YouTube for Business, what’s the catch?
Numerous facts and statistics are being quoted, then re-quoted about the power of YouTube as a promotional vehicle for your business. What is beyond doubt is the fact that a very significant number of people are now using YouTube as a search engine; it became the number 2 search engine after Google as early as August 2008, and some say that there have been months in 2009 where the number of YouTube searches has overtaken Google.
This means that videos that are correctly titled and key-word tagged are being found by people searching for information, and if you have no videos containing information about your products or service, or sharing your thought leadership online you are missing out on a very large slice of visibility for your company. Of course, like any online content, if people find your video then choose not to watch it, or to click away within seconds, any benefit you gained from positioning is lost.
The catch with YouTube for business is therefore threefold:
- Your video has to be relevant to the search
- It has to be presented in an engaging style to keep the attention of your viewer
- You have to inform, educate or entertain. Selling is a big NO
There are two ways that you can use business video on the web, and you need to decide on your video strategy before choosing the most effective style for you.
If you want to promote your brand, make your company more visible and drive people to your website then you need a short film that people will like enough to pass on to their network and friends. This is how the most successful viral videos work. A great recent example is the Surfing Sheep! Film that had more than 250,000 views in the first month.
It’s short, fun and entertaining with a subtle corporate branding and strap line at the end.
If your reasons for using video are to share knowledge, be seen as a thought leader or an expert, to inform or educate, then you will rely on viewers finding you by using key words, appreciating your content, and subscribing to future videos you make. YouTube has been described as the new encyclopaedia where you can learn how to do just about anything. According to Forbes research, two thirds of c–suite executives view work-related videos online at least once a week, and 27% cite video as their preferred format for information gathering.
Case Studies – are a brilliant way of promoting your product or service without being pushy and ‘salesy’. Get your best clients to do your selling for you by sharing why wthey use your company. We are producing this type of film for a companies ranging from IT services to food production. Here is our own video with clients talking about what we do and some examples of work
So get in on the act and share your knowledge!
This type of information/education film is much less likely to become viral so you have to work harder to spread the word, posting your video links on social media sites, Ecademy, LinkedIn, Facebook etc to attract viewers to your YouTube channel. The more views and ratings it gets, the more visible it will become to others on YouTube. Although the number of views will be less than a viral film, your viewers are much more likely to be people who are genuinely interested in what you do, what you have to have to say, recognise your value and eventually buy from you.
With both types of video it is crucial to think carefully about a detailed description, a relevant title, key word tags, and of course always include a link back to your website.