YouTube. To some, it’s a video sharing site that your kids use to watch videos of other kids playing games, making slime or “unboxing” their recent Amazon deliveries.
But does it have a place in small business marketing? Is it a useful addition to your overall strategy? In short, is the time and effort you put in to making a video and sharing it with the world at large (or at least, the part of the worldnotcurrently watching other people play Fortnite) really worth it?
Yes … as long as you do it correctly. Here’s how.
Hook Them From the Start
Your YouTube videos should immediately engage your viewers — you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. If your video begins with fumbling, flailing or otherwise not-so-professional actions, they’ll hit the back button before you ever get to the “good stuff.”
Open with a hook — create a problem, provide a solution and give them an incentive to stay tuned. “Today, we’re showing you how to get your green pool crystal-clear in a single afternoon. It’s hot out there, folks — we’re about to list the products you need and give you step-by-step instructions to get it done. Watch until the end for a special discount!”
You have now A) identified a problem, B) proposed a solution and C) kept them engaged throughout with the promise of a deal at the end.
As of 2015, 400-500 hours of YouTube content was being uploaded each minute. Does that make you feel like a very small fish in a very large pond? It should!
So which videos get the views? The unique videos. The ones that don’t subscribe to the cookie-cutter version of social media. The ones that are different.
If you own a bakery, don’t stick to the tried-and-true “this is how we make a cake” videos. Instead, give a behind-the-scenes tour of your bakery, or get a current customer’s permission to film their birthday party/wedding/bar mitzvah to capture their guest’s reactions to your confectionary concoctions. Differentiating yourself — however you choose to do it — sets you apart.
Use Relevant Keywords
If a YouTube video drops, but no one is around to see it, does it make an impact?
It’s crucial that you use your keywords everywhere — in tags, video descriptions and video titles. And “just” a keyword probably isn’t enough. Instead, focus on long-tail keyword phrases. For instance, if you are an independent hamster veterinarian, you don’t want to just put “hamster” — you’d do far better to use “hamster vet in Salem Massachusetts” or “sick hamster Portland Oregon.” The more specific you can be, the better. While you technically are excluding most of your potential audience, the audience that matters will be able to find you.
(Let’s be real. No one is going to spend $1,500 to fly a $15 hamster across the country for care.)
A keyword planner tool like Google AdWords can help you find not-so-common search terms that will elevate you from commonplace to first place!
Share, Share and Share Some More!
YouTube is a vast wilderness full of both productive and not-so-productive information. Want to learn how to speak to a giraffe, communicate with your cat just by blinking or completely restore that (supposed) 19thcentury painting you found at a yard sale for $3? There’s a video for that.
However, if you’re looking to promote your small business based in middle America, you’re going to need to help yourself — by sharing.
Share the video link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and your website. All social media channels should work together to get the word out. The more people that click, the farther your video will travel. That’s the awesome part of social media: It’s social!
YouTube isn’t for everyone, but it has the potential to work for anyone, if you’re determined enough!
Mischa Communications doesn’t have a YouTube channel, although we are guilty of watching a few from time to time. What we do have is the knowledge and experience necessary to take you to the top of the (video) charts! Let us know what we can do to make your small business go viral!