Like every business known to man, YouTube exists to make money. Gone are the good old days when digital age dinosaurs like myself thought of YouTube merely as a home video-sharing platform. When my brother-in-law tells me to look up a tutorial on YouTube on how to take apart my laptop, when I can watch a movie length web series remake of Pride and Prejudice in two to three minute clips, when beauty vloggers are becoming the face of Marshalls, I know YouTube has a much wider sphere of influence than I previously thought. It’s reality TV, sure, but with the right methodology and strategy, it can be a highly effective tool for a business.
Are you tapping in?
For those of us who have protested the ever-progressing changes of the digital age, the idea of using YouTube as a marketing tool can sound both terrifying and exhilarating. Young people with their own cooking channels and stylists shows have attracted thousands of followers with their fearless and intrepid, if simple, video work. All this, while we’ve floundered around using the classic marketing tools of flyers, cold calls, and mailers, and seeing pathetic percentages on return.
The tried and true methods need to be revamped given the abilities of modern media outlets. The days of paper, while not over, don’t stand a chance. At least not when it comes to marketing. Paper flyers and advertisements simply don’t have the effect businesses need in order to spread the word to a wider audience.
Entrepreneurs can now reach thousands of potential customers. Some, like certain indie artists, can reach such a height of popularity from a single video posted on YouTube, that their meager following explodes into serious business and record deals.
It’s time that small business owners afraid to jump on board modern technology realize that their traction and growth can be exponentially increased by embracing all the possibilities presented us through the digital marketplace. With constant access to a wealth of information, if businesses want to be remembered by viewers, they can’t be afraid to embrace the more personal aspect of being online.
We viewers want to know that businesses are in tune with us. We want to know that they know what we want. Or we’ll take our business elsewhere.
So now that you’ve been sold on why it’s necessary to bone up on the latest digital marketing possibilities, you might be wondering, what are the basics involved with successfully engaging a YouTube audience?
Marketing strategy from across the internet seems to agree on several basic principles. There are a veritable plethora of articles on marketing strategy and easily found, so I encourage you to explore vigorously.
Nevertheless, as with any marketing or public relations strategy, the most important principal is to ensure that your video informs, educates or entertains. Seems basic, but even huge companies are only just realizing that they aren’t receiving the same number of hits as Julie Jolene the Make-up Queen who shoots make-up tutorials out of her bathroom. Why? Because they are failing to provide viewers with something they actually want.
Viewers don’t go to YouTube for an advertisement (although they’ll suffer through them), unless that advertisement is informing, educating, or entertaining.
If you decide that YouTube is a good fit for your business, don’t fall prey to YouTube mismanagement. Do your research. Figure out what would be something your customers would want to see. And then don’t be afraid that your video isn’t a studio production. The beauty of YouTube, as a “grassroots” platform is still there in all its simplicity.