I don’t know about you, but I’m something of a YouTube junkie. Since I work at home, I often have music videos playing while I work. And anytime I need to get information on how to do something, YouTube is my first stop. It’s something like a giant information and entertainment TV, but one that you control by virtue of the fact that you can see anything you choose, rather than being stuck with a programming schedule. But you should also seriously consider using YouTube to create and grow your business.
Why Use YouTube to Create and Grow Your Business?
From a business perspective, YouTube has probably opened the Internet to small businesses, with a truly cost effective advertising medium. You can even market your business for free.
Best of all, tens of millions of people visit YouTube every day, for the very same reasons that you and I do. It’s a place where the media is truly interactive. We can choose where we go on YouTube, and decide if we want to go deeper. That choice creates an incredible range of niche markets that are made to order for small businesses. And you can be certain YouTube works as an advertising medium, because the big companies are already there, either with their own ad videos, or ones placed on totally unrelated content.
And from a small business standpoint, should you choose to market your business on YouTube, you can produce videos that range anywhere from you doing simple how-to demonstrations, to professional looking TV commercial-type ads.
Here are some examples of the possibilities.
Launching a Product or Service
It’s possible to launch a product or service just using YouTube. This can be done by literally putting your content on the site for public consumption. If you give something away for free, and it is popular, most will just take advantage of the free content – but some will buy whatever it is you are selling.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on this very topic, but it was very specific: Lindsey Stirling and the Power of YouTube.
Lindsey Stirling is an incredible talent (primarily a violinist), who was voted off of America’s Got Talent. Though she made it to the last few acts, she wasn’t one of the lucky ones who left the show with a rich recording contract.
She collaborated with a partner to create her own channel on YouTube to showcase her music, and take it directly to the public. It worked, probably beyond her own imagination.
One video- Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling (Dubstep Violin Original Song) has over 115 million views. Her YouTube channel, Lindsey Stomp has over 6 million subscribers! That’s larger than the weekly audience for many TV programs. And for what it’s worth, when I wrote the original article on this story, she had “only” 3 million subscribers – that shows how a YouTube campaign can really take off.
The popularity of her YouTube channel has translated into the sale of her music, and a thriving concert tour circuit.
YouTube can also be used to make TV quality commercials. An excellent example is creditrepair.com and their Makes Dreams Come True campaign where they send a couple of families to Disney World each year.
This is an excellent example of a soft-sell video ad. The ad is talking about sending a family to Disney World – which creates a very pleasant ad experience, one that makes you want to watch the entire video. They only “ask for the order” at the very end of the video, and do it in a non-threatening way. It’s the perfect touch in reaching out to people who are dealing with credit issues, and would be drawn to a warm, welcoming approach.
There’s also that the video is two and a half minutes long – that’s the equivalent of five commercials on a TV network. When you create a video on YouTube, you can make it as long as you think your potential customers can stand. YouTube enables you to create truly customized videos, rather than putting you into a network template that may not work for your business.
Creating How-To Videos
This is a popular way to market a small business on the web. And you can have the videos appear not just on YouTube, but also on your own business website, or any other websites that might be interested in presenting your content.
The idea behind how-to videos is that you are giving out free information, in much the same way that a musician would give away free music to promote music sales and concerts. This is important because when people come to the web, they’re looking for information; they’re not looking to buy anything. With how-to videos, you’re able to position yourself as an authority on the subject. It’s that authority that creates the confidence in the viewer to take the next step and do business with you. Look at at all the as seen on TV success. They are launching videos of their latest hot products and it works! This is an example of not only using YouTube videos, but also of incorporating them into your own website.
Here is an excellent example of a how-to video: Prepping for the Job Interview by recruiter Lou Adler. I first came across Lou Adler on Linked-In, and began watching a few of his videos after realizing that he is totally brilliant in the area of job hunting. Lou literally gives away his “secrets”, but he has so many of them that he becomes the natural recruiter choice for career professionals looking to work with an insider.
Using YouTube to “peddle your wares” can be an excellent way to position yourself as a credible authority in your field. Once you do, people will be drawn to you. Mission accomplished! That’s easier to do in a video presentation than it is by the written word. It’s like an ongoing personal sales presentation, and it gives you an opportunity to present to thousands of people without ever being there.
Here’s another good how-to video: How to Wash and Detail Your Car – Part 1 of 2 by The Smoking Tire. This video is clearly sponsored by AutoZone, but it can be an excellent way to promote a car detailing business, or if your business is selling cleaning and detailing products and supplies.
The presenter gives a two-part video on how to professionally detail your car. But two things are happening in this video. The first is that the presenter is demonstrating himself to be an authority on the subject to detailing cars. The second is that he showing just how difficult a professional detailing job really is.
The net result of both is that you will conclude that its to complicated a job to do on your own – particularly if you don’t have the right supplies – and you need to hire someone else. That someone else is likely to be the party in the video. Once again, mission accomplished!
Here’s a video that’s something of a hybrid, in that it’s essentially an advertisement to get you to go to a how-to site. How to Write a Book 2013 – 4 Steps to Writing a Bestselling Ebook! by EvvyBeck, is an ad video set up to draw you to an ad page where you’re introduced to an e-book on how to write an e-book (what else, right?), Write a Best Selling E-book by Noelani Rodriguez. It’s probable that the author hired the video creator to make the video.
I’m not going to lie, I’m not entirely comfortable with kind of video on a number of fronts, but it has drawn over 40,000 views in about 18 months. That isn’t spectacular by YouTube standards, but it’s way better than most business videos do. Anyway, I want to call your attention to a few important observations:
- The video is incredibly simple. So simple that anyone can do it with a webcam. It’s two minutes long with “Evvy” presenting during the first half, then switching to simple rolling credits on a black screen. It’s obvious that the “studio” was someone’s house, but hey – it’s still drawn more than 40,000 views, which isn’t bad at all.
- The video includes an unrelated commercial ad. The ad appears at the beginning of the video, which is to say that not only is the e-book being promoted – likely for a fee arrangement of some sort – but the video itself is also generating some ad revenue.
- The video highlights an important marketing concept. It’s clearly a first point of entry in the marketing process. It’s purpose is to convince you that you can make a fortune writing and selling e-books (a dubious claim in all but exceptional cases), so that you’ll be motivated to move on to the next step. This is basically how marketing works in the 21st Century – using sequential selling steps. Get the viewer interested, then ask for the order later.
- It’s an example of creating a YouTube business about promoting businesses on YouTube. Just in case you’re creative, and looking for a business idea to market on YouTube!
Using YouTube to Learn How to Create YouTube Videos
You can even go on YouTube and learn how to create YouTube videos. How To Make A YouTube Video Part 1 is part of a two-part series on the topic created by Steve Harris. Despite the fact that the video is pretty low-tech – done at home and mostly on the web – it has drawn nearly 1 million views! Clearly there are a lot of people interested in this topic, and YouTube itself provides the way to do it.
Think of ways that you can use YouTube to create and grow your business – I’m working on how to incorporate it into my own business, which mostly means that I need to decide on a specific niche, among the many that I write about.
Do you use YouTube to promote your business? How has it worked for you?