How to Use YouTube As Part of Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

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Harness the Power of the #2 Search Engine in the World

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Nothing draws views and likes on the internet quite like video, and YouTube is the reigning champion of online video content.

It’s not just the most popular video site, it’s the second most popular search engine in the world, owned by the #1 in search — Google.

Lots of people — billions every month, actually — go there for entertainment and knowledge, but did you know it’s an important part of a good small business marketing strategy, too?

A lot of businesses don’t, and that means they’re leaving money on the table. A good business marketing video strategy using your own YouTube channel will help you rank better in search, get your posts seen across social media platforms and drive traffic to your website.

Let’s talk about why you should be using YouTube to connect with customers and how you can use it to generate leads and conversions.

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Why YouTube is So Important

With over 2 billion monthly users and over a billion hours of video watched every single day, there’s a lot going on over at YouTube.

Why? Because people just love visual media, and they can’t get enough of the on-demand, user-generated content YouTube is known for. Even the biggest companies in the world use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy.

YouTube also has a DIY, personal feel that makes it easy for content creators and viewers to interact. And it’s fairly easy to use!

Plus, you can link to your videos on your website, in email newsletters, and on other social media platforms, so you’ll get a great Return On Investment (ROI) from every effort.

In short, YouTube is a versatile — and effective — social media platform that’s terrific for any small business.

Now, you’re probably wondering: What sort of video content would I even create for YouTube?  And how would I go about producing it?

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Start With an Idea: 10 Types of Small Business Video Content

You can approach your YouTube content like a video blog, explaining topics of interest or providing free tips to your customers on a regular basis. Or you can use videos to highlight products, or aspects of your business clients wouldn’t ordinarily see. Here are some common types of videos small businesses might explore:

  1. Q & A: Answer common questions in videos. The questions can be general to your industry (“What are my hair restoration options?”) or specific to your business (“How does the payment plan work?”). These provide clarity and explain topics for potential and current clients and can help them understand more about who you are and what you do.
  2. Videos for Blog Articles: These are videos that get embedded into written blog posts, and they provide a great way to add interest to your articles. They’re also helpful for illustrating difficult concepts and rounding out content you already have on your site.
  3. About the Business: Explain what you do and how you do it, or discuss the products you sell. You can cover the company’s history, talk about the process of working with your company, or even discuss values like sustainability and good customer service.
  4. Meet the Team/Staff: If your people are your company’s greatest asset, highlight their friendliness and capability at what they do. Putting a human face on your business puts potential clients at ease and helps overcome hesitancy.
  5. Testimonials/Case Studies: Few things are more compelling than an excellent review, and a video testimonial will be even more persuasive. Case studies can provide an in-depth look at actual work you’ve done for satisfied customers or showcase an effective product.
  6. How-To Videos: Show your customers how to do anything useful, as long as it’s relevant to your business. How-to videos are one of the most popular types of YouTube content and they can be both educational and entertaining to watch. You can film someone simply explaining how to do something or go all out and demonstrate a process using different scenes or even animation.
  7. Educational: Deep dive on a topic that’s relevant to your industry and your customers’ interests. A therapist’s website might cover different mental health issues, or a pillow company might talk about how to get better sleep. You can also lead a seminar or conduct an interview with someone knowledgeable to frame your topic.
  8. Promotions/Contests/Product Launches: Let people know about giveaways, discounts or new products with fun videos you can post across platforms. These are a great way to boost engagement and drive sales.
  9. YouTube Live Stream: Talk to your customers in real time, answer questions and field suggestions they may have. This is one of the best ways to put a face to your company’s name and show you’re thinking about your clients and their needs.
  10. Funny videos: You don’t have to be all business all the time when creating content for your brand. People love to laugh, so try your hand at lighthearted spots, spoofs, satire, whatever strikes your fancy — just make sure they’re appropriate to your industry and that the tone suits the topic.

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How to Create Video Content for YouTube

You don’t necessarily need fancy equipment to get started — you can even use your smartphone to make great videos people want to watch.

