YouTube may not be the first platform you think of when deciding to promote your small business. But you may be missing out on a lucrative marketing opportunity on the second largest search engine in the world. With over 1 billion hours of YouTube content being viewed daily, the potential for getting eyeballs on your small business through YouTube is immense. Here are some tips you can use for retail marketing via YouTube. We’ve done a step-by-step breakdown so that you start off your YouTube digital marketing journey on the right foot.
First things first – creating your YouTube account and updating channel art is super easy. But it is equally easy to do a mediocre job. So make sure you spend some time working on the basics. Your channel design is the first thing a viewer will notice and it must be as eye-catching as your content. There are two ways of using YouTube. You can either create a personal channel or a business channel. First, get your Google email address set up, and then sign in to your YouTube account. You will have the option of creating a brand account by clicking on the “business or other name” option. Enter the brand name you want to use for your business and click Create. To avoid confusion and build brand recall, consider using the same name as your business for your YouTube channel.
Once your account is created, it’s time for the fun stuff-customization. Click the “Customize your channel” option to update the layout, branding and information. Canva is a great option for small businesses that don’t want to hire a graphic designer for creating channel art. It’s easy to use and has a variety of templates that you can play around with. There are tonnes of other photo editing programs like Adobe Spark, Placeit, Snappa, etc., that you can use too. Post customization, you can choose to upload a channel trailer. Many businesses, small and big, use channel trailers to introduce themselves to the YouTube audience. An eye-catching trailer can also help you get those first 1000 YouTube subscribers and views, which is super important for gaining traction on the platform.
Make sure your About info is as comprehensive as possible. Include links to your business website, other social media handles, inquiry forms for prices, contact information, etc. Reinforce your brand identity by using a standard intro and tune for all your videos – something your viewers can easily latch onto. Maybe a catchy jingle that starts off all videos, a particular background for product demos and tutorials on your channel, standard graphics across all videos, etc. The idea is to create an easily identifiable brand image via videos.
Before updating content on your YouTube channel, you need to put in some work identifying and researching your target audience. Having a detailed YouTube retailing plan in place will also help ensure a consistent uploading schedule. Just one viral video can have an explosive and long-lasting impact on your YouTube subscribers’ growth. But even more important than those millions of views and subscribers is getting your content in front of the right audience.
Small channels need to focus on getting search views through targeted keywords. Use the autosuggest feature to discover long-tail, low competition keywords for attracting a specific audience. By just spending a few hours browsing results on the YouTube autosuggest feature, you can get a fair idea of what the audience in your niche is looking for. Google Trends is another free tool you can use to narrow down keywords for potential video content ideas.
Research shows that the first 15 seconds of your video are crucial for hooking in or alternatively turning off viewer attention. Once you get your content ideas in place, begin working on the presentation. Instead of a boring rambling introduction to your brand, use the first few precious seconds to get right to the point. Say you are a small knitwear company or jewelry brand. Start off your video by sharing that you will be teaching the viewers how to knit a scarf or pair handmade jewelry with trending fashions. A funny visual or dramatic start to the video are some other ways for making those first 15 seconds count.
Consistency of Content
Just uploading quality content is not enough. To get real YouTube subscribers as a small business, you need to maintain a consistent upload schedule. Webcasts and webinars are some content options that small businesses with limited resources can exploit. Break down brand tutorials, product demos and webcasts to create a series of videos out of them. A company video can seem like boring content. But you can mix it up by doing an intro video of your employees or long-time clients. You can even introduce your business origin and story in your own words by putting yourself in there.
Call to Action
Adding a Call to Action to your content is such an obvious step but can often be missed. As a small business especially, you need to make sure that your videos and descriptions both contain an easy-to-access call to action. Make sure to end your videos by asking the viewers to subscribe, leave a comment/feedback, and visit your site. You can also plug in your social media handles, ask viewers to share your content there, and follow you for deals and giveaways. A mention of giveaways, rewards, and discounts makes for an irresistible call to action. But you can tailor your call to action with trial and error any way you want.
Once you have uploaded your videos, use the first few crucial hours to engage with the people who leave comments. Post a personalized reply to the first few people who reply to your video. Use the YouTube community tab to ask for specific feedback and pin the comments you like most at the top. You can even poll your audience for ideas on new content and get insight into what didn’t work. As a small business owner, you can even use comments to direct interested people to your website or other social media profiles. This way they’ll get a direct personalized link for purchase. And even if they don’t buy, your website and business will be brought to their attention.
Video titles should not be an afterthought. While you should definitely avoid a clickbait title, a good tile with easy recall value can help you gain views over time. YouTube titles can also make a huge difference to your channel searchability. Optimize keywords in your title to gain visibility and rank high on searches. Short obvious titles like “Product Demo” or “Knitting Tutorial” are not going to earn any clicks. Instead, be more specific with titles like – “5 Ways to Wear
Category and Tags
You have an option to add category and tags when uploading videos on YouTube. Use the functionality to add relevant and high-ranking/trending tags and manually add modifications of tags suggested by YouTube.
Maximize the use of the video description feature on YouTube. Provide a short and informative paragraph describing what users can take away from the content. You can even break it down into pointers to improve readability. Use bigger fonts, bolding and colors to make sure your description doesn’t get missed. Make sure to add a message to connect on other social media handles, subscribe and leave feedback.
Collaborations are a great way to cross-promote and the collaborations don’t need to be relegated to individual creators. As a small business, consider collaborating with other small business owners with YouTube channels. The more organic your collaborations, the more effective they will be in driving sales. For example, if you are a handmade pottery business, collaborating with a clothing business will not really make sense. Instead, you can collaborate with a small coffee/tea brand or second-hand furniture business. Pitch your wares to other small businesses and create an engagement vortex that will help you both.
All small businesses understand the importance of building credibility in the over-saturated retail space. A great idea for video content that can help increase sales and boost reputation is testimonial videos. Video testimonials are also generally more impactful than written testimonials on your website and social media handles. Remember, the key is not to make it too obvious. You can integrate a testimonial seamlessly by collaborating with an influencer who is also a customer of your business. This will make the video read more organic and thus more effective.
Conversations around accessibility have spread to the YouTube sphere as well and with good reason. Making your content accessible to a wide audience is also just good business sense. Make sure to enable subtitles on your videos by turning on auto-captioning. You may have to edit for accuracy. But it is actually pretty easy. For wordier videos, you can even hire a third-party agency for the captioning work. As captions are off by default, your regular viewers won’t be affected.
When talking about user-friendly content, annotations and pops-ups can be extremely distracting and take away from the video viewing experience. Avoid adding pop-ups to retain viewer attention, and place links to related content in the description instead.
Promote Your Videos Across Channels
You can use your company’s other social media handles to promote your video content on YouTube. Use a cross-platform social media marketing strategy for organic growth. Spread the word on all channels like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., at the same time. And don’t forget to add a clickable link that directs the viewers straight to the video. A swipe-up link on Instagram will direct viewers straight to your channel and is a better option than just sharing the fact of upload. Make it easier to get those YouTube views by providing an easily shareable link. Your YouTube video can also be embedded on your business website, which is especially great for generic content like tutorials and demos.