Video marketing is the talk of the town and there are a whole host of fantastic posts out there about how to create compelling videos and the best way to market them once they’re created. Most of this advice is centred on optimising for YouTube as a platform; however – as a small business, the question of “when” and “why” you should invest in YouTube marketing often remains elusive.
Video can be an expensive asset for small businesses and justifying that outlay can be a difficult challenge. For some businesses, video might not be the right thing to invest in and YouTube might not be the best platform to host that video with once it’s created.
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However – for some small businesses, YouTube can be a fantastic platform from which to build a brand and place content to support the wider marketing efforts you’re engaging in.
In order to be successful, it’s important to refine the specific objectives of your video marketing campaign before you begin - so you can work out what metrics you should be tracking and whether or not the potential rewards are worth the initial investment.
There are broadly 4 distinct goals that YouTube can be valuable for:
1. Getting potential customers and influencers to know about your business
If you’re able to provide unique insight or thought leadership in a specific area, then videos offering up some of that expertise for free can be a great way to improve your brand awareness. YouTube is an extremely popular place for web users to go to find information and tutorials, and if you’re able to service the interests of users on the platform, it’s possible to position your company as thought leaders in a specific space and engender a positive appreciation of your business by potential customers.
Tying in an explanation of the virtues of your specific product/service alongside providing genuinely helpful information can raise awareness of your offering in the minds of those individuals looking for a solution to the specific problem in question.
It’s typically best to create a series of content along this line, targeted towards lots of different keyword variations, rather than just creating single instances of an “informational video”.
2. Making your PPC advertising more effective
If you’re running a PPC campaign, having a YouTube channel allows you to remarket to individuals who have watched your YouTube videos with ads on YouTube and across the Google Display Network (GDN). This means you can increase the number of individuals you can remarket to – while also offering an additional method of retargeting for existing site visitors – video advertising through the YouTube network. Video ads are a great augmentation to a traditional display advertising campaign – since they are often more intrusive and can provide more information in a six or 15-20 second clip than a display or text ad.
3. Enhancing your blog posts
Video can be a fantastic way to add variety to your blog posts. Through screencasts and “talking head” videos, you’re able to add a more personal and interactive touch to your marketing content – while potentially making the creative process more scalable. While initially setting up a place to film and learning to edit and upload videos can take some time – video can also be a more scalable way of creating content than text once you get into the swing of the process. YouTube is the perfect place to put your “blogging” content – since it fits in with the informational nature of popular content there and it’s very easy to embed YouTube videos as a blog post with a couple of paragraphs of supporting and introductory text.
4. Supporting your PR efforts
Video news releases (VNR's) can be a great way of getting coverage and links from high authority news sites, as the added media element helps to ensure that your press release makes it to the top of a journalist’s pile. YouTube is the ideal platform with which to provide video news releases, since the majority of journalists and editors are familiar with how YouTube works, know how to embed YouTube videos, and are typically happy including YouTube videos on their site. Video news releases can be simple interviews/talking head videos – or something more focused on education – such as a demonstration of how a specific new product or service works. Bear in mind that any video news release should work to support the PR release by offering further information and context – so needs to be very much “on topic”.
While there are additional goals that video can help to provide to your business – namely better user engagement, improved on-site conversions and increased site traffic through Video SEO – most of these are best achieved with self-hosted video on your website, rather than by placing video on YouTube. The unique value of YouTube for video marketing is as a place to build awareness of your company and help support your wider marketing efforts.