In his book Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business, marketing and public relations consultant Jason Rich show you how to master the secrets of successful "YouTubers" and put your brand, product or service in front of millions of potential viewers. In this edited excerpt, the author offers nine ways businesses can use YouTube to attract viewers--and new business.
Everyone who uses YouTube has their own goals. The following are nine popular ways YouTube can be used as part of your overall online strategy to achieve your company's particular goals.
1. Promote yourself as an online personality and entertain your audience. If you're a small-business owner with a big personality, consider starring in your own YouTube videos in an effort to help build your company's brand and promote its message to personalize your business and build its credibility. You can demonstrate products, speak authoritatively and boost your company's brand recognition and reputation. You're able to reach out and build a virtual relationship with your customers or potential customers in a way that's never before been possible.
2. Share knowledge, commentary or how-to information. If you're a business owner, chances are you have expertise that other people could easily benefit from. Using a bit of creativity, chances are, you'll come up with a handful of ideas about how your business could benefit from communicating directly with its customers (or potential customers) using YouTube. For example, you could create a product demonstration or product comparison videos. Other options might be to showcase customer testimonials within a video or to create a how-to video that explains how to operate or use your product/service.
3. Introduce a new product or service and direct people to your online store.
Showcasing products on YouTube is a low-cost, yet highly effective way to demonstrate products to your customers, showcase features and explain how to best use a product, especially if you're operating an online business or there's an online component to your traditional retail business. In addition to showcasing a product's features or functions, you can use YouTube videos to answer commonly asked questions.
4. Teach people how to use a product or service. How-to videos for a product offer a different approach than a product demo in that a how-to video is designed to teach someone how to do something. Instructional videos can help reduce incoming customer service and support calls. For instance, you can produce instructional videos to teach people how to assemble and/or use a product, plus help customers easily discover the true potential of a product, while eliminating their potential frustration.
5. Share video footage of business presentations you've given. If you've presented a lecture, workshop or some other type of presentation, consider uploading the video footage of it to YouTube for your customers, clients and the general public. This will help establish you as an expert or authority, allow you to convey valuable information to potential customers and clients, plus help build awareness of you and your company.
6. Provide background information about your company and tell its story. Every company has a story to tell, as do the founders or current leaders of that business. By telling your story, chances are, you'll be able to enhance your customer loyalty and brand awareness, while also educating the public about what your company does and its core philosophies. Include "behind the scenes" videos that show how your product(s) are actually made, provide a tour of your company and introduce some of the people who work at your company within the videos.
7. Showcase customer testimonials. If you've been in business for a while and have earned the respect of many loyal customers or clients, using a YouTube video to showcase some of these people or companies providing real testimonials for your products/service can be a highly effective and low-cost promotional and sales tool.
8. Present a call to action. Because YouTube allows you to speak directly to your audience, you can use your videos to encourage viewers to take a specific action after watching your video, such as visit your website, "like" the video, subscribe to your YouTube channel, call a toll-free phone number, send someone an email, share the video's link with their friends, make a donation, make a purchase, etc. One other way companies use the call-to-action approach is to host a contest that encourages people to reply to the video or take a specific action in order to participate, with hope of winning some type of prize.
9. Promote or share highlights from an event. By default, any type of event in the real world that you or your organization participates in is held at some geographic location and will draw crowds from the surrounding area. However, by sharing videos of an up-and-coming or recently held event, you have the opportunity to share it with the world. Showcasing footage from a previous event can also generate interest in and help boost attendance for future events.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.