Using YouTube for Small Businesses

Hello Hello F22 Crew!

I’ve mentioned before that I am a social media manager as one of my many freelance gigs. And obviously this involves almost all social media platforms, depending on the client. I have my favorites for every category, ya know which I like best in my private life, which I like creating content for etc. YouTube is probably the one I interact with most in my private life. I love seeing the videos people create, and I plan to have a channel of my own one day! But many people forget about using YouTube as a marketing material for small businesses. I love it to show how much you care about your topic, show off your personality, and to show that you’re an authority in your subject! But enough about that, here are some tips on how to use Youtube as a small business!


Professional yet Personal

YouTube is a great place to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your field. You can share the value of cleaning with white vinegar (housecleaning), how to choose a pet for an elderly parent (veterinary services), what steps to take in filing an accident claim (insurance). One of the most important benefits of social media to a business is creating personal experiences and interactions with potential and current customers. Social-media savvy entrepreneurs recognize that building relationships are integral to building a business. You want to let viewers see who you are as a person (lightly curated, of course. No need to post the footage from the trip to Vegas). It’s not necessary to have elaborate sets or setups for your videos. If you have a sense of humor, let that shine in your videos but don’t feel obligated to hire a comedy improv troupe or a staff of writers to help you get your point across. Your passion, knowledge, and personality go a long way to creating a captivating video and gathering followers that can turn into business.



Set a schedule of topics for at least one business quarter

Once you start posting, it’s important to keep up the habit. It’s frustrating to find a video from a business that you like and discover they haven’t posted anything new in three years. You want to post enough that your followers are eager for your next post, but you don’t want to create a schedule that will overwhelm you and take away from your business. Consider starting with a relatively easy schedule (once every two weeks) and then, once you are comfortable, add additional days (try for once a week). Your schedule and how it changes over time will depend on your enthusiasm, the topics that you have chosen and your followers. There is no need to go from twice a month to once a day unless your business topics can support that kind of schedule (and let me just say, there are businesses that actually thrive on that kind of daily connection with followers when the business owner is ready: astrologers, life coaches, personal trainers, professional bloggers, etc.)



Give useful information, but don’t give away all the goodies.

The point is to bring people to your business, right? As clear as you want to be on certain DIY projects and answering follower’s general questions, you want to be equally clear on when it’s time to consult a professional. If it feels as though advice and instruction isn’t the direction you want to go, then find another angle to present your business. Learn about the history of your industry and share some fun facts. Make interesting connections. For example, if you are a seamstress and you don’t want to post a DIY video on hemming a skirt, talk instead about how hemlines have changed over the last fifty years. Find the things that interest you about what you do and share freely and passionately. It might seem daunting at first, but all it requires is a little research and organizing of one’s thoughts. And keep in mind, the videos you post on YouTube can be moneymakers in and of themselves if you have enough followers.



Call to Action

In the description of your video, your YouTube profile and in the video itself, make sure the viewer has a Call to Action. Encourage them to like, subscribe and share. Let them know how to contact you. Depending on the kind of business you have, you can encourage customers to contact you for help from anywhere in the world for a fee. Always look at your YouTube videos as a conversation that you want to continue and encourage others to join in. Create a community around your videos, both with your customers and even other complementary businesses. It’s a powerful sense of connectedness on display for customers when a tiler in Wisconsin is part of the same forum as a tilemaker in Portugal.


Brass Tacks

Here are the basics of shooting a video

  1. Write a general outline of what you want to say. If you are posting a DIY video, make sure every step is covered, from the kind of tools needed to the amount of space needed. If you are offering advice or general information, make sure you know what points you want to cover. While it’s okay to veer off topic from time to time during your video, you must return to the subject as quickly as possible. Plan on your video being no more than 5 to 7 minutes. If you need more than 15 minutes for a video, you will need to verify your identity with Google. Click here for additional steps.
  2. Make sure you are in a well-lit area and that your camera is capable of shooting HD. Also, ensure that you are in a quiet space with no distractions. A camera person is generally not needed unless your video involves a fair amount of movement, such as a mechanic showing how to change a fuse. As you grow more comfortable, you can consider adding lighting, a background, and a microphone if that supports the image you are creating. None of these things are necessary to get started, however. A good camera phone and a tripod to hold the camera steady are all that is needed to begin with.
  3. Talk to the camera as though you are on a video call with a friend.
  4. You can do light editing using a variety of programs both on your phone and online. I use the free version of Adobe Premiere Rush. In the beginning, only using editing when necessary. You don’t want to delay your posts by worrying about complicated editing.
  5. Post to YouTube and then let your customers know! Make sure there is a link on your website, on your Facebook Fan page, everywhere. Ask friends, family, and colleagues to help get the traffic moving.



So what do we think folks? Are you planning on incorporating YouTube into your social media and marketing strategy any time soon?

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