When it comes to marketing, businesses are always looking for new; innovative ways to sell their product or service. Although more than 8000 years of YouTube content is watched in the U.S. every single day, only 9% of businesses have taken advantage of the growing popularity of this highly effective social tool.
During this blog not only will we explain how to start a fully optimized YouTube channel for your business, but also how to create unique; top quality content that attracts and engages customers, helping you to build your brand and reputation. Strategically planned content distributed via YouTube can:
- Strengthen your brand identity
- Help you connect with existing and potential customers
- Showcase every aspect of your product or service
- Add a dimension of ‘realness’ to your business
- Demonstrate the ability of your business to keep pace with modern innovation and customer expectations
The first thing that you need to do it to create a personal Google+ profile and a Google+ page for your business if you haven’t already. We have put together these screenshots to help you with the process.
- Once you have logged into your Google+ account, head over the YouTube Channel Switcher. Your personal account should be visible as well as the option to create a new account for your Google+ page.
- Click on your business page. A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm that you would like to create a channel for your business. Click ‘OK’.
- Another pop-up will appear to tell you that your YouTube channel and Google+ page will be connected. Click ‘OK’ again.
- Ta-da! It’s that simple. You are now the owner of a YouTube business channel!
Customizing your YouTube channel
Customization is an important part of creating a professional channel that aligns with your brand identity. It also makes it easier for your customers to find you which is vital for it to be successful.
Your channel icon is automatically linked to your Google+ profile picture. Make sure that your channel icon is an image that is easily identified as your business; usually your logo or business name is best. Your image should be uploaded as a JPG, BMP, PNG or non-animated GIF and be at least 800×800 pixels.
Personalization of your channel artwork is an easy way to add vibrancy and personality to your YouTube profile. Make sure that it fits with your branding and is interesting enough to engage with your audience. Your channel artwork should be under 4MB and YouTube recommends it to be at least 2560×1440 pixels for optimum results.
Description and Details
Customizing your description and details gives you the opportunity to explain exactly what your business is and what it can offer customers. Short, concise snippets with minimal jargon are ideal.
To unlock the customization options for your channel you will need to click the gear icon in the section beneath your channel art.
- A pop-up titled ‘Channel settings’ will appear. Look for the option to ‘customize the layout of your channel’ and enable it. Then click ‘Save’. You will then get a wider range of options sorted into five different tabs: Home; Videos; Playlists; Channels and About. Select the ‘About’ tab to edit the details of your business.
- Under ‘Description’ give a brief outline of your business, your products/service and your mission. Be sure to also include your contact email so that your customers can get in touch! Also make sure that you include all of your business’ social media links, which you can get to appear over your channel artwork by adjusting the drop down menu.
- On the right hand side you will find a section titled ‘Featured Channels’ where you can feature other YouTube channels that are owned by your brand or managed by your employees. While this section may not be useful to you yet, once you expand your YouTube presence you may wish to diversify into other channels.
Creating kick-ass Content!
The best content online does one of three things – entertains, educates or it is useful, and the very best content combines at least two of these elements. The opportunity to include video in your business marketing strategy is a no-brainer. High quality videos provide visual stimulation that engages with your audience and gets them liking and more importantly, sharing your content across the social stage.
So what kind of content could your business be using?
Long gone are the days when you had to look in a book to learn something new. An increasing number of people are now using the internet to expand their knowledge and searches for ‘how to’ videos are growing at an incredible 70% year on year. Adding an educational spin on your videos can help to intrigue and captivate audiences and help you build a trusting relationship. People also learn better through visual aid so you will actually be providing a high quality educational experience, adding value to your brand.
One of the best examples of this that we have seen recently has been provided by HP. Searching ‘how to change ink cartridge HP deskjet’ on YouTube, the first video in the list was one created by HP that explained the process step by step.
This is a great tactical manoeuvre by HP who by creating this simple guide have provided the solution to a common problem and answered some frequently asked questions. HP has also expanded on this strategy by creating a wide range of videos that address a multitude of issues from setting up tutorials to troubleshooting, which they have uploaded to their HP Printer Support channel on YouTube.
Another great example of great YouTube business content comes from Luxy Hair, which is an ecommerce hair extension store that built their brand from scratch on YouTube. They have a huge range of tutorials on their channel that they use to provide braid demonstrations, styling tips and more.
This video, showing quick and easy hairstyles for busy mornings, has had more than 14 million hits and is one of their most viewed pieces of content. Luxy Hair now has a community of over 2.5 million subscribers thanks to their strategy of providing inspirational and educational content.
