YouTube is a social media site unlike most others. While YouTube does have ample room for two-sided interaction between content creators and followers, YouTube is primarily a unidirectional social media platform. In this regard, the platform caters primarily to content creators, who generate videos for users. Users then view the media and may comment with the channel if so desired, but are typically ushered into the next video, whether that be from the same creator or not. Regardless, creators typically do not receive much from those viewing their videos, other than views and likes. The interaction is limited and not as personal. This means that to successfully market your business via YouTube, you need to think, plan, and execute differently than you would on other social media sites.
While YouTube is managed differently from other social media sites, one factor remains the same between the platform and others. Just like branding is crucial to the success of a business on Facebook and Twitter, it is also crucial on YouTube, even more so to a certain extent. Without a distinct and easily identifiable brand, your business will fail to succeed on YouTube. There is no way of going around this fact. Without a brand, your business lacks appeal, especially in a visual medium. However, branding is not difficult to master as long as you have a solid understanding of your business and the target market you are hoping to appeal to.
Realize that branding for an established business looks much different than the average YouTuber branding their personal channel or Pop Culture related business. Your business does not necessarily need flashy visuals, reaction videos, or a daily vlog. However, you must decide what tools and branding techniques are best suited for your business. When branding your business’ YouTube page, just remember to make it stand out from the competition. Display your mission statement, make it clear what your business’ purpose is and how it relates to users who may come across your video. As with Facebook, remember to keep a consistent approach in regard to what kinds of content are being displayed.
Part of branding is establishing what types or styles of video that your YouTube page is to display. YouTube is a massive social media platform, and the types of content that your business can create are vast. However, not every type of video is suitable for your business needs.
Business Info/ Introduction
This is a good place to start when first creating videos for your business’ YouTube channel. These videos not only help you to establish what your YouTube channel will be about, but they also set the precedence for your audience. These videos can also serve as a main video for your channel, or something that users can always be directed back to in order to find out more.
Tutorial/ How To
Tutorial, or “How-To”, videos are perfect for displaying your business products and/or services. This is also a great way to establish how your business performs a service differently. Utilize this type of video in order to demonstrate what sets your business apart from the competition.
Don’t let users take your word for it, have current and former customers give testimonials. It’s much easier to believe an outsider based on their practical use of a product or service. Incentivize your customers to send in their testimonials and validate the superiority of what your business has to offer.
Hints/ Tips/ Tricks
This style of video is not applicable to every channel. Especially if you offer a service, as these videos are most often used to enhance a customer’s use of a product or device that your business sells. However, if you are creative with your content creation, you can tool this format to offer tips and tricks that work in combination with your service. Think of this style as a way to explain how customers can get the most out of what you have to offer.
Live videos are a great way to personally connect with your subscribers and audience. Live videos can also highlight events that your business puts on, services that you actively offer, and even advice relevant to the services you have to offer.
Behind the Scenes/ How it’s made
Similar to hints, tips, and tricks videos, behind the scenes videos offer your channel the opportunity to show users how your business accomplishes its services, back-end operation, or even production. These are great way to get people invested in the process that goes behind what your business outwardly has to offer.
While commercials and advertisements can be created for your business on YouTube, it is better not to use them as your primary style of videos. However, these commercials can come in handy when used alongside YouTube’s advertising tools. When playing in front of another video, commercials can help attract new customers that are not already aware of what you have to offer.
Launching a new product or service? Product videos may come in handy when hoping to stoke excitement in your existing customers. Let visitors to your YouTube channel know about the exciting things in store for them in the near future.
YouTube is also a great place to answer frequently asked questions, especially when the answers to common questions asked by your clientele require demonstration. Utilize this style of video to keep your customers in the know, and to answer common questions that appear on your website or social media pages.
Once videos are created, it is important to come up with a clever and appropriate title. Titles need to be specific, yet general enough to apply to a wide variety of search terms. Avoid complicated titles, especially ones with specific product names and/or details. Instead, research applicable keywords and apply them to the subject of your video.
Don’t overload your titles either, as lengthy titles can often discourage users before they view a video. The title needs to get the point of your video across without overdoing it.
