Why limit those interactions to a company blog? How about turning to rich media, including the video sharing site YouTube, to diversify your marketing efforts?
YouTube Success Stories
Who hasn’t heard of “Will It Blend?” the highly successful viral YouTube videos from Blendtec blenders? The videos, showing how Blendtec blenders could blend everything from a broom handle to an iPhone, spread virally around the web on blogs, forums and social news sites. In September 2007, this early pioneer in YouTube marketing reported a 500% increase in online sales after creating the series.
Not everyone can be the next Blendtec, but the company is a leading example of “marketing as entertainment”: create something that the audience will want to share, and let web users become your marketing team.
The effect is even more powerful if you’re actually in the business of media creation: the comedy troupe Monty Python reported a 23,000% increase in DVD sales in January 2009 after the launch of the official Monty Python YouTube Channel.
Small Business Marketing on YouTube
There may not be a magic formula for YouTube marketing success, but some simple rules can increase the reach of your video and make sure you hit the target. The golden rule, of course, is to create a great video: something truly shareable, bizarre, unique, quirky or useful, and (importantly) short enough to match the attention span of the average web viewer.
And yet, YouTube marketing goes far beyond video creation. To best reach your company’s audience, tagging and categorization are essential. You might never make it to the top of YouTube’s Most Popular videos, but you can still rack up tens of thousands of views by becoming popular within a category, or simply through the serendipitous browsing enabled by YouTube’s “Related Videos” feature.
Additionally, selecting a strong title for your video appears to be effective: YouTube videos perform particularly well in Google search results, and the Google search result pages even include a thumbnail of the video, enticing users to click. A title should contain the keywords you’d like to associate with your brand.
Don’t forget the description field either: YouTube allows you to include a link in the description of your video, an opportunity you don’t want to miss if you have a website. Referencing this link, or even pointing to it, within the video is a technique many video creators implement to increase website visitors. Meanwhile, YouTube annotations, launched in mid-2008, allow you to add text overlays to your videos: information about your product or service, perhaps, or links to your other videos.
You can also gain traction on YouTube by participating in the community: leave insightful comments on videos relevant to your business, and become friends with those creating videos in your niche. Building a more visible presence on the site grows your subscriber base and increases the chances that your videos will be seen, shared and commented on.
If you still have doubts about YouTube’s value to your business, bear in mind that YouTube is not simply a place where idle web users seek entertainment: it’s also the world’s second largest search engine, outranked only by Google itself. Your potential customers and clients will be searching for information there…will they find you?