Recently two small business owners I was having a conversation with dismissed YouTube outright as part of their social media marketing plan. Their reasons for this were two-fold, they believed it to be too expensive and they felt they couldn’t possibly produce anything worthwhile. However if it aligns with your social media strategy YouTube, with over 1 billion users consuming over 6 billion hours of video each month, is a fantastic platform for any business, and it doesn’t have to put a dent in your marketing budget. To create great content, all you need is an idea, a video camera (or an iPad), some editing software such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie and a quiet space to record. Feeling brave? Well, here are 7 tips to get you started on YouTube:

1. Develop a strategy

Understanding why you are using YouTube and what you want it to help deliver to the business will give you purpose, influence your content, identify who you target and guide your conversion goals.

2. Do your research

Find companies or individuals from your industry who are already utilising YouTube and see what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t just look at the how many people have viewed the videos as this can be misleading, instead look at viewer engagement through actions such as likes and comments. Focus on what your consumer likes and you are more than half-way there.

3. Work with what you’ve got

Great content tends to deliver on one of the 4 E’s – it educates, entertains, enlightens or empowers, very rarely will it do all 4. Your overall strategy will lead the direction of your content, but it is advisable to work with the resources and materials you have available. If your strategy is thought leadership a series of informational videos or edited versions of presentations you have delivered will be perfect. If it’s customer service some how-to and instructional videos will do the trick.

4. Keep it short

The average length of the most viewed YouTube videos is 120 secs so you don’t need to produce really long content. If you find your videos are edging the 10 minute mark reassess them and see if you can edit them into a series of shorter videos.

5. Integrate across your platforms

YouTube is one tool in the marketing tool box so make sure you integrate your YouTube content with your website and other social media platforms. Having a YouTube channel is fantastic but at the end of the day you want to drive viewers back to your website to convert them – sign up to a newsletter, make a purchase or contact you. Loading your new video onto your other social media platforms and your website will increase awareness and get it in front of more people to watch. Also make sure you include a link back to your website in the video description and on your channel page.

6. Understand YouTube and SEO

YouTube is the second biggest search engine next to Google (who also owns YouTube) so making sure you include the best meta data such as tags, descriptions and titles when you load your video will improve your search ranking. Use keyword tools to identify the right keywords for your content and also look at what your competitors are using. If you want to give your content a boost, invest in an adwords campaign. If the budget is tight, then save this for when you have content you want to use to drive revenue.

7. Have a call to action

As well as making sure your brand is visible, when producing your content be clear about what you want the consumer to do next and include it into the video footage either via the script, as superimposed copy or as a frame before the video ends. Be clear about this and repeat it throughout the content.

We’d love to hear from you any other tips you have for small business getting started on YouTube feel free to drop us line.

About Zena Churchill

Zena Churchill is a Director at Max & Buddy Consulting. She has worked in senior level business roles across national and multinational corporations, as well as being a small business owner. Zena is a strategic thinker and brings a practical, straight-forward approach to marketing and social media. She has a passion for training & development running practical business workshops for small business. Zena is a Certified Practising Marketer (AMI), sometimes tutors in Marketing at the University of Wollongong and is a Senior Consultant with Trinity P3.

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