Because it is a video platform, YouTube may not seem like the most suitable platform for marketing a smaller business – not now that comments on YouTube are tied into Google+, it has become one of the most influential social media platforms ever.

Creating and posting video content on YouTube is a great way to boost the visibility and credibility of your small business. So, with all of that out of the way here are 12 tips on how you can use YouTube to market your small business.

Keep the content coming – The most popular YouTube channels are those that have a constant stream of consistently updated video content. If you want to use video as a marketing tool, you need to actually have video, to begin with. And lots of it at that. There are plenty of ways you can produce video content for your small business.

Webcasts and webinars can be broken up and posted as a series of videos. You can repurpose infographics into explainer videos, or create short tutorials or product demonstrations. Consider creating a corporate profile or company history video. You can interview the owners, staff, customers, or even shock horror, yourself!

Include calls to action – You will probably have links in your video’s description, but you should start thinking about how you want viewers to respond before you ever post the video. Make sure your calls to action are included in the video itself. Possible CTAs can include contacting you for more information, subscribing to your YouTube channel, leaving you feedback, sharing your video on social media, or any other desired reaction you want.

Get interactive – As people view your videos, they will rate their quality and leave comments. To keep the momentum going, you should monitor and respond to all feedback as quickly as possible. If possible, personalise your responses to each visitor: using an automated, boring response could be far worse than no reply at all.

Customise your channel – The YouTube page that visitors view when they click on your account name is your channel – and it doesn’t have to look like every single other YouTube page. You can customise your channel with colours, images, links, relevant information and much, much more. This is a great opportunity to reinforce your brand identity by using your logo, colour palette, tone, and slogans so that viewers associate the video with your business.

In addition, when you set up a channel on YouTube, your viewers can subscribe and get notified whenever a new video is uploaded to your channel, which helps to encourage repeat visits as well as loyal subscribers.

Put thought into your titles – People search YouTube the same way they do on Google – with keywords and phrases that describe what they are looking for, if you want to learn all about keywords then please click here, anyways. Titles are weighed heavily in YouTube searches, so don’t give your video a boring, non-descriptive title.

Few people are going to click on a video with the amazing title known as “Product Demo” are they? The best way to decide on your title is to incorporate the content of the video into your title, this describes to the audience what they are going to be watching and tells a story before the video has even began, so a good example of a video title would be, “5 Ways you can save time by using (whatever your product or service is).

Choose the right category and tags – When you upload videos to YouTube, you choose a category for the video and enter tags or keywords. There are 15 categories to choose from, and you can add dozens upon dozens of relevant tags.

It is a good idea to use the tags that YouTube suggests since they are based on what people commonly search for. You can also manually add extra tags and variations on your tags – for example, if you sell products for sportswear, you could use keywords such as “sportswear”, “sports equipment” etc.

Write a great description – Your video descriptions on YouTube should be short, informative, and multi-purpose. Describe the video that people are about to watch in a sentence or two whilst using your keywords, and include a link to your businesses website, as well as social links if you have social media.

Consider collaborations – Collaborative videos are popular on YouTube. Viewers like them because they are an opportunity to see their favourite YouTuber work with someone else., and creators like them because of the additional exposure. Look for popular YouTube channels with offerings that complement your business, and try pitching the idea of a collaboration.

Let your customers do all the talking – Many small businesses have had great results by posting videos of customer testimonials on YouTube. This is a highly effective way to build trust and credibility with people who may need that extra “nudge” to try your product or service. And video testimonials are proven to have a much bigger impact than written ones.

Use subtitles, not annotations – Enabling subtitles ion your YouTube video is straightforward – just turn on auto-captioning and edit the output for accuracy. There are hundreds of millions of hearing impaired YouTube users who appreciate captions, and they are optional (with the default of off), so they won’t bother viewers who do not like them.

On the other hand, annotations can and do annoy viewers. Resist adding annotative pop-ups to your videos – instead, place links and your comments in the description.

Bulk up your Google+ account – The overarching goal of social media is to be well, social. That means when users comment on your videos, you should interact with them. The YouTube commenting system is now linked to Google+ profiles, so make sure yours is ready for visitors via YouTube with your company profile filled out in detail, including a professional profile picture.

Don’t confine your videos to YouTube – Just because you create a YouTube channel, doesn’t mean people will go looking for it. As part of an effective YouTube strategy, make sure you spread the word.

When you post a new video that you want people to see and share, write a blog about it, tweet the link to your audience, or post it on Facebook. You can also embed videos on your website, especially tutorials or product demos.

So now we have a question for you, does your business already use YouTube? If so how well have you done with YouTube marketing, let us know in the comments below, thank you for reading and we hope this blog is useful to you in the future.

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