Since its introduction in 2005, the video sharing/social media site YouTube has become an indispensable advertising and marketing tool for businesses in every industry, of every size to promote their products to prospects and customers.
Its reach is vast and global, as evidenced by the statistics:
- 1.3 billion people use YouTube.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
- 5 billion videos are watched every day.
- 80 percent of people aged 18–49 watch YouTube.
The Youtube video platform continues to host videos for more and more businesses, but it's not for everyone. Before you decide to include Youtube in your company's marketing strategy this year, consider a few of the pros and cons.
Video marketing can fit just about any kind of business
YouTube is the second most popular online search engine
Video is considered the most engaging form of content
Keywords are less expensive to target customers vs. Google searches
No control over the type of ads that will run with your content
Limited customization and usability
Just about every type of business can benefit from this channel, including online business, small offline businesses, even freelancers and consultants who offer their services.
The cost to upload a Youtube video is free, but in exchange, you'll need to accept that your videos will have promotional content included. This could range from ads for your competitor's products to promotions for products that don't fit at all with your marketing campaign, such as an ad for PR services during a singing video.
Additionally, if you want to customize your videos and have a page that shows your company's branding so that it works with your website, you're out of luck, because Youtube offers very little in the way of customization.
Regardless, the reason so many businesses use YouTube marketing is that it’s so effective. Not only is a way to reach an extremely large audience but it's also one of the most cost-effective online marketing channels.
- Video, by its very nature, engages with the prospect and keeps them watching to find out what happens next—and compels them to take action. In fact, according to a SmallBizTrends study, 70 percent of marketers say videos are responsible for most of their conversions.
- In this crowded ad marketplace busy people—which is everyone these days, right?—also appreciate being able to watch advertising, instead of reading it.
- YouTube videos are easy to search for by keywords—both on YouTube itself and through Google, its parent company. And related videos appear whenever somebody watches a video—that means you reach your niche audience easily.
Take Michelle Phan, who started uploading make-up tutorials in 2007 is a perfect example of making money with YouTube. She’s had millions of views on her various videos since then and has 8 million subscribers. Her YouTube fame has allowed her to start her own make-up line (valued at $500 million) and create her own YouTube network.
As you can see, if you don’t learn how to use YouTube marketing for your business, you could be missing out.
Getting Started With Your YouTube Videos
Creating videos may sound intimidating. But it’s actually quite painless to figure out how to use YouTube to market for your business if you follow a few specific guidelines that ensure your videos get found, watched, and compel your viewer to act.
1. Figure Out Your Format
There is no one right format for an effective marketing video. Certain styles work best for certain niches. And some will resonate most with your audience. Check out the list below and give them a try to determine which works best for your business.
- Talking head
- Screenshare (in which you film what you’re doing on a computer screen)
- How-to or tutorial
- Vlog (video blog)
- Product review
If you have a bricks-and-mortar business, you could even upload TV commercial style YouTube videos.
2. Creating Videos
The great thing about YouTube marketing videos is that they don’t have to be expensive to create and “professional.” You could even use your smartphone to film videos.
But make sure you have good lighting, so everything on screen can be seen clearly. Also, make sure that the sound is clear—that’s one reason you might want to buy a microphone at some point.
Consider using a tripod to keep the camera steady too. You can then use some basic video editing software to add titles and edit out the mistakes or switch between different shots.
Videos should be about 3 to 4 minutes long. Often even shorter videos work best, especially those meant to be shared on social media. See what length works for your audience.
Keywords are related to what your video is about. If you’re selling dog training videos online, some keywords could be “dog training” or “obedience training,” for example. You put those keywords in your video title, the description, and tags.
Having those keywords in place tells the search engine what the content of the video is and when people search for videos like yours, they’ll find them.
You can find “hot” keywords in your niche that get a lot of searches using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. You can also check out videos from your competitors and use the same keywords as they do.
4. Include Effective Calls to Action
The whole point of your YouTube videos is to attract viewers who then take some sort of action that gets them closer to being your customer. Usually, you don’t directly sell something in a YouTube. Instead, you’re generating leads that you can market to on a continual basis.
In your video description, you should include a link to your website, blog, or landing page. You should also tell people what web address to visit at the end of your video. Wherever you send them, be sure you have a way to capture their contact information, like a web address.
Some other calls to action to include are asking them to rate your video, subscribe to your YouTube Channel, and to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
You can also encourage people to post your video on their social media or blog… or even share it directly with friends.
5. Be Social
Remember that YouTube is a social network. That means you should have an active presence. When someone comments on one of your videos, chime in too and thank them. If somebody asks a question—answer it.
You should also comment on other people’s videos… you might find that those viewers come to check out your channel.
Another technique is to create playlists of videos on a similar theme or topic. You could include your videos, as well as those of others.
6. Promote Your Videos
You don’t want to wait for people to simply find your videos on YouTube. Tell the world they are there.
Spread the word on your blog, post them on your website, post them to Facebook and LinkedIn, send a link out of Twitter, send an email to your list…
However you contact your prospects and customers, tell them about your YouTube videos.
Now You’re Ready
Start simple. When you start using YouTube marketing for your business it’s a learning process.
As you create more videos, you’ll get better at filming, refine the styles and formats you use, and improve your use of keywords. Don’t forget to get the word about your videos through social media and other methods. And be consistent; upload new videos on a regular basis.
Over time, you’ll grow your audience and YouTube marketing will become an essential advertising channel for your business.