Introductory guide to YouTube marketing

YouTube, Vimeo and many other video streaming\video sharing services are fast becoming people’s primary source of media. As consumers change from television consumption to online video services such as YouTube, the standard for video adverts is also changing.

Over the last decade, the traditional 15 to 30 second “this is our product and you need to buy it” style advertisement has become less tolerated and mostly ineffective. In this article, we discuss the benefits and problems of video streaming and several tips to creating solid content that will promote your brand or business.

Pros and Cons

Social media is a term banded around as if it’s the be all and end all of marketing, and whilst it is an excellent way of promoting your business, service or brand it has some pitfalls to avoid.

This handy table sums up the good and the bad of YouTube:

Pros Cons
Relevance:- A well-crafted video maintains its relevance for years, a millennia in social media Longevity:- If you were to upload a bad video it will be on the internet forever
User Engagement:- At time of writing, the average length of the top ten videos is around 4 minutes, this gives you ample time to demonstrate your knowledge Range of Videos:- There are thousands of other videos for the viewer to watch. Ask yourself ‘why should they keep watching my video?’
Audio/Visual:-Humans, as a race, are lazy. We tend to prefer high quality A\V content rather than a well written blog post Sheer Amount:- 72 hours of content are uploaded every minute so your description needs to be exceptional for your video to even be seen

It is overly reductive to think of YouTube as ‘free TV advertising’, however in terms of getting the highest viewer count YouTube is an excellent resource. YouTube gets over one billion unique visitors a month and those visitors watch over four billion hours in that month.

To create great video content is an art in itself and pages have been written on this subject. however if you are new to YouTube or are still trying to get to grips with creating a successful YouTube channel, here are two essential tips.

Audience, audience, audience

The first question you need to answer before even planning a video is ‘who is my audience?’ Are you aiming your video for; businesses, the end-users or current clients?

By answering that question you know the tone that the video should take, the presentation style and the content you’ll include. Once you know who your audience is, you need to understand the audience culture, background, their likes and dislikes.

One corporation that are masters of PR and marketing is Coca Cola. However they don't always get their promotional videos 100% right and one video where Coke had misjudged the culture of their audience was their recent official Coca Cola, 'It's Beautiful' video which was used for the opening of an American Superbowl.

Coca Cola's PR and marketing team description of the video:- "the only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here. Watch the Official Coca-Cola "Big Game" Commercial and discover why #AmericaIsBeautiful."

However, the actual song and video caused a furor with the American people with many tweeting on #fuckcoke and vowing never to drink Coke again. Was the video a disaster?

From a YouTube viewing perspective with over ten million hits the video is a success, but from a promotional and marketing perspective perhaps Coca Cola didn't really understand the American culture as much as they thought.

Coca Cola products are aimed at the general worldwide consumer, so large number of hits would be expected for their videos. If your business is aimed at a different category of audience, you may have substantially less viewers but that does not necessarily mean your video was a failure as long as the right audience was reached.

Display your expertise

Our second tip is try to reach out and help and educate your viewers. Many products need to be explained before it is sold. The product in question does not have to be purely physical in nature - it could be and very often is you and/or your team - so educate and help viewers with problems and issues that they face.

Remember that YouTube encourages participation in discussion so produce video content that your target audience can use such as a how-to video, or a series of tips.

As a by-product oFinal Thoughts

A solid collection of videos will give your business credibility and legitimacy. Choose your audience and focus on delivering a message that they’ll find informative and useful. Establishing yourself as an expert and authority builds your businesses credibility. A well thought out YouTube video can be as effective as a referral in getting new clients.

If you've enjoyed and found this article useful,do check the others in this series:-

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - which is best for your business

15 social media tips for small businesses

Introductory guide to Twitter for business

Other articles, you may find useful in my retail series include:-

Three crucial questions that businesses need to ask before investing in new technology

How online retail can save the high street

How retailers can win customer loyalty

Five secrets that WiFi can boost your retail business

How retailers can gain a competitive edge through Cloud Computing