YouTube is an online video hosting service that lets people share their videos. Businesses and individuals use YouTube to share or find videos, including entertainment, promotions and instructions. YouTube is the most popular video hosting service, followed by similar services such as Vimeo, Blip, Facebook video and Flickr. Like other social media channels, YouTube enables people around the world to interact, share and create content through online communities. Because of its popularity and features, YouTube can be a useful marketing channel for businesses. Your business could use YouTube to launch or promote products, express your brand's 'personality', monitor feedback, provide customer service and help your customers spread the word about your business.

How Businesses Use Youtube

YouTube lets businesses show their products in action. This is particularly useful for companies with limited physical distribution channels, including those who mostly sell over the internet. Businesses that use YouTube to allow customers to see their products in action before they buy include toy manufacturers, theme parks and theater companies. Some business people use YouTube to build their reputation as an expert in a field. This might include uploading video tutorials or short video tips, as well as linking to other experts' videos that relate to their area of interest. YouTube gives you the ability to revisit successful events by showing video footage of them to people who weren't there or who want to recall what happened. If you run an event (such as an author talk in a bookshop or a seminar for a consulting firm) you can share the highlights via YouTube, as long as you have permission from the 'talent'. Some businesses use YouTube to provide solutions for their customers. For example, they post videos demonstrating how to install their product, or 'screen capture' tutorials showing how to use their software.

Youtube Video

A video can be a great way to address a frequently asked question or help troubleshoot common problems with your product. It is better to be proactive about this by acknowledging an issue and showing customers how to deal with it, rather than letting the market do it for you and criticise your product in the process. You can also use YouTube to offer solutions to people who don't even know about your product yet. Every day, people post questions into search engines asking how to solve their problems, like 'my pink socks ran in the wash. What can I do?' If your product solves a problem like this, posting a video on YouTube demonstrating it in action is a great way to bring your product to the attention of the people who need it.

How to Be Successful

There are a number of ways to assess the benefit of your investment in YouTube (including your time and effort even if you don't spend any cash). YouTube and Google provide tools to analyse use of your videos, including profiling the people who view them. If you include a call to action in your YouTube videos, it's also possible to track the impact of each video. For example, you could include a promotional code that people need to use at the point of sale to get a discount, then track how many people use the code. You can also use internet analytics tools to see how much of your website's traffic is coming from YouTube. Video is a great medium for showing your products or services in action. You can post videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to get the most out of your products. For example, a coffee roaster could post a video tutorial on making the perfect cafe latte, a bed and breakfast could show a short tour of the local area, while a pineapple grower could demonstrate peeling techniques.

Use keywords in your video

Including video in your web content (e.g. embedding a video in your website) could improve your weighting in Google's search engine so that people doing a Google search are more likely to find your website. You can help people find your videos by tagging them with keywords that people are likely to use when they are searching for the content you are presenting. Think about the words people might use in a browser search, and use these words as keywords in your video. For example, consider your product category as well as your brand name (e.g. 'aged care' as well as the name of your in-home care service for older people). Then think about the words people might use to search, like 'cleaning', 'transport', 'stay at home' or 'ageing parents'. Simple things like including your logo at the start and end of each video ensure that people connect the video with your business.

Social media strategies

Some businesses use YouTube to show videos of happy customers - testimonials from users or videos showing people using their products. A video of someone talking about your business or succeeding with your product can be much more powerful than a written testimonial. For example, a video of a personal training client finishing a half marathon is a great endorsement for the trainer as well as a tribute to the customer. Similarly, a dress designer could post footage of a celebrity wearing one of their outfits at a televised event It's also important to make sure the tone and style you use on YouTube is consistent with your brand image. You can embed videos on your website, so that your website can provide 'how to' advice, product tours or behind-the-scenes interviews. YouTube allows you to add videos to your website or blog (as long as the video owner has enabled an embedding function). You can promote your YouTube videos through your website, social media or any other channels you use. Learn about social media strategies, including Facebook, Twitter, location-based marketing and coupon marketing.