Online video can no longer be ignored. On the crowded commuter train many passengers have ditched their evening newspaper for YouTube on their phone. In my office when something goes wrong with the system our calm, twenty something intern sits back and watches a YouTube video to find a solution to the problem. YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world behind the mighty Google itself. So there is no doubt that you, as a company, need a presence there. Here’s everything you need to know about YouTube for business to get started.
The business case for using YouTube
Need more reasons to jump on the “YouTube for business” bandwagon?
- 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US, so it is not just a US thing
- 60 hours of video is uploaded every minute
- Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
- YouTube Mobile gets 400 million views a day
YouTube for business: before you start
Beware – No-one that I am aware of has ever gone onto YouTube in search of boring, self-promoting video.
So before you jump in you need to decide on a few things:-
- You must clearly define who your target audience is and understand what valuable content would be of interest to them.
- Define what your business objective is by creating a YouTube Channel.
- Is it a branding exercise or are you trying to generate sales from your YouTube videos?
- Ensure that YouTube is integrated into an existing Social Media strategy you already have in place.
Knowing that you have a clear objective it is time to create your own YouTube channel. Ideally you should create your account with your existing Google account. That way your account will work well with Google+ and in particular, Google+ Hangouts. So to sign up simply go to www.youtube.com/signup
When creating your account make sure that your channel looks great and that it reflects your brand. You will want to customise your username. Eg. www.youtube.com/user/ahaingroup. This username can then be used on all your marketing materials, email signature, business cards etc.
Later, market your username and encourage people to visit and subscribe to your channel. Even the best videos on YouTube will not be seen if no one knows they are there.
Make sure you fill in the “About Us” section and add links to your website and other Social Media sites.
- Click on “My Channel” on the top right hand side of your home page and then click on the edit button. Try to make this section short and sweet.
- Treat it a bit like an elevator pitch and for SEO benefit add in relevant keywords to make your channel more likely to be found.
Avatar and background
- Click on “Channel Settings”. Make sure you add an image or logo for your YouTube avatar – suggested dimensions: 800 x 800 pixels. Maximum size: 1 MB.
- You will also have the opportunity to customize your background here. Choose a colour that fits in with your background image and logo. Maximum size for your background image is 1MB.
Click on the Info and Settings section and add Tags to your channel. These keywords will enable YouTube users to find your account. So ask yourself what words or phrases would my targeted viewer use if trying to find my video?
Click on the “tabs” section and make sure what activity you wish to share on your YouTube channel.
Before you decide to upload content, create favourite folders or subscribe to third party channels. You should decide on what layout your channel should have. The default setting should be fine, however you can customise your layout by selecting the “Featured” link.
If you are creating frequent video content the “Blogger” option may be your best bet as it will display a reverse chronological list of your video uploads.
Now that your channel has been set up it is time to upload content to your account. So just click on the Upload Button at the top of your screen. You can:-
- Upload an existing video,
- Create a video from your webcam,
- Create a video from your photographs and/or images
- Broadcast a Google+ Hangout directly to your YouTube channel.
A standard YouTube account will only allow you to upload videos under 15 minutes in length. However it is easy to request to be allowed to upload longer videos – follow these steps:
- Visit the upload page at www.youtube.com/my_videos_upload
- Click Increase your limit at the bottom of the page
- Follow the steps to verify your account with a mobile phone. Currently they aren’t able to offer other ways to verify your account.
Note: The most viewed videos on YouTube are less than 5 minutes in length.
Average Video Length for Top 50 Most Shared Global Videos in 2012:
- Top 10 – 4 minutes 11 seconds (does not include “Kony 2012”)
- 11-20 – 2 minutes 30 seconds (1,501 total seconds)
- 21-30 – 3 minutes 5 seconds (1,849 total seconds)
- 31-40 – 2 minutes 57 seconds (1,770 total seconds)
- 41-50 – 1 minute 45 seconds (1,049 total seconds)
- Top 50 – 2 minutes 54 seconds (8,682 total seconds – does not include “Kony 2012”)
Make sure your video gets your point across and if applicable a clear call to action. Remember you are not creating the video for you, you are creating it for your audience. So dare to be different, dare to stand out.
The VideoToolBox channel is a great resource to find out more about video production, editing and uploading video. It is a channel designed to showcase videos from users about making videos.http://www.youtube.com/user/videotoolbox
Upload your video in the best quality format. We would normally upload HD video as a Windows Media Video file in widescreen format (1280 x 720). The great thing about the Windows Media Video file is that it enables good quality video at a relatively small file size. This makes the upload to YouTube fast and effortless.
Title, description and tags
Once your video has been uploaded take some time adding a title, description and tags.
- Make sure your title is something that a YouTube user would want to click on and add keywords into your title where possible.
- Add a description of what the video is about and add tags to your video.
- Choose the most relevant category to list your video under.
See below for an example.
When you have uploaded a video on YouTube you can decide to make it:
- or Private.
(See Privacy settings tab on the image above).
If you want the world to see your video you must make sure your video is Public. Only Public videos will show up in YouTube searches.
That said I’ve often uploaded exclusive content onto my YouTube channel and very often bonus training resources. I can make these videos invite only (Private) or Unlisted so only a viewer with a link can see my bonus content. This can be a great way to make a loyal customer or client feel special.
So, for example, I create a 10 minute video about Facebook for Business offering valuable content. At the end of the video I put a call to action, eg, “subscribe to my YouTube channel and ‘Like’ my Facebook page at …… and gain access to the full 60 minute video.”
YouTube has a number of great features to help you enhance the quality and impact of your video once you have uploaded it. As long as you are in “Edit video” mode you will see a number of options at the top of your page – Enhancements, Audio, Annotations and Captions.
