Quality comes first regardless of the subject matter
YouTube is a valuable resource that lets small businesses reach out to a worldwide audience and promote their wares for the greatest return on investment.
Millions of consumers every day rely on video presentations before deciding to buy products. Companies large or small compete on a level playing field limited only by marketers’ imaginations.
“I visit YouTube most of the time for tech tutorials and hands-on labs,” he said Danielle Alice Desanges Aucéane.
A telecommunications engineer, she needs to stay current in her field. Aucéane founded TMG-NATEXO-Orion, which specializes in data analytics, business intelligence and programming. YouTube fills in data she wants while publicizing her brand.
Aucéane talked with marketers Ivana Taylor and Iva Ignjatovic about how to use YouTube for business.
Taylor owns DIYMarketers, a company “committed to helping small business owners get out of overwhelm.” Ignjatovic is a marketing, strategy, leadership and business consultant.
“I’m on YouTube at least a couple of times a week,” Taylor said. “I usually go there to try and learn something, see a demo or figure out how to use a tool.”
She is not alone. According to Hootsuitewith over 14 billion monthly visits, YouTube is the world’s second-most visited website.
“I’m on YouTube a couple of days per week for sure,” Ignjatovic said. “I look for music, TV shows and animal videos. Occasionally, I watch business content.”
Certain types of video content work best for small businesses on YouTube.
“YouTube is a vital marketing platform for thought-provoking and interesting educational videos and product reviews for every modern small business,” Aucéane said.
For her part, Taylor prefers videos that teach her how to do something and give a “know-like-trust” factor.
In fact, YouTube can attract a whole new world to your special brand.
“I like any video that can showcase the business benefits and results,” Ignjatovic said. “They might be demos or short educational videos.
“YouTube is good for music, entertainment, science or something I don’t get to see or hear often,” she said. “Business topics are great if I find something really interesting or innovative.”
Aucéane believes that the more engagement a video receives, the higher it will rank, according to these YouTube ranking factors:
- Target Keyword Use
- Audience Retention
- Video Engagement and Subscribers
“How-to videos or demonstrations are those that rank well,” Taylor said. “However, those are just the ones I’m most interested in. Who knows? Top-ranking videos probably show cats destroying property.”
According to Sprout Socialthe three countries accessing YouTube the most are the United States, India and Japan.
“When it comes to small-business videos on YouTube, relevance is what gets the attention,” Ignjatovic said. “Someone’s name — personal brand or just a company brand — will always get more attention no matter how good I optimize my videos, or how good my video is.”
Optimizing a YouTube channel might be a good idea, providing people agree on what that means.
“That all depends on your business goals in leveraging YouTube,” Aucéane said. “After all, a successful YouTube channel begins with high-quality and relevant video content.”
Frequency of use is a crucial factor in optimization.
“If you intend to use your YouTube channel for content marketing and to sell products or services, then optimizing is very important,” Taylor said. “YouTube started out with a much shorter format — three or five minutes,
“There are so many things that should be optimized,” she said. “It’s a full-time job to optimize anything. However, if video isn’t your strength or focus, it’s definitely a waste.”
There are alternatives to YouTube, but you have to stick with any options.
“I go through these Instagram phases where I really try to do something there, but I don’t,” Taylor said. “Instagram has taken the place of the old original short blog post: one image and about 250 to 500 words. Yet, I still haven’t gotten into it.”
In support of videos, DIYMarketers has posted, “15 Easy Ways to Generate Leads on YouTube.”
“Video optimization can’t hurt,” Ignjatovic said. “Businesses should optimize everything they can.
“Shorts get a lot of views and attention, but not everything can and should be instant,” she said. “YouTube is after a piece — or way more than just a piece — of TikTok cake with short video formats.”
Aucéane sees a correlation between video optimization and views or traffic.
“An optimized description helps you show up in the suggested video’s sidebar,” she said. “That is a significant source of views for most channels.”
Helping to back that up, Google has found that 70 percent of people have bought a product after seeing it in a YouTube ad.
