Growing your business with YouTube
When you mention the terms, social media and business, a lot of people instantly conjure up images of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ – along with a long list of questions. What they often forget is that while these are social networks aimed at curating content from around the web, you have to have content to share on them to keep them growing. Enter YouTube, an online video sharing community.
In addition to being the number two search engine (behind Google), YouTube is a tremendous social media tool where you can create your own online videos, build an audience, and drive traffic back to your business in a number of ways – by posting a video on your favorite social networks like Facebook or Twitter, encouraging visitors to check out your website, sign-up for your newsletter or as a way to leverage word of mouth marketing where viewers tell their friends about your video.
When I first got started making YouTube videos I’ll admit, I was pretty scared. Some of the questions I wondered about were if I could amass any considerable number of views – I also had a lot of questions about YouTube videos – will viewers like my content, will I even get viewers and how do I deal with comments and so on.
These are questions that anyone who is just getting started with online video might ask themselves. But just two years later (and 750,000+ views), I’m happy to say that I enjoy making videos – almost more than blogging. And it’s not because I’m shy or anything. I just find they allow me to express my creativity through story-telling along with the creativity that goes into writing each video.
So to help you out, I’ve come up with 5 ways you can use YouTube to grow your small, medium, or large business.
When you’re creating a video for your business, be natural. Instead of thinking like your business, think from the perspective of your customers. If you were buying a product, using a service or getting help, what would you want to see?
Many of the most successful YouTube videos aren’t all “corporate” – instead, they focus on finding middle ground with customers and fans. This way it lets you connect on a more intimate level with your customers and fans and not just from a business perspective, aimed at selling products.
Autoplay won’t grow your views
YouTube features an option called autoplay, which starts your video as soon as the page loads. While this may seem a like a good way to amass a lot of views for a relatively short video, it’s not a feature I recommend using. Not only does YouTube not count autoplay into video views, viewers can see right through autoplay and in most cases, might “dislike” your video as a result. By creating good content, it will help you win over viewers.
Content isn’t king
It really doesn’t matter how many videos you create. What you’re looking for is consistency. Sure, some videos won’t generate a whole lof of views, but don’t let that discourage you. Be sure you take the time when you’re creating videos to create ones that relate to your brand. For example, don’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades and create a video just because everyone else is. Focus on being good at an area and grow from there.
Also, be sure you use YouTube’s analytics tools. This is online video gold (and it’s free too). A lot of people overlook what their audience is (or isn’t watching) on their channel.
If you are shy, do a voice over. You may wish to use videos but haven’t done so since you don’t wish to be onscreen. This can be remedied by simply showing your product and narrating the video with a voice over. Just record what you’re saying and then play it over the video.
Title, tag, category, description and custom thumbnail
When creating YouTube videos, take the time to create a title, add a description (and any pertinent links, such as downloads or social media channels or websites) along with relevant tags to your videos and a custom YouTube thumbnail image (this is a free template to get you started). This helps YouTube show your video to people searching for this term, it also helps your video show up in search results and other users’ related videos.
Stay in-touch with your audience
Lastly, be sure you stay in touch with your audience. Online video is not a one-sided conversation. Be sure you set aside some time to not only answer comments and questions, but in some cases, if you get the same question a lot of times, consider using those questions to create additional videos. Not only will this help make your business more personable, but it can also help you help more customers and viewers who are searching for the information that you have. Taking the time to connect with viewers also helps show that you’re not just about business, but that you also care.
In 2013, I am expecting online video to shoot through the roof as a valuable social media tool for growing your business. It’s still an untapped market and I encourage you to get out your camera, create a list of videos, and start shooting and uploading. Can I expect to see you on YouTube? I hope so!
If you have questions about how to use YouTube to grow your business, I’m happy to help – feel free to contact me on – YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or send me an email. Happy filming!