It's Time to Jump on the YouTube Bandwagon
by Rick Segel
YouTube is one of the most important tools to understand, master and employ in your business today, so first, I want to show you how you can use YouTube in your business, then tell you, step by step, exactly what to do to publish your first video.
YouTube is a free service that makes putting videos online easy and inexpensive. In fact, it’s so easy that everyone will be inspired to give it a try.
How can a small business use YouTube, and why should it?
1. The Testimonial
Have you ever had a customer give you a compliment or tell you how much he or she likes your store? Of course you have. The next time that happens, pull out a digital camera, and ask the person if he or she would repeat it so you can film it. Trust me: Fans of your store will never complain about doing it. Then you can download it onto YouTube, and the places you can use it are endless — from your website to playing it in the store.
2. Positioning and Branding
A short YouTube video can tell potential customers who you are and what you do as well as let them know why should they do business with you.
A YouTube video doesn’t have to be available for the general public to view; you can make it private, available only to a specific group. For example, if you have lots of part-time employees, a private YouTube video is a great way to offer a training program they can view anytime and wherever they are. Create a test to make sure they watched it!
4. Product Information
The next time you work with a sales rep, interview him or her about his or her products. Sales reps can be valuable sources of product info. Ask only three basic questions, and remember that the video should be no longer than four minutes.
5. Product Showcase / Product Presentations
This seems so obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget to talk about the products and services they sell.
6. Educational Purposes
Every retailer today is in the education business because of the number of new products that are continuously introduced and that consumers need to know about. But it’s more than just new products; it’s how we use or maintain our old products. Like the florist who instructs how to care for cut flowers, the jeweler who teaches how to properly clean a ring or the gift store that shares what the best gift is to give for an occasion.
7. Make it Personal
Unveil the person or people behind your company. People like to do business with real people, and YouTube videos are a great way to introduce yourself, your family or your staff to consumers. Let them know how you got started in business, your successes and maybe even your failures (we love to do business with underdogs!).
8. Employee Videos
Encourage your employees to make videos about some positive aspect or attribute of your business. Then take it a step further, and have your employees sing the praises of another employee and proclaim what a wonderful experience consumers will have when that employee takes care of them.
9. Contest Videos
This can apply to either employees or customers. If you are catering to a younger market in particular, create a floral design, dish garden or plant dressing contest for those consumers where they create in your store or in their homes. It is amazing how young people get into creating masterpieces. Be sure to relate it in some positive way to your business. Remember the word-of-mouth thing. This is the stuff people talk about.
10. Share the Journey Videos
A few years ago, a restaurant chain called B.Good in Boston won the Retailers Association of Massachusetts “Restaurant of the Year” award. This business was built solely on its videos. Every couple of weeks, the company releases a new video. The owners describe their unusual form of marketing as “sharing our journey.” The videos are hip, upbeat and fun. Click here to see 50 of these classics.
The Steps from Neophyte to YouTube Producer and Director
1. Log on.
Go to YouTube.com, and create a YouTube account. (If you have a Google account, it’s the same.) Then log in.
Type in your title.
Type in a description of what the video is about.
Decide what category your video should go into. Just pick the one that fits best.
Now type in the “tags,” which are the words that people will use to find you.
6. Broadcast Options
Choose “Open to the Public” or “Private,” for just friends or family.
7. Sharing Options
Choose if you want to create a URL for your video or if you want to embed it into your website.
8. Upload from your computer, and you are done!
Now you have a basic video. If you need help editing and are a Mac user, go to iMovie. Microsoft has Windows Live Movie Maker, a similar movie-editing software. There is also a simple free service called Slideroll with which you can create videolike slide shows.
Don’t go crazy creating all sorts of fancy intros at first. There will be plenty of time to get sophisticated. There are also some wonderful YouTube support videos that explain what to do.
Source: Rick Segel’s Blog; June 19, 2012; Rick Segel & Associates