s, superior copywriting might just win the day – at times, all that’s standing between you and defeat are 70 headline characters.
Stay in the spotlight with Anyword
Anyword is a powerful resource in the war to grab YouTube viewers. Instead of grinding away at the keyboard to come up with headlines and descriptions that combine all the right elements, marketers use Anyword AI Copywriting to work literally behind the scenes to ensure that their YouTube copy is the best it can be.
Anyword provides a specific YouTube copywriting tool that automates the creation of headlines and video descriptions. All you need to do is:
- Create a project name and define your video in basic terms
- Type in keywords
- Click “generate”
The platform responds with multiple headlines and descriptions, along with a “predictive performance score”. This grade actually tells you how effective a certain line of copy will be at converting the desired audience. It works by leveraging Anyword’s massive collection of existing advertising spots and an artificial intelligence engine that links copy styles, audiences, and conversion rates. Even before you post a headline, for example, Anyword will give you an idea of how productive it will be.
Speaking of productivity, Anyword can save you even more time with some of its advanced features. The process of finding the perfect headline and description usually involves A/B testing. With its “continuous optimization” tool, Anyword does the testing for you and continuously recreates copy until it reaches the highest conversion rate.
Furthermore, if you see a copywriting style that you want for your own, Anyword can make that happen. The “custom mode” can imitate any writing style and apply it to your YouTube video headlines and descriptions.
What’s more – YouTube is just the beginning. Anyword handles an entire range of copywriting formats and styles for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google, among others. All Anyword copywriting tasks use the same three-step process mentioned above.
So if you’re putting a lot of effort into your YouTube artistry—don’t let it go to waste. Instead, let Anyword put those vital finishing touches on your videos with headlines and descriptions that engage and convert. Our 7-day free trial gives you a good sense of how it works — so you can join the thousands of marketers relying on Anyword for all your copywriting needs.