Brian Solis is the author of the new book, The End of Business as Usual. He is also a principal analyst at Altimeter Group. AT&T has sponsored the following blog post.
In my last article, we reviewed the importance of YouTube as a channel for connecting customers to your business…through video. Online video is becoming a powerful medium and as Marshall McLuhan once wisely observed, “the medium is the message.” And that’s the point, it’s your message conveyed your way in a medium that captivates the attention of your customers. It’s a thriving community and your presence and participation helps people find you and connect with your story because you took the time to become discoverable and helpful.
Now, before you take your next steps, I’ve assembled the top 8 best practices to help you get started and also to help you cut through learning curve to find audiences and success sooner than later. This checklist will guide you in the right direction as you explore possibilities for marketing your business on YouTube. It starts with great ideas and of course great content. Here’s where to start…
1. Read Success Story After Success Story: Eve Pearl is one of an infinite source of inspiration in how YouTube helps small businesses engage with customers. Read about the successes of others, learn from the tips, but most importantly, watch their videos and document the themes that can only apply to you.
2. Think value, not promotion: Customers are looking for direction. As you look at telling your story, use the pains, challenges, or aspirations of your customers in your storyboard development. Also, it’s important to find your niche. Eve Pearl doesn’t just sell cosmetics, she sells confidence and beauty to women with personal needs.
3. Design for search: Tying your story to people is part one of a two part approach. The second is behavior. Create the video and also Title, Describe, and Tag it in YouTube in a way that matches behavior. Use the words people use to search. Answer the questions they ask. Make it relevant.
4. Connect the dots: Viral videos don’t exist. There are videos that go viral and then once it does, it becomes a viral video. In short, videos need help getting attention. Like in Eve Pearl’s example, she found the right people using Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Blog search engines to match her content with people seeking direction. She reached out to digital tastemakers, experts, and influencers to also extend her story to the audiences of those who would find value in her approach. Also, consider buying ads on YouTube against the keywords your customers are using to search. It’s less than Google AdWords and can help you expedite attention.
5. Introduce a Click to Action: Even the best business videos on YouTube miss the mark. Often videos will earn a tremendous amount of views and shares but fail to drive tangible outcomes because the call or click to action wasn’t included. Design a click path from that video back to you and ensure that the entire experience is efficient and optimized for the device your customer prefer, smartphone, tablet, and PC.
6. Stay Present: You’ll find that you’re only as memorable as your last video. Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV demonstrated how resilience converts into millions of dollars for his family-owned wine retail business in New Jersey. In five years, he published 1,000 fun, energetic, quirky, but informative wine tasting videos that featured the wines sold through Wine Library. While extreme, it was effective. Vaynerchuk still works in the family’s wine business, but because his video series was such a huge success, he’s now a bona fide celebrity with TV appearances, best-selling books, and keynote presentations now part of his repartee.
7. Quality, Not Quantity: To the point of 6, you don’t need to publish 1,000 videos like Gary to earn similar business-related results. You don’t want your channel to go cold, but you do want to focus on quality…production value. Your videos contribute to your brand and ultimately how people perceive the value, product, or service that you offer. Make it count.
8. Measure Performance, Measure Outcomes: It’s inevitable. At some point you’ll be asked or you’ll ask yourself, “what’s the ROI?” Remember, the “I” represents your investment in the creation and promotion of each video. The “R” represents the return or the outcome, which means that the outcome must be defined and measured. Track performance using YouTube’s analytical tools and also other tools that you have at your disposal for tracking the click path and conversion ratios today. See where checkpoints and outcomes can be optimized and always iterate to improve performance…especially in real time.