The way that small business website owners use YouTube as part of their overall marketing campaign has been changing rapidly over the past few years. In fact, the constant changes to YouTube and its consistent additions of new features seem to be growing in frequency.
The most obvious changes have been made to basic items like its video watch page and the algorithm used to create search recommendations. The algorithm, for example, now factors in freshness, so that recent videos now have an edge over old favorites.
Advertising on YouTube has also changed dramatically. The TrueView system, which charges advertisers when their ads are watched in their entirety, wasn’t even around two years ago.
Another fairly recent feature, are the browser-based apps that can be used for editing videos or adding effects within the YouTube Create section. These days, you can make videos without a camera. The GoAnimate tool, for example, creates animated videos based on your script.
Now, YouTube has introduced its own analytics feature, providing deeper viewer insight than ever before.
So, with all of these changes and many expected to come, how can a small business website owner harness the power of YouTube for online marketing?
1. Find someone who can point, shoot and edit. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to hire professional videographers to record your message. However, the bar has now been lowered and all a small company really needs is someone who can work a camera and do a little editing. In fact, cameras built into smartphones and tablets are often good enough. If you want to hire a semi-pro model or actor, you can now get one for less than $500, bringing overall costs down substantially.
2. Grab your viewer’s attention quickly. People watch online videos differently than they watch television. Just like a website, an online video needs to grab a user’s attention within the first 15 seconds.
3. Optimize your video content. Because there are roughly 48 hours of new video content uploaded to YouTube every minute, you need to stand out in the crowd. This means that uploading your content just isn’t enough. Research what keywords will get you the most viewers and use those words in your titles, tags, and descriptions.
4. Spread the word. YouTube is popular because it makes sharing and embedding easy. Let everyone know when you have posted a new video and encourage them to share it, like it and repost it.
5. Utilize the YouTube analytics feature. If you don’t study the free analytics tools that YouTube offers, you are missing out on a valuable resource. Learn where your viewers are located, which blogs are giving you the most referrals, and where people stopped watching your videos and why. This kind of research can help make your next videos even better than before.