Social Media, YouTube and Marketing
Social media has become one of the the best ways to market your business online – when used wisely and in conjunction with other media. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube have all come to the forefront of outreach to the general public. The really creative efforts on those sites, especially YouTube, can draw in hundreds of thousands of subscribers – but sometimes just a few hundred will do – if they are quality followers and subscribers.
What YouTube Is…Essentially
YouTube is a free, advertisement-based service that allows people and businesses to upload videos of themselves, their issues, and their products. Among these millions of videos, there are many of products and services – businesses that reach out to subscribers to connect with them, entertain them, and also to sell their services.
YouTube is a free service and it is paid for through advertising support. Because of this, there are terms of service that have to be followed, and should be followed. The site does not allow for anything pornographic, graphic violence, racism, and other violations. Of course, a business that wants to stay in business would never dream of posting something like that – this is just to give an idea of what the YouTube culture is like and should be, ideally.
YouTube isn’t always free, and comes with pay options that can maximize reaching subscribers. If there is room in the budget, consider becoming a brand channel, or a YouTube Partner. This isn’t absolutely necessary, and it won’t automatically hurt the business just because the channel is a free one.
Sign up for a free account if a brand channel or partner channel isn’t feasible, and start uploading videos. Make the content of the videos solid. For example, a Yoga business may want to post videos on poses and breathing techniques, or meditation videos for relaxation. A real estate agent, on the other hand, may want to post videos on home and garden tips, or videos on the beauty of their market neighborhoods. Relevant, entertaining content is the key here – if quality videos aren’t loaded, people will not subscribe.
For instance, one investment team of two people put up a channel regarding their investments, but every so often they put on entertaining videos of the two of them cooking some of their favorite recipes. Because they use humor, demonstrate that they’re just average guys who make good investment decisions (by showing off a very nice kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment), they have gained trust with their viewers, and their business will demonstrate just that.
Many experts suggest purchasing the relatively inexpensive YouTube Ads that go by keyword bids and are pay-per-click. However, if the budget does not allow for purchasing YouTube Ads, then it’s time to use other strategies.
This is where other forms of social media come in to help. Promote the new channel through a blog, through Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Twitter. Ask friends, customers, and others to subscribe and to spread the word. If people are entertained by the content, they will subscribe, and they will share the videos with others.
There are a couple of guidelines to follow to avoid irritating the audience and turning them off. Make sure that adding friends with YouTube is not done through spamming in great quantities – to many spam reports will get the account frozen. Additionally, make sure that the concept of the channel is not a hard sell. That will also turn off viewers quickly. Have variety, fun, and demonstrate expertise in the area of the business that is being sold.
Keeping Track – Know What’s Working, What’s Not
There are some good tools out there for YouTube that will help keep track of subscribers, favorite videos, and other vital statistics for the site. YouTube insights will help gather information on what works best, and what isn’t working at all. Comments, likes, most-watched, and other info can help sort out what makes the channel great, and what’s going to get those sales going. Another tool that might be worth looking at is Twenty Feet, which does very much the same thing, but for more than just YouTube – Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, MySpace, and bit.ly are all included.
Ultimately, YouTube is a great tool for featuring a business or service to a wide-variety of potential consumers. It’s important to keep track of who’s subscribing, statistics of what’s popular on the business’s channel, and how to properly reach out to other YouTube users. Following these guidelines will help anyone get started with their YouTube channel, and use social media to their best advantage. Get creative, have fun, keep it clean, and people will enjoy what the business has to offer.
Pam Velazquez is a content writer for www.RecordsProject.com
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