“Because I optimize video content for my clients, I test it often and update optimization to test the key phrases and keywords,” Ignjatovic said. “People often think that optimization ends with SEO, or search engine optimization — and a very basic one.”
Creating videos for YouTube is not a simple proposition. It takes a bit of forethought.
“A common mistake is creating videos about everything,” Aucéane said. “That makes it hard to grow subscribers because they just don’t know what they subscribe to.
“Then there’s plagiarism,” she said. “Being on YouTube, you have to be yourself and create something new.”
Taylor admitted to her own mistakes.
“I treat my channel much like a library for video content,” she said. “It’s not very purposeful. Content creators should have a goal and purpose for their channel. Still, I wonder how many people actually purchase from someone based on a video.”
For outreach, it helps to keep people with disabilities in mind when creating content.
“Businesses don’t have to do ‘A’ production for YouTube, but the sound has to be good and have decent production,” Ignjatovic said. “People value well-edited videos.
“One of the mistakes small businesses make is when they just publish and never optimize or promote,” she said. “Why bother uploading videos?”
Small businesses need to create videos that stay fresh and interesting over an extended period.
“Showcase your expertise,” Aucéane said. “Become known as a subject matter expert. People will come to your channel to learn more. Well, that’s the goal, at least.”
Those who have experience creating content have a head start with video.
“I look at YouTube videos much like a blog,” Taylor said. “Every business can create basic evergreen content that educates customers.”
Consumers also take their time surfing through videos. extra has found that users spend nearly 30 minutes per visit to YouTube.
“Small businesses should make sure to create videos that are original and interesting,” Ignjatovic said. “Beware of rehashing old ideas. There has to be something specific about business.”
Optimizing videos for small businesses is generally considered essential.
“Think of YouTube search engine optimization similar to how you would think of Google SEO,” Aucéane said. “If you optimize your channel for SEO, you will land higher up on the results when someone is searching for a video.”
She has devised this relationship: Higher results = more views = more leads = more sales
“Optimizing videos is especially important,” Taylor said. “YouTube is really a search engine. If you have content that’s going to help people solve a problem, you need to optimize it for keywords.
“I can see YouTube videos ‘selling’ an offer on a landing page or as part of a Facebook Ad, but I’m not sure that those videos can sell from YouTube,” she said.
This is where follow through comes in.
“People might find your videos and might watch them, but then what?” Taylor asked. “I’ll have to do research to see what the data says.”
DIYMarketers has a supplemental blog post, “Try These Video Marketing Tips for Small Business.”
“Think of YouTube as another search engine,” Ignjatovic said. “Also, Google crawls videos picking up the data, showing relevant videos in Google search.
“Optimization is important, but promotion is, too,” she said. “Frankly, if your content is not good — not valuable to your audience — no optimization will save it.”
Particularly in early stages, small businesses often make mistakes when creating videos for YouTube.
“That includes using YouTube as a sales platform straight away,” Aucéane said. “People don’t want to be sold to in the traditional way anymore, especially not on YouTube. People are on YouTube to find the answers to their questions or problems.
“Of course, the first mistake is not starting at all,” she said.
To that point, a business has to begin somewhere.
“It’s a smart move to have sometimes basic content on YouTube,” Taylor said. “Most businesses don’t create enough videos. I’ve had business owners tell me that they don’t want to share information and lose customers.”
Rather than modest, a presentation ought to be bold and clear.
“Videos should have some kind of call to an action, whether as a text or a link, or as part of the video,” Ignjatovic said. “It doesn’t have to be sales, but at least send people to your website. Many videos don’t have CTAs of any kind.”
In the next few years Taylor envisions better video products backed by technology.
“I see a lot of artificial intelligence videos,” she said. “I expect this technology to really improve.”
Ignjatovic believes the trend will favor increasing variations on short-form video content.
Whatever the course, the journey could be fast or slow, keeping in mind the moral of the story of The Tortoise and The Hare.
“You can be more successful by doing things slowly and steadily than by acting quickly and carelessly,” Aucéane said. “Based on this, I’d rather be the turtle.”
About The Author
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.