Much of the hype around social media centres on Twitter and Facebook, but with three billion views per day, YouTube can be a very effective promotional channel for small businesses. As with other social media, people can subscribe to your channel and share your content.
In this extract from Brightword’s 365 Social Media Tips, author Karen James identifies 11 simple ways to make YouTube work for your business.
1. Choose your channel title. Make the title of your channel match the rest of your social media IDs to give brand consistency. If you need to change it, click My Channel, click Edit Channel, click Info and Settings.
2. Customise your channel. You can brand your channel with your company colours and logo.
How: Click the down arrow in the top right-hand corner next to your channel name, click My Channel, click Edit Channel.
3. Keep your videos brief. Keep your videos short and concise to start off with (under 5 minutes). As you start to build your subscribers you can make them a little longer and more in-depth. Once people get to know you they’re more likely to watch longer videos.
4. Add a call to action. Add a call to action at the end of your video. Ask viewers to comment or click your Subscribe button, anything that will engage them.
5. Add your details. Most video editing software allows you to add text. Add your website address or contact details.
6. Describe your video. Make the description of your video really detailed. Describe exactly what it’s about and make sure you use lots of relevant keywords to make it show up higher in search results.
Richards little known tip!
“There is a 5000 character limit in the Youtube description. Use these to your advantage when writing, make sure it’s content & keyword rich”
How: Click Video Manager, click Edit then Info and Settings.
7. Embed your videos. Place your videos directly into your blog or on your website, rather than just pasting a link to it.
How: Underneath any video you’ll see a Share button. Click it. Next to the URL box you’ll see an Embed button. Click this then copy and paste the code into your site.
8. Create playlists. If you have videos about different subjects then organise them into playlists. When someone views one of your videos the rest of the videos in that list are highlighted in the side bar.
How: Click Video Manager then Playlists. In the box that pops up add a Playlist title and description. Find the video you want to add to the Playlist – underneath the video is a + Add To button. Click this and then select the Playlist you want to add it to.
9. Your YouTube URL. Put the URL of your YouTube channel on all your marketing material and at the end of every email you send. Your URL will include the username you chose when you set the channel up.
10. Collaboration. Find another channel that has the same target market as you and whose videos would be of interest to your subscribers. Promote your videos to each other’s subscribers by featuring them on your channel.
11. Be consistent. Just like with a blog or your other social media accounts, you need to consistently upload videos to your YouTube channel. Even if you choose to upload a video only once a month, make sure it is once every month.
What should you make videos about?
Short of ideas for videos? Whatever your business, there’s bound to be plenty you can make a short film about. Remember, it doesn’t have to be high-quality and there are plenty of cost-effective cameras (including smartphones) and editing software that you can use to make short films. What matters is that your videos are clear, interesting, informative or entertaining.
- Testimonials: Get your customers to record a video testimonial and upload it to your YouTube channel.
- Explanations: If you’ve got a product that needs some explaining, record a video demonstration of it.
- Introductions: Use videos to introduce members of your team. Make a separate video for each person, letting them explain what they do and a little bit about themselves.
- FAQs: Use video to answer frequently asked questions about your product or service. Sometimes it’s easier to listen to an explanation than to read it.
- Repurposed content: Make your content accessible in different forms. If you’ve written blog posts or articles try and find a way to repurpose them by turning them into videos.