Allows you to brush up the quality of your video:
- Auto Fix -The Auto-fix feature may be worth trying out and seeing if it improves your video masterpiece.
- Style – You can also change the style of your video by selecting a number of great looks. Eg. 60s look, Black and White etc. Don’t worry if you get tired of applying filters or don’t find one that suits, you can still revert back to it’s original look.
- Lighting – You can also fine tune the lighting on your video by clicking on the lighting tab.
- Stabilize – Did you record your video without a Tripod? A great feature in the enhancements section is that you can fix your shaky camera work by clicking on the stabilize button.
- Blur faces – You can blur out people’s faces in your video should you need to do so. See Additional features above.
Annotations lets you add:
- Text links to your videos
- Links to other videos,
- Channels and playlists
- Or even create interlinked video narratives.
You control what the annotations say and when and where they appear on the video. These can be useful if you want to link back to your website or even add a “Subscribe Now” link to your YouTube video.
The Audio section allows you to add royalty free music to your video. However if your video has audio already you are likely to find that the music drowns out your sound even if you select the “Favour Original Audio” option.
Add a text transcript of your audio to your video here.
- This is very good for your SEO, but I wouldn’t be a great fan of watching a video with subtitles.
- YouTube can automatically convert the audio to text for you (though it doesn’t translate very well), however I would recommend you upload the text by clicking on the “Upload Caption File or Transcript” button.
Finally you can create projects – trim and attach videos to each other in order to create brand new video content in the Video Editor section.
Once your video has been uploaded and tagged it is vital to ensure that it reaches your intended audience. If you are banking on your video being found by a large number of YouTube users you may only have a few hours to get traction after you upload your video.
So you need to share your content to as many of the right people as quickly as possible. Remember no one will see your video unless they know it is there. So you will need to market your post to your audience.
Below your video you will see a share button. Here you can easily share your video by using the shortened URL or even send the video out to your various social media networks. A nice feature with the shortened URL is not only can you choose to link to the HD version, but you can choose exactly what time you want the video to start. This can be powerful if there is a specific part of your video you want the viewer to see.
YouTube also allows you to embed your video on a third party site such as your website or your blog. A good way of generating views for your video is to create a video blog post with text and the embedded video. You could do this on your own company blog or post to a community or business blog site such as Tweakyourbiz.com.
So where else might one share their YouTube video? Well….everywhere your intended viewer is liable to be hanging out.
- Depending on the nature of the video – LinkedIn Groups can be a great place to start a conversation about your video topic and share your link. I would also share the video as a LinkedIn update on my personal and company pages.
- Facebook, Pinterest, Flicker and Twitter are good platforms to share your video. Don’t be afraid to share your video multiple times. Eg. I will typically share a video link three times a day on Twitter for three days when I upload a new video.
- If your company sends out newsletters why not embed or at least link to your latest video there.
Other steps you will need to take to get views are:
- Brief several individuals you have a strong relationship with and who have good online Klout and get them to share and mention your video.
- Take time building up a list of YouTube subscribers.
- Identify a list of key influencers in your industry or community. Engage with them and encourage them to share your video.
- Use Bookmarking sites such as Reddit, Technorati and Digg to list your video.
- Engage with third parties who are commenting on or sharing your video. Always thank any user sharing your content.
- If appropriate write a press release about your video and send it to relevant media channels.
And don’t forget about advertising. Spending money on online ads will increase the impact of your video. You can generate views and/or subscriptions through targeted Google, Facebook or even YouTube Advertising.
True View video ads works well with Google Adwords for Video:
Google Adwords for Video:Right Viewers at the Right Price:
Find out how to Create Your Google Adwords for Video here:
You can get a quick recap of stats underneath any video. Just click on the statistics symbol. This will give you a snap shot of how a video is performing. I find these stats valuable when assessing 3rd party videos and analysing how competitor videos are performing.
However, when analysing your own videos YouTube provides channel owners with some powerful insights. To access just click the Analytics tab on your Channel’s homepage – it is at the top right hand side next to the Video Manager tab.
Here you can see:
- detailed data on your video performance, engagement, demographics and where your video has been viewed. (mobile, 3rd party sites etc.)
- the countries where your video has been viewed
- where your views are coming from
- the age and sex of your audience
YouTube allows you to download reports of data (in Excel format). So ensure you take the time to analyse the performance of your videos.
- Impressions – Listerine place 55 million impressions on the back on an interactive YouTube campaign
- Traffic - Dollar Shave Club‘s brilliant ad starring CEO Michael Dubin racked up more than 8 million views in 10 months.
- Sales - 50% of Rokenbok’s customers are generated from YouTube
- Branding - Nike generated 61 million new video views in 2012. Over half of these views came from just the “Summer of Football” campaign.
- ROI – Heineken discover that YouTube has a more efficient ROI than TV
Finally….YouTube is a brilliant place to listen, learn and engage with other users.
- So don’t forget to subscribe to other users channels. It is amazing what valuable content you can gather and even the influential people you can network with by subscribing and commenting on other people’s content.
- Spend time analysing competitors videos and assess what they are doing well and what they are falling down on. Then go out and trump their content.
- YouTube is becoming more and more Social and is now a place for companies not only to showcase their brands, but also a place where companies can network and engage with their audience.
- I love the fact that Google+ Hangouts now allows YouTube users to broadcast content live. This enables us to get new, unique content out to our audience faster and quicker than ever before. However, it is important to invest in a high quality webcam and a good microphone if streaming content live.
YouTube is no different to any other platform, so if you are going to be there……look amazing, be different from the rest, engage with your audience, have a clear message and ensure everything you do enhances your brand.