Keywording is an important aspect of both titling and tagging your channel’s videos. By researching popular keywords, you can target specific terms and audiences. Keywords help both YouTube and YouTube users are looking for. Whether these key words are used in tags or in the title, they also help users identify whether or not a video contains the information or subjects that they are looking for.
Keywording is also a large component of search engine optimization. Remember that not all users are being directed to your video from YouTube as a primary source. Rather, many users are also being directed to your videos via search engines. If your keywords are not relevant to what search engine users are looking for, then you are losing out on traffic. Tag your videos with keywords that people are already searching for and you will begin to drive more traffic to your YouTube content.
Many people have already made up their mind on a video before they have even read the title. This assumption is made off of the thumbnail. The thumbnail is a smaller image that is attached to your video link on YouTube’s search page, as well as when your video is linked on another video or social media site. Even if your video has very little visual content to display, it is important to have an appropriate and eye-catching thumbnail. It is equally important to remember that
Captions may seem unnecessary for smaller scale YouTube channels, but they are just as necessary for your business’ videos as they are for the latest movie trailer. Captions not only make your videos more accessible to other users, such as the auditory impaired, but it makes your videos more accessible to all parties. Captions can enhance your video by also displaying the audible information in a visual format. Especially when people are viewing your videos in a public or loud space, captions make it easier for users to gather information from your content regardless of where they view it from.
Cards are a great way to control the funnel that your videos create in relation to one another and to your overall channel. Cards, for any who may not know, are transparent text blocks that can be attached to videos at specific runtimes. Cards can be used to offer additional information, to correct an error in the video, or to direct viewers to another video that may be relevant to what they are looking for.
Just as with titles and keywords, it is important not to overload your video with cards. However, cards can be used heavily towards the end of the video in order to keep viewers engaged with your channel. While cards can be used to direct to other channels, it is best to simply redirect viewers to another video on your channel. This ensures that viewers are spending a greater amount of time with your channel and that they are likelier to remain engaged with your business for a longer period of time.
In addition to cards, playlists are an invaluable tool when it comes to funneling visitors through your channel. Playlists afford your channel the opportunity to arrange related videos in an order that is beneficial to users. Playlists can help organize a series of videos, as well as to organize videos over a specific topic.
This is where it comes in handy to think about and implement series for your YouTube channel. A series helps engage visitors with both your channel and your business. When users find a series that is beneficial to them, they are likely not only to follow up with that series but with the channel that creates videos in that series.
Soft Sell vs Hard Sell
YouTube is not the proper place for a hard sell. People do not visit YouTube with the purpose of being repeatedly directed to buy things. This doesn’t mean that you cannot sell on YouTube, but it should be done appropriately. YouTube is a great place to soft sell, or to give a call to action, but should never be used as the place to perform the bulk of your sales. Instead, utilize YouTube as a platform with which to openly display the benefits and advantages of your products and services, without making a definitive sales pitch. Allow users to see what you have to offer and to search that out on their own. If an appropriate sales funnel is in place, you can easily direct YouTube visitors to your website for the hard selling.
Remember that YouTube is first and foremost a social media platform. It is designed with the intention that video creators and channel visitors can interact with one another. While much of this interaction is primarily one-sided, do not be afraid to interact with viewers in the comment section.
This is especially pertinent when users are asking questions about the products and/ or services that you are using your channel to display. If you can answer these questions, or at least direct users to a video in which they are answered, you can establish a positive relationship with YouTube users on your channel. This gives all users a better reason to trust you and lets them see that your business cares about paying attention to potential customers. People like to be validated and to be heard, utilizing the social networking opportunities of YouTube is a perfect place to establish that validation and dedication to listening on behalf of your business.
YouTube is a social media platform unlike most others. While the social networking interactions are often one sided, the creator not getting interaction in return, the platform is still ripe with opportunity. Make sure that your business is seeking out that opportunity and targeting the appropriate keywords. Tailor your created content to match what other users are looking for and take advantage of the diversity of video styles and types at your disposal. Utilize the platform to establish a sales funnel that can direct users to your website but take care not to hard sell on most of your channel’s videos. Finally, remember that YouTube is a social media platform, and do not forget to interact with users commenting on your videos.