Don’t miss out on YouTube

Leveraging the #2 search engine

If you were bought up in an English-speaking country, your mother may have spoken of ‘doing the Hoovering’. It’s easier to say ‘Hoover’ than ‘vacuum cleaner’, but a product or service needs to be very popular before it can become a verb.

We all say ‘I’ll Google it’ when we mean ‘I’ll do a web search’. How often do you hear someone say ‘I’ll YouTube it’?

That’s regrettable. If you’re a marketer, the phrase ‘I’ll YouTube it’ should become part of your vocabulary. Think of YouTube as the world’s #2 search engine — way bigger than Bing or Yahoo, and with promotional opportunities that leave even Google in the dust. If you’ve neglected YouTube, this post will help you get up to speed.




The power of the information video

Users visit Youtube in search of solutions to immediate, practical problems. When you want to fix a busted lawnmower or unblock a kitchen juicer, a video is easier to follow than an instruction booklet. And, since those visitors find that YouTube is a great way to access the information they need, they keep coming back.

All of which makes YouTube a no-brainer for product marketing. If your product solves a common problem, you just have to post a short video showing it doing its thing, sit back… and wait for the traffic to roll in.

Want to communicate a more complex marketing message, or to be more proactive about putting your content in front of YouTube visitors? No problem! You can leverage existing skills and knowledge, too.



Leveraging your Google smarts

If you’ve ever visited YouTube, you won’t have missed the site’s paid ad campaigns. The basic strategy is to play targeted video advertisements ahead of searched-for content. (‘You can skip this ad in 4 sec…’) Should you pay to put your ad in one of those slots?

Well, we wouldn’t try to run your business for you, but managing a YouTube campaign is a breeze… assuming you’re familiar with Google advertising! As with Google clickthroughs, YouTube has inbuilt criteria for effectiveness. You’ll only pay for the ads that people watch in their entirety. And you can use your existing skills with Google metrics to get a detailed picture of how well your strategy is working.

By the way, although it’s never easy to compare apples with oranges, the percentage of YouTube ‘viewthroughs’ seems to be a lot higher than the clickthrough rates we’ve come to expect on non-video sites.



Getting sociable

Successful experiments with YouTube may lead you to take things further. You can re-apply lessons learned on other channels to develop a YouTube strategy that integrates with your business’s existing social media presence. You’ll probably come up with some ideas of your own, but here’s our simple two-step program.


1. Find those tastemakers…
Part of YouTube’s charm is its inconsistency. Some content makers are talented filmmakers in the raw, and some of them should have their cameras confiscated! So be picky. Search YouTube using keywords that are relevant to your business, and pay close attention to the results. You’ll soon start to recognize the content makers who are active in your business sector.

Once you know who’s out there, shortlist your favorites. Look for the smart cookies who get lots of views via well-constructed videos and a steady flow of interesting content. Many of them will be running their own YouTube channels.

Those are the ‘tastemakers’, and they’re the ones you need to target.


2. …and work that content!
How do you reach out to a tastemaker? Easy! Tastemakers always need new content. If you want the world to hear about your product, it’s a win-win for both of you. Offer free samples, tie-ins, and sneak previews. They might want to interview you, or do an ‘unboxing’ video like the one we mentioned in a previous post. Maybe you could become a sponsor of their channel? The sky’s the limit!



We hope this post helps you get YouTube working for you… but maybe your product or service doesn’t lend itself to video? In the next post, we’ll look at a proven way of reaching out to tastemakers using just an e-mail client and 30 minutes of your time.