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If you're looking for ways to get word out about the products and services your small business sells, YouTube is a marketing tool you shouldn't ignore. Its vast audience (over a billion users!) and multimedia format provide a highly effective way for you to communicate your brand message to your audience. And most small businesses can do so at a relatively low cost. Here are six ways your business gain attention and interest from posting to YouTube.
1. Use YouTube as a way to connect personally with customers
There's a very old maxim in the sales game: "You're really just selling yourself." In other words consumers and business customers want to buy from people they know and trust. YouTube provides an exceptional medium for you to present yourself and make your audience feel like they know you. Post one or more YouTube videos to introduce yourself, talk about your qualifications and why you're in business. You should make customers comfortable and show them that you genuinely care about helping them solve their problems or meet their special needs, and that you care about their experience with your products. Keep these short -no more than a minute or two. Remember, your goal is to get the customer to make a quick, favorable impression about you and your business. You don't want to bore them with an overabundance of details.
2. Use YouTube to showcase your products' top features
To show your customers why your products are easy to use, reliable, and of high quality, take close-up videos of them in action. Upload several different videos that show off your products from various angles. Post videos of your products in use, which will show off your products' capabilities and make customers think about how they might use the product to meet their individual needs. Doing so turns abstract benefits into viable, real-world solutions in your customers' minds.
Ideally, you should shoot the videos with a high-quality camera, but if you don't have a high quality camera and your operating on a tiny budget, use your smart phone camera or a good point and shoot digital camera. For the best results, script the video in advance, planning exactly what you'll do and say, and edit the script so it contains only information that's essential to know. When you record, Speak clearly and pretend there's a customer standing where the camera is located. Speak to that pretend person. Make your showcase videos three minutes or less in length. If you can't show all the features in three minutes, use multiple videos to demo the product.
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3. Use YouTube as a platform to prove your own expertise
Your customers and prospects are looking for the best product or service they can afford to satisfy their needs. They want the products or services, the company and the people who represent the company to be the top in their field. Bragging about expertise doesn't cut it. The way to let your personal or business expertise shine through is to post informative videos containing tips and hints, results of studies you've conducted, case histories describing solutions you've provided, and other material that demonstrate your expertise and make it believable to the audience. If you are camera-shy or don't have anyone who can take a good video of you talking to the camera, create and narrate a short PowerPoint presentation. If you don't have the ability to convert the PowerPoint to YouTube format, hire a freelancer to do it.
4. Use YouTube as a medium to present customer testimonials
It's one thing if your customers see you talking about your product and showing the world how it works. It's quite another if 10 people sing your praises. Customers identify with other customers, so if you have some customers who rave about your business, don't be afraid to get their permission and take videos of them talking about their experiences. Whether the customer was particularly pleased with you, your products, or both, his or her message will be a powerful voice in favor of your business. To encourage customers to give you these video testimonials, don't try to get them to come to your office or go to a recording studio. If you're speaking to someone in person, simply ask if you could record their comments and then whip out your smart phone and start recording. The videos will seem more true to life than they would if they were recorded in a formal setting, and thus gain more interest from viewers. If your raving fan is speaking to you on the telephone but has an internet connection available, see if they'll join you in a Google+ Hangouts On Air session and let you record the hangout and post it to YouTube.
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5. Use YouTube a medium to present in-depth "how-to" videos related to your products
Whether your products are complex or not, upload instructional videos that demonstrate in a step by step way how to use your product for various tasks. Doing makes sense from a marketing point of view because buyers often want to know what's involved with using a product or service before they buy it. Others potential customers may want to have videos available because they prefer viewing videos to reading a manual. (The how-to-use videos will provide an added benefit for you, too, since they may cut down on support calls.)
The ideal length for instructional videos according to one study is 6 minutes of less.. One might cover how to put together the product (if assembly is required), another might be operating and/or safety tips, another could be special features or accessories. If you are demoing a software application, your videos could demonstrate how to get started, and how to use each feature in the software.. The how-to videos you post will go hand-in-hand with your testimonials, other personable customer messages and "in action" videos so that your customers get a complete picture of you and your products.
6. As a medium for real-time marketing
For an even more personal touch, consider hosting live video events. You can do so on a budget by scheduling a Google+ Hangouts On Air. Use the event to launch a new product, run a webinar, answer customer questions, interview experts on subject matter of related to your field, or run a workshop. Your event will be broadcast live on YouTube and can then be added to your YouTube channel.
Market your marketing videos
Once you've recorded and posted the videos, be sure to market them. With an estimated 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, you will need to promote your videos to help get them found. Advertise your video with links on your website, your email list, and postings to your social media profiles. The more opportunities you give prospects to interact with your brand, the better your chances are of winning new business.
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