How to optimize video for maximum impact [checklist]

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As you already know, videos have an significant impact in communication strategies of all sort of nonprofits or Social Entrepreneurships. They are now an integral part of the online marketing mix.

Making the extra effort to optimize your video and make it easier to find and to rank in Google, Facebook and YouTube platforms is essential to improve its impact on your stakeholders. Whether it’s a funding campaign, a behavior change campaign, …

Here are some tips on how to optimize video and increase the impact it has in your communications strategy. You can find a checklist in the end of the article.


Design your video with the goal in mind

In order for you to optimize your video, you need to know how your are going to evaluate it (what are the most useful KPIs). And to know that, you need determine what is the goal of your video:

  • Who are you communicating with?
  • What do you want to communicate?
  • How do you want them to act, after viewing your video?

An extra tip: make sure the video is not too long. Most of the top YouTube videos are around 3 minutes long. For more info, check this article.


Help Google understand your video

Google is not yet able to watch and understand what your video is about and how it relates to your stakeholder’s needs. So, you need to give relevant information about your video, in order to Google can relate it to their searches and profile, and to rank it against other videos on the same subject:

  • Identify relevant target keywords, and use them in a clear phrase format for your video’s title, tags and description. More about keywords.
  • Optimize your title. Make it small (55 characters or less) and include one exact match keyword in it.
  • Use ample and relevant tags and keep them centered around your exact match keyword.
  • Create a meta description, with around 155 characters. Make sure to use and articulate your keywords to help you optimize your video for both YouTube and Google. More about video descriptions.
  • Use closed captions or upload a transcript. Apart from enabling new options for the viewer, as seeing your video on mute, closed captions and transcripts, also help search engines to better understand the content of your video.

Create a good thumbnail

You’ll need to choose a good thumbnail image to entice views:

  • Snapshots that feature people are more intriguing. If you can, use a compelling facial image.
  • Left to right – keep the most interesting part of the image on the left, and your branding in the upper right hand corner.
  • Use it to add some written information to the image and title, with 1 or 2 keywords.

Make sure Google indexes you

Submit a Video Sitemap – To speedup and enhance the discovery of your video, you can create a video sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. These entries need to include: video title, page url, video url, description, thumbnail. Click here for more info on video sitemaps.

Use Schema Markup – To help your video stand out in general search results, use schema markup to provide the information Google needs: video title,page url, video url, description, thumbnail, video duration, upload date, height and width. See here what is expected from a schema markup and validate yours here.

Create A Strong Call To Action (CTA)

If you want to change a behavior or raise support and really engage with your stakeholders, you need to convert awareness into action. For that you might want to focus in a good CTA.


Thinking in YouTube platform, you can place great CTA by using annotations, end screenscards or even the video description.

Some suggestions:

  • Make it relevant and useful for the viewer.
  • Keep it around the border of the video.
  • Use it to direct the viewer to a landing page.

Promote Your Video

Have in mind that the most crucial hour for YouTube algorithm is the first hour after it is uploaded, followed by the next 23 hours. So it is important that you use that moment to promote and share it.

Here are some tips to promote it:

  • Embed it on your blog or nonprofit website.
  • Promote it through the different social media (make sure to also promote it in Google+).
  • Upload it, in a different moment, directly to Facebook. This way you’ll benefit of some platform characteristics (like auto-play) that only are available to uploaded videos.
  • Create backlinks (in your website, blog, …) to your YouTube page and to your video.
  • Promote that people comment and react to the video.
  • Use Youtube Sponsored Videos to find a larger audience. But make sure to target people interested in your video content topic.

How to optimize video checklist


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