More than 1 billion unique users go to YouTube's site each month, consuming more than 6 billion hours of video, according to the company. YouTube estimates that this averages out to be about one hour for every human on Earth.
Thus, there's an incredible opportunity for business owners who choose to market their product or service by way of videos that provide meaningful content followed by a call to action.
Beautiful photos that used to sell products or services are no longer enough to tell a story and encourage the engagement of a consumer, a Launch Grow Joy blog post asserted. "When everyone has beautiful photography, the reality is that they’re barely keeping up with the competition."
With the widespread use of smartphones, online videos can be just as easy to view as still images and include other forms of content (photos, documents or audio).
Society is "moving towards images and video; this is how we want to digest information," Toronto coach Matthew Hunt of Small Business Online Coach told b-Mc Creative's Bryan Bolan.
Online videos can give businesses a great alternative to expensive television commercials. "Web videos reduce the amount of capital that a business needs so that they can create their own commercials, infomercials and other such videos," Garret Silva wrote in Web Video Mastery.
And web video grants companies "a prime opportunity to reach a far wider audience, form an emotional connection with them, and encourage brand loyalty," MWP Digital Media founder Neil Davidson declared on his blog.
A 2012 Alcatel-Lucent strategic white paper estimated that "In the United States alone, Internet video consumption is expected to grow 12 times by 2020."
This means that entrepreneurs who wish to do more than just keep up should include online video as part of their marketing strategy. They should engage with consumers in the formats they prefer, through traditional means as well as video. Here are three tips for doing so:
1. Have a niche.
Regardless of the product or service being sold, the content should target a specific segment of the online universe.
My YouTube channel Two Men In Your Business, which I run with my KCAA Money Talk co-host Aaron M. Sanchez, focuses on a niche: advice and best practices for entrepreneurs for all stages of their businesses.
We do not intend our channel to be all things to all people. Instead by focusing on entrepreneurs, we can target its marketing, maximize brand awareness and achieve more success in having viewers follow up on the videos' action steps.
2. Be memorable.
"For content to be shareable it has to be funny, shocking and show out-of-this world talent or something not being covered by the mainstream media," Edwards wrote in the Telegraph.
Entrepreneurs should create video content that's memorable and distinctive as compared with the millions of other clips uploaded daily. Consider that 100 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according YouTube. With that volume being shared on the Internet, an entrepreneur must figure out how to best resonate with the online community.
3. Don't bet the farm on one platform.
It is no secret that YouTube is the 800-pound gorilla in the world of video platforms. But along with YouTube, other platforms carry video, including Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Vimeo as well as Facebook.
Entrepreneurs should avoid shaping a video strategy focused solely on one platform. Failing to develop a plan involving other platforms puts the entrepreneur at risk if the primary platform fails or changes its business model to the entrepreneurs' detriment.