This is a guest post by Luke Harsel of Local Marketing Solutions
With the ever-increasing accessibility to the Internet through tablets and mobile phones, society’s distance from reading seems to grow every day.
Thanks to increased bandwidths worldwide, YouTube has quickly climbed to become the second largest search engine on the Internet. If a picture can speak a thousand words, a video can speak millions.
As a modern small business owner, you should be realizing the absolute need to market yourself on this popular search engine. With the right strategy and mindset, you can utilize the power of YouTube, and engage your customers.
Here’s how to tackle it for your small business like a pro.
Flesh Out Your YouTube Channel
With a YouTube channel, you’re expanding your brand’s footprint and marketing funnel out beyond your website. But don’t assume you have to pull visitors all the way to your site before you can provide them with the information they need. Give it to them right there, directly on YouTube!
YouTube provides countless ways for you to exercise complete freedom over your content. Whether it’s a channel’s description, a video description, or text on a video itself, you need to be announcing as clearly as possible who you are.
Take each opportunity you have to drop in your NAP (name, address, phone number), any current promotions, and your calls to action. There are a number of places to strengthen your SEO on YouTube other than the content of the video.
Make sure your viewers can locate you through your NAP citations. In fact, the more citations and listings of your NAP all over the internet, the better for your local SEO.
Make sure your viewers know what you offer through your promotions. This can (and probably should) be the main message of your videos. Whether directly or tangentially, you should be promoting your brand and service with every video you create.
Be sure to always urge the user to take action. Have them call you, visit your physical store, email you, or browse your website.
If you do all of this right, you will see results!
Keep it Simple and Keep Moving
Remember, you’re not here to advance the techniques of the film industry or experiment with being a director. You’re here to establish a presence on the world’s second largest search engine and bring in more business. You don’t need to over-complicate things — just make sure to get your message across.
First, think about the people in your target market. Then step back and think about them as YouTube users. What would you type into the search bar if you were looking for help related to your goods or services?
Test out a handful of options, conduct some keyword research, and decide the topic you think best addresses the issues that your target encounters. Engaging product tutorials or relevant how-to videos can work really well as marketing tools, because they will engage this audience.
Any voiceovers should avoid the use of slang or inappropriate language. Rather, use your industry’s modern jargon to connect with your market.
If you can nail down your process, you should be constantly creating new videos to further your reach and stay in touch with people’s modern expectations.
Video can be the tool that keeps you relevant and maintains your presence in the minds of your consumers. If people don’t see current activity, they’ll wonder if the business is even still around. And that won’t be good for business!
Engage Your User’s Minds and Hearts
You have to touch your user’s hearts by moving them emotionally. This can be through humor, heartwarming material, reminiscent material, or plenty of other techniques. But if you don’t move them, they have no reason to continue watching your video. And if they aren’t watching, you can’t pitch them on your service or impress your brand upon their minds.
Effective persuasion always includes three aspects:
- Emotion (Pathos)
- Logic (Logos)
- Credibility (Ethos)
The user may be engaged with your video as a source of information or entertainment, but when it comes time to persuade them to take an action, they’ll likely resist for some logical reason. Their rationale will pop in and say, “Do I have a need for this product? Will this service bring me some form of enjoyment or reduce my pain points?”
This is when you engage their intellect. Explain the benefits of your service or product in a logical manner to reel in your prospective customer. You have their attention, but why should they choose your version of this offering instead of your competitors? Maybe they don’t even need any service, at all?
Here lies the need for your ethical appeal, or ethos. You want your viewers to trust you, so establishing as much credibility as you can with your video will be crucial.
Reference the experience you have in your industry, credentials or certifications (without boring your audience with the details), and testimonials that vouch for your quality.
You can then bring back the logical argument and inform them of some factual details to overcome any intellectual resistance.
You should also tell any relevant facts or statistics about the problem your service solves, or the quality of your work.
Call to Action:
Once you have the viewer’s attention, mention your call-to-action.
Remember, there are hours of other videos to watch and sort through.
Through all of this, the goal is to keep your viewers engaged (building audience retention), while you lead them to interact with your business.
Optimize Your Videos for Search
YouTube won’t just advertise your videos in front of the proper target audience, or anyone, if you don’t help its robots understanding who the right people are.
You can read up on tips with a complete beginner’s guide to SEO on YouTube, or just take your basic notes here.
When it comes down to it, SEO on YouTube basically comes to two types of information:
- Traditional text elements
- User engagement factors
Traditional Text Elements
Now, to focus on the traditional text factors. SEO is about utilizing your keywords in the text elements of your video.
The elements that affect your rank include everything from file name to description; video title to even closed captions. Be creative and find a way to integrate your keywords into all of these areas without “keyword stuffing.” Keyword stuffing is loading a webpage with keywords to attempt to manipulate search engines and rank higher in search results.
To nail down your target keyword, you might want to go for a lengthier (long-tail) term that has less competition, unless you think you’re ready to compete for the shorter keywords that get searched more (You compete through engagement, which we will get to here in a second).
Once you have your keyword, use it in the title of your video. Use it in your description where you mention what the video is about (and don’t forget to place your NAP and call-to-action in there too!).
Don’t forget, YouTube still heavily relies on tags. Use your keyword in the tag, but also place other related tags on your video, as well, so you have the opportunity to pop up for related search terms.
Tag all of your videos with your channel name, so they will point to each other in the “related videos” area after they’re done viewing. YouTube understands relations between topics as well, so this only strengthens your ability to rank.
If you and all of your competitors do the above, you’re going to be tied and battling for exposure.
Most people don’t realize that they can create a transcription of the spoken words and sounds in the video and upload the text file as a custom closed caption file. YouTube reads these as well, so it’s a chance to speak and include your keyword to boost your rank. Use every method of optimization available to you to out-rank your competitors!
Secondly, the other aspect of optimizing your video for exposure is engagement. This is out of your hands for the most part. The game is not only about having as many people watch as possible to inflate your views, but to have them watch for the longest stretch of time possible. Audience retention is a measure of the worth of your video and can be directly compared among competing videos to determine who will rank higher.
Something to note: any form of engagement is considered positive, even a thumbs-down rating or a negative comment. YouTube doesn’t only make money on positive videos.
Feel free to polarize your audience or even have them completely hate a video. Use your comments section to have a conversation with viewers and establish your brand’s views This can continue the buzz around your video and allow it to be seen as popular to YouTube’s algorithm. With an array of ways users engage with your video, you will see higher success.
Citations, Citations, Citations
If your business doesn’t have a presence on YouTube and other video sites (yes, you should upload your video to Vimeo, too), then you’re missing out on a great deal of traffic and exposure for your business. Your goal as a brand is to be everywhere at all times, leaving no stone unturned, especially not YouTube.
Having citations across the web is the name of the game for local business visibility these days. Yes, YouTube can be just as important as Google+, Bing, or Yahoo in terms of building credibility.
Wherever you list your business information, always include your name, address, and phone number. Toss in your email address and links to your other social network profiles as well. Most of all, don’t forget to link to your own website! Within the content of the video and its description, always promote your products or services, and urge people to take action. That’s why you’re on YouTube.
Drop us a comment and share your YouTube tricks for marketing your small business. Thanks for reading!
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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