How brands can make the most of YouTube

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Recently, a major leak in my bathroom ultimately meant it had to be completely fitted out and redecorated. This process involved several skills and tools which I had never used before, including drilling holes in tiles, tiling and basic plumbing. I tackled the project myself (with the help of a very handy dad), and each time we came up against a challenge, we looked on YouTube for some ’How to…’ videos.

There were a number available, including some from major retailers. These not only detailed what we had to do, but also outlined the tools we’d need, and how to use them. Helpfully, this meant that, for example, I could ask for a ’tile float‘, and not ’the thing that pushes the grout in between the tiles’. The retailers’ videos gave me confidence that I was purchasing the right tools for the task, and showed us how to identify the correct sizes and quantities of items such as drill parts and grout.

The experience highlighted for me how brands can use YouTube to connect with their target audience by promoting new products as well as sharing expert knowledge. Businesses can encourage loyalty while positioning themselves as industry leaders.

Adopt a video marketing strategy as part of your inbound marketing plan. After all, whoever the members of your target audience are, they’re almost certainly watching YouTube. Make no mistake – video is no passing fad; it’s a permanent fixture, and a cost-effective one at that.

The statistics are mind-blowing – more than three-quarters (81%) of businesses use videos in their marketing (source Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2018 survey.) Meanwhile, Google’s own research reveals that there are more than a billion users globally, watching a billion daily hours of video. So the potential audience is almost incomprehensibly vast.

A strong YouTube channel can seriously push your website up the search rankings, too – Google, of course, bought the platform in 2006.

Suggested video types

Among the videos you could have in your ‘library’ are:

  • Training films showing how people can use your service and products
  • Explainer videos demonstrating how what you offer addresses a common issue
  • Webinar films educating viewers on a topic which you know matters to your audience
  • Customer stories describing how your brand helped someone overcome an obstacle and achieve the results they wanted

Your YouTube marketing strategy

Millions of videos are uploaded to YouTube daily, so your channel has to stand out – and advertise your brand without the hard sell.

Firstly, understand your target audience, who they are and what makes them tick. Your channel has an Analytics tab offering quantitative insights into your audience’s behaviour and subscriber demographics.

Don’t forget to research the competition, too, and understand precisely what it is that your favourite channels do so well.

Choose the right title for each film you upload, with the right keywords – your videos need to be optimised for search if you’re to get the most out of them. Add an attention-grabbing thumbnail, so your film stands out in the listings.

You’ll also need a short description of the topic, with links to your website and social media accounts, peppered with hashtags.

Consider adding some clickable Calls to Action (CTAs) to your videos, including cards, bumper ads and watermarks. These are discreet and redirect to your business’s website. Equally, remember to urge viewers to subscribe to your channel as each film ends.

Upload new content regularly and reliably, and have a supply of videos ready to upload. Schedule videos in advance, and organise your films into playlists if you wish. You’ll also need to complete your YouTube profile in an eye-catching way.

Finally, monitor your channel continuously to see which films are performing best, and try to identify why. YouTube marketing should be a constant work in progress and it may take some time to establish it. However, if you grow your channel successfully, it will be well worth all the time and effort.