But good production quality is nice to have and makes you look professional, so you may eventually want to invest a bit up front to get a decent video camera, lighting, etc. And you’ll probably need to learn a bit about editing as you go.

Scripted vs. Unscripted Content

Don’t fret because you don’t have a team of writers to write an involved script for your video. You can start with just a basic understanding of your topic and a little writing know-how.

Unscripted content can work well, too. If you feel confident in your knowledge, try shooting a take where you just talk about your topic or demonstrate something and see how you like what you get.

Shooting Logistics

Think about how many people you want in the video – whether you’d like just one person talking, two people having a discussion or performing a task, or something else entirely.

Consider where you’d like to shoot and figure out how to light the scene properly. Then, make sure the audio sounds clear and the video looks nice with the equipment you have. A relatively new smartphone on a stand in a well-lit room may even do the trick.

Start simple and know that you can get better as you go. Sometimes just making a few videos and seeing what works (and what doesn’t) can teach you a lot.

Editing

There’s a lot of free editing software that you can use to edit your videos, and some of it isn’t terribly hard for beginners to learn. Your computer may even come with editing software already on there that includes tutorials on how to use it. Play around with the easier tasks on whatever software you choose and work your way up to more advanced things like animation later.

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Setting Up a YouTube Account/Channel for Your Business

You may want to create a business account to use across Google and on YouTube if you don’t already have one. You can do that here.

Or, if you already have a Google personal account and don’t want to create a business account, you can just sign into YouTube using your existing information. Your personal information won’t be visible to users if you use it to create a channel with a business name.

After you’ve created an account, follow these steps to create a new channel:

Create a Channel With a Business or Other Name

Follow these instructions to create a channel that can have more than one manager or owner. 

You can connect your channel to a Brand Account if you want to use a different name on YouTube than your Google Account. Learn more about Brand Accounts.

  1. Sign in to YouTube on a computer or the mobile site.
  2. Go to your channel list.
  3. Choose to create a new channel or use an existing Brand Account:
    • Create a channel by clicking Create a new channel.
    • Create a YouTube channel for a Brand Account that you already manage by choosing the Brand Account from the list. If this Brand Account already has a channel, you can’t create a new one. When you select the Brand Account from the list, you’ll be switched over to that channel.
  4. Fill out the details to name your new channel. Then, click Create. This will create a new Brand Account.
  5. To add a channel manager, follow the instructions to change channel owners and managers.

Learn more about using a channel with a business or other name on YouTube.

Once you’ve created your channel, you can customize it with business information and artwork to make it more appealing and informative to visitors. Now you’re ready to start uploading content!

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Dos and Don’ts for Your Small Business’ YouTube Videos

Do:

  • Come up with engaging content.
  • Make it look good.
  • Include calls to action, including contact and website info.
  • Post your YouTube videos on various platforms.
  • Use keywords in your title and tags to help people find your videos.
  • Be consistent and post regularly.

Don’t:

  • Forget that the goal is engagement: clicks, likes…and actual leads and sales.
  • Overthink it — personal, relatable content can do just as well as slick, highly polished videos.
  • Make content just for the sake of making it. Try to create something useful and informative for your current and future clients.
  • Be afraid to ask viewers to like and subscribe. Audience engagement drives views.
  • Fail to pay attention to commenters on your YouTube videos. You can answer questions, acknowledge suggestions and get valuable feedback this way.

And one final Don’t:

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Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating video content for your small business or just want some guidance as you get started, get someone knowledgeable to assist you.

Having a video marketing expert involved can help you produce professional-looking and sought-after content, save you the time of editing and uploading videos, and help with SEO and ongoing analytics.

Activating a strong YouTube marketing strategy and sustaining it will take time and effort you may not have to spare.

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Ready to Start Using YouTube to Promote Your Business?

We’ve helped a lot of small businesses like yours with their video marketing, and we can help you, too. Talk to a marketing specialist about creating valuable YouTube content you can use for your website, email newsletters and social media marketing. Fill out our contact form or call 800-692-4037 for a free consultation.

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By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.

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