YouTube.com is a great marketing tool for small green businesses. Youtube is the third most visited website in the world, with more than 100 million videos viewed every single day. YouTube videos are also easy to embed on most other social networks and blogging platforms, allowing them to easily go viral. Best of all, YouTube is completely free to join and start posting videos!
The Most Effective Types of YouTube Videos for Green Businesses
Green businesses can use YouTube for a variety of different purposes:
- Product advertising. YouTube is a great way to demonstrate the features of a new product, share before and after presentations demonstrating the difference your services made to a customer or client, and more. You can easily convert product advertising to sales by posting contact information such as your company’s phone number or URL at the beginning and end of your video.
- Brand awareness. You can also use YouTube videos in a more general way to increase brand awareness. This could take any of a number of forms. For example, some companies might post entertaining or humorous videos with the goal of going viral. A famous example is Blendtec‘s “Will It Blend?” series that demonstrated the powers of the company’s high end blenders on a variety of objects ranging from lightbulbs to iPhones! Another idea is to create useful how-to videos relating to some aspect of your business. For example, an organic lawn care company might create a video teaching customers how to recognize different types of common weeds, or a green massage therapist might demonstrate a simple massage technique for couples.
- Product support. YouTube is a great place to post how to videos and other customer support information. For example, you can post short videos answering frequently asked questions from customers, or create a video demonstrating proper assembly, maintenance, or use of your product.
Some businesses also set up private YouTube channels to post corporate welcome messages, training videos, and other materials for employees and clients.
Customizing Your YouTube Channel
When you create and upload your first video, you create your own YouTube “channel.” Visitors to your YouTube channel page will find useful information such as a list of all the videos you’ve uploaded and playlists you’ve created, a list of subscribers to your channel, a list of your favorite videos on YouTube, and more.
You can customize your channel to include a description of your business, your business logo, a link to your business’s website or green business blog, a background image for your channel, and more. The popular green cleaning products company Seventh Generation offers an example of a beautifully customized and branded YouTube channel.
Promoting Your YouTube Videos
Don’t assume that you’ll get a lot of views simply by uploading a video! One of YouTube’s best features is how easy it is to share your videos on other websites. Cross promote and share your videos on your business website or blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and any other social networking profiles you have. If your video is an especially good introduction to your company, you may even want to add a link to your video or channel to your email signature, business cards, or other promotional materials.
More YouTube Marketing Tips
- Tag thoughtfully. Adding relevant, SEO-friendly tags is one of the most important ways to help YouTube visitors (and search engines!) find your video.
- Add subtitles. Subtitles make your video more accessible to viewers who may be hard of hearing, be non-native English speakers, or even just be trying to watch a video quietly in a public place.
- Avoid annotations. Although limited use of annotations may be effective for certain types of videos, overuse is irritating and unattractive.
- Curate comments. Deleting spam comments and obvious trolls helps keep your video and channel pages tidier and more professional looking. However, exercise your best judgment when deleting comments – deleting negative or critical comments from customers with legitimate complaints is a bad idea that will open your business up to accusations of censorship. In some cases, you may be able to treat comments such as these as an opportunity to gain back a customer, by responding with product support or other fixes. At the very least, a calm, professional response to such comments (no condescension!) may help protect your company’s reputation in the eyes of other viewers.
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a video may just be worth a million! By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing your share of YouTube’s 100 million views a day.