Even though YouTube has been around for years, few brands have been able to set up shop and use the platform for successful marketing purposes. Common business mistakes include letting the channel get stale, using it only for campaigns, diverging from the brand, and too much focus on trying to create one hit wonders.
YouTube does, however, offer businesses the opportunity to reach consumers who want information about products and services. And you can reach them so long as you avoid those common mistakes, focus on continually creating resourceful content, and create content for all existing and potential customer needs.
To get started, here are four tips to market your business on YouTube:
1. Keep it fresh
The best brands on YouTube have several things in common, but one key factor you're bound to notice is that they have a good deal of content. YouTube Channels are essentially like video blogs for your business, so as with any corporate blog, you must update frequently - with relevant information for your audience - to maintain an active and engaged subscriber base.
As an example, Roxy is doing some impressive work with their YouTube Channel. The lifestyle brand taps into their target audience's passions and produces a wide array of surfing, snowboarding, and action sports videos. They even throw in a myriad of fashion reports, product videos, behind the scenes moments, and highlights of trips around the world. They do an amazing job at highlighting the Roxy way of life, and they do so on a very regular basis.
2. It's not about the campaign
Many businesses and brands fall into the trap of creating a one-time incentive-based contest or video campaign to try and motivate YouTubers to get involved and post response videos. Although there's nothing inherently wrong with a campaign-centric video, there's nothing worse than a stale YouTube channel or one that just serves up brand messaging.
Brands and marketers need to focus on providing real value. If YouTube becomes just a platform for you to push your message out, you'll never see the type of engagement and response you're looking for. Audiences are looking for meaty videos, and can see right through transparent attempts to engineer viral campaigns.
If you need a little inspiration take a look at The Home Depot's YouTube Channel. You'll notice that The Home Depot is basically a video how-to resource blog. These videos reinforce their brand, and work as an extension of their offline products and services, but more importantly give customers information they can really use. With 104 videos and counting, The Home Depot is a prime example of how a good channel is so much more than a marketing campaign.
3. Be true to your brand
When you're just starting out on YouTube, it's easy to compare your videos against those that have gone viral and try to replicate their success. A hit video is a hit, but if you want an engaged subscriber base, you want your videos to serve as puzzle pieces that come together to make up your brand as a whole.
NikeFootball's YouTube Channel makes a perfect case study for channel branding. Their videos are consistent with what audiences have come to expect from the brand. They stick to sports, athletes, and professional video, because it's their brand.
4. Create a Long Tail
The idea of selling less of more - the Long Tail concept - can most certainly be applied to your company’s YouTube Channel. When applied to video content, the point here is to focus on serving every existing or potential customer with a video that they might search for. Don't only cater to the audience that you think are the biggest buys, but to the whole user base.
The Long Tail approach to YouTube Channels means that you probably won't see any viral hits make their way to Internet meme status, but you will be serving your users better, improving your YouTube SEO (and don't forget YouTube is a massive search engine), and giving everyone a reason to subscribe to your channel.