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Every month nearly two billion people from around the world visit YouTube, a video sharing site. Since its founding in 2005, the site has made inroads into more than 90 countries and has content available in more than 80 languages.

In short, a significant percentage of the world’s population not only knows about YouTube, but also visits the site on a regular basis. YouTube’s continued popularity makes video marketing a smart move for small businesses.

What does YouTube marketing for small business involve? It’s more than just creating videos. You want to create a channel on YouTube, which is where your videos will live on the site. People can subscribe to your channel and provide feedback on your videos, such as likes, dislikes, and comments. You can also split your videos into categories and playlists, making it easy for people to find what they’re looking for if they’re browsing your brand’s channel.

YouTube marketing is very similar to other forms of content marketing. Your goal isn’t to produce promotional videos about your company. Instead, you want to create content that viewers will find informative, valuable, and useful. Keeping the needs of your audience front and center while coming up with content ideas when creating videos will help your small business launch and maintain a successful YouTube channel.

Why YouTube Marketing?

If the fact that nearly two billion people visit YouTube every month doesn’t have you convinced that it’s a worthwhile channel to add to your small business’ content marketing plan, consider this: YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-olds than any TV network.

The site doesn’t just appeal to people in this age bracket. Research from Pew shows YouTube is the second most popular social site among all American adults. More than half of all online adults over the age of 50 use YouTube. Well over 80 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 49 are on the site, too.

Another benefit of YouTube marketing is that plenty of people prefer video to other forms of content. Nearly 60 percent of executives would rather watch a video than read an article. All told, people watch well over three billion hours of video each month. People are clamoring for video content, and your small business can deliver it to them.

Examples of Small Business YouTube Marketing

What type of videos should you create as part of your small business YouTube marketing strategy? You have lots of options from which to choose. The one thing to keep in mind is your brand’s videos need to be helpful and informative in some way. When brainstorming video ideas, think of your target customers. What do they want and need?

Here are a few ideas and examples to get you started:

  • Explainer videos: An explainer video is a short, animated video that introduces a topic to people in a fun, engaging way. Usually, explainers are less than 90 seconds long and are animated. They give people a short and sweet version of what a product or service does and help people see whether something is worth their time and money.
  • How-to videos: While explainer videos are short, how-to videos or tutorials are more in-depth. They give people a thorough understanding of how to accomplish something, such as knitting a sweater or deep cleaning a kitchen sink.
  • Interviews: Interviews provide a behind-the-scenes look into a company or process. They can provide insight into how to use something or how to accomplish a task. They can also be entertaining, which provides its own type of value to viewers.
  • Customer stories: Videos featuring customers’ viewpoints, stories and experiences can give viewers an idea of how to use a product. They can also provide a behind-the-scenes look at how something might fit into someone’s life. Since they feature real people, customer testimonials and stories can often be more engaging and relatable than other types of video.
  • Problem-solving/troubleshooting videos: A variant of the how-to video, a problem-solving or troubleshooting video shows people how to work through common issues that might come up with a product. A troubleshooting video can help keep problems and frustrations to a minimum, resulting in happier customers overall.

How to Put Together a YouTube Marketing Strategy

If you’re going to go forward with YouTube marketing for your small business, great! One of the first things to do is put together a strategy and plan for your marketing. If you already have a content marketing strategy in place, creating a YouTube strategy is going to look pretty similar. Here’s what to do:

  • Set your goal. Why are you going to use YouTube? What do you hope to get from the process? If your business is new, your goal could be to get subscribers and raise awareness of your presence. If you’ve been around a while and introducing a product, you might use YouTube to attract a new audience or customer base.
  • Come up with a plan for video creation. How often will you publish a new video and when will you publish it? Will you stick to one format or use a variety? Who will create your videos? (In-house team, outsourced creators, influencers?)
  • Promote your videos. Share your company’s videos on other social media platforms. Another way to promote your videos is by making use of search engine optimization, or SEO. YouTube is a search engine, so be sure to use keywords in your video descriptions, title, and tags that will make the right audience more likely to stumble across your videos.
  • Engage with your audience. YouTube users tend to be vocal, so don’t be surprised if you get a fair number of comments. Take the time to respond to people’s questions and build a rapport with your subscribers and viewers.

You might not gain thousands of followers and subscribers right away but if your small business commits to producing high-quality, valuable videos, you’ll see results on YouTube soon enough.