YouTube is a social network, search engine, hosting service and an important advertising platform for businesses all over the world. The 2nd largest search engine in the world isn’t Yahoo or Bing; it’s YouTube. With over 4 billion video views per day, 1 billion coming from mobile devices, and more than 1 billion unique users’ visits each month, it’s easy to understand why the majority of the more-than-a-million advertisers using this ad platform by Google are small businesses looking to expand their market reach. Their current and potential future customers are all there.
The first question businesses need to ask is: why are people on YouTube. The answer is simple, – to find and watch videos. They don’t go there to see the commercials, get restaurant or travel recommendations, or search products and services to buy. Their only purpose when visiting the website is to find videos that are fun and/or informative. Your goal as a marketer is to serve this user intent by providing such content that informs, instructs or entertains, or support it by creating ads that users will see when watching videos related to your business. The right content will get you greater publicity and better brand recognition, and quality ads can improve your perceived authority, brand recall and your company’s overall reputation.
We’ve talked before about how to get noticed on YouTube, now we’ll look at ways to use YouTube, what works best and what type of content you should produce.
Customize your YouTube channel to best represent your brand:
- Profile Information - Customize your channel’s Title, Description, Tags and Visibility in the ‘Info and Settings’ tab which will appear on your channel’s homepage.
- Branding Options - Add visual elements to give your channel a personal touch that reflects your brand. Also, use the display banner on your channel to link back to your various social profiles and website
- Featured Videos and Playlists - Choose favourite videos or playlists you would like to automatically play or elect your most recent upload.
- Channel Tabs -Your channel can support up to four tabs: feed (recent activity, likes, comments), videos, featured tab (optional, used for customization), gadget Tab (optional).
5 Ways to Use YouTube for business:
YouTube can help strengthen your online presence, increase credibility, offers promotional opportunities and establishes two-way communication with your viewers.
- Provide useful and relevant content
Deliver timely information by uploading speeches, presentations and conferences.
- Control the story
Stay ahead of the news cycle by posting videos in response to current events.
- Start a conversation
Use your YouTube Channel to post footage from a Google+ Hangout with voters.
- Grow your audience
Ask people to subscribe to your channel so they can help spread your message. Embed videos on your site or automatically share them on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
- Understand your users
Use YouTube Analytics to find out who is paying attention to your videos and what they are searching for.
a) YouTube Keyword Tool: This keyword list will reveal valuable insights as to how people search when they are looking for video specifically, rather than general search engine queries.
b) YouTube Trends: Provides insights into popular videos based on keywords and video views.
What works best on YouTube:
- Be relevant
Keep current by consistently uploading short videos.
- Be informative
Post short videos about issues you care about and your accomplishments.
- Be genuine and engaging
Share your presentations; interactions with clients, Q&As that your target demographic would want to watch.
- Build a community
Respond to comments, run Q&A sessions with Google+ Hangouts and promote via your social media channels.
What content to share on YouTube:
Present your company as a thought leader in your specific industry
Upload videos from public speeches, presentations at seminars and conferences and demonstrate your unique skills, creativity and intelligence, or offer free tips that provide genuine value for users from your field of knowledge. Try sharing some of your presentations from Google+ hangouts and then publish them to your YouTube channel. People will appreciate when the help they look for comes from a reliable source or directly from the company they are dealing with. This will help viewers distinguish your company as a thought leader in the industry, someone to turn to when they need the kind of assistance that you can provide.
Do tutorials and how-to videos
How often do you search for an instructional video on how to do something related to your business or personal life instead of reading a text-heavy post on some blog? Pretty often, right? People prefer to get instructions from videos because they are faster and easier to understand. And they are searching YouTube for additional information on the products and services they use more than any other social network. That is a whole new audience for businesses to reach.
If your organization has some specific knowledge that others would gladly benefit from learning, you can create a tutorial video and share it with YouTube’s large audience. Say you are selling parts for home appliances. You can publish instructional videos helping customers install the parts they bought from you, as well as videos with valuable advices on how to maintain the appliances to serve them longer, which would be relevant to everyone and not just your customers.
Make creative video stories that you can attach to your brand
This type of content is the closest to what’s known as “viral” among marketers. But you should be careful with the definition of this concept. As a business you should not aim for the success of “The OMG Cat” as there would be no commercial value from reaching those views if the content itself provides no positive reinforcement of your brand’s message. You need people to want to share your video, so you must have a story integrated and attached to your brand if you want the video to ultimately convert to sales and revenues for your business. Here’s a great example from Air New Zealand.
Show your face
Credibility + Reliability + Intimacy = Trust. People do business with people they know, like, and trust and video encourages the relationship building process. With video not only can you establish your credibility but the intimacy part is really important as people can see your face, hear your voice, understand your tone plus see your eyes smile.
To boost your traffic on YouTube you can also pay for video views using their advertising platform. This won’t help you rank higher, just that you’ll have greater overall view count on your official channel, which will make your business appear more authoritative in front of the audience. Just make sure your ad is suitable for this type of advertising placement.
Do you have any tips on creating better content on YouTube? Let us know in the comments!