Using YouTube to Your Greatest Advantage

YouTube is one of the biggest sites on the Internet.  Some people use it as their search engine to find information. It’s easy to sit for hours watching YouTube videos as the site can be addictive.

Have you ever forwarded a YouTube video to a friend or received a link from someone? Probably. YouTube has become part of our lives. There are people who make a living solely on YouTube videos. As a business owner, you can capitalize on this continuing trend and use YouTube to your advantage.  Here’s how:

First, get a YouTube account if you don’t already have one.  YouTube accounts are free so there’s no cost to you.  If you are already a member, then you’re ready for the next step.

Next, create a video. This is where strategic planning is important. The first question to ask is “what the goal is of this video or marketing tactic?’ Why are you creating a video and what do you want it to accomplish? There are a number of potential goals to consider. Some include:

  • Drive traffic
  • Boost your opt-in list subscribers
  • Sell a product or service
  • Increase awareness – viral marketing
  • Strengthen your brand

Based on your goal, the next question you’ll ask is: How can I accomplish this with a video? One great place to look for answers is to look at your audience. What do they want? What do they respond to?

For example, if your goal is to boost your opt-in list subscribers and your audience is commonly looking for “how to” advice, then you could create a “how to” video that leads them to your freebie giveaway for more answers and information.

Make it viral if you want to drive traffic to your website. Viral means that it spreads quickly. People share it with their friends, family and associates. In order to go viral, your video needs to be something people haven’t seen before. It can be funny, extremely informative, controversial or a new approach or solution to an old problem.

Develop a brand personality to start gaining a following.  What is your brand personality and how can you communicate that in the video?  For example, if you’re known for controversial statements and positions, then ideally your video will have an element of controversy too.  Remember to be consistent with your brand for better awareness and effect.

A few key points to consider include:

  • Your video must be less than 10 minutes
  • It must be smaller than 100MB
  • It must be in an acceptable format, namely .AVI, .MOV, .WMV, and .MPG file formats.

Maximize Your YouTube Video

Now that you’ve put a lot of work into creating a video to help you meet your business goals, it’s important to pay attention to the finer points now. Make sure you:

  • Enter Title, Description, Tags, and Category to make it easy for people to find your video
  • Set your video to “Public”
  • Get the code so you can embed the video on your website or blog
  • Link to the video in your various marketing tactics. For example, post a link to it on any social networking site you participate in. Email links to your list and encourage them to forward it
  • When embedding it on your blog, tag it to make it extra easy to find via the search engines

YouTube is an entertainment tool and a learning tool, and it can also be a business tool. Create our goals, pay attention to your audience and your brand, and follow up with good SEO and marketing practices to spread the word.