Our Back to the Basics: Social Media 101 series returns for a focus on the video-streaming giant YouTube and how businesses can use its features to strengthen their marketing. With the potential to reach millions through a single video, learn the secrets to making the most of YouTube for your business!
Just the Facts
More than one billion people currently use YouTube, which is actually nearly one-third of all people on the Internet. This audience generates billions of views every day, so businesses that are able to reach this massive audience will have a huge advantage over companies that opt not to create videos.
But what kind of people use YouTube? What’s the point in using it if it’s just a bunch of kids watching silly videos? Fortunately, YouTube reaches the prime target markets of Millennials and Gen X’ers. In fact, YouTube reaches more 18-to-34 year-olds and 18-to-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. Another neat fact about YouTube is that searches related to “how-to” have jumped up 70 percent year over year, and that has resulted in 1 in 3 millennials saying they’ve purchased a product after watching a how-to video on YouTube!
Businesses that understand YouTube’s potential then need to know how to tap into that potential. Novice users might have a hard time reaching the viewership they want or be frustrated with the process. However, by acknowledging a few tips and utilizing simple strategies when it comes to posting videos, businesses can to thrive on the site.
Cards. YouTube has changed drastically throughout its short life span of just 11 years. One of the biggest changes for brands or companies trying to sell a product or drive traffic to its website is the introduction of YouTube Cards. These simple informational boxes allow you to promote a video or playlist, promote another channel, feature a nonprofit, encourage viewers to participate in a pool or link to a website, and they’re now viewable on both mobile and desktop.
Mobile App. Last year’s release of a new mobile app allowed users on-the-go to find and stream content with ease. The simplified app features easy navigation, options for alerts and more, which is extremely important since half of all YouTube views come from mobile devices.
360 Degrees and 3D. New tools to enhance video creation include 360-degree videos and 3D videos, or the combination of 360-degree videos in 3D!
Now that you understand why YouTube is so important and how it functions today, here are the important things you should keep in mind as you prepare to cultivate your presence on YouTube:
YouTube is Just a Tool
The first thing businesses must understand before diving into this social media network is that YouTube is merely a tool to reach certain end goals. While this tool is expansive and powerful, it should not be the only tool in a marketing campaign. As with every aspect of the campaign, YouTube serves as one brush stroke to help paint the big, overarching picture to your audience.
Connect YouTube to the other social media platforms through consistent branding amongst all of them. YouTube can play a key role in a business’s social media, and businesses can utilize these YouTube videos throughout all of their social media channels and on their website. However, the most important thing is making sure the proper links, branding and content remain consistent and ultimately support the business’s main goals.
Don’t Confuse Making Videos with Making Ads
The videos businesses produce for YouTube should always be content driven. Traditional advertisements are proven to not perform well on YouTube, and that will soon become apparent to any business who tries to use them. To be more popular and increase viewership, post interesting, informative and hopefully entertaining content and produce lots of it. In other words, make it fun and something that people want to share.
Company introductions, product demos and other videos need to be implemented in a creative and engaging way, so that even though it is apparent the video is about a product, it is still authentic and interesting. Think about how fun the Delta Airlines video is now. Strive to create video that your audience will want to continue watching and actually have a reason to share with their friends.
Content can include any number of ideas, and it always works best for the business to think of ideas that will translate well for its audience. However, some ideas include webcasts and webinars, which can also be broken up into a video series, short tutorials or product demos, business profiles or even interviews with staff members or customers.
Build a Relationship
YouTube can be a great way for businesses to not only sell product, but it can also be used to build a relationship between business and consumer that might not otherwise exist. People want to hear from the people in charge, not just watch a glorified advertisement.
If a business is able to create a face for their brand, ideally the founder or at least someone with some level of control in the business, then viewers will begin to trust that brand. Having a real person speak to them makes the product itself seem real, and two-way communication can develop. This relationship will ensure viewers keep coming back and learning more about the business.
