YouTube: The Second Largest Search Engine You Never Considered

YouTube: The Second Largest Search Engine You Never Considered

If you thought YouTube was just for clips of cute cats and X-Factor contestants, and had no value to offer your business, think again. Using YouTube for business is a cost effective strategy to get your brand in front of millions of viewers and potential customers both locally and internationally. There are two main ways to use YouTube for business; one is to create video content, the second is to advertise on YouTube.

Benefit 1: Expand your reach and traffic to a worldwide audience

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and the 3rd most visited website, with over 1 billion people visiting YouTube each month. Given that 65% of people are visual learners, with another 30% being aural learners, creating unique video content or advertising on YouTube is a way to reach a huge untapped market, and engage with them in a much more tangible way than print or text advertising can ever achieve.

YouTube reaches a wide range of countries, 43 languages and has a broad demographic with most users being between 18-54 years.

Benefit 2: Improve your Google search results

Google purchased YouTube in 2006, and since then the two have been working hand in hand. You may have noticed that videos are now appearing in Google search results much more frequently, and are even being given priority over text-only pages. This offers you a unique competitive advantage if you combine the high-quality content on your site with creating parallel content on YouTube. When you post videos to YouTube you have the option to create backlinks to your website and this will increase your profile in Google search results.

The bottom line is YouTube is SEO friendly. To get the most SEO value out of YouTube, associate your domain name with your YouTube channel, and get your videos shared by users on social media platforms.

Benefit 3: Slash your advertising budget

If you just want to upload video content YouTube is completely free to use, making it a much better medium to build your brand than bus bench, newspaper, or radio ads, or even a Yellow pages listing! Making a video is like having a full-time customer services rep working for you around the clock. It allows potential customers to find you 24/7 and gives them a face for your company, saving you advertising revenue.

Online retailer ModCloth is a good case study of what is possible: They adopted a YouTube marketing strategy and gained 4000 subscribers, 1 million YouTube views and increased sales, all for a total cost of 11% of their pre-existing advertising search campaign.

Benefit 4: Build an email list and loyal following

There is now software available that allows you to build your email list by creating and sharing videos on YouTube. The software allows for you to embed your sign-up form into a YouTube video: your video will pause playing temporarily to allow viewers to enter their details and subscribe before continuing. So if you create useful, informative or humorous content on a regular basis you have the potential to build a large email list in a very short time that you can then target using email marketing and direct response.

Benefit 5: Create brand recognition and trust

It’s a fact that people buy from companies that they either feel an emotional connection with, or recognise as a thought leader or expert in the industry. YouTube gives you the opportunity to achieve both of these. For example you can create video testimonials of happy customers, or you can take viewers on a guided tour of your factory or office and introduce your staff to them. Videos showing content such as this help build a sense of trust in the brand. It also allows people to feel a sense of emotional connection as they connect with staff or customers in the videos who they perceive as likeable or similar to themselves.

Secondly, videos allow you to become an expert. By creating free content that gives away valuable tips or solves a problem or question viewers might have, you are allowing viewers to see that you really know what you are talking about. Chances are when they next come to make a purchasing decision relevant to your industry they will come to you first because you have already proved your worth and knowledge.

Benefit 6: Paid promotions and advertising

YouTube offers Promoted Video Campaigns that are run through AdWords on a pay-per-click basis. Similar to sponsored ads in Google, promoted videos show up in the right-hand column next to similar videos that viewers are currently watching. Simply upload a video, specify some keywords, write some promotional text or calls to action on your video and specify your AdWords budget. You only pay when someone clicks on your link.

InVideo Ads are a second form of paid advertising. This is where you get the option of overlaying your ads over popular YouTube videos. This enables you to engage people who haven’t even searched keywords relevant to your industry. According to Business Insider magazine, InVideo ads are the most effective form of YouTube marketing, featuring click-through rates 8-10 times higher than other advertising features.

Benefit 7: Target your audience using AdWords

Although YouTube allows access to a global audience you don’t have to worry if you only want to target local consumers. YouTube has many options for refined targeting that allow you to balance the volume of viewers who see your video with groups specific to your region, keywords, viewer interests or target audience demographics.

Top tips for using YouTube

To get the most out of using YouTube for business, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Firstly make sure your videos look professional and load quickly.
  • Secondly optimise all your videos for tags, keywords and descriptions to help them show up in search rankings.
  • Finally include calls-to-action in your videos. A video without a call-to-action is pointless as it doesn’t direct viewers to do anything. Your call-to-action might include annotations that point viewers to other videos, get them to subscribe to your channel, sign up via email or direct them to check out products and services on your website.

Remember, YouTube is a great platform to use for business, one that at the moment still remains very unsaturated. To make the most of it get in now, as in a couple of years time everyone will be on this bandwagon. Be an early adopter of this great website which can offer big results.

Author: 

Michelle Bunt is a specialist digital marketing blogger, who has a background in accounting, business and management. She lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.

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