December 27, 2011

YouTube is, by any measure, one of the most popular sites in the world. In terms of page visits, it is the third most popular website. In terms of search queries, it recently surpassed Yahoo! to become the world’s second most-popular search engine. More than 10,000 videos are uploaded to the site every day, and some experts think that that number could actually be as high as 50,000!

Yet, despite these numbers, YouTube seems to get left off of most small business marketing campaigns. If you’re choosing to focus only on blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, then you’re making a huge mistake.

First, Engage

The golden rule of social networking applies to YouTube just as well as it does to any other site. If you want your videos to be watched, you need to engage with the community. Create an account, and search for relevant videos in your industry. Rate them, comment on them, and share quality videos via Facebook and Twitter. If you’re socially engaged with the social network, you’ll see that a lot more people will be watching your videos.

Make a Great Video

The next step is to create a quality video. This, I believe, is what turns most small business owners off of YouTube. But it’s actually much easier than it seems.

Start by looking at your competitors videos. What format are they using? How are they telling their story? Look at the composition of the videos in your industry that you think are the most effective, and try to emulate the best aspects.

One word of caution – don’t make the advertisement obvious. YouTube users don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. They want to be educated and informed. A quick product mention at the end, or something to draw your watchers back to your site will suffice.

Optimize for YouTube

Much like you would optimize a website to make it more easily searchable, you need to optimize your videos to make them more easily searchable on YouTube. As I mentioned before, in excess of 10,000 videos are uploaded every day. If you don’t optimize your video, it will be lost before anyone even has a chance to watch it.

Like website SEO, YouTube SEO is all about metadata and titling. Do your keyword research, and make sure that your title incorporates your target keyword or phrase. Likewise for the rest of the metadata – descriptions, tags, keywords. This is what gets your video watched instead of the thousands of others with similar content.

Now get out there and start marketing your business on YouTube. You have the numbers – it’s the second most popular search engine in the world. You have the tools – the keys to getting your video watched are community engagement, great content, and metadata optimization. So start your video marketing campaign today!



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