As you may already know, video can be used in a variety of way when it comes to promoting and sharing your small business — you can use it to increase brand or product awareness, become established as an expert in your field, or present how-to guides and instructional videos for your customers. You can also use video to give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your company, and introduce them to new products or services.
How important is it that I use video for my business?
While you may understand the value that video brings to a business plan, you may not yet realize it’s importance. So before you write off video marketing as too expensive, too complicated, or too time-consuming, please read on. The truth is, video might just be the most important piece to your content marketing strategy this year. Why? Recent research done myAnimoto showed that 80% of millennials use video to help them decide which products to purchase. So if you are selling a product or service, and you do not have any videos supporting your sales pitch, you may be missing out a huge potential customer base.
Now, there are a few different ways to integrate videos into your online business presence. But the one that we highly recommend getting started with is YouTube. Not only has YouTube been rated and reviewed as one of the best platforms for distributing your videos and building up an audience, but the same Animoto research showed that 74% of millennials do, indeed, follow businesses/brands on YouTube. As a small business owner, that means there is major potential just waiting for you as soon as you get your brand up and running on the site.
Need help? We’ve created this guide that will show you how to set up an account (called a “channel”) on YouTube for your business:
Set Up Your Business Channel
You will need a Gmail account before you start as YouTube is part of the Google family – Google has standardized logins across all its products so the login you have for Gmail will provide access to YouTube.
Once logged into your Gmail account, you should go to YouTube.com. On the left-side menu, there is an option labelled My Channel. When you click on this, a dialogue box opens – to set up an account as a business, click on the link that says: “To use a business or other name, click here.”
Enter the name of your channel, which we recommend making the name of your business. Next pick from one of YouTube’s categories:
- Product or brand
- Company, institution or organization
- Arts, entertainment or sports
Accept the terms and click Done.
Update Your Profile
The next step is to upload a profile image, also known as a “channel icon.” Ideally this should be 800×800 pixels. This image is attached to any videos you post to YouTube, or any comments you make on other videos, so it is important that it represents your brand well. To keep things simple, we recommend making it your business logo, as long as it can easily be seen at that size.
You also have to upload channel art. This is the main image that users will see when on your page. For those of you that use Facebook, it’s essentially the same thing as your Cover Photo. The recommended size for this image is 2,560×1,440 pixels. This should be a professional, high resolution photo, that is representative of your business and brand. If you do not have one on file, consider using a stock photo service (such as Dollar Photo Club) and purchasing one that works.
Once you’ve decided on your channel photos, you’ll need to provide a description of your company. Here’s how: Directly below the images is a menu – select “About” and fill out the following information:
- Channel description – use this as an opportunity to tell users what they can expect from your video channel. Keep it brief, descriptive and engaging.
- Details – this is the place where you’ll want to add your contact details including your email address and country. If someone sees one of your videos and decides to get in touch, this section will make that easy for them.
- Links – add links to your website and other social media accounts in this section to drive engagement to your other online pages
Create Content And Share
Now it is time to upload your videos – you can do this using the Upload button in the top right of the screen. You can also create playlists to group videos into categories, and you can use the Video Manager to edit and maintain the videos you have uploaded.
Here are some tips for your videos:
- Think carefully about the length. Often shorter videos work best. But it’s not a rigid rule as longer videos (particularly how-to guides) are extremely popular
- Make sure the production values are high. Don’t stress if you don’t have expensive equipment – at the very least, make sure the camera is steady, frame the image well, and optimize the sound
- When you upload a video, you have three options: public is open to everyone to view and share; unlisted videos can be seen by anyone with the link, but they are not publicly searchable; and private videos are only visible to individuals that you select. If you’re trying to get as much publicity as possible, make them public.
- Titles and descriptions – the title and description that you give to your video are important so make sure they are descriptive. They should contain keywords and they should sell the video well enough that the user wants to click. Our advice, be fun and creative here! Unique titles drive more clicks.
What’s great about setting up an account on YouTube with helpful or entertaining video content is that it will help with your search engine rankings as well, because your YouTube videos will appear in search results. Our biggest piece of advice here is not to become too overwhelmed. You don’t have to post HD, perfect video footage. And you don’t need a hundred videos in your library in order for it to be successful. Start small and simple, and just experiment with the new platform. This is one of those things that you just need to jump into, and get started with…With time, it’ll feel like second nature.