Tips for using YouTube

YouTube can be a powerful tool for businesses. These tips will help you make the most of it.

Include a 'call to action'

Ideally, watching a video will lead your customer to do something, such as buy a product, promote your business through their social media networks, give you feedback or seek more information about your business or your product.

You can include a call to action within YouTube, such as inviting people to leave comments, rate your video, share your video, subscribe to your video or check out your YouTube channel to see your other videos.

Alternatively, your call to action might direct people to your website, or ask them to call into to your shop or phone you. Examples include suggesting people quote a promotion code to receive a free or discounted service.

Manage feedback

YouTube is designed to be interactive, with people rating videos and making comments. This interactivity can be a real strength because it gives you direct customer feedback, which you can then respond to.

To do this well, you need to monitor the comments and ratings on your videos, and respond to them if necessary. If that's not possible, you may be better off to turn off comments when you upload a video.

Reinforce your brand

Simple things like including your logo at the start and end of each video ensure that people connect the video with your business. It's also important to make sure the tone and style you use on YouTube is consistent with your brand image.

Show don't tell

Video is a great medium for showing your products or services in action. You can post videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to get the most out of your products.

For example, a coffee roaster could post a video tutorial on making the perfect café latte, a bed and breakfast could show a short tour of the local area, while a pineapple grower could demonstrate peeling techniques.

Improve your search engine optimisation

Including video in your web content (e.g. embedding a video in your website) could improve your weighting in Google's search engine so that people doing a Google search are more likely to find your website.

You can help people find your videos by tagging them with keywords that people are likely to use when they are searching for the content you are presenting. Think about the words people might use in a browser search, and use these words as keywords in your video.

For example, consider your product category as well as your brand name (e.g. 'aged care' as well as the name of your in-home care service for older people). Then think about the words people might use to search, like 'cleaning', 'transport', 'stay at home' or 'ageing parents'.

Promote your customers

Some businesses use YouTube to show videos of happy customers — testimonials from users or videos showing people using their products. A video of someone talking about your business or succeeding with your product can be much more powerful than a written testimonial.

For example, a video of a personal training client finishing a half marathon is a great endorsement for the trainer as well as a tribute to the customer. Similarly, a dress designer could post footage of a celebrity wearing one of their outfits at a televised event.

Integrate with other marketing

You can embed videos on your website, so that your website can provide 'how to' advice, product tours or behind-the-scenes interviews. YouTube allows you to add videos to your website or blog (as long as the video owner has enabled an embedding function).

You can promote your YouTube videos through your website, social media or any other channels you use. Learn about social media strategies, including Facebook, Twitter, location-based marketing and coupon marketing.

Encourage video sharing

Every day, millions of YouTube videos are shared through Facebook, Twitter and other social media. At its most extreme, this is called 'going viral' when an online ad or video is shared rapidly by millions around the world.

Track your YouTube results

There are a number of ways to assess the benefit of your investment in YouTube (including your time and effort even if you don't spend any cash). YouTube and Google provide tools to analyse use of your videos, including profiling the people who view them.

If you include a call to action in your YouTube videos, it's also possible to track the impact of each video. For example, you could include a promotional code that people need to use at the point of sale to get a discount, then track how many people use the code. You can also use internet analytics tools to see how much of your website's traffic is coming from YouTube.

Also consider...