One of the earliest questions considered by any business, large or small, investing in video marketing will certainly be, “Should I have a YouTube channel?”
The answer: probably……but it depends on the type of business you are, the kind of content you’re creating and the goals you have for your videos. No matter how users get to YouTube – through Google universal search, via social media or by navigating directly to youtube.com in their browser or from your website – the intent is the same: watch a video. By and large, people don’t go to YouTube to find products or services to buy; they don’t go there to get news, restaurant recommendations, or travel directions. They go there for one reason – to watch a video, with the goal of finding something informative or entertaining.
What kind of content should I be creating for my business on YouTube?
As YouTube is as much a community site as a search engine, successful video content needs to be created for the platform, not just simply uploaded there by default. If your company are creating videos and the default position is that all your videos (irrespective of content type or target audience) automatically get uploaded to YouTube, then you’re doing it wrong and potentially cannibalising the benefit you should be getting from your videos. Your YouTube channel should be containing only content relevant and interesting for users who don’t necessarily have prior knowledge of your brand. If you integrate this principle into a wider video marketing strategy, it should look something like:
Content that you want your site to rank. Content that you want to share with those who aren’t yet part of the conversion. Your YouTube channel needs to have a series of content that people will actively seek out and want to watch. This could take any of the following forms:
Display your company as thought leaders in a specific industry by offering free information that demonstrates your skills/intelligence and provides genuine value for users. This can be done either by presenting strategic, academic thought leadership content (such as speeches/seminars), or by offering tips about a given field of knowledge.
Tutorials and How-tos.
YouTube is a fantastic place to find how-to’s and many people prefer to get instruction from a video, rather than a text-heavy blog post. As with the thought leadership example, if you have specific and uncommon knowledge within your organisation that others would likely benefit from learning about, simple tutorials can be a fantastic asset.
Paying for video views through YouTube advertising is a completely legitimate way to generate traction on YouTube. Paid views will increase your overall view count, and while this won’t help your content to rank better, it can help to make your channel appear more authoritative and well-trafficked than it would have been without the ad spend.
Creative stories attached to your brand.
This definition relates to what is perhaps more commonly referred to as “viral” content “Going viral” is only beneficial if you can attach your brand to the messaging, but to actually make the content shareable, there will need to be a story integrated, too.
So, how do I know if my business should have a YouTube channel?
If your customers or the influencers of your customers are watching videos on YouTube related to your industry, then you should have a YouTube channel. Every company has something to be gained from building their brand, notoriety, and reputation. YouTube can be a fantastic channel to help achieve that goal, but only if you have a great idea for content. If you’re doing paid search, YouTube can be a valuable addition to an integrated campaign; if you’re doing PR, YouTube can help you get to the top of the pile on a journalist’s desk; and if you’re engaging with users through social media, YouTube can help to boost the engagements with your posts and campaigns.
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