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Top 10 YouTube For Business Tips

Video is a high-impact medium. And with the rise of YouTube and similar free video sites, any size business can take advantage of the power of video for marketing and other purposes.
Video is a high-impact medium. And with the rise of YouTube and similar free video sites, any size business can take advantage of the power of video for marketing and other purposes.The first 8 tips come from YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller. They're pretty much verbatim from the publisher, but the last 2 come from bMighty.com. And while Miller's tips all reference YouTube, the site where you host your videos doesn't really matter, unless you're specifically trying to leverage the huge YouTube audience.

1. Brand Awareness: Instead of focusing on individual products or services, use a video to push your company's brand, just the way you would with a traditional television ad. According to a Millward Brown study, online videos are better at imparting brand awareness than are traditional TV ads, perhaps because online viewers are more engaged than television viewers.

2. Product Advertising: If you can use YouTube to push an overall brand, you can use it to push individual products, too. This requires a direct approach while keeping the video informative, educational, or entertaining. Include lots of close-up product shots and link back to your own Web site where more product information is available.

3. Retail Promotion: You can use YouTube to promote your company's retail stores. They can be general in nature or more specifically targeted to shorter-term promotions. Consider recording a short store tour or highlight individual departments or services within the store, rather than resorting to claims of 20% off and "this weekend only specials. You'll have a better chance of grabbing eyeballs.

4. Direct Sales: YouTube is a terrific channel for generating direct sales for products and services. All you have to do is show the product in action or provide a clip of the service in question, and then ask for the sale by directing the viewer to your Web site. One of the best ways to showcase a product is in an instructional video  the online equivalent of an old-school infomercial. The key to converting eyeballs to dollars is to generously highlight your company's Web site address or 800-number within the body of the video. Put the contact information at the front of the video, at the end of the video and overlaid at the bottom of the screen during the body of the clip.

5. Product Support: Consider some of the most common customer problems and questions, and produce one or more videos addressing those issues. If you can help your customers help themselves, you provide them with a useful service and reduce your company's support costs  all with free YouTube videos.

6. Product Training: You have a new product to introduce and a sales force to train. In the old days you'd fly salespeople from around the country to a central office and put on a day's worth of hands-on training. Doing so is both time-consuming and expensive. Instead, consider using YouTube for your product training. Create a series of short training videos, upload them to YouTube and provide access to all of your company's salespeople. This way you are creating an archive of product information that anyone can access at any time.

7. Employee Communications: Instead of holding a big company meeting, have the big boss record his or her yearly state of the company address and post it on a private channel on YouTube. Employees can watch from the comfort of their own desks, while they're on the road, or even at home. Done right, YouTube gets employee information out there in near-real-time, with all the benefits of face-to-face communication. Much better than sending impersonal memos via email.

8. Recruiting: If you have a company welcome video, post it on YouTube and make it public. Think of this as an exercise to attract new talent to your company. You can link to the video from all your recruiting materials, even from any traditional ads you place. Produce separate videos for individual departments, as well as to illustrate company values, employee benefits and facilities.

Okay, now here are mine...

9. Morale Building, corporate introductions: If your company is spread across multiple locations, your employees may never have met each other in person. Video profiles can be a great way for employees to get to know each other, which make it easier for them to work together remotely.

10. Green Business: Video is a great way to demonstrate your company's commitment to saving the planet. Nothing looks as green as video of company employees cleaning up trash or demonstrating energy efficiency.

11. Video blogging: If you are already into corporate blogging, video blogging (vlogging) is the next logical step. It can be even more personal and persuasive than traditional blogging, and if you get creative enough it can easily go viral and help market your company to new customers. Plus, by committing to creating a regular blog, you'll improve your video skills and learn what works best.

I'd really like to know what your company is doing with video. Add a comment or drop me an email...