This is the fifth in a six-part series on how your business can get started on YouTube. In this installment, we examine ways to attract viewers to your YouTube videos.
You can make the most informative and entertaining video on YouTube, but that alone won't guarantee you an audience of potential customers. You'll still need to promote your video in as many ways as possible to help spread the word about your startup.
Here are some of the most successful tactics for promoting a new YouTube video:
1. Promote it on your company blog.
Your company blog is the perfect place to promote your video to your loyal customer base. Talk up each new video in its own blog post, linking to it or even embedding it in the post.
2. Tell your email list.
When you upload a new video to YouTube, send a message and link to your entire email list. If you send out a periodic email newsletter, mention your new videos in it, too.
3. Connect to social media.
Mention your new videos in your tweets and status updates, and link to or embed them in the messages. Facebook, for instance, lets you embed YouTube videos in your status updates. Just paste the URL into the status update and Facebook will put the video in your News feed. Twitter doesn't let you embed videos, but you can link to them from your tweets. And on Pinterest, you can "pin" YouTube videos to your virtual pinboards.
You also can promote your videos on social bookmarking and news sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon. When you post a link to your video on these sites, you can broaden the viewership beyond your existing customers and social media followers. Note, however, that self-promotion is often frowned upon on many of these sites, so do so as sparingly and subtly as you can.
4. Do some old-fashioned public relations.
While most companies focus their promotional efforts on the web, you shouldn't neglect traditional public relations. This means issuing a press release when you've uploaded a new or particularly important video, and also picking up the phone or sending emails to target specific news outlets, such as your industry's trade groups, publications and blogs. Make sure you include a video link in your press release to help online news sources link directly from their coverage to your video on YouTube.
5. Advertise on YouTube.
If you can afford it, you can advertise your videos on YouTube, using parent company Google's AdWords for Video program. Called TrueView ads, they appear on the YouTube site, targeting potential viewers and linking back to the selected video or your YouTube channel page. TrueView ads are pay-per-click (PPC) ads, just like traditional AdWords text ads. So, you pay only when someone clicks your ad.
Start by logging into your Google AdWords account and linking it to your YouTube account. Set a daily budget for the maximum you're willing to spend. Then, select a video to display in your ad and choose the type of ad you want to run.
Google offers four types of TrueView ads. In-search ads appear at the top of the search results page when users search for the keywords you select. In-display ads appear in the related videos section on the viewing pages for similar videos. In-stream ads are short video messages that play at the beginning or end of other videos. And in-slate ads are commercials that play before or in the middle of longer videos.
In-search ads are the best choice for many companies because most YouTube videos are found through searches. So, just like your website, you want your video showing up on search results pages.
The next step requires you to set a maximum cost per view (CPV). This is the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each click. You can start with just $1 per day but what you spend is really dependent on your budget. You then choose how to target your ad -- through demographics and interests or via keywords. Keyword targeting is often best for in-search ads.
Once your campaign is up and running, you can use the AdWords Dashboard to measure the performance of your ads -- including but not limited to number of views. Depending on the results, you may need to tweak your strategy and possibly create new ads.