A Few Tips
Now that you’re ready to create great videos to put on YouTube, here are a few tips for creating successful, engaging content:
No matter how much effort you put into your social media and advertisements, you must face the reality that it won’t get everyone to try your product. Oftentimes, people won’t try something new until they hear how great it is from someone else. Positive word of mouth is crucial for growing businesses, and YouTube allows those positive words to be heard by the billions on the site.
YouTube is the perfect outlet for customer testimonials. Many times, businesses will gather testimonials from satisfied customers and post a print version on their website. However, printed words pale in comparison to the powerful impact that hearing the words spoken can have.
All businesses should conduct and film interviews with willing customers to hear what they think and like about the business. Post these testimonials to your YouTube account, so potential customers can see and hear the why they should choose you. Hearing real people give their real opinions about your business will resonate strongly with your target audience and lead to more customers in the future.
Include a Call to Action
Never conclude a video without giving the audience something to act on. Businesses can create hundreds and hundreds of videos, but if they don’t get their consumers involved, they’ll never benefit from them.
The video should serve as the outlet to draw viewers in, keep them entertained and build a relationship, but in the end, they’re still trying to grow a business. Every video should end with a call to action to the audience. These requests don’t need to be challenging and can include asking viewers to:
- Subscribe to the channel
- Contact the business for more information
- Comment with questions or feedback
- Share the video
Be Mindful of SEO
Google is a powerful asset for YouTube users, especially if they add the proper data to their videos. Videos that have effective titles, tags and descriptions are more likely to appear higher in Google’s search results, increasing the chances a business’ content is seen.
Businesses should be mindful of the titles they choose, since that is often the first thing to draw viewers to the video. Be descriptive and include key words, so people searching for those key words will find your video.
Choosing the right categories and tags is crucial to properly utilizing SEO. YouTube generally has a good idea of what tags to use for each videos, so using their suggested tags should be fine. More tags never hurt though, so manually add tags that might help. Also include variations of the same tag, like “puppy” or “canine” in addition to “dog,” to increase the video’s reach.
Descriptions also assist with searches, so having short yet informative descriptions are important. Use one or two keyword-heavy sentences to describe the video. Businesses can also include a link back to their website to both help with SEO and connects viewers to their business. For more information on optimizing videos, read SEO Specialist, Blaire McKenzie’s article Top 6 Strategies for Optimizing Videos.
Although we spent all this time explaining how to make your videos more than just an advertisement for your company, there is a place for traditional ads on YouTube as well. Most videos on the site play ads before the content starts. Your business can take advantage of this feature in addition to your customer-focused content.
The benefits to using YouTube advertising are blatant. In case you forgot, YouTube generates billions of views a day, meaning your ads will have plenty of reach. Even better, YouTube ads are generally low cost! Prices vary, but in some cases you can pay just a few cents per view, which will easily pay itself back through the brand awareness it’s creating.
Here are a few quick tips to get the most out of your YouTube ads:
- Keep it simple, but make sure it captures the viewer’s attention within 8 seconds.
- Know your options. Review the different ads YouTube offers.
- Create different targeting groups and see what works best.
- See what others are doing. What makes their ads effective?
The impact YouTube ads can have for your business can not be understated. YouTube can help drive an average of 20 percent more traffic to businesses’ websites. Further research has shown that YouTube surpassed Facebook and Twitter as the best network to introduce new products to customers.
Make the Most of the YouTube Experience
YouTube is a powerful force in social media that can truly transform a company’s marketing strategy. If used properly, and allowed to grow, a business’s YouTube channel can propel their business to new heights.
In short, YouTube is all about entertainment, so entertain the viewers. Don’t force-feed them information and product designs. Don’t treat them as casual observers. Encourage interaction and nurture that relationship. Make sure that they don’t just come back, but they WANT to come back.
Create a YouTube channel today and reach customers like never before! If you are ready to cultivate your brand on YouTube or want to know more about how to use YouTube for business, contact Marketing RELEVANCE today. Subscribe to our official mRELEVANCE YouTube channel to see what we do next.