Looking to promote your business via social media? YouTube is a cheap (hey, there’s no cost for placement and a video can be quite inexpensive to create) and potentially valuable way to help your content travel and help your business grow. And — let’s face it — YouTubing is a blast.
Now, let’s be realistic. If you expect to post a quick video, sit back and watch the views come pouring in, chances are you’re in for a disappointment. In order for business-based videos to succeed in getting traffic, they need to be sufficiently optimized, so the users get what they’re looking for. They’ve also got to encourage the viewer to click and, more importantly, stick around. According to Michael Miller, author of YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business, you’ve got to remember that entertainment is a priority. Simply uploading a corporate video or commercial won’t do – YouTube users don’t expect to watch an advertisement. If that’s what you post, you’re probably not going to get a lot of views, positive comments or measurable traffic increases on your site. And viewers certainly won’t watch something that isn’t entertaining. Yes, you want to get your name out with great, informational and optimized material. To do this effectively, you’ve got to understand how YouTube works, who’s watching and what you want to say.
There are three main categories of YouTube videos:
1. Informational videos: The Stone Brewery does this well. Yes, the behind-the-scenes tours and commentary are fairly tame, but the videos are engaging and certainly get beer lovers excited about the business.
2. Educational videos: Some people come to YouTube to learn how to do something. They might type, “How to tie a tie.” Enter personal image consultant Kimberly Law and her how-to videos. Along with the instruction, the viewer clearly sees her website and business information.
3. Entertainment videos: Yes, yes, this applies to “Numa Numa” and spaghetti cat. But smart marketing is advertising without looking like we’re advertising. One of the greatest successes of guerrilla marketing on YouTube is Blendtec, a company that sells high-end, industrial strength blenders. They’re strong. Really strong. So powerful that the company used a series of videos on YouTube called “Will it blend?” Marbles, hockey pucks, an iPhone. Tada! Blendtec succeeded. Now you know who they are and now, when you think “blender,” you think Blendtec.
One final note, SEOers take heed: It’s your job to pick the relevant keywords that will get your video airtime. Choose the niche keywords that will attract the viewers that may watch and then feel compelled to head to your site.
Optimize your video effectively by:
- First filling out a profile for the account. Enter your website’s URL and add the RSS feed for your blog.
- Title the video with an effective keyword phrase (this will be the anchor text).
- Tag the video with keyword phrases.
Good Internet videos can generate links and traffic for your website. Does that necessarily mean your ROI is worth the effort? Sure, as long as you didn’t spend three days, twenty employees and $5,000 on a video that gets 24 hits. Keep in mind that videos need not be elaborately produced to be effective. Get creative. As long as you keep it short, interesting and clear, you’re off to a great start.