It is safe to assume that most people reading this would have heard of YouTube, a social video sharing platform created by three former PayPal employees back in February 2005, the chances are you have spent a few hours watching “hilarious” dogs on skateboards or the latest viral video craze (such as the Harlem shake). You may have heard that YouTube is a great way to help grow business and that you may one day begin implement it into your online marketing efforts – that day is today!
Alexa.com states that YouTube is the third most visited site on the entire internet, clocking up some impressive statistics (Source Youtube.com), check these out:
- 1.3 Billion Unique Users Visit YouTube Every Month
- Over 5 Billion Videos YouTube Each Day
- YouTube Is Localised in 76 Languages
- 1,000,000,000 Views From Mobile Devices Every Day
- YouTube Overall And Even YouTube On Mobile Alone Reaches More 18-34 and 18-49 Year-olds Than Any cable network in the U.S
ABOVE: The First Ever Youtube Video (Featuring Youtube Co-Founder Jawed Karim)
It is interesting to note that YouTube is not only a platform for hosting videos it is also the world’s second largest search engine, even more interesting is the fact that YouTube has been owned by Google since November 2006. A service such as YouTube is extremely expensive to run and is currently losing Google money on a daily basis, at one point estimated to be around 1.65M dollars a day! It’s common knowledge Google is one of the most forward thinking organisations in existence, so there is a great deal of methodology to their apparent madness, the benefits of owning YouTube to Google are:
- YouTube gains Google a highly important slice of the ever growing online video viewing figures – the importance does varying depending on the territory in question. In the UK BBC Iplayer is a dominant force and is funded by the UK Tax payer (A TV licence is a legal requirement for anyone owning a TV), whereas in the USA Hulu.com is ad supported and as such in direct competition with YouTube.
- YouTube provides Google with more meta-data (rough definition: data about data) for cross examination and analysis with data collected from Google’s every growing collection of online services. This allows them identify trends in what people are uploading and searching for – more importantly it allows them to collate enough data to be able to build an accurate picture of forthcoming trends and events. This gives them incredible power in being able to be the first to develop new products to service markets before the market even exists, it also provides a significant advantage why buying up smaller concerns.
- YouTube ensures that if Google is not the users’ first choice in search there is an extremely high chance YouTube will be, as YouTube is owned by Google – Google Win!
- YouTube provides an absolutely critical position as a Gatekeeper within the world of copyright. Content-ID is a self-proclaimed “State-of-the art technology” that lets copyright holders identify user uploaded videos comprised partially or solely of their copyrighted materials. Content-ID allows the rights holder to choose in advance what they would like to happen to the content when it is discovered (via daily an automated crawl system) – the current options include monetize them, get statistics on them or simply block them all together.
So now you have a clearer overview of what YouTube is, who owns it, the volume of traffic it attracts and how important it is. In chapter two we look into the key questions why you need to get your business on YouTube and how all this power can be harnessed and leveraged to directly benefit you.
Here Is An Example Video I Put Together To Demonstrate How A Local Business Ad Could Look
If You Type “Upminster Web Design” Into Youtube This Is What Ranks #1
Its Fairly Easy To Rank Local Businesses #1 In Smaller Towns
Use Google Keyword Tool To Find Out What Keywords People Search For When Looking For Your Industry In Your Area And Name Your Video & Accounts Accordingly!
Why Does My Business Need To Be on YouTube?
Social Media has been the hot topic amongst businesses for the past few years – names like Facebook and Twitter are thrown around constantly, for some reason YouTube is viewed as a bit of an afterthought. Personally I think based on the statistics we touched on in the previous chapter; YouTube must become a staple of your marketing strategy. Recent studies have shown that in most cases there is little correlation between Facebook “likes” and Facebook “fans” making a purchases or taking any kind of further action that would benefit the business once the “like” has been added.
In summer 2012 Facebook changed the way “Liked” pages show up in the “Fans” newsfeeds, from this point onwards pages only showed up in newsfeeds of those “fans” who repeatedly visited the page. In real terms these changes meant that you could potentially have thousands of “fans” but your updates and messages would only be reaching that tiny percentage who visited your page anyway. A “Pay To Promote” button appeared in the status update box – so effectively this was a ploy by Facebook to get businesses to pay to promote to the “fans” they had been previously able to reach for free. Suddenly the level playing field and marketing utopia we had all been promised vanished into thin air.
The fact is that Facebook whilst still the second most visited site on the internet is losing its novelty factor – the magical hold it once had has begun to fade. The amount of time users are spending on the site has dropped significantly and users’ behaviour has become more passive.
In the past four years since Facebook shifted towards encouraging page owners and businesses to move towards paid advertising, there have been some significant advancements – the most obvious being the rise of Facebook Ads. I have created a Facebook 101 video here and an in depth guide to Facebook Video Ads here.
Twitter is often the next platform to be mentioned when it comes to a business’s online marketing efforts, sure Twitter gets a lot of column space but it has an Alexa.com ranking of 10, 7 whole positions below YouTube. Twitter has 180 million unique visitors a month, a whole 220 million less than YouTube as you can see that is a massive number of visitors you could potentially be missing out on. At the heart of Twitter there are “Tweets” which are small bursts of information 140 characters long, which often results in rapid-fire exchanges between users. Twitter is a great platform but it has to be used correctly to be of any use in business.
I personally view it as a great tool for networking and “following” thought leaders within your industry and letting your own “followers” know about blog updates and upcoming events. Ultimately Twitter should be viewed as a “Newsflash” that can be strategically be deployed to release information that needs to reach your followers quickly. A practical example of how I think Twitter could be used effectively is perhaps you run a restaurant and have over ordered a certain quantity of perishable stock – so you could “Tweet” out to your followers letting them know your offering 50% off all day or if you are running a store that sells physical goods and you are having a quiet day and want to run an offer to entice people through the door.
