Founded in 2005, YouTube is by far the world’s most popular video hosting website. This free-to-use site has approximately 24 hours of video content uploaded every minute, and its mass market audience means it’s an ideal marketing channel for small firms. That said, YouTube is the least-used social network by businesses.
In order to maximise YouTube’s marketing potential businesses must think creatively. With millions of videos to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Therefore, think about what exactly you want your content to portray and the message you are sending out to viewers, because this will reflect on how your brand is perceived.
There are a number of features on YouTube that can help build brand awareness. Businesses can share and embed videos on websites or blogs, or even their pages on other social media sites. Videos can be rated by viewers, and can also be commented upon, all of which may have a positive effect on the brand - so long as the feedback is positive.
Top tips for businesses using YouTube:
- Think about video content – many corporate videos can be boring and repetitive, so think carefully about what will be most interesting and relevant to your audience. Also consider whether your video is aimed at informing your customers or if it is more of a sales tool for potential customers.
- Where else is your video going? – consider posting your video on other social networks and also think about whether it would be of interest to journalists or bloggers.
- Create your own channel – YouTube creates a profile channel every time someone posts a video. Viewers can subscribe to that channel and then businesses can send out emails to those subscribers. Make sure your videos direct visitors to your site by including your web address and other company contact information.
- Respond to comments – make sure you reply to all comments, whether good or bad.
- Engage with the YouTube community – check out other content and rate your favourite videos. You can even make suitable ‘friends’ to build your community presence. Look for content that covers your local area, or that's for a good cause which your business supports.
- Keep up-to-date with YouTube’s news – stay on top of changes to the site. The official YouTube blog is a good place to follow the community’s news.
- Keep track of where your video has been hosted – it may have been embedded on other websites or blogs. Make sure you keep on top of conversation about your video.
- Clear titles and descriptions for your video – this will help increase traffic. Pick your keywords carefully so they fit your subject area and niche, and so they draw in a wide audience. Video plays an important role in search, so make sure Google can find yours easily by including lots of relevant keywords.
- Add your company branding to your YouTube channel – viewers of your video can then click through to your channel to see what else you have to offer. Your brand and logo will make it look more professional.
- Keep videos short and snappy – viewers are unlikely to sit through very long videos.
Examples of companies successfully using YouTube:
King of Shaves
Producer and retailer of shaving products, including the first British engineered shaver in over a century. This company is one of YouTube’s biggest fans, having uploaded numerous videos to the site. There are active discussions about their content, helping to build brand awareness.
A Suit That Fits
This bespoke online suit tailoring company has made a number of videos that convey how they individually measure each piece for their customers. They also feature in various enterprise award videos, which all adds to their brand’s presence.
Courier service that matches deliveries with delivery firms already going to the destination. Their video ‘How it Works’ provides a clear explanation of their business and has generated 15,500 hits.