The trend of online video sharing came to the mainstream with popularization of YouTube, which let users view, submit and share video clips. YouTube started off in the year 2005, and quickly became one of the most visited websites on the internet. Sensing the emerging trend, large companies like Google joined the trail and launched their own video sharing sites (Google later bought YouTube).
The acquisition of YouTube by Google doubled its popularity and YouTube became the most popular destination for online video sharing, claiming to serve approximately more than a hundred million videos streams everyday, according to a news report published on the BBC News website in July 2006. With this massive amount of user interaction, YouTube has naturally become one of the most sought after spot by online marketers to promote and market their brands. There are many success stories of businesses that cleverly used YouTube and other video sharing websites for a strong online brand presence and community building.
Here is how to get started with YouTube:
Step 1 Choose an account type.
To upload videos on YouTube, an account on the site must be created. There are four types of account categories to choose from - Director, Musician, Comedian and Guru - and the one that best describes the marketer's status should be selected.
Step 2 Create a Channel on YouTube.
Each registered user is also offered an option to create his or her own channel on YouTube. Channels on YouTube are dedicated pages where users can collect all their videos on a single destination. The look and feel of the channel page can be customized and there is also room to add information about the channel owner which gives it a personal touch.
Step 3 Create or add video clips.
There is no rule of thumb as to what kind of video content will market best on YouTube, but word-of-mouth marketing techniques and strategies can be fully adopted. Generally content that is interesting, controversial, funny, or exclusive tend to get the highest ratings.
Step 4 Promote videos on YouTube.
Once videos fill up a channel page, there are handy promotional tools and techniques to promote videos within the YouTube Community. Some of those are as follows:
Tags are keywords that best describe a video clip. When uploading a video on YouTube, it is highly recommended to take some time and properly tag videos, as this improves chances of ranking higher on YouTube search results. Similarly, placing a video in the right category is equally important in terms of providing for relevant search results. An easy way to figure out how to tag and categorize content is to view similar videos by others.
YouTube users can send e-mails to other users. Once a video is uploaded, send out an e-mail announcing the video. However, it is advised that such e-mails be sent only to users you know will be interested in the video.
Users can also create and leave short messages and announcement on the channel page and on profile pages of other users.
Commenting on videos posted by other users is also an activity that yields great results. Healthy and constructive comments signify some kind of value to the video clip and are considered positive by people. Users will usually visit the profile page to learn more about the user who commented their videos.
Similar to leaving comments, one can add a Video Reply if his or her video is somewhat relevant or connected to the video of another user. This brings good quality and relevant traffic.
Users can create their own group or join an existing group. Joining a group creates opportunities from networking with other group members, which results in attracting more visitors to the profile and channel pages.
Step 5 Active Sharing:
Active sharing feature identifies those users who paid a visit to a particular video during the last thirty minutes. When a profile name appears on the recently viewed list, other users tend to click and visit the profile which brings traffic to the channel or the profile page
Step 6 Promoting beyond YouTube:
Once videos are featured on a channel, there is more that an online marketer can do to promote the videos.
YouTube provides easy sharing tools so that users can insert YouTube videos on blogs. Once a video is featured on a channel, it can be further promoted by featuring it in a personal or business blog.
Video pages on YouTube are crawled by search engines and hence show up in normal search results. To increase the chances of being crawled, use relevant titles, tags and content on the video page.
Step 7 Use YouTube for business.
There are quite a few multinational brands which frequently make use of YouTube. However even for smaller companies, there are various reasons to use YouTube. Business could opt to have a YouTube presence for their company's introductory video, sales presentations, video testimonials, instructional video, news, events, and messages and viral marketing.
Step 8 Use YouTube for social awareness and politics.
Since YouTube attracts a huge global audience, it is also sometimes used a a channel for creating social awareness and political campaigning. For example, presidential candidates in the US Election 2008 are using it effectively to communicate with their loyalists in a more personalized manner.
- Apply a watermark of your company logo or channel name on videos to brand them.
- Display the uniform resource locator (URL) of the website in the video, preferably at the end.
- If the video is in some other language only, add English subtitles so as not to alienate a large portion of the global audience. There are number of free tools that can add subtitles to videos.
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