YouTube Strategies to Help Your Waterfall Business

By Jonathan Allard
With its more than 100 million videos viewed each day, tens of millions of unique visitors; did you know that YouTube is the number 2 search engine on the Web in terms of inquiring volume?  It sounds impressive, but what does that mean for local businesses trying to reach customers?  You need to separate yourself from your competition!

Have you ever uploaded your own creation? Chances are, probably not.

If you own a small local business or if you are nationally known and don’t want to mess with video hosting and access issues, YouTube provides a free, easy way to host your corporate videos. Below I have listed some of the ways that you can take advantage of using YouTube for your business and help grow your media awareness.

Boost Your Brands Presence

Similar to traditional television ads, YouTube can help your business by increasing overall brand awareness. In fact online advertisements may be even more effective than TV ads. A recent Milward Brown study found that online advertisements resulted in 82% brand awareness while similar TV ads only led to 54%. Be sure to have content that is entertaining and informative to capture your viewer’s attention. Remember you are trying to make your audience aware of your brand, so your video should have content that represents your company. This way the next time a viewer sees your logo somewhere, they will associate your brand with it. Use YouTube to make your business more than an impersonal entity. Video tours can show off an office space or give a behind the scenes look at the process that goes into the everyday operations of your business. Let customers connect with the heart and soul of your company: the people who make it what it is. By featuring workers in action or even highlighting individual employees with video bios, you allow your company to have a personal touch that everyone can relate to.

Don’t be afraid to create awareness about who you are and what you do; it’s important to let people know who they’re getting this valuable information from.  You should encourage users to take a step towards a relationship with your company by having them subscribe to your YouTube channel or company email newsletter (if you have one).  By building your YouTube subscriber base you’ll automatically reach a built-in audience of potential customers who have opted-in to seeing your latest videos. For example you could say “Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more moneysaving tips on ways to improve your outdoor living space,” and include that call to action graphically in the video. Alternatively, driving people to a newsletter is another way to form the start of a relationship with that viewer.

Optimize for YouTube Search

Nearly 24 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day.  In order to be found you need to optimize your video so that it can be found on the site.  Here are just a few things to think about when adding your video to YouTube.  Include important keywords in the title and be sure your tags include those keywords as well.  Choose an appealing thumbnail that clearly depicts what your video is about.

To continue the outdoor living space example, you may want to title your video “How to design an outdoor living space that will adapt to your backyard. XYZ hardscaping top tips for designing an outdoor living space on your budget.”  Your tags might be “how to, hardscape, outdoor living area, pavers, plants, landscaping, DIY” etc.  The thumbnail could be a shot of you planting some flowers (assuming that YouTube gives you that as an option). Your title, keywords and thumbnail all gives your viewers the information they need to decide whether your video will help meet their need and solve their problem.

How-To Videos

Not all content has to directly promote your products. How-to videos that give viewers tips and hints on solutions related to your industry are a great way to give your customers a valuable gift that creates a feeling of goodwill, but also, importantly, is likely to be shared with others. For example, a barbeque restaurant might share a video about the perfect basting technique, or a graphic design studio might do a monthly series on simple Photoshop tricks. Neither one gives away sacred secrets that will hurt their business, but they do create relevant, helpful content that their customers – and potential customers – can use and appreciate.

Product and Service Demos/Details

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But when it comes to showing off your company’s products, a video demonstration or overview gives your customers more than a photo ever could.

Whether videos are used to demonstrate key features of new products or show off that product from all angles, YouTube gives you the perfect opportunity to let customers see your product in use, how it’s meant to be seen

Produce High Quality Videos

You don’t have to be the next Spielberg, but your videos should be professional and easy to watch.  Shaky hand-held camera work, poor audio quality, bad lighting or lack of coherence in the story all lead to viewers changing the virtual channel.  Pay attention to the lighting. Use a tripod to create smooth viewing experience. Use microphones and pay attention to the audio.  Try to tell a story or clearly walk viewers through the video and what you’re doing.  By paying attention to these basics you’ll standout from the massive amounts of poor quality content on the site – earning you more attention and more interest from viewers.

Give the Viewers a Follow-Up Action

Following the AIDA model you want to create a desire for viewers to take a follow up action.  If you’ve created an informational video about landscaping tips you want to give the viewer a compelling reason to follow up with you and a clear path to do so.  One way to do this is to provide a special offer and a unique web address in the video.

For example a call to action such as “Print step by step instructions and receive 10% off our in-home evaluation by visiting MySite.com/youtube,” gives your viewers an actionable next step with clear value. The unique URL and discount will also provide you one measurable way to determine how successful your YouTube video is.

Those are just some quick ways local businesses can take advantage of YouTube.  There are dozens more, but starting with the basics will put you in front of potential customers who need your help. 

What tips do you have for making YouTube work for business? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Resources:

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/blog/socialmadness/2012/05/3-ways-to-use-youtube-to-market-business.html?page=all

http://www.spyderbytemedia.com/5-ways-youtube-can-help-your-business/

http://www.reelseo.com/5-ways-small-businesses-advantage-youtube/