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How Small Businesses can Leverage YouTube

Everyone knows that the visual medium is extremely effective and thanks to video-sharing websites such as YouTube, videos can be a highly profitable method to reach a massive audience. But what is the best way to get the maximum mileage from YouTube?

Here are ten actionable strategies to help you do this, assuming that you have signed up with YouTube.

Your YouTube channel

Begin by working on personalizing your YouTube channel, just like you would customize your emails to your contacts. With your YouTube channel, personalization involves including your business’s branding, color customizations to match your web-site, links and related information.

Another advantage of creating your YouTube channel is that users can subscribe to your channel easily through the “subscribe” button. Users can also search your content exclusively. This is more enhanced as you can highlight specific features such as uploads, play lists or favorites, as desired.

Add subtitles for your videos

YouTube has a global audience and to reach the maximum number of people, ensure that your content is subtitled. This will also make you accessible to those who are hearing impaired. This can be quickly done through the voice recognition feature.

Go easy on the annotations

YouTube allows you to add comments over the top of the video film. But this may not be such a great idea since annotations tend to be distracting and sometimes irritating. While capturing your viewer’s attention may be your goal, make sure that your video does not depend on the additional text.

Moderate and filter your comments

It can seem practically impossible to avoid negative comments to your YouTube channel videos, but you can certainly keep track and monitor spam comments. While relevant negative comments are sometimes necessary to keep, comments that come in the form of offensive language are not. You also have the option of blocking users that consistently spam. It is possible to moderate comments before they are published and this may be the best option to exercise.

Interact with your YouTube community

You already know that YouTube is a massive social site with a huge and live community. Make the time to browse around and “like” and “favorite” related videos. Make “friends”. This will build your own community. You can also focus on content and YouTube channels in your geographical area or a cause you can support. Keep track of YouTube’s latest developments and new features and the YouTube blog.

Ensure that your content is viewer-friendly

This means presenting your content in a way that viewers find it easy to browse and enjoy. Instead of just lining up your videos, organize them into interesting play lists, or list them by time line, depending on what works for your specific situation. YouTube lets users embed an entire play list or a single video on sites outside YouTube and this is exposure and mileage you cannot afford to miss. So, when you organize your play lists, remember to add titles and descriptions with care.

Tag them

Tags, more or less, rule your content on the internet because users use “tags” or keywords to find you. YouTube is also categorized with tag words. Therefore, spend time “tagging” your videos. Add as many as you think relevant, since different people use different search words to find what they want. You can also track how your videos perform and adjust the categories and tags accordingly.

Promote your YouTube videos

Obviously you cannot wait for people to come to your videos on YouTube, so make sure you promote it outside of YouTube. Tweet your videos, share them on your Facebook and other social media pages, blog about them. This is easy to do via YouTube’s settings through which you can auto-publish updates when you link to the social services. You can also embed your videos in your content elsewhere on the web. Also, allow others to embed your video in their content for more views and traffic.

Use YouTube’s “insight” button

With the help of YouTube’s insight button on videos uploaded on the site, you can get free analytics data which will help you get information such as number of views, demographics, community and discovery data. Discovery data tells you how a viewer arrived at your video along with the links that brought them there.

Keep your channel up to date

Once you have set up your YouTube channel, make sure you keep it up to date. Respond to comments, browse around relevant categories, “favorite” videos and spend time on the site even if you do not have something new to post. The idea is to stay live and connected on YouTube.

The strategies described above will help you leverage YouTube to grow your business.