Business has definitely caught on to the benefits of YouTube for business. One of the first areas I look at for a client is how their website handles video. Does the website host the video or does it link to YouTube and, better yet, its own channel. A service like YouTube provides the bandwidth which can reduce hosting fees for a business website. You can think of bandwidth like gas for your car for those that can’t relate bandwidth to websites. The more people (traffic) that use your car (website) then the more gas (bandwidth) is used. Video can be like towing a heavy trailer which uses a lot more gas each time it’s played. Making YouTube tow that trailer lessens the bandwidth used on your website. Only a few kilobytes of information are transferred through your web host and website in order to play the video. YouTube also has the added benefit of carrying the traffic load. No one wants to watch a video that starts, stops and stutters. That’s one of the technical advantages.
YouTube can be like a dumping ground for video bits and bites.
Many businesses stop at this point treating YouTube or Vimeo like a dumping ground for video bits and bites. It’s often overlooked or underutilized. So how does YouTube for business work? A YouTube channel is it’s own marketing tool that can benefit from layout and content optimization both in the video and how it is titled, described, tagged and shared. Not everyone will see a video on the host business website. YouTube videos are searchable, shareable, linkable and embeddable. Control freaks need to get used to that but it’s a huge benefit for business. Beyond content word of mouth or rather word of share is king. It is important that video content is optimized for title, description and tags.
Graphics and text within a video for YouTube should also be used to your advantage. Often videos have a URL embedded or “burnt into” the video and it is important incorporate a call to action at the beginning and end of the video. At least you have a URL visible if the watcher clicks away within the first few moments. YouTube has annotations which allow embedding various forms of text including links throughout or at specific points in the video. Watchers can have an easy, clickable path from the video, no matter where it may be shared or embedded, back to your business. Annotations for mobile and tablet devices like Apple and Android are still in the teething stage as of this article. While annotation text was visible annotations with embedded links did not work on an iPad.
Think of your video content as a standalone message on the internet.
Think of your video content as a standalone message on the internet. Optimize the title, description and tags for your audience and what they may be searching for. Make sure the video displays how to connect with your business at the beginning and end of the video by a combination of graphics and use of annotations with embedded links. Make sure your YouTube for business Channel is organized, branded and configured effectively such as the correct amount of visible characters in the title or how many characters before the show more link in the description. Custom thumbnails can be uploaded instead of relying upon YouTube to grab a frame at random.
A marketing professional specializing in video production and social media can assess and optimize content both inline and in-channel.