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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 11, 2012 • Issue 12:06:01

Marketing your business with YouTube

By Peggy Bekavac Olson
Strategic Marketing

YouTube is the world's most popular video sharing site. It's a great tool for businesses, both large and small, because it's free, easy to use and has broad market reach and appeal. It's only natural for companies in the payments industry to think about leveraging YouTube for business success. I think you will agree the following YouTube statistics are both interesting and impressive:

  • YouTube is the number one entertainment site on the Internet and the fourth largest Internet destination.
  • More than 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, with over 4 billion videos viewed each day.
  • In any given month, 800 million unique users visit YouTube, watching over 3 billion hours of video.
  • YouTube is localized in 39 countries and across 54 different languages.
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views, which equates to almost 140 views for every person living on Earth.

The numbers are huge and staggering, but at this point, you may be wondering how YouTube applies to your business and how you can use it to reap benefits. The answer is that YouTube can be used to market your company's products and services, showcase expertise and share knowledge, plus engages with customers and prospects in a virtual anytime, anywhere environment. No big budget is required - all it takes is a video camera, a little creativity and a plan.

Consider the benefits

The purpose of the following list is to get you started thinking of ways your business can benefit by utilizing YouTube videos:

  • Introduce your company with a corporate overview video or an "About Us" commercial
  • Show off payment products and services to prospective customers through overviews and demos
  • Present case studies so viewers understand how payment products and services actually work and provide benefit in a live merchant environment
  • Build credibility for your business with customer video testimonials
  • Turn existing webinars and podcasts into videos to expand your target audience reach
  • Create tutorials about installing and configuring POS terminals, processing transactions, making voids, closing a batch and end-of-day procedures to reduce customer service calls for help
  • Create a video bank of the correct steps to solve your most common product or service problems and point customers to them for self-help answers
  • Give valuable tips of interest to clients and prospects or conduct an interview with one of your company's payment gurus to showcase expertise
  • Demonstrate authority by recording executive speeches and presentations
  • Record an important meeting to share with customers, prospects, employees or shareholders
  • Showcase company events and awards
  • Introduce your staff and take viewers on a tour of your offices

As you can see, YouTube can enhance your business in a number of ways. Of course, you will certainly have some video ideas of your own to add to the list.

Keep it short

So how long should a YouTube video be? Wistia, a video hosting and analytics tracking service, has compiled interesting data on this topic. The company's research shows that shorter videos are more engaging and that people are more likely to watch an entire video if it is short in length. Thirty-second video clips are normally viewed by 85 percent of people all the way through, while the completion rate for videos that run between two to 10 minutes is only 50 percent. Frequently, when presented videos of four to five minutes in length, people don't even push the play button.

To keep viewers' attention, keep your YouTube videos between one and one and one-half minutes in length for optimal viewing. Put the best material, the part that you want people to see and the messages you want them to hear, within the video's first 20 seconds - before they get distracted.

Strive to make your content concise as to achieve the highest viewer engagement. If you feel you need more time to properly tell the story, break your video up into several smaller vignettes.

Be professional but have fun

YouTube videos can be the do-it-yourself variety, but remember to keep them business-like and professional. Here are some tips on how to do create an effective video in-house:

  • It's essential to have a script in place so you know what you're going to say once the camera starts rolling.
  • When using employees as actors, count on multiple shooting takes to have enough video to cut out the mistakes.
  • Have fun, and don't be too serious when making your videos.
  • Mix in some props and action, plus add some levity, if appropriate, to break up the content you're conveying so that you don't end up creating a boring video.

If you go the outsourced route, engage a firm that not only understands online video production, but your business as well. You'll want to share your goals, expectations and budget to guide the scripting, acting, shooting, editing and production process.

Promote your video

YouTube provides an opportunity to promote your business for next to nothing. But nothing will happen unless you get people to view your videos. You accomplish video viewing through promotion.

Imbedding your YouTube videos on your website, blog and online industry forums; linking to your videos in emails and newsletters; sharing your videos through social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; advertising your videos on your website, phone recording, corporate and industry events are all great ways to promote your videos.

Although YouTube makes it easy to share content with the world, video privacy may be a concern for your business in certain situations. If you want to limit the viewing and exposure of a video, you can simply enable a YouTube privacy setting.

You may specify that a video be unlisted in YouTube. For an unlisted video to be viewed, you must send a link inviting recipients to access your video; only those viewers are able to access your unlisted video. You may also specify a video as being private. The private setting enables you and up to 25 other YouTube users whom you invite to see your video.

Unlisted and private videos will not appear in any of YouTube's public spaces such as search results, your play-list, a channel or on the Browse page. Additionally, viewers don't need a YouTube account to watch unlisted or private videos, which can be advantageous.

YouTube can be a wonderful tool for any payment business to employ. It's relatively easy to use and packs a lot of bang for the buck. So what do you think? I say give it a whirl. Try leveraging YouTube in your business today to experience the benefits of this creative opportunity. end of article

Peggy Bekavac Olson founded Strategic Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in financial services and electronic payment companies, after serving as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TSYS. She can be reached at 480-706-0816 or peggyolson@smktg.com. Information about Strategic Marketing can be found at www.smktg.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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