How YouTube Marketing Can Make Your Business a Video Star
Although YouTube remains synonymous with funny cat videos, sports bloopers, and “Call Me Maybe” parodies, the platform also continues to emerge as an increasingly effective marketing channel for companies both large and small. YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the U.S., generating roughly 4 billion queries per month (trailing only parent company Google), and as small business marketing services firm SKRP Media points out, YouTube clips can hold significant appeal for consumers with neither the time nor the patience to explore conventional search results like websites and articles. Moreover, YouTube videos are uniquely optimized for the social media era—each clip is a Facebook share or Twitter retweet away from going viral.
SKRP Media suggests that YouTube offers small businesses a number of potential video concepts to consider, including promotion of products or services, informational clips, and advice on product usage. SMBs also can leverage the YouTube format to establish their expertise in their specific field or vertical, answer customer questions, and offer household or health tips. (Whether a company wishes to produce these kinds of videos on their own or team with a partner like SKRP is entirely its own decision, of course.)
And unlike most other digital marketing efforts, YouTube videos are just as effective on mobile devices as they are on the desktop, with no formatting changes or content tweaks necessary. Moreover, consumers love viewing YouTube clips on their smartphones and tablets: YouTube is the largest source of mobile data traffic across all international markets, accounting for more than 25 percent of total network data in some regions—including 27 percent in North America—according to a report issued this spring by broadband equipment vendor Sandvine.
YouTube’s surging popularity among mobile device users is no doubt the catalyst behind Google’s recent move to roll out a new YouTube Android Player application programming interface enabling developers to integrate native video viewing experiences directly into third-party apps optimized for devices running its Android mobile operating system. Announced at Google’s annual I/O developer conference and slated for release later this year, the Android Player API offers developers the tools to embed YouTube clips that automatically re-orient from portrait to landscape views in response to device rotation—in addition, the player adjusts the quality of the video stream based upon the strength of the network connection. This is a major improvement: At present, integrating YouTube content into apps requires tricks and workarounds that are less than ideal for consumers and publishers alike.
Google’s efforts to improve the mobile YouTube user experience underscore the potential of video marketing as viewing experiences continue to shift from the desktop to iPhones and iPads. For small businesses with mobile websites and apps, video can be a substantial addition to existing content—consider the benefits of product demos or step-by-step how-to tutorials viewable any time and anywhere customers need a helping hand. The possibilities are virtually endless: Bars could post videos from special events, artists could upload tours of their studios, or boutiques could produce fashion shows, featuring their latest designs. YouTube marketing may not make you a viral video sensation, but it will help launch your business to stardom.
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