All of these platforms do have something to offer to your overall marketing strategy but YouTube should be the centre of your plan in 2016. YouTube is not only a great platform for sharing video that would otherwise take up space on your hosting plan, anything you upload can be shared on the aforementioned sites (Facebook & Twitter) in just a few clicks! Let’s look at some of the key benefits that YouTube holds for your business:
- Its Free To Upload Your Videos – meaning there is an incredibly low barrier of entry for such a rich way to get your message across
- The Traffic Is Already There – if you follow the steps shown later in this guide you will be able to direct people looking for your product or service to your videos and ultimately to your own website.
- It Is Easier And More Cost Effective – to rank a YouTube video on page 1 of Google than it is rank a page of text and images
- In a lot Of Cases It Is Quite Straight Forward To Rank – “local keywords” in YouTube IE: “Plumber, (Insert your town)” obviously in major cities this might be a bit more difficult but certainly not impossible with a bit of creative thinking
- It Is Your 24/7 Advert – A free video advert that is accessible 24/7
- It Can be Used to Explain – your product or service and save you a great deal of time (and therefor money) answering the same questions again and again
- It Adds The Human Element To Your Business – it’s not just a cheesy sales room saying people really do buy from people
- You Can Create “How-To” Videos Showing Customers How To Use Their Products – again saving you time
- Can Easily Be Embedded In Facebook, Twitter And Other Social Platforms – making it easy for potential/existing customers to show others what you have to offer – reaching even more people for free.
- Tremendous Search Engine Optimization Value – as we mentioned Google owns YouTube and looks on YouTube videos favourably.
- Host Your Own Channel – after watching your video many viewers will visit your channel where they will be able to find out more about your business, they can even subscribe to your channel and be updated when you upload new content.
- Social Interaction – viewers can look at your videos and interact with your business. Many sales begin with interaction with the customer! It also shows you are real people, improves your brand image and builds trust.
Example Of Video Ad On Youtube (Demo Video For My Students)
5 Top Tips For Local Business Success On Youtube
1) Optimize Your Video To Be Found In Search
It is highly important to remember that Youtube is the 2nd biggest search engine on the planet (after Google of course) so you need to treat the videos you upload like pages on a website – they need to be optimized to be found in search! I have previously created a video tutorial which you can watch here – you will find out every you need to know on getting your video to the first page of Youtube search! My additional tip is that you find someone on Fiverr to index your video and build some links – trust me its the best $10 you will ever spend on marketing!
2) Make Sure You Use Subtitles
In a way this is extension of point one, but with auto-captioning being available to everyone there is no excuse no to use it! Youtube uses captions as part of its search engine – so if you want to maximise your chances of being found make sure you turn them on! As with all “auto” features – the accuracy of the subtitles can not be guaranteed, fortunately there is an option to upload your own and I highly recommend doing this to give your business the best chance of success on Youtube!
3) Complete And Brand Your Profile
As with all social platforms and incomplete profile just looks like your not taking it seriously! You need to consider that in 2016 a social platform is often the first impression a prospect will have of your business – the best way to imagine it is to look at it like a shop window or reception area of an office! You would not want people looking at a half decorated window or messy lobby area – what kind of impression would that give off? Not a great one!
- Make Sure You have A Branded Header For Your Channel
- Consider Watermarking Your Video
- Add Links To All Social Media
- Add A Website Link
- Complete The About Section
- Have A Logo That Fits In The Profile Image Box
4) Moderate Comments
Its important that you stay on top of all Youtube comments and take time to moderate them properly! As Youtube is the 3rd most visited website on earth – it attracts a lot of people and this has its pros and cons – the pros being lots of free traffic and the cons being you will also attract negative comments from competitors and trolls! Some videos should definitely be posted to inspire discussion and debate – but make sure the comments keep clean of profanity and avoid anything that could offend any ones ethnic, religious or political sensibilities at all costs! People will make stupid comments – just make sure you remove them on a regular basis!
I am personally a big believer in turning the comments off for certain videos that do not require them – like company introduction videos! I also think its fine to turn the publicly viewable view count off as well, the public should be concentrating on the content of the video and not how many views it has had!
5) Share & Embed Your Links In As Many Relevant Places As Possible
Ok the word here is relevant! You will be able to maximize the impact of your videos if you post them to all of your other social media platforms as well. Its also a great idea to post them in relevant groups and forums where people interested in your forums hang out! If you create how to videos another good idea is search question and answer platforms such as Yahoo Questions & Quora and post links to your videos as part of an answer to some ones questions!
Example Of A Short Video Clip I Used To In A Part Time DJ Equipment Flipping Business Last Year
As You Can See Its Extremely Basic – But This Video Helped Us Sell Several Pairs Of Refurbished Turntables Very Quickly! We Would Buy Them Second Hand – Clean And Refurbish Them And Then Sell Them At At Least $290 Profit Every Time! We Shared The Video On In Our Gumtree Advert (Craigslist Equivalent UK), In DJ Groups On Facebook And In Forums – We Did Not Even Have A Website! Just Shows You How Powerful Youtube Is When You Find The Right Product, Hungry Passionate Crowd And A Platform To Sell On!
I have been Gary O’Toole with Sociocaster and I hope you have found this post useful in justifying why you should be using Yotube as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. You should definitely take the time to check out the other posts and videos I have created as they are full of even more useful information to boost your marketing efforts! Have a great week and I will be back on Friday with another awesome video!
Have A Great Week,