Should I use YouTube?

Can using a social media site like YouTube actually help increase search rankings via Google? Actually the answer is a somewhat surprising “yes”…if done right! As a social media management firm, we frequently encounter small business owners that shy away from using YouTube for all but an occasional campaign. Given the headache and hassle, not to mention specialized equipment, scriptwriting and other requirements, it’s understandable why video tends to rate relatively low on the list of most “DIY” projects. Fortunately, there is a way to integrate video into day to day marketing, obtain great search results and increase social media all at the same time! Today we are going to share some of our favorite informal social media video tips to transform YouTube video’s into a marketing powerhouse. The trick is to keep it simple and casual.

Use these informal video’s for casual updates, conversational interviews, product reviews, introduction of a new service member, client testimonials and other informal interaction.

Do not use these for major social media marketing campaigns, professional webinars or high value interaction. Instead, go with the pro’s to create a compelling viral video campaign when it matters most. Remember, this is intended to enhance traditional forms of content not replace a full-fledged viral marketing strategy. If you need expensive prop’s, a lot of people or even a script…chances are you also need a social media marketing manager. This is the type of project that highlights a quick bit of information in a rapid yet meaningful manner. A single shot of a “talking head” or product is usually sufficient if not outright desirable.

Social Video’s like those placed on YouTube are actually able to increases SEO rankings while simultaneously enhancing your small business blog, Facebook or Twitter offerings. It’s a win-win situation as contacts enjoy a diversified content offering and you benefit from increased exposure. Google has started offering a variety of different results categorized by traditional websites, video, newsfeed, photo’s and other variables. By integrating video, it’s possible to cut through the clutter and move ahead rapidly…especially if you utilize local search parameters!

Getting started is fairly simple. Just follow this quick template and try a few out for yourself.

1. Select a topic. Perhaps you are presenting a quick workshop or tutorial that may be of interest to clients, peers or other professionals. New product reviews, client testimonials and short informational tutorials are other great ideas. Start off small and keep it informative yet casual.

2. Select a duration. Most experts agree that 10 minutes is optimal but feel free to try out the three to five minute mark especially for those just getting started.

3. Record the video. The absolute easiest method is to use a quality webcam and record directly to YouTube but there are many inexpensive camcorders also able to record and upload direct to YouTube. Try to keep the picture and sound clear. Remember less is more especially when it comes to creating a simple video.

4. Name the video recording. Select something clear, concise and relevant. For example, a local chiropractor might opt to record a short informational session to educate prospective clients about the benefits of obtaining a regular alignment to prevent pain; to name the video s/he would use a title such as “X/City Chiropractic Pain Management” or some other direct title. Use words that people are most likely to search with and link it to the location for maximum results. Avoid “cute”, vague or ambiguous titles.

5. Add a description. Provide a short description of the video to inform viewers what they will encounter when viewing, how to locate your regular webpage, the benefits derived from viewing and other pertinent information. Make it appealing but don’t go overboard or get pushy.

6. Include relevant keywords. Take a few moments to consider the words or terms others might use when searching for this type of information and embed it into the description. Add appropriate URL’s and annotations.

7. Save and embed the video on your website then distribute links to the video on your social media sites including Facebook. Point to the video on YouTube from your Facebook page and notify existing contacts that the video is available for viewing or sharing.

8. Add a Transcript. This one might be considered optional but it’s a great idea especially if you include a lot of relevant search terms in the conversation. Don’t worry! It’s actually easy to add a transcript and make the video ADA compliant for the hearing impaired by using CaptionTube.

9. Include a Call to Action! Surprisingly, many people forget to include a call to action. Even informational video’s should always include a clear call to action that is both visual and verbal. Tell and show others what to do next!

10. Repeat! The real power of this approach becomes clear once you have created numerous small video’s on a regular basis. Because it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, it’s a realistic way to build brand recognition, increase interaction and enhance exposure. Because Google places a high value on video content, it’s a great way to increase SEO visibility without the high cost. Most important of all, video is one of the most sought after forms of social media interaction with relatively minimal competition at the moment making it a win-win for those savvy small business owners seeking new ways to connect with clients and business partners.

Remember, nearly 1/4 of all YouTube traffic comes directly from a Google search. As Google expands it’s “Universal Search” platform, video is highlighted above many highly competitive search terms making it easier to compete with the big boys without a big budget.

 

Thanks to the Maximize Social Media gang for this writing and their wonderful Facebook page.