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When someone mentions social media as a business tool, most people think of Facebook and Twitter.

Because it’s a video platform, YouTube may not initially seem like a suitable platform for marketing your small business.

YES, the mega-mammoth video site is a place where small businesses are finding more and more of their customers. Or perhaps, it should be put it this way:  YouTube is where more and more customers are finding small businesses.

Think Mobile, Think YouTube

You might be wondering, what’s the connection between YouTube and mobile?  It turns out that over 50 percent of YouTube’s video views occur on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.  In other words, when you think YouTube, think “mobile” along with it.

It’s not hard to understand why so many people are viewing videos on mobile devices.  Videos tend to be shared a lot on social sites. People check social media using mobile devices.

Videos are often viewed in spare moments, such as while people are waiting in line and commuting to and from work.  And people go to videos not just for fun, but to research topics.

When they see an ad with a video, it’s a natural next step to go shopping with that ad fresh in their minds.  Consumers are doing more of their shopping on mobile, too.

Businesses trying to reach millennials may want to pay special attention. Google research notes that YouTube reaches more viewers between the ages of 18 and 34 than any single cable network.

Think “How To”, Think YouTube

Here’s another way that small businesses are getting customer attention through YouTube: via how-to videos.

YouTube is do-it-yourself nirvana.  According to figures by Google, “searches relating to ‘how to’ on YouTube have grown 70% year over year” between Q1 of 2014 and Q2 of 2015.

So if you want to attract the attention of your target market, create a video that answers a commonly asked how-to question relevant to your products and services.

To stand out, include your business logo, a link to your website (or phone number) and a strong call-to-action in your video ad. Having a memorable ‘hook’ at the start of the ad can also capture people’s attention, lead to more views and increase the chances they’ll search for your business afterwards.

Do Research on Your Videos and your Competitors’ Videos to Create Goals

Just as you would with the content on your blog, you have to understand your audience and understand what it is you want them to do when they visit your video—convert, share, republish, navigate to your website, subscribe, etc. A great way to see what’s working and what’s not in your industry is to look at your competitors’ channels. See what they are posting and what seems to get the most engagement. Once you start having data of your own, you can begin to get more specific with your ideas and the times that work best for you to publish.

Another great way to do this research is to think about your own blog. Think about that topics that your audience engages with most and start making a list from there.