touchscreen interfaceYou’ve probably seen hundreds of ads, infomercials, Vines and other forms of YouTube marketing.  For those who feel they are lacking in the creative department, it’s easier than you think to use video marketing with YouTube in order to promote your business or services.

It’s within your best interest to use YouTube to market your business.  Why? For starters, it’s the third most used search engine in the world.  More people view YouTube content than any one network on television. 400 Tweets per minute contain a YouTube video. AND, collectively, we spend 2.9 billion hours of viewtime on YouTube.  That’s a potential market you don’t want to miss out on.

Create a Contest or Call for Submissions

This can be anything from asking users to submit their funniest related video to your business, to a contest for the best new name for a new service.  Contests are a great way to engage your audience while spreading brand recognition.

Here are a couple examples to get you started:

  • Do you run a restaurant? Create a video showing your new dish, and ask customers to compete for giving it a new name.  Be sure to create incentives for the winner, such as a gift certificate or voucher. You can apply this to any business when it comes to naming products.
  • Viewers love humor. If you can incorporate humor into a contest, that is one of the best ways to go.  Be sure it’s actually funny – and not contrived or corny – by playing your video for a small test-run audience. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, try watching some of YouTube’s most popular funny videos, or taking ideas from your everyday life.

Post Videos That Portray a “Behind the Scenes” view of Your Business

Viewers like to see what really goes on behind a brand’s day at the office – probably because it brings us a little closer to them, or makes them seem more like regular people. Be sure the content is also worthwhile. A “behind-the-scenes” video of your receptionist making phone calls and mailing out letters is probably not what you want to focus on, unless she has regular conversations with Lady Gaga or the president. Think about what makes your everyday “behind the scenes” unique or interesting, and edit your videos to filter out the stuff that may detract from it.

Create a Series of How-to’s or Tutorials

This kind of video content works great for businesses that may have inside information the public cannot easily get, but would be useful – such as “troubleshooting washing machine failure” or “how to make a killer impression in an interview.”  There are endless how-to videos one can create to impart a neat, little-known trick or specialized skill to those who could use it.  If you do create a tutorial series, be sure to let your viewers know at the end of the current video that it’s part of a larger series.  Video series are also beneficial because they’re a great way to build loyalty, and are likely to be shared across social platforms – especially if they appeal to a large array of people.

Use Your Connections

A lot of businesses sell products they don’t make themselves.  If you fall into one of those categories, that’s great! Chances are there are already some great videos out there for the products you sell, you just have to find them and post them.

For example, let’s look at Gregory Poole, a Caterpillar construction equipment dealer. They posted this incredible video from Caterpillar on their Facebook page:

The video shows the Caterpillar machines (which Gregory Poole sells, but doesn’t make themselves) playing the world’s largest game of Jenga, using 600 pound blocks. The video is professionally done and exciting to watch. I ended up sharing it on my own Facebook page. It would have taken Gregory Poole a ton of time and money to make something that good, but using their connection to CAT was just as powerful. The video has almost 2.5 million views and their Facebook page took quite a jump after it was posted as well.

Last Minute Tips

  • Be sure to include keywords in your description so your video can be found.
  • Be sure to create your own YouTube channel to acquire your own subscribers and audience.
  • Be sure to allow your video to be fast-forwarded, especially for tutorials.  Some viewers may already know some of what you explain, but still need to see the first third of the video, for instance.
  • Try to keep your videos to less than five minutes. The shorter the better.

It’s important to use both YouTube tracking tools and analytics to track viewing time, traffic, time of day most watched, and so on.  This information will help you to create better videos that cater more toward your audience, which will in turn create more loyal customers.

Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. He lives in Pennsylvania and with his wife and son, writing about social media and doing research for UB Solutions. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington.