Social media has become a major player in the promotion of small to medium sized businesses. As people have connected with friends and relatives all over the world with the minimal cost of social media, businessmen have learned that this can be a ready venue for communicating with ever-expanding consumer bases. Here are some pointers on how to use YouTube to promote your business.
Since YouTube premiered in the middle of 2005, it has completely changed its function. It started off as a place where individuals could store their home movies, and even share them with family members. Now, it is a billion-dollar marketing heavyweight.
BUT WHO WATCHES?
You may think that the majority of people who watch YouTube are teenagers who want to watch the latest music video. The fact, however, is that YouTube is available in 53 countries – twice as many as just 2 years ago. In 2011, you could watch YouTube in 43 languages. Now, it’s 61 languages. More than 1 billion different people watch YouTube every month, with over 72 hours of new video uploaded every, single, minute.
Even more telling is the fact that there are millions of new subscriptions every day. These subscriptions are for all different purposes, from keeping up with grandkids to following favorite sports teams, to staying updated with business services. That’s where your business can cash in on YouTube.
To get the most from your business’s YouTube video, make sure you are not infringing on any copyrights. If you put a music background, for instance, that recording is probably copyrighted. To use anything that has been copyrighted, you have to have the permission of the person or organization that produced the material. There is a place on the YouTube submittal form where you can indicate that you have permission to include copyrighted material. Many people get by with breaking copyright rules, every single day, on YouTube, but when they catch you, you will have a watch put on your account. They will also pull your video. With 72 hours of video added every minute of the day, YouTube has its work cut out for it in tracking down violators, but they will, eventually, find you, and then you’ve got problems.
LOOK FOR COMMENTS
When you consider the sheer volume of videos added every day, and already existing on the site, it’s even more overwhelming when you realize that over half of the videos have received comments. Comments are one of the best ways to determine whether or not your videos are getting attention. If you are not receiving comments, look at your video, and look at your channel to figure out what you can do to garner more views.
TACTICS TO INCREASE VIEWING
Before you ever post a video to YouTube, you need to do a keyword search. There are lots of free programs out there that you can use to determine which keywords will get you the most traffic on your video. If, for instance, you own a roofing company, think about what you want to market with your video. If you are demonstrating various eco-friendly roofing solutions, your keywords might be “eco-friendly shingles”, “green roofs”, “eco-friendly roofs”, and other such terms. Think of all of the different combinations of the possible keywords and key phrases, and enter them into the program you are using. It will give you rankings on traffic for each of the keywords, and make suggestions for alternate ones. The right keywords can make all of the difference in the success of your video.
Of course, a viral video is always a great coup, but you don’t set out to “make a viral video”. While everybody hopes that theirs will be viral, that designation usually is accidental. And, a video may become viral for completely different reasons than the poster originally intended.
Going viral with a video is not as easy as you may think, and is actually overrated. To “go viral” with a video, it has to have certain characteristics. There should be something in the video that is unexpected or unique. That may be fairly difficult with a video about roofing materials. About the only way to do that is to deliberately do something surprising in your video, which will usually backfire, looking contrived and silly. The best way to chance upon a viral video production is to be honest with your presentation, and address your target audience. Depending on your consumer base, simply a well-produced, informative video may enjoy its own modest success.
If you don’t think you have a big enough customer base to make it worth posting a video, consider using some leverage to get more views and spread the word. Facebook and Twitter are free advertising opportunities for your business, and can expand your exposure even more for nominal fees.
Find forums and online communities that deal with your subject matter, and share the link to your videos there. It helps if you watch videos that other people on that forum post, and leave comments. Not only will you get ideas on how to improve your own videos, you’ll often get tips on what NOT to do. By leaving comments, you pave the way for those same people to do the same with your videos. You may think that this is disingenuous, the whole purpose is to make your video stand out to YouTube and browsers, moving it up in the rankings. This will put it higher up on the lists of videos that go with the related keywords and key phrases.
If you collaborate with others in the video, ask them to promote it. They can recommend it on Facebook and tweet it, and share it on other social media networks. Get friends, coworkers, and anyone else to promote it as well. By the same token, make sure that you have links to your own video on all of your own social networking sites. Don’t spam your video address out, but do make it easy to find on your sites.
With these steps, you can improve your YouTube presence.
About the Author
This was a guest post by Gerald Tristan who writes for flvto.com which is one of the best sites for converting your YouTube videos into MP3 format.