Episode 50 - YouTube Basics

YouTube is a very powerful platform for small business owners, however very few actually utilize it for growing their business. In this episode, we discuss why you should be on YouTube and some of our top YouTube tips. 

Why your business should be on YouTube

Most people don't realize that YouTube is one of the largest social media networks. The site has 1.3 billion users (Facebook has 1.44 billion users) and 5 billion videos are viewed each day. However, only 9% of small businesses are putting videos up on the platform. There is a huge opportunity for small businesses to get onto YouTube before most of your competition arrives.

YouTube also allows you to easily share your content on websites and across social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Facebook wants to keep people within the Facebook app which limits the ability for your customers to find you. YouTube is backed by Google, which means that your videos can show up in Google search results.

YouTube is also the easiest platform to monetize. Sign up for an AdSense account, click a few buttons, and you can start monetizing. Most people don't make very much money but the large channels can make a tremendous amount. In 2015, the highest paid YouTuber made $12 million in just ad revenue from YouTube. Even if you don't hit that level, you can generate enough traffic to offset some of your business expenses. You need to decide if you want to put ads on your videos. If you are selling a product or service, you shouldn't put ads on those videos. If you are creating educational videos or entertainment videos, consider using ads.

If you want to reach the 18 to 49 demographic, there is more traffic from that age group on YouTube than on any cable network. If you want to advertise your restaurant, upload videos of preparing different dishes. If you repair something for people, do some videos showing basic repairs. This will help you build brand awareness.

Types of YouTube videos

Not all videos are people in front of a camera. Most of the videos on Accounting In Focus are screen capture video, where we record images on the computer screen, either PowerPoint or screen writing. You can also do animated video or audio with one or more still graphics (this is what we do for the podcast).

For screen capture, we use Camtasia. You can also use SnagIt or the Adobe Suite.

You can purchase a relatively inexpensive light kit setup for videos. You can also create your own with a couple light stands, some scoop lights, daylight bulbs, parchment paper, and clothespins.

Most popular video formats for making money on YouTube

Consider the value you are providing to your audience. Most of the popular videos are educational or entertainment. Here are the top 5 categories for making money on YouTube:

  1. Celebrity gossip
  2. Educational shorts
  3. Product reviews
  4. How-to videos
  5. Game walkthroughs

Most popular video formats on YouTube

This list includes the top viewed video categories. These might not be the best monetized but these are the most popular overall:

  1. Product reviews
  2. How-to videos
  3. Vlogs (video blogs)
  4. Game walkthroughs
  5. Comedy

Education shorts rank #9 and Q&A ranks #11. There are a lot of opportunities here for small businesses to showcase their products, educate new customers, and build your brand.

Top 7 tips for YouTube success

Words are important

If you want people to find your videos, your title, description, and tags are important. You should be thinking in terms of SEO when naming your video and writing the description. What problem are you solving with your video? If you are demonstrating a product, put as much detail about the product as you can, including model number. You have up to 5,000 words for your description. If you don't have a good title, good description, and good tags, people will not be able to find your videos. Know your keywords and the topics discussed in the video. If you have examples, calculations, or techniques, use those terms in the description. Have at least five relevant tags for each of your videos.

Have a call to action

If a viewer makes it to the end of your video, make sure you have a call to action. Example calls-to-action are:

  1. Go to website
  2. Like on Facebook
  3. Sign up for newsletter
  4. Click the affiliate link below
  5. Subscribe to the channel, like and share this video

You should have one call-to-action per video. The last item on the list is considered one call-to-action because the three items are so closely linked. It is also the best one to use if you are attempting to build up your channel.

Know your audience

Knowing your ideal viewer is critical to your success on YouTube. This will help you determine how long your videos should be, the format you use, and what you can and cannot do. Screen capture is great for educational videos. Traditional video is great for building relationships. This will even help you craft the language you use. There are many different approaches to delivering the same kind of content. Knowing your ideal viewer will help you create content that will be of value to your ideal customer.

Good audio and video quality is very important

Your cell phone and laptop cameras will provide good video quality. If you are recording video at a distance, you may need an inexpensive lav microphone. If you are doing screen capture video, a basic headset is fine. Kristin uses a Logitech headset for all of her videos. You don't need to spend a lot of money.

Perfection is not required

While good audio and video are important, perfection is not. Even if you are recording video of yourself, you can always edit the video and hide cuts with B-roll video or screen capture images or slides. Don't let perfection stop you from using YouTube.

Always put a link to your website in your video description

YouTube is a Google property, therefore, if you put a link to your website in the description, that is a top ranked site linking back to your site. You will see an uptick in your website traffic if people like your YouTube videos. This is one of the easiest ways to increase the SEO for your website.

Always consider mobile

Currently, only about 20% of YouTube views are on mobile but that number is going to grow rapidly over the next few years. Make sure your text is readable on a small screen, especially when using screen capture. If someone can't see the text, they will tune out and maybe even dislike your video. Make sure you are using a 16 by 9 aspect ratio, which is essentially landscape on your phone. Recording in 1080P is important for showing detail, 720P is good for most videos.

What questions do you have about YouTube?

If you have any questions about YouTube, please comment here or in our Facebook group. This is the first episode in our "Basics" series. Should we do more episodes like this? Let us know what you think by commenting below or posting in the Facebook group.

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