Ahhh, the paradox of YouTube. Often it’s the red-headed stepchild of the social business world (just above G+), while the newcomers to the game concentrate on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t make this mistake.
Did you know that YouTube is the 2nd most used search engine in the world, right behind Google? (of course YouTube is Google, but shhhh…) That’s right, more people search through YouTube than they do through Yahoo or Bing. Yes, Yahoo and Bing are still around. I was surprised too.
So how do you use YouTube effectively? Start by embracing the 3 golden drops of wisdom below, and in the next post I’ll give you 3 more. I’m a giver.
1. Don’t Put Them to Sleep
You have to start somewhere, and in this case it’s actually creating the video. Before you get to editing the video, you have to shoot it. Two basics to never forget: keep it short, and say it well.
Your video needs to be long enough to get your point across, but short enough to keep their attention. YouTube has a 15 minute cutoff, but I recommend staying within the 5 minute length if possible.
Make sure that you write out a script of what you want to say and, if you are actually recording someone speaking, have them practice it – more than once. Watching someone say “um” over and over and search the corners of their eyes for what they should be saying is annoying.
Not everyone comments on or likes the videos they watch, but they may share it with a friend or tell someone about it online. Tracking social media channels for feedback on keywords related to your content will give you a wider view of how well it is received than Google’s analytics tool alone.
2. Pimp your Tube
Making your video is one thing, making it attractive is another. Good lighting, sound, and editing are important, but another great tip is to have the video branded and personalized. You can watermark your videos with a logo to keep your brand front and center, and having an intro or outro that emphasizes your brand can be a good idea as well.
In addition to the video itself, having a branded landing page for your YouTube channel is a great way to show off your company through personalization. YouTube also includes features such as annotating your videos and adding subtitles for the hearing impaired. Just be sparing in the annotation, it can get annoying.
3. Everything in its Place
Once you have multiple videos uploaded and you are continuing to add new videos, it is a smart idea to organize them. If you upload 20 videos in a row that are on varied subjects, your viewers will see them in the linear fashion that you upload them unless you change that.
Two great ways to organize your YouTube content are with folders and playlists. Older videos, once you have a decent collection on your channel, can be placed into folders by month or year, similar to archiving old blog posts.
For current content, create playlists similar to your personal music playlists. If you have several videos that are about “hiking”, you can make a playlist called Hiking so that all of the related videos are easier to find and share.
This should give you some good ideas to get started while you wait anxiously for the next post in this series. I’ll also have a bonus for you coming up, since YouTube is releasing some new goodness very soon (patience is a virtue).
Are you currently using YouTube for your business? Are you using it effectively? Sound off in the comments and give me (and the other readers) some of your own tips. I don’t claim to know everything. Usually.