How to use YouTube to get your business noticed!
YouTube, you may think is a wacky website that's just for fun with practical jokers all over the world posting their humorous video clips on everything and anything. Believe it or not YouTube (and sites like MySpace) could be a great tool to consider in your online marketing strategy. It's not just for big companies: SMEs are starting to post their clips to share their business expertise and, of course, promote themselves nationally and internationally.
The beauty of it is that you don't need to spend loads of money on high tech equipment to create your video clip. Just a simple webcam or video recorder is sufficient. The website has a simple tool that allows easy and manageable upload with no hassle.
Depending on your business it can demonstrate your expertise, get you brand known, show off your products and how to use them and more importantly it's great for the search engines because you can write a keyword-rich piece of text to describe what you do. You could potentially tap into streams of new customers.
How and what to use in your video clip
- Simply talk about your knowledge in a given area, which may be useful to others. A question and answer session is quite useful, write down a set of questions, ask a volunteer to read the questions out like an interview.
- Instead of ordinary blogging you could use YouTube to create a virtual blog or at least include a link to the YouTube version.
- Create a simple PowerPoint slide presentation about your business and what it can offer.
- Create a clip for your brand to get potential customers smiling.
- Demonstrate how a particular product works, giving the user a better visual indication of how to use a product or service.
- Incorporate the YouTube link into your website. Again it's a visualisation of the product or it gives the indication to the user that you know what you're talking about if providing a service and gives a sense of friendliness. The potential customer is meeting you before the initial phone call/ purchase. It gives people a sense of security.
Dawn Crystal a small family firm in Stourbridge specialises in cutting and engraving crystal glass. They have captured short video clips demonstrating their skills and capability
This gives them some interesting content to showcase on their own website, a presence on one of the world's leading content aggregators and increased search visibility. The entry on YouTube is indexed like other inbound links and, in Dawn Crystal's case, for some searches they get a specific video reference at the top of the page (try 'English Hand Cut Crystal' in Google).
You may think to yourself why would anyone want to see a clip of how to engrave crystal glass? Well some of their clips have had thousands of hits and this gives the firm an opportunity to access previously untapped customers. They are demonstrating expertise they have in this sector and the quality of the end-product. In a way they are using the snippets to replicate the process of 'peeking in through the shop window' for people who are at a distance from their shop and have to buy online or make contact through phone or email.
Dave Chaffey, a well known eMarketing expert, can be seen taking his own medicine by using YouTube to talk about website design , SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and Pay Per Click.
Online video is particularly suitable for anybody in consulting, training or coaching businesses to put across offers, expertise and experience. It only really need as a head and shoulders shot although graphics (such as PowerPoint slides) can be inserted with a little know-how. This kind of material is great for anybody into networking (face to face or online) because you can tell people about it or point to the videos using links.
The National Business to Business Centre
Here at The National B2B Centre, we to have done a series of video clips on three different themes, eCollaboration, eCommerce and eMarketing . We were lucky enough to be able to work with Guruonline, which provides valuable business knowledge on a variety of different business topics via streams of videos. Three of our experienced and knowledgeable consultants are asked a series of questions on there given subject, in which they share their advice and expertise. They all demonstrate how knowledgeable they are and you actually get to see them talking. It gives a viewer confidence that they actually know what there talking about and feel more confident to call or visit our website. We are now looking at the rest of our material to see what we can put up on YouTube and other sites, to promote our capability further.
Web 2.0 techniques such as online videos and social networking are here to stay so why not join the party and use this technology wisely and effectively to promote your business. I believe it's a great way of promoting your business and showing how good you are in a given sector or industry.
Of course there are positive and negatives to marketing online. Just be aware of the need to think about your content and how it comes across. There are no rules but make sure your clip is of a reasonable quality (no fuzzy clips), the background is appropriate and clean (a white or plain background is advised), plan the content and if possible rehearse the delivery.
It costs only your time, the search engines will love it and it could possibly tap into a stream of new customers (even world wide). So what have you got to lose, get your video camera at the ready!
Author: Steph Williams, The National B2B Centre
® The National B2B Centre 2008 http://www.nb2bc.co.uk