If you’re looking for a new way to reach your clients or customers or to increase your exposure to a new generation of visual learners, you should consider YouTube. It’s easy and engaging and helps your audience get to know you more effectively.
Your small business social media strategy most likely includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and maybe even LinkedIn. Pundits will tell you that you need to be where your audience is. You might be surprised to know, but it’s likely your audience is also on YouTube. It’s the second largest search engine after Google, and can be a strong addition to your social media plan.
If you’re interested in reaching Gens Y and Z, YouTube is a must. Many people think of it as a music video or TV clips platform but it’s so much more than that. It can be a critical component of growing your business.
Here are 5 Do’s (and a few don’t’s) of making the most of YouTube to market and promote what you do:
Gen Y and Gen Z love to utilize YouTube to learn, and there’s no better way to capture their attention than with videos. They would much prefer to see how to do something, rather than reading about it. But videos are not just for Gen Y and Z; YouTube is one of the easiest platforms for all ages to use.
Consider creating how-to videos about using your products, employee features, product features, telling your business story, offering advice, or creating a “behind the scenes” tour of your business.
But don’t make the videos too long. Videos need to be short, to the point, and well edited. If you can’t cover a topic in three minutes or less, you may need to break it up into several videos. Having a series of videos is actually a perfect way to keep your viewers engaged and get your view numbers up, after all, people love binging once they find a video producer they like.
YouTube does have some video limits you will want to keep in mind. The maximum file size you can upload is 128GB, and the accepted file formats are .MOV, .MPEG4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEG-PS, .FLV, .3GPP, or .WebM, plus a few others.If your video was created in a different file type, you will need to use a video editing software to change it, and YouTube Help has tons of information on how to convert files. But these are pretty standard when using any type of recording device, from your phone to your PC or Mac.
This tutorial shows you how to create your channel. Creating a channel allows you to customize the YouTube experience for your customers and visitors. It is also a great way to keep all your videos in one place.
YouTube will give you a unique livestream link that will allow you to interact in real time with your customers. This is ideal for contests, unveilings, game play, grand openings, and other moments you want to share the live excitement.
But don’t pick a time to livestream that will limit your audience. If it’s too early, too late, on a Tuesday at 2p.m. when everyone is in school or at work, you won’t reach as many people.
Ask your viewers to leave you comments and create a dialogue. You can also include your link in the comments for people to shop. They can even leave you reviews right on your video page. Answer their questions right there on the video, too! It shows viewers that you take the time to read the comments and respond. Don’t forget to ask for likes and follows. That’s pretty standard of any YouTuber and your audience expects it and will likely oblige you.
Use some humor and don’t forget to try something new each time. People go to YouTube to learn and to be entertained. But there’s a lot of competition there. According to YouTube, 300 hours of video are uploaded every second. That means you need to do something that will stand out. Try to shoot for being inspiring, education, or entertaining if you want to get noticed.
YouTube is a great social media tool that tends to be forgotten when it comes to small business’ marketing strategies. When you utilize YouTube, you’re going to get noticed by people who are visual learners and it’s a measurable way to make an impression. So don’t be afraid to try out YouTube and make videos that will capture and engage your customers.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.