YouTube Videos for Businesses
This is part tips and part—hopefully—inspirational, because while there is incredible potential on YouTube, only a very select few businesses have ever figured out how to take advantage of it.
Want to hear something scary?
Over 100 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every 1 minute.
That means that every day 144,000 hours of videos are uploaded, which means every week 1,008,000 hours of videos are uploaded, which means that every year 52,560,000 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded. The average human lives for 681,528 hours.
If you are an average person who just happens to never eat or sleep and does nothing but watch YouTube videos your entire life, you would have time in your entire life from birth to death to watch about 4.7 days’ worth of uploaded YouTube videos.
So if you want to create a video that your customers want to see, it has to be a lot better than millions and millions of hours of other YouTube videos.
When you are competing with kittens, comedians, porn stars, television shows, interesting science stuff, weird animal tricks, people injuring themselves in entertaining ways (no one was seriously injured), music videos, and Charlie the Unicorn (seriously, 20 million views), it’s a tall order for a business.
Two Types of YouTube Videos
- Probably when you start thinking about making a YouTube video for your business you get a twinkle in your eye and you start thinking about the millions and millions of people watching YouTube who are all going to see your super awesome video. You have dreams, big dreams, and you are going to do something creative and awesome and you are going to make a mind-boggling number of sales. That’s the first kind, this for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI Try getting that approved in the office! “I don’t like that part where he says the blades aren’t good.” “We should change the part where there is a curse word on the wall.” “I think the part with the bear may upset animal activists.” “Did he say a toddler can use it? I have kids and I think that’s a bad idea!” “I just don’t get the confetti, let’s get rid of that.” Etc. But dollar for dollar that may be one of the most successful ads in the last few years, and just about every business in the world would have figured out ways of ruining it before anyone saw it.
- At some point you will realize how hard it is to do something that works, then you will think about how scary it is to do something interesting and creative, then committees will get involved and no one can create anything by committee, and then there are mechanisms working against you deeply ingrained within your business that don’t understand the difference in between YouTube and a mailer or a flyer or your website, don’t understand it’s a different audience, different medium, and not only will that stuff not work, it will be a massive boring waste of time and effort—and worse of all, a lost opportunity. That’s the second kind. That’s the kind of YouTube video the vast majority of businesses make.
Not to say that the second kind is completely useless, it’s not. It’s good for linking, or embedding it on your website, it’s a good way to get your message to customers without making them actually read stuff, YouTube videos rank pretty well in organic searches (and we’ll talk about YouTube optimization in a bit), and it’s just kind of cool to have a video for your business.
The second kind is okay by itself, until you start thinking of all of that lost potential. So let us help.
Here are the most important things in the Universe, in order, when it comes to YouTube videos:
- It has to be incredibly clever. It can be funny clever, inspirational clever, tear-jerk clever, psycho clever, weird clever, shocking clever (though for other reasons that is not the best approach for the YouTube audience), informative clever, stupid-seemingly-but-in-a-smart-way-clever, or some other kind of clever we can’t think of right now—which would be even better if someone else hasn’t thought of it. Ideally you would want to hire a professional if you are serious about making a good YouTube video, not necessarily a film crew since there are plenty of ways to make a YouTube video, but at least a professional advertiser who understands this medium plus has an advertising background so it’s effective, targeted, makes sense, but is also all of that clever stuff.
- Be honest. YouTube viewers are savvy in general, plus it’s viewed by a lot of people in the 18-34 year-old demographic—this group watches YouTube more than cable. This group is also particularly vicious when it comes to dishonesty on social sites like YouTube. Even if that isn’t your target, it can hurt your reputation if that group turns on you—which is very possible if you are particularly dishonest or come off as dishonest.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 about 150 times.
- …Optimize it the right way. And don’t trust anyone who tells you that optimization is as important as the other stuff we listed. We’re an SEO agency and we won’t even claim that.
But since we are an optimization company, let’s talk more about the optimization. If you can’t pull off step 1 (which 99.99% of businesses regardless of their bright-eyed bushy-tailed intent can’t) optimization can still help you get a lot of bang for your buck on YouTube.
Optimizing Your YouTube Video
1. Optimizing for YouTube.com. YouTube allows you to enter a series of keywords when you upload a video, and this is the main way that YouTube videos are optimized on their site. Choose the most relevant keywords for your industry, in terms of sales. The YouTube search engine is notoriously bad at categorizing and YouTube is awash in miss-tagged videos. It’s a mess seriously. They also once optimized according to the number of views a video received, they no longer do this due to abuse. Many businesses simply hired people to pretend to view their video. Other considerations are the content in your description of the video—be sure that it uses relevant keywords moderately, without overuse. You will also have a YouTube channel, and this should be titled and optimized according to your business. Other than that it is just a matter of proper categorization, you’ll see this in the options as you upload your video (don’t start picking categories based on how many people like that category, pick categories by your category), and backlinks to your video may also play a role in YouTube optimization, so be sure that it is linked from your business website and try to build other relevant links.
2. Optimizing for Google. There is no difference in between optimizing a YouTube page for Google and optimizing any other page on the internet: Relevant on-page content with keywords and backlinks, and for Google, quality views makes a difference the same way Google bots prefer sites that people spend more time on compared to the sites people click on and click off of quickly—and all of that has to do with the quality of your content of course. Also, consider closed-captioning for your videos whenever you can, not only does this help the hearing impaired, it can help your optimization and it can make your message clearer and more memorable. You can add closed captioning right in YouTube under the edit option, so you don’t need to create your video with captioning already embedded.
There is one giant awesome advantage to optimizing a YouTube video… GOOGLE LOVES YOUTUBE! If your video has YouTube in the url, as long as your video has not been flagged as being spammy, there is a very good chance it will quickly climb in ranking. The reason for this is simple; Google wants to bring its customers good results, and people using Google love YouTube, so that is often what Google tries to give them
And this concludes another installment of awesome SEO advice for small and medium businesses! We hope you find it helpful. Please stay tuned for our commercial…
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