If you were asked to name the second most popular search engine today, what would you say? Bing? Yahoo? Badiu? Would you believe it’s YouTube?
With over four billion videos viewed every day, more than 60 hours of video uploaded every minute, and more than 400 million daily visitors on mobile devices, YouTube has become the go-to source for everything from music to sports highlights to cute kittens. More importantly, it has become a source of product and service information, reviews, and how-to videos.
When small businesses are planning their social media strategy Facebook and Twitter always come up, and LinkedIn and Pinterest are frequently mentioned, depending on the target audience, but YouTube is often left off the short list. Usually, this is because of the perceived difficulty of producing video. But when almost every one of us carries a high-definition video camera in our pocket in the form of an iPhone or Android phone, there’s no reason why short, informative, relevant videos can’t be created and uploaded to YouTube in only a matter of minutes.
Not taking advantage of YouTube as part of your inbound marketing strategy means missing a huge opportunity. Here are three reasons why YouTube should be considered a social media staple for small business:
1. The Reach and Accessibility of YouTube
YouTube is not just used by bored teenagers looking for videos of cute cats any more. Over 25 million people in Canada watch online videos every month, and 80% of that is on YouTube. Additionally, over 128 million people in the US and over 800 million globally visit YouTube at least once a month.
Not only is there a huge market of potential customers, but YouTube is easily accessible as well. YouTube videos can be viewed and shared on almost every smartphone on the market, and most new televisions and video game consoles now come with built-in access to YouTube. People have the ability to access the site wherever and whenever they want, from the living room to the commuter train.
2. Tell Your Story
Videos allow small businesses to connect with potential customers on an emotional level that can’t be reached with text or pictures. Most small businesses are driven by the passion of their proprietors. That enthusiasm and zeal, particularly for more esoteric products or services, can’t always be be conveyed by traditional media. YouTube gives you the opportunity to show your passion for what you do and connect with people while conveying your brand, not just your product or service.
The story of the creation and history of the business along with testimonials and product reviews can paint a compelling picture for potential customers. These videos can also break through to consumers tired of hearing the same lines over and over.
3. Your YouTube Channel Can Be a Destination for Viewers
After catching a potential customer’s interest with a video, their next step will usually be to check out your YouTube channel to see what other interesting videos you have. Your channel should be an informative but fun page for visitors to get more interested in your brand and products.
Treat your channel with the same level of care as if it was a part of your website:
- add channel art and a channel icon (channel art guidelines are available here) to personalize the appearance;
- add a keyword-rich channel description to help searchers on both YouTube and Google find you; and,
- add web links to drive channel visotors to your website and other social media channels where they can find more information about your company and contact you.
YouTube is Only Part of a Whole
If your company is on YouTube, then you may as well also be on Vimeo. You’re probably already on Twitter and Facebook. Maybe Yelp if you’re looking for walk-in customers. Why not throw some LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest into the mix? With so many venues for social media outreach, it’s easy to be left with a wildly disparate online presence. Sudymo Web Services can create and execute a cohesive social media strategy for your small business, with appropriate crosslinks and embedded videos that reaches your target audience with a greater likelihood of yielding success.
Do you use YouTube for marketing your brand or business? Comment below with advice on what has or has not worked!