Small Business Saturday Blog

How to promote your business on YouTube

Thursday, March 05 at 09:36Getting Online | Marketing | Social Media

There are many reasons why businesses might have video content they want to share. You may have had videos professionally produced by a production company and are keen to reach the widest possible audience; you might be creating your own steady stream of content that you want to use to build awareness of your brand; or you might simply want to share the expertise and knowledge of others within your industry. Whatever the source of your video content, it pays to use YouTube.

To get the most out of YouTube it’s worth understanding what is meant by a YouTube account and a YouTube channel. Since Google purchased YouTube in 2006 they have gradually increased the integration between YouTube and their other services so these days there is no such thing as a standalone YouTube user - instead you need to create a Google account and this gives you access to YouTube (as well as other Google sign-in services such as gmail etc.). A YouTube account lets you watch, like and share videos, but little else. All this activity is private, and your YouTube account has no ‘public presence'.

Create Your Channel
To unlock the full potential of YouTube you need to create your Channel. This is easily done by logging into YouTube and clicking on the ‘My Channel’ link under your profile picture in the top right, then following the instructions on screen. Once you’ve created your channel you have access to a multiple tools under the banner of ‘Creator Studio’. Not only can you upload videos, but you can perform corrections such as colour and lighting, add Instagram-style creative filters, add music and now you can even edit videos online using the YouTube video editor. And using the built in analytics tools you can you can analyse how many people are watching your videos - and for how long.

Much of this is done in private in the ‘back end’ of YouTube. But having a channel also gives you dedicated Channel page, which acts as the ‘public face’ of your YouTube account. Think of it like a Facebook page or a Twitter feed where you can share your own video content and that of others as well as build a list of followers (called ’subscribers’). And as long as your channel is linked to a Google+ page, you can set the channel name to the name of your business and this also appears in your Channel URL (for example: www.youtube.com/hyperfinemedia).

Customise Your Channel Page
Although it is not possible to remove the YouTube branding and sidebars, you can customise the Channel page with a banner graphic, logo and colour scheme to match your own branding, as well as add links to your website and social media channels. The first reason why you need a Channel page is to organise and display your own videos. You can set one of your videos to act as a ‘trailer’ (essentially an introductory video) which appears in a prominent position. You can set up playlists of your videos and are able to give these playlists titles and descriptions - giving your own videos an extra layer of optimisation (note that playlists can show up in Google search results as well as the individual videos in that playlist). We’d recommend splitting longer videos into shorter sections and having these in a single playlist - that way you have multiple opportunities to optimise the titles and descriptions and your viewers can easily find the sections of interest using the playlist interface.

Share
YouTube channels are not just about promoting your own content however. You can include other users' videos in your playlists - so for example you could share video reviews of your products uploaded by your customers. One quick tip to do this very easily is add the ‘Liked Videos’ playlist to your channel page and any videos you ‘Like’ after watching will automatically display on your channel.

Subscribe 
Any viewers who find your video content of interest can subscribe to your channel, and will be notified when new videos are uploaded. Likewise you can subscribe to other users' channels - and you can choose to display these on your own channel page. Again this is a quick and easy way for you to quickly build up a repository of industry related expertise - this will help you build a list of subscribers who in turn will have access to your future uploads. One piece of advice for building a list of subscribers is to focus on sharing content that is of practical use - such as ‘how to’ guides and ‘hints and tips’, which are more likely to win you subscriptions than sales-focused videos.

So whether you’re looking to share your own video content or just create an industry resource that wins you new subscribers, a YouTube channel is a must. Set up correctly it can almost act as a second home page for your business and increase the chances of potential customers discovering you and your services online.

By Garth Haley, Videographer, Producer and Animator and Director of Hyperfine Media.

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