YouTube Viral Marketing Tips
I've been reading lots lately about how small businesses can best use YouTube in their
online marketing efforts and I'd like to share some useful things I've learned. First,
statistics indicate that 4.3 billion videos are watched per month on YouTube. That's a
viewership that many marketers find too enticing to ignore. At the same time - and perhaps
a major factor in YouTube's growth - the cost and time required to produce a video is now
well within reach of nearly every business.
Does this mean everyone needs to run out and create a video to jump on the bandwagon?
Not necessarily. Like all forms of social media, it's best to stop and think about what
value you have to offer before jumping in, as content that's strictly self-promotional
isn't likely to get much viewership.
So what do YouTube viewers like to watch? Topics that work best on YouTube tend to fall
into one (or more) of three categories:
News. Both viewers and search engines (YouTube has its own search engine) gravitate
towards what's new. If you have real news - a product announcement, an upcoming event, a
new offer, etc. - consider announcing it on YouTube. You can get double mileage by also
attaching your video to a press release and posting it on PRWeb. It doesn't need to be a
glitzy or expensive video production - just interesting and informative. And like any news
announcement, tell a story and you'll generate much more interest.
How To. Since the true advantage of video over other communication forms is its
ability to show & tell, it makes sense that "how to" videos can do well on YouTube. Again,
the obvious applies - tell a story, make it interesting, make it entertaining - and the
presentation quality should be professional. My favorite is the series of "Will It Blend?"
videos from Blendtec. They combine a how-to message with humor and shock value as they
demonstrate a multitude of objects and substances that can be blended in their blender.
Highly popular on YouTube.
Entertainment. People are always drawn to humor and human-interest stories, and
entertaining videos can have terrific viral (pass-along) value. But the real challenge if
you aim to produce an entertaining video is to link it effectively to your marketing
message. Don't just spend your marketing budget to make people laugh; make them remember
you and - better yet - click a link to your website. Here's an entertaining advertisement
from OraBrush, and another from Oreo. Warning: humor is a personal taste, so trying to be
funny can be very risky and hard to pull off.
What To Do With Your Video
Your primary objective for your video is to be found on YouTube (remember those 4.3
billion viewings? They likely include some of your potential customers). YouTube has its
own search engine and allows you to do some rudimentary SEO by entering a Title,
Description and Tags. Like traditional SEO, take care to enter keyword phrases that your
target audience is likely to use in their searches. But this is just a start and there are
many ways to build on it. Here are some good suggestions for what you can do next to build
your video viewership and turn it into an effective marketing vehicle for your
Send YouTube viewers to your website. YouTube allows you to include a link to your
website, so make it count. Make sure you choose a landing page that builds on the contents
of your video and includes a call-to-action for visitors who follow the link. Remember, if
your video is good enough to capture the interest of a prospective customer, you want to
engage that viewer sufficiently to get them to click through to your landing page, and
then encourage them to pick up the telephone, send you an email, drive to your store or
office, or make a purchase on the website. Remember this and you'll see that what you
present on your landing page is as important as your video content.