While you may think of YouTube as the domain of silly viral videos and remixes, it’s also a database of knowledge and information—one that nearly 1 billion people visit every month. Sure, a large percentage of those visitors stick to the cat videos and the music videos and the cat-music-videos, but countless businesses have found a willing audience for videos that build their brand, establish expertise, and form solid and rewarding relationships.
If that sounds like just the kind of advertising claim that’s too good to be true, it is…if you don’t take the time to really master the medium and understand how to elegantly fold YouTube into your wider marketing campaigns. To get yourself going, we highly recommend taking a browse of this guide to using YouTube, which provides helpful tips for all levels of YouTube users. To get you started, here is a brief primer for getting those YouTube juices flowing.
There was a time when video production was largely a shot in the dark. Sure, you could do a little research into demographic data, or perhaps even run a focus group, but both options were expensive and not all that accurate. Those problems are largely a thing of the past, however, with the following approaches to arm you.
Companies who make the most of YouTube know that they’ll develop a long term relationship with their audience only if they keep their content interesting and varied. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to keep it fresh.
How to Videos
Whether you’re providing tips or doing a simple screenshare, how to videos are a fast and easy way to offer your customers valuable and actionable information. While the example below is pretty polished, you can accomplish similar results with a free tool like Screencast O’Matic.
If you’ve conducted an interview with an expert at an industry conference or have a slideshare to share, YouTube is the perfect place. Another great strategy is to record your answers to tricky customer questions. Use your video platform to establish rapport and trust right along with your expertise.
Marketing and Advertising
Before you read even further, let’s be clear that marketing and advertising on YouTube isn’t the same as advertising on TV. YouTube marketing videos have to feel down to earth, creative, and sometimes even risky if you want to entice your audience into watching. This could mean doing everything from emphasizing your brand values a la the White House video below…
…to introducing your brand to the world, to direct promotion of a product, service or event. Don’t be afraid to do something a little goofy, like testing your products under ridiculous and extreme conditions, or adapting your product for unforeseen uses. The more you can show you have a sense of humor about yourself, the better people will like you, engage with you, and share your videos.
YouTube is a powerful search engine, but it still needs your help to discover and promote stars. Here are a few things you can do to rack up those views.
It wouldn’t be a proper marketing campaign if there weren’t post-campaign numbers involved. It just so happens that YouTube has a powerful analytics tool called YouTube insights, which allows you to determine traffic sources and demographics, and measure engagement, attention rates and subscriptions. With these numbers in hand, you can gain a clear picture of just what’s working and what isn’t, and produce further videos based on your findings, both in terms of content and execution.
YouTube is fertile ground for marketers, with an entire world of users actively engaged, all the time. However, competition for viewer attention is fierce, and it’s important to have a deep understanding of the platform if you’re going to stand out. Master your craft, learn the best promotional skills, and have fun!
Luke is a Seattle based writer and internet marketer who loves leveraging YouTube and other types of video within marketing strategies. As an avid hiker, you’ll most likely find him in the mountains on a sunny day.