Get started with YouTube marketing

Video is a powerful marketing channel – and one that’s set to dramatically expand over the new few years. By 2020, video is forecast to account for 80% of all internet traffic.

Most of that traffic is headed to YouTube – with over 500 million hours of video watched every day. Video hosted on YouTube can reach millions of potential customers for free, so getting started with YouTube marketing is vital for any small business.

Why use YouTube marketing?

Video fulfils a huge number of marketing activities. It can help build your brand, showcase your products or expertise, and build your authority and trust with customers. According to Google, nearly 50% of customers search for videos relating to the product they want to buy before heading to the shops. Video can help improve marketing performance. According to research by Buffer, businesses that use video marketing have a 27% clickthrough rate and 34% higher conversion rate. With one-third of all internet users on YouTube, getting started with YouTube marketing can help you reach over one billion potential customers.

Types of YouTube video marketing

You can create all types of video as part of your YouTube marketing activity. Videos can include product overviews, how-to information videos, customer testimonials or even behind-the-scenes videos with employees to showcase your business.

When planning a YouTube marketing campaign, start by deciding what you want to achieve and who you want to watch your video. This will help you define the type of video you need to create. For example, a plumbing business might create videos showing how to fix common problems such as leaking taps to demonstrate their expertise. A wedding cake business could create videos showcasing impressive cake designs and showing off their sugarcraft skills.

Videos don’t need to be slick Hollywood blockbusters to be successful – but they should look reasonably professional. Using a decent high-definition video camera and a dedicated audio mic with wind muffler can prevent viewers clicking the stop button. There are also plenty of free video-editing tools that can add titles, captions and special effects to your video. Apple’s free iMovie software – available on Macs, iPads and iPhones – creates YouTube video, while Windows 10 users can use Microsoft’s free Photos app.

Remember to include calls to action in your video or YouTube description to direct customers to take action. These can be requests to leave a comment, subscribe to your YouTube channel, share your video with others or visit your website.

Create a YouTube marketing channel

You need a free Google account to get started with YouTube marketing. Once created, visit YouTube to set up your YouTube channel.

It’s best to use your business name for the channel, as it makes it easier for users to find your business on YouTube. Upload your company logo to the channel icon box and complete the About section with your business details, including how people can get in touch.

Add a link to your other social networking accounts and to your website so customers can visit and buy directly from you. There are also settings to change the colours, look and artwork of your channel to help match your brand image.

Uploading YouTube marketing videos

Successful YouTube marketing involves more than simply filming and uploading video to YouTube. Your video must be found, watched and potential customers should get in touch.

Video titles are of vital importance. Use strong, descriptive titles and include keywords that you think potential customers will use when searching YouTube. For example, a Brighton-based holiday lettings company might upload destination videos such as ‘A tourist guide to Brighton’ and ‘Five must-see Brighton attractions’ to entice holidaymakers researching a trip.

You also need to get the category and keywords right. There are 15 categories to select, and you can add descriptive tags to your video to help it appear in search results. YouTube suggests tags but you can add your own. Add a video description, keeping it brief but informative, describing your video in a few sentences using your target keywords and adding a link to your website.

Promote your YouTube marketing videos

Use social media to promote your video and embed your YouTube videos on your website, as this can help boost your website’s overall Google ranking. Including a link to the video in customer emails is a great way to encourage people to watch your video.

Engage and measure YouTube marketing performance

Don’t upload a video and just forget about it. YouTube is a social platform and gives you plenty of ways to engage customers. Respond to customer comments added to the video – even just to say ‘thanks’ for commenting. Monitor important information such as the number of views, likes, comments and shares your videos get so you can learn which videos are the most effective in engaging customers.

YouTube has free analytics tools that show how viewers interact with your video, including highlighting videos that viewers stop watching after a short time and which videos keep them glued to the screen until the end. You can also learn about your audience demographic – helpful for targeting your marketing.

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