Whilst showcasing their products, their strategy also focuses on illustrating how their current customers can get the most enjoyment from their hair extensions. This approach subtly blends content and advertising.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways of conveying messages and many businesses use their ‘About Us’ page to tell customers the journey of how they started and have developed. However instead of or as well as using text, you can use a compelling video to describe your brand identity, mission and values.
Evolving customer demands; particularly among millennial’s has seen increasing value being placed on experiential rather than material purchases. Therefore when sharing brand storytelling videos you should aim to illustrate a lifestyle that customers can aspire to that is in sync with your brand. This creates the feeling of buying into a complete experience rather than a singular product or service.
A cracking example is the YouTube content posted by GoPro action cameras. Their dynamic videos feature adventure, adrenaline and exploration which are synonymous with the GoPro brand, and demonstrate the many different ways in which their products can be used. They are also directed in such a way that they embody the GoPro tagline, ‘Be a Hero’.
Ever wonder why a video of a skateboarding kitten has racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube? It is a natural instinct to want to be entertained see things that we have never seen before.
There are some extremely clever and subtle videos out there that combine entertainment and embedded marketing to create truly compelling content that gets shared over and over.
Vat19, an ecommerce gift shop that has a special interest in unusual, offbeat products, has built a serious YouTube following (currently more than 2 million subscribers!) thanks to a creative and highly targeted marketing strategy. Their approach is to use absurd comedy sketches around their extensive selection of novelty gifts in order to introduce new products to their audience.
One of their most popular videos features a 5lb gummy bear being destroyed in a range of slapstick experiments that are more akin to late night comedy than advertising. The strategy is clearly paying off for Vat19 as the gummy bear video has been viewed more than 25 million times, proving that entertaining content really does attract significant attention.
Optimizing your videos for search engines
You could be forgiven for thinking SEO doesn’t matter when it comes to YouTube videos, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Getting your SEO right is vital if you want to get your videos noticed, and everything from the title to the description can help get your video searchable and stand out from the other 400+ hours of video that are uploaded every minute.
Keywords are exactly what their name suggests – key words that people search for when looking for things on the internet. A vital part of your SEO strategy will involve working out which keywords people might use when they are searching for your video and there is a nifty little keyword tool for YouTube that you use to make sure that you have chosen popular search terms.
Understanding and utilizing popular search terms is crucial to building successful future content, and this may involve some trial and error on your part.
The actual format of your video is also important when it comes to your overall search ranking, but there are some considerations that can help you climb your way up the results page. These include:
- Filename. Your target keywords should be in the name of the file that you are uploading.
- Title. The title of your video should feature your target keyword near the start and be as clear and concise as possible.
- Length. When it comes to YouTube video files, bigger is usually considered better.
- Description. Again, bigger is better and your description should be high quality and keyword rich.
- Tags. Target keywords and associated terms should feature in your video tags.
Engagement is one of the biggest things that the powers behind YouTube take into consideration when determining the quality of your video. Encouraging customer interaction using the ‘thumbs up’ button and subscribing to video channels helps to forge stronger relationships with customers and encourages them to return time after time.
When YouTube ranks your video it will almost certainly take your video’s view count into consideration so get networking!
Simple YouTube Hacks
Once you have got to grips with the basics of YouTube for business, you may wish to explore some of the more complex functions that can help drive new subscribers and plenty more traffic. These include…
Adding a Watermark
Watermarks are customizable online ‘stamps’ that differentiate your images from stock. It gets overlaid on every image that you upload making it easy to identify which are from you, and links back to your Channel which will encourage your audience to subscribe.
- To add a watermark to your videos find your channel page and click on ‘Video Manager’. This will then take you to the Creator Studio where you can access some of the deeper level settings for your account.
- Once you get to the Creator Studio, click on ‘Channel’ in the sidebar. A drop-down will appear under ‘Channel’. Click on ‘Branding’ and then ‘Add Watermark’, and you will then be able to upload an image that will show up in the corner of all of your videos. Whenever you provide a link to your channel, add ‘?sub¬¬_confirmation=1’ to the end of your channel’s URL and pop-up asking people to subscribe will appear on your site.
You’ve seen a YouTube video with a product that is so awesome that we want to purchase it there and then. Well by linking Merch cards to your website you will be able to take card payments for items that customers have seen on your website at the touch of a button.
If you want to add merch cards to your videos just head over to your Video Manager and click on ‘Edit’ for the video that you would like to add a card to. At the top of your screen several tabs will appear. Click on ‘Cards’ followed by’Link Cards’ and then add in the information for your products.
As this article has demonstrated, there are plenty of ways in which you can utilize YouTube to grow your business even further. Keeping pace with technology, creating kick ass content and building a strong social presence can help to propel your business firmly skyward throughout and beyond 2016.