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Does your small business have a YouTube channel? If you’re like most SMBs, the answer to that question is no. And a large percentage of the SMBs that do have a YouTube channel chronically neglect it.

While YouTube isn’t the first site that I recommend brand new businesses get on, I recommend that most of my clients (both B2C and B2B) try to get on YouTube within the first six months to a year, after building up their site and the social media sites users are most likely to flock to first. Then, businesses have an established following to share their videos to, and a whole new platform of potential users waiting to discover them.

In short, small businesses can benefit immensely from YouTube marketing even if you have no experience with video creation. In this post, we’ll explain why and give you what you need to get started.

How YouTube Marketing Can Benefit Small Businesses

YouTube marketing has been around for more than a decade, and they have loyal and enthusiastic users. With more than 30 million visitors every single day, YouTube has an enormous and extremely diverse audience that is just waiting to stumble upon your content—if they aren’t actively looking for it.

Unlikely social media sites like Facebook, the actual content on your YouTube channel may actually be searched out by interested users. Many users are using YouTube’s own search engine (which is the second most-used search engine, bested only by Google) to search for the content they’re looking for. This is particularly true for how-to and educational content.

Even if users don’t immediately start out on YouTube when looking for content, they could just as easily end up there; in many cases, YouTube videos may end up on the first page of Google’s own search results. The potential boost in visibility between these two search engines is enormous, and it comes from users who are actively looking for those specific videos.

This can help connect you to new audiences, particularly considering you may have slightly less competition on YouTube than through a traditional blog. By having more diverse types of content in more places, you can edge out your competition; many SMBs, after all, think that video marketing is too expensive (it’s not) and they skip it all together.

And finally, having great videos on YouTube gives you additional great content to share on—or embed in—your blog. This can make your blog more engaging, increasing the results of your content marketing across the board. There’s a secret strategy I use, however, to get those results—I approach YouTube as a content marketing platform, not a social media one.

Focusing on Content over Social

I encourage all of my clients (and now all of you) to consider YouTube marketing as part of your content marketing strategy, instead of part of your social media plan. There’s a good reason for this: YouTube is considered a social media site, after all, but isn’t used the same way as Facebook or Instagram. People come to look for specific content; they don’t always care about who provided it when they’re first looking. This is starkly different than social media, where users specifically look for content from users and brands that interest them.

For the most part, people seek out specific content on YouTube, not necessarily a brand. The same is true when someone is looking for answers in a blog post. For this reason, we optimize our blog posts for keywords, focus on providing value, and try to encourage users to visit other blog posts. The same should be done for your YouTube videos.

By using content marketing tactics—focusing on providing value and getting later-in-the-funnel users to find you— instead of social media ones—engagement and social proof—you’ll have much better results.

Types of Content That Do Well on Social Media

While highly entertaining videos of cute pandas or cats acting like people do go viral, these videos are the exceptions. It’s possible for tutorials, education information, and Q&As to get enormous hits on YouTube (partially thanks to the powerful double search engine hit).

The key here is to provide value, just like you would on your blog. A jewelry store could show a tutorial on how to clean your jewelry at home, or how to detect if your watch needs a repair. An ice cream shop could run a series of videos showing how to tell if the ice cream is the right consistency for serving, or a video explaining the history of soft-serve. People have a tendency to binge-watch on YouTube (Millennials in particular), so remember to keep it interesting and to keep sending users to relevant videos and playlists.

No matter what type of content you choose, just make sure to make the first ten seconds riveting and attention-grabbing; if it takes longer than that to hook a users’ interest, they’ll be gone. This is slightly longer than most social media drop-off rates (which is about three seconds), but still not a ton of time, so use it wisely.

Examples of Small Businesses Killing It On YouTube

Let’s take a look at three small businesses rocking their YouTube marketing, and how you can adapt some of their strategies for your own business.

“Personal Stylist” company Stitch Fix has an incredible YouTube channel, filled with brief videos that educate their customers. With videos doing everything from showing how to cuff your jeans properly to demonstrating the fall trends, their videos are all optimized for keywords that their target audience will be searching for. This can help them grow their clientele numbers significantly.

Q Report Jewelry Insurance focuses on educating clients not about the need for insurance on their prized gems (which users are unlikely to be searching for), but instead on jewelry information that they’re definitely going to be researching. When I was a jewelry salesperson, almost everyone buying an engagement ring asked me about the difference between platinum and white gold. Almost no one asked about insurance. This is a smart move, attracting their audience with what they’re looking for, and introducing them to their product simultaneously.

Your Building Advisor’s YouTube is full of information people are guaranteed to be searching for, like what to know before you hire a contractor and free construction cost estimating. Because most of their competitors would never dream of having a YouTube channel- let alone one this developed or educational- they’ll stand out and get more clients, no question.

How to Come Up with YouTube Video Ideas

If you’re ever stuck, think of the questions your customers ask you the most and make a video about it—they’ll definitely be searching online, too.

You can also repurpose blog posts or social media content into a YouTube video, if applicable. This post, for example, could be turned into a video discussing the merits of YouTube for small businesses, or an explanation of my content-over-social strategy. You could even do a screen-capture video showing examples of different small businesses doing well on YouTube.

YouTube marketing can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Even a simple idea can work. Don’t forget to use video creation software like Shakr and elevate it into a professional-quality video in just a few minutes.

Final Thoughts

YouTube marketing was one of the first social media sites that really exploded, but using it as a content marketing avenue instead of a social media network will benefit your business. You’ll be able to set yourself apart from your competition by providing value to your target audience, increasing your visibility, and demonstrating your expertise all at once. A series of quick, four-minute videos can go a long way overtime. Get started today!

What do you think? Do you use YouTube marketing for your small business? What strategies have you used to increase your videos’ visibility and engagement? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think! 

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Ana Gotter

Ana Gotter is a business writer specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.

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