YouTube can be a powerful tool for promoting your business and you should definitely use it for much more than watching funny cat videos or NBA highlights. It is the second largest search engine overall behind only Google and ahead of Yahoo and Bing, with over a billion monthly users and reaching more US adults between 18 and 34. All of this makes YouTube a must-have online platform for your business.
Why Your Small Business Should Use YouTube
These days it seems that everyone has a Facebook and other social media sites are not far behind. Instagram and Pinterest are getting their fair share of the online cake and the same goes for Google + and Twitter.
But because of this "social media marketing craze", it seems that video sharing sites such as YouTube are being a little overlooked. This, of course, is one slip-up that you should not make.
Videos are a great way to show off your brand, product or service and to better bond with your customers. One huge reason for using video is that people today tend to be too busy to read a long article and you can keep their attention much better with a short video on YouTube.
There are four key reasons why it's a good idea to include YouTube as your brand's online platform:
1. Original video content can improve your SEO
Videos frequently get shared either through social media sites or via email. For this reason, search engines will put more emphasis on those websites that offer video content than those that do not.
2. Videos can get your message to a much wider audience
Few formats are quite as shareable as video. If your viewers like a video you uploaded, they are much more likely to share it with their friends. As such, a good video that successfully connects with those that watch it has the power to become viral in no time. This is a huge plus for your brand.
3. Videos are a potent branding tool
If you want to send a certain message about your brand video content is perhaps the most powerful instrument at your disposal. It certainly beats the typed word any time.
4. Video content creation is inexpensive and easy
Anyone can create a good YouTube video that will send the right message to his audience. All you need in order to create a YouTube video is a device capable of recording, such as a webcam or even a smartphone. In addition, video creation doesn't even have to take a big hit on your company's budget.
Setting Up Your YouTube Channel
Now that I talked at length about why YouTube is an online platform that you should not miss out on using, it's probably time to explain how to set up a YouTube channel for your business.
In order to create a YouTube channel, you first need to have a Google account. This is of course free and if you are using Gmail or G+, you already have it.
However, if you are using YouTube for business purposes, you should set up a distinct account on it and use your business email address, instead of your personal one.
Creating a unique Google account is a straightforward piece of business and takes only the following 6 steps:
- Visit www.youtube.com from your browser
- Click the "sign-in" button on the YouTube homepage (it's located on the top-right of your screen).
- Click on the "Create an Account" button when the "Sign In" screen comes up. YouTube will first ask you to create a new Google account.
- If you created a Google account before, this shouldn't pose a problem for you now. Simply fill in the necessary fields, enter your first and last name and choose a username. Be sure to use a name that best represents your business and not your personal name. Finally, create and confirm a password and click "Next".
- Create a Google Account Profile. Make sure to upload your company logo instead of a personal mug shot.
- Now click the "Back to YouTube" button and wait for the two emails you will receive from Google. The first one will prompt you to verify your email address (click the link provided in order to confirm it) and the second one will include your new Gmail account details.
However, this is only a part of what you need to do in order to set up your YouTube channel. The following 5 steps will show you how to transform a Google account into a YouTube channel:
- Visit www.youtube.comand sign in with your new Google username & password.
- In the top-right corner of the newly opened YouTube home screen is your profile picture. Click this to open your Google Account Menu.
- Click the "My Channel" link (upper-right on your screen). This will display a new screen entitled "Create Your YouTube Channel".
- In the "Activities", there are four options:
- "Like a video"
- "Comment on a video"
- "Favorite a video"
- "Subscribe to a channel"
5. Click the "OK. I'm Ready to Continue".
With this, your YouTube channel is created and all is left for you to do is to start uploading some videos on it.
Bear in mind that there is no YouTube channel for business or a way to create a specialized business account. You will have to use standard YouTube settings, so make sure that it displays your business in the best light possible.
How to Create, Upload and Share Your YouTube Videos
Unless you are happy with an empty YouTube channel (trust me, your visitors will not be), you need to create, upload and, for the coup de grace, share your videos. This is how it's done:
Create a Video
You can create a video using a video recorder, digital or laptop camera, or even a cell phone, as long as the device you are using supports video file formats allowed by YouTube.
Be mindful of the length of your video (standard YouTube license allows up to 15 minutes of material), but feel free to play around with your video. Depending on your business, you might want to appear more professional in your videos or more casual.
Once you are happy with your video, save it and get ready to ...
Upload Your Video
You can upload a video from your computer, IOS, Android or email. Here's a rundown on how to do this with each of these:
1. From a computer:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Click "Upload".
- Select a video from your computer.
- Wait for it to get uploaded.
- Click "Publish".
2. From IOS:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Open the Guide (three thick horizontal lines in the top left corner of your screen) to get to the "My Channel". Alternatively you can touch the Upload icon (arrow pointing upward).
- Select a video to upload from your camera and confirm.
- Touch the Upload icon.
3. From Android:
- Sign in to YouTube.
- Open the Guide in the upper left corner and go to Uploads.
- Touch the Upload icon.
- Choose a video to upload.
- Upload a video by touching the upload icon.
4. From email:
- Go to YouTube settings
- Now email the video to this address. An email should come your way telling you that the video has been successfully uploaded.
Share a Video
After creating and uploading your YouTube video, you need to share it with your followers in order to better convey your brand's message to a wider audience.
Although you can share a video via email, for business purposes, sharing this type of content on Facebook, Twitter or Google + is a much better solution and can help you reach more people.
...And you're done
With a good camera, enough time to record, edit, upload and finally share your video content, YouTube can soon become your standard bearer when it comes to your company's online presence. You may not get it right on your first try, but after a while, you will be able to pluck the fruits of your labor and enjoy the success YouTube brings to your brand