By Aliza Sherman
According to YouTube, the network generates over three billion video views every day. More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major US networks created in 60 years. If you don’t think YouTube is huge, you’re missing the boat.
YouTube is more than funny cat videos and laughing babies. It has become a powerful marketing platform for a wide range of business types and sizes. Through video, you can attract attention, connect with your target audience in a way that can speak to viewers on a more personal level, and if your video goes “viral,” rapidly build brand awareness.
Sharing video about your business on YouTube can give your brand a voice and personality and can fulfill a variety of business needs, from raising awareness about a new product line, addressing a reoccurring customer support issue, or helping to establish yourself and your business as an expert in your industry. Google®, Yahoo! ® and Bing® all index YouTube videos. Using video, you not only can potentially reach a much wider audience, you can also improve your company’s search engine optimization and results.
Popular videos on YouTube are not always professionally produced. In fact, YouTube viewers are very forgiving about less polished video and appreciate video created on the fly and in the moment.
So what types of video should you use on YouTube? The obvious is to examine your current video content, if you have any, and assess how useful it would be to upload and share publicly. This content could include television commercials, product demo video, footage from events, and other video produced as part of doing business.
Think about the content you are producing in other formats and determine if any of it might translate well into video. Many of the topics that you already cover on your website or blog might benefit from being turned into videos.
Setting up a YouTube account is free, as is uploading videos and sharing content. You can design a customized YouTube channel for your business, including your company branding, colors and even custom backgrounds. With a YouTube channel, users can subscribe to your content and receive updates when you upload new videos. Having a channel also lets you create playlists and add “favorite” videos to your page to create a more robust resource.
YouTube Insight gives you analytics about viewers of your video, including demographics as well as statistics for each of your videos. These analytics can help you determine what kinds of videos or topics your audience responds to the most. You can see where your video viewers live and in which geographic areas your videos perform best.
To learn more about the types of video you should upload to YouTube, watch videos by other complementary and competitive companies to see how they are using video. Determine what you want online video to do in terms of helping you achieve your business goals. For example, if you are looking to provide better customer service, that goal could dictate that you create and upload more instructional videos about your products.
Keep your YouTube channel content fresh and up to date. Search engines are friendlier to content that is relatively new, and users are also more inclined to view new content as opposed to a video that was created a year ago. Cross-promote your website and other social outlets on your YouTube channel or in your videos. Direct people from your website and Facebook® page to your YouTube channel, then link back and mention your presence on other social media channels in your videos, descriptions and channel information.
Remember that YouTube is a social platform, so connecting with other content and subscribers can expand your network and online reach. You can connect with other businesses, users and groups by subscribing to and sharing their content. Like retweeting on Twitter® and sharing on Facebook, subscribing and sharing on YouTube can expand your network and grow your subscriber base.
Aliza Sherman is a new-media entrepreneur, author, women’s issues activist, and international speaker. She has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women’s issues, particularly women’s role in the new-media industry and their participation on the Internet.
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