YouTube is now owned by Google so this is yet another way to use Google as a marketing vehicle. With over 100 million U.S. viewers of YouTube (never mind the rest of the world) as of January 2009, clearly YouTube is a way to reach a large number of people.
Why should you add YouTube videos to your marketing plan?
First, search engines are starting to rank video higher than longer articles and blog posts. If you’ve used good keywords in your title and meta tags, your video is more likely to get found by Google and other search engines. Additionally, since you can include a link to your own website, you can further increase the ranking of your site by adding videos to YouTube.
Our eyes naturally go to photos. If your video shows up in a search someone does on Google, the thumbnail of your video is more likely to catch their eye and get clicked than a text only result. This means more traffic for you.
Good videos are “link bait”. YouTube automatically includes a link for views to use to add to their website. If you provide interesting or useful content it is more likely someone will add your video to their website, increasing the number of people who see and hear your message.
You’ll be cutting edge
Even though people are moving to YouTube in droves, the majority of small businesses haven’t tried it yet. If you start using video online today, there’s a good chance you’ll be one of the first ones in your industry to do so. You’ll be seen as cutting edge or just reach people your non-YouTube competitors don’t.
Works well with other social media sites
Social media sites like Facebook are designed to work with YouTube. You can easily and quickly import your YouTube videos and get double duty. Even if someone has never used YouTube before, they can still watch your content.
The rule of seven
YouTube was made for the Rule of Seven. I’ve said it before: people like to do business with those they know, like and trust. And getting to know, like and trust you takes time – at least seven contacts with your marketing message. Video is a great way to let people get to know you: they can see your face and hear your voice. You’re no longer an anonymous entity online but a living, breathing person. If you combine that with interesting and helpful information, video can speed up the process of getting people to feel comfortable enough with you to be willing to open their wallets and purchase your products or services.
Tips for creating a good video
I’m not a videographer so I’m not going to give you tips on how to actually use a video camera. If you need help there, hire someone or find a teenager who knows what she’s doing.
However, there are some tips I can give you to get better results.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect. While you don’t what to look completely unprofessional, if your video is too polished viewers may feel like they’re viewing a commercial. Sometimes a slightly homemade quality to the video can make your message more authentic.
- The average YouTube viewer spends 2.5 to 3 minutes per video. Keep your video in that range and you’ll likely get more viewers.
- Dress professionally. I know I said a homemade quality may sound authentic but that doesn’t mean I think you should create your videos in your pajamas. Unless your personal and business brand is very quirky, dress how you would if you were meeting clients. Clean up your office – if that’s where you’re shooting.
- Provide good, useful content. People don’t want a sales pitch. The best format is to talk about a problem your customers have and give them tips on how to solve it.
- Don’t forget a subtle sales pitch. If you’ve given useful information, end your video with a soft sell. Include your website address and some sort of call to action – what do you want the viewer to do next. An ideal call to action is send them to a place on your website where they can get more information.
If you haven’t started using video yet, now might be the time to give it a try. Go to YouTube, see how others are viewing the site, get out your video camera and give it a try.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Are you using video and YouTube to market your business? Let us know how it works by leaving a comment. Also, if you know of businesses that are doing a good job with video, leave us links to the best online videos.