Alex Wren, Video Specialist at Bitpod (online video marketing specialists) takes a look at YouTube and highlights the benefits it can bring to small business marketing.
“We all know about YouTube, its good for watching videos and occasionally hosting them too. But is there more to YouTube than this? Is it really that simple?”
Like most of the Google family, YouTube is constantly evolving. New and enhanced features are released regularly and the online video community has embraced most of them with ease. However there is one audience that seems to struggle with effective adoption, the UK SME’s. Many of the reasons for this are based around the lack of good information and possibly the belief that YouTube is primarily for entertainment only.
Let’s take a quick look at what YouTube can offer small businesses, beyond quick laughs and free video hosting.
What can YouTube offer small business?
- A fantastic resource for up to date information, this is often scored with views, likes and comments to help you determine the most popular content and the audience reaction. YouTube uses this social data when it provides search results, helping you find good content fast.
- The ability to subscribe to trusted sources video ‘channels’, this helps you discover new content on your home ‘stream’ as it is launched. Your subscribed channels usually provide the majority of your viewing selection.
- A chance to respond with a social interaction, both with the creator and other viewers. This could be direct on the video page or via external social media such as the creator’s Twitter or Facebook pages. You may also choose to share the video and discuss on your own social networks.
- The option to add other YouTube users to your address book. This allows you to send messages, recommend videos and engage privately. This feature can be very useful if you run your own video channel as you can arrange collaborations and guest appearances directly with other channel managers.
- An opportunity to build your own branded video channel. This is not about free video hosting, but creating relevant and interesting content aimed at a segment of the YouTube community. Often the goal is to build up channel subscribers who you engage with regularly. Your channel can also feature all your company and contact information for viewers who want to learn more about you and how you might help them.
- A fantastic and effective search opportunity. Video is not only quicker to get listed and easier to rank for, it is generally more enticing to the searcher. Good video focusing on information, answering questions and connecting with the viewer will convert far better than any promotional advert or sales pitch. SEO techniques work incredibly well with YouTube video especially if you plan your videos concept based on your research.
I could go on pointing out more complex features and clever tricks but actually I think it is more important to look at these basics. When UK SME’s start thinking about YouTube in the same way as LinkedIn and Twitter then progress will quickly be made. If we all spent just one hour customising our channel and then a few minutes each day taking part in the community that already exists, we might just see the benefits that companies in the US have been enjoying for years.
YouTube is more than kittens and babies.