Marketing

How to use YouTube for your small business

XLN BizHub

Creating a YouTube account for your business can be a great way to engage with potential customers and tell them about what you do. Best of all, it’s completely free. Here’s how to make the most of it.

1. Understand how it works

YouTube is an online platform where you can upload and share videos about your business and live stream events. YouTube business accounts are free to set up and as YouTube is owned by Google you can set it up using your existing business Gmail account, if you have one.

2. Make it look nice

Make your channel look inviting by adding your logo and other relevant images of your business to create a channel icon and banner. If you don’t do this, YouTube will simply use generic images in these slots.

3. Add information about your business

Every business account has an ‘About’ section where you should explain what your business does and why it might be of interest. You may also choose to create a channel trailer, which is a short video typically less than a minute long that gives people an introduction to your business.

4. Upload interesting content

People have very short attention spans these days and there is a huge amount to distract them on social media, so make sure that every video you make is eye-catching, interesting, and gets to the point quickly, otherwise your audience will abandon it halfway through and won’t come back. Studies suggest that 6 to 8 minutes is the ideal length to keep people watching. If you are not sure what kind of content to create, start by making videos that illustrate what your product or service does and how people can use it in their lives. You could also make videos that introduce your team to potential customers, to show that they are friendly and approachable.

5. Upload content regularly

As with other social media channels, the key to creating an attentive audience is to keep giving them new content to view. So create and post new videos regularly and consistently, ideally every week or every other week. You might also want to curate your content so that you post videos on a particular topic at the same time and day each week, for example.

6. Include a Call to Action

Decide what you want people to do after watching one of your videos and then make it easy for them to do this by telling them at the end – this is known as a Call to Action. You may want them to subscribe to your channel so they receive a notification every time you upload a new video, for example, or you might want them to sign up to receive your email newsletter, or share your video with others. So tell them.

7. Interact with others on YouTube

As with other social media channels, you should use YouTube to interact and connect with people in order to grow an audience for your business. The more you engage, the more people will feel like they really know your business and start building an emotional connection with it. There are several simple ways to start interacting. Allow people to comment on your videos and then respond to these comments. Click the ‘like’ button on other YouTube videos you feel are relevant for your audience or align with your brand, share these with your followers, and show these likes and shares publicly on your channel so users can see the connection. But be selective - don’t like or share videos posted by your competitors and only like and share content that is related to your business - avoid any content that could be perceived as controversial or unprofessional.

8. Think about your keywords

The title and description you give to your videos are all searchable by YouTube users, so use specific keywords that you want to be associated with your business. These can be descriptive as well as factual - is your hotel cosy, luxury or dog-friendly, for example, or are your food products gluten-free, sustainable or free-range?

9. Use YouTube analytics

These will tell you how many people are watching your videos, who they are, how long they are watching for, what devices they are watching on, and what they do after watching. This will help you better able to tailor your videos to your audience.

10. Be aware of future possibilities

As you increase the number of followers more options open up. If you have at least 1000 subscribers and have created at least 4,000 valid hours of videos for public viewing in the previous 12 months for example, you are eligible to join the YouTube Partner Programme and start receiving a share of advertising revenue from the ads shown on your channel.