Growing Your Business with YouTube in Just Ten Minutes! – Part1

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 28, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10

There are many different channels on the web that you can use to market your business. A lot of them are text-based channels, which is okay because you need words to communicate and those word are searchable on search engines.

But sometimes you need something more. Sometimes it’s nice to engage your audience in a different way. Sometimes it’s easier for you to express yourself in ways that don’t require you to tap on your QWERTY keyboard for an hour.

Video might be just the thing for your business. In this Tips In Ten, I’m going to show you how you can grow your business in just ten minutes using video. I’ve listed it as YouTube here because they really are the defacto standard in video sites but there might be others that crop up from time to time or there might be an industry-specific video site that is better. Although my focus here is on the value that YouTube provides, I’m also talking more generally about the value that video provides, so don’t feel stuck to YouTube if there is something better.

In this Tips In Ten, I’m going to talk about an overview of video and YouTube and give you some ideas to start thinking along the lines of video marketing. And in the next article of Tips In Ten I’m going to give you some far more specific tips on creating great videos that people will want to watch.

Oh, and before I get too far into this Tips In Ten, let me warn you about something: I write Tips In Ten so that they take about ten minutes of reading time. And if you read this Tips In Ten, it should take the same ten minutes. However, I’m going to be linking to video and you will be tempted to watch them… and then more of them… and perhaps still more yet. So either watch a couple and bookmark the rest or set aside a little longer for this Tips In Ten.

Reasons why video is a good marketing medium

Let’s talk about why video in general (and YouTube specifically) are good for your business and I’ll give you some tips along the way:

Reason #1: Great use of time: If a picture is worth a thousand words then these “moving pictures” are worth tens of thousands of words. You can pack a lot of insight, personality, and quality content into a short amount of time. Depending on what you choose to do, your production time is down (better for your productivity) and you can say a lot without taking up a lot of your audience’s time (better for capturing attention).

Tip: Good videos should be under 5 minutes (and preferably under 2 minutes). And, if you set up a standard format that is easy for you to duplicate, you can create good content over and over in the same time that it might take you to write written content. As an added plus, I think people are more likely to watch a 2 minute video all the way through (if it’s compelling) than to spend 2 minutes reading an article. So you tend to hold their attention for longer.

Reason #2: Better for conversions: It takes work to read written content. It takes less work to watch videos, plus watching something on a video is multisensory. Both of these factors – less work plus the multisensory experience – can help to convince more people of whatever you are promoting or selling.

Tip: Videos are just like blogs or articles in this way; you need to make sure you deliver good content. (More on that later). Just as there are many less-than-interesting blogs and articles, there are many less-than-interesting video. Simply putting up a video won’t automatically generate traffic (and I’m still surprised every time I meet someone who believes that).

Reason #3: Better SEO. Video has a unique problem that search engines haven’t yet figured out how to solve and because of that, you benefit! Here’s the problem: With written content, search engines scan the content for keywords and apply a certain amount of “authoritative weight” to the keywords. But there are lots of words and search engine algorithms are run by robots, so they’re not perfect. Plus, a TON of people are writing content. Here’s how video helps you: Search engines can’t search video for keywords. So they rely on the title and the tags that the video is tagged with. The title and tags receive far more “authoritative weight” (since the search engine has far less data to draw from than a 500+ word article). As well, videos are sometimes listed in a special way in some search engine results (with a screencap of the video itself), providing some attention-drawing visuals to your video.

Tip: This means you need to be strategic in your tagging and titling. Make sure that you are using keywords appropriately in your video where you can. Just like any other type of search engine marketing, this isn’t the panacea that everyone is looking for, but it can still be very effective when used in conjunction with other search engine marketing techniques.

Reason #4: Easy viral: There aren’t many articles that go viral (and if they do turn viral, they’re usually written by big name people like Malcolm Gladwell or Seth Godin who tend to turn anything viral if they put their name on it). Articles aren’t easily viral because copying and pasting an article is illegal (or, at least a gray area, depending on the copyright and how the article is attributed. That’s not to say that written content doesn’t go viral, just that it seems to happen less frequently for a number of reasons. Videos (especially videos on YouTube) are designed to enable easy sharing and that tends to make them more likely to turn viral. You can embed videos on your site or blog in a way that doesn’t create copyright problems.

Tip: As you create content, always keep this thought in the back of your mind: Is this video something that someone would share with a friend? If it’s not, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t film it, but thinking about a compelling video and its potential impact is good practice.

Ideas to start thinking about marketing by video

I’m going to give you a bit of homework to start getting your mind thinking along the lines of what you can do. And we’ll pick up the topic again in the next issue when we discuss more of the nuts-and-bolts about video marketing.

The opportunities are seemingly endless when it comes to video marketing. I’m going to show you a few different types of videos, just to get your mind thinking in terms of what might work for you. I’m not giving you a comprehensive list, just a list of a few types of videos that I know will work. Some will be higher quality, some will be lower quality, but don’t get caught up in those details right now: The quality of the video will be determined by you and might be higher quality (or lower quality, if you want) than these.

You could do some really basic things like film yourself in situations where you might normally speak anyway, such as when you give a seminar or lecture. That’s basically what’s going on in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln7anWEq-gI. If you already do this kind of speaking/seminars/workshops, then you can leverage it by filming.

Or, you can give more of a talking head type of video. Chris Brogan does this, which basically has the feeling of a video blog (for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UXurPGJpP4). The nice thing about this kind of video is that it’s really informal. Just make sure you sound coherent when you’re filming yourself. An example of one that is well-produced but equally informal can be found here: http://tv.winelibrary.com/.

Another slightly more formal talking head type of video is this one. It’s still a regular show but it feels less like an informal video blog format and more like a TV show that just happens to not be on your TV. (For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJFFQgYNY94). An interview style is a version of this: Somewhat formal, more like TV, but still talking heads.

Of course, if you don’t want to sit in front of the camera, you can always do an informational type of video that uses other visuals. Often, they are in the form of a video-version of a PowerPoint presentation (like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H79m-3AKPAM) but this type of video is wide open for you to interpret how you want. Here is a lighthearted and higher quality version of the same type of video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dnL00TdmLY).

So far you’ve seen 4 formats of information-focused videos. But you certainly don’t have to stick with that for your video. There are other kinds of things that can engage your audience (and inform them, although sometimes informing them is a secondary goal). These types of videos are more likely to become viral because they’re not necessarily about imparting information to an audience but rather more about entertainment. But because they are produced by a business, they can still send web traffic your way.

The best example of a slick, viral, entertaining video from a business is the “Will It Blend” series (check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRr7N7A4Wc0). They’re slightly silly and don’t actually give any information but they’re engaging to watch and they are produced by a company that makes blenders, so it’s related. And if you have 9 minutes or so, check out this incredibly well-produced mini-movie, which is one of maybe 7 or 8 mini-movies funded by BMW, directed by well-known Hollywood directs, and starring Clive Owen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIHGT8vWleQ.

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