Last week, we covered some actions you’re probably not taking on LinkedIn and Twitter, but might want to add to your social strategy for 2012. Today we turn our attention to “that video site” that’s become the Web’s #2 search engine, YouTube.
So you’ve decided to jump in and get your business out there on YouTube. Congratulations! You’ve already grabbed an advantage over your competition by leveraging the power of online video. Now it’s time to take your YouTube mojo to a whole new level with some double-secret ninja tricks.
1. Start descriptions with your URL
One thing all-too-many YouTubers forget to do is give their video viewers an obvious next step. If the viewer likes your video (and of course they will, right?), you need to make it duck-soup simple for them to take the desired next step, whether that’s visiting a page on your website, downloading a white paper, subscribing to your blog, or filling out an online lead-capture form.
Once you figure out what that next step is, just place that URL at the beginning of your video description. Why the beginning? Because only the first few lines of the description will appear below the video player. (Longer descriptions are allowed, but viewers have to click “More info” to see the rest.) And remember to include “http://”—you’ll need it to turn the URL into a hyperlink.
2. Re-promote older videos
You create your video, publish it, promote it on