3 Ways to Use YouTube Videos to Bring in More BusinessBoost your brand, engage your audience and win more business by making your own YouTube videos.
Where do you go to watch a comedy skit that went viral or to get step-by-step instructions for how to string a guitar, chop an onion or apply eye makeup? Most consumers would probably say YouTube.
According to a Nielsen study commissioned by Google, the time adults spent on YouTube more than doubled between 2015 to 2016, and that number continues to rise across all age groups. And no, the more than 1 billion people who use YouTube aren’t all watching cat videos. Plenty of them are watching content, such as video product reviews, that benefit businesses.
Want a piece of the pie but don’t know where to start or what to post? Here are three ways you can use YouTube to bring in more business.
A 2015 study by online video creation service Animoto found that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Leverage that preference by creating videos that explore the products or services you provide.
Mel Cagle, paid media strategist for search engine marketing firm Anvil Media, said product demo videos help “potential customers determine whether or not your product will meet their needs” before they come into your store.
For example, a boutique might create a video around the latest fashion trends it carries or a new, unique piece of jewelry. Service-based businesses like restaurants and bars can use product demo videos to show off a top-selling dish or go “behind the scenes” to show how an artisanal beverage is made.
Pro tip: Keep product demos short. Research from video hosting platform Wistia indicates videos under two minutes tend to get the highest level of engagement — and more engagement leads to increased visibility in online searches.
According to David James, founder of Business Growth Digital Marketing, “YouTube’s algorithm rewards content creators with more visibility if people spend time watching their videos.” Keeping your product demos short and to the point will make them more likely to be watched through to the end, which can potentially boost your video in search rankings, making your brand more discoverable by new consumers, he said.
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How-to videos and tutorials
Second only to Google, YouTube is increasingly the go-to search engine for self-education. In the first five months of 2015, more than 100 million hours of how-to content was watched on YouTube by viewers in North America.
James said educational content like how-to videos and tutorials can help consumers feel more confident about a potential purchase. “If people know exactly how the product or service works, then the purchase risk is eliminated. They will either know how to use it themselves, or they will have trust in the expert to do what is shown in the video, which ultimately leads to more sales,” he said.
A plumber could post a video on the right way to unclog a stopped-up drain and explain when you should call an expert instead of doing it yourself. Sharing a few how-to tips can build consumers’ trust in your brand, making them more likely to come to you for bigger needs.
Pro tip: Choose a video thumbnail with search in mind. “With the proliferation of vloggers, YouTube has gotten increasingly competitive, especially in the makeup and beauty space,” said Jameson Slattery, VP of global marketing for beauty line Colorescience. To stand out in search results, he said, “we make sure that the thumbnail shows an action shot — someone in the act of applying our product. While this may sound simple and only takes a few extra minutes to do, we’ve seen tremendous success regarding our click-through rates.”
Testimonials and interviews
In its 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, local search agency BrightLocal found that 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. If you can use video to put a face with a testimonial, it gives it an added level of trustworthiness.
Related: How to Get Positive Online Reviews
Interviewing your existing customers can also increase your exposure to a relevant buying audience, said James. For instance, a carpet cleaning business could interview office managers, real estate rental property managers and managers of health clinics and public buildings who have used the company’s services to talk about how carpet cleanliness affects their business or how the company managed to remove stubborn stains.
Pro tip: Keep it looking real. Don’t go overboard with fancy filming or editing techniques. While you want your brand to look professional, authenticity is more important when it comes to interviews and testimonials. “Your organic content does not have to be slick or refined,” said Cagle. “Users enjoy seeing the raw, behind-the-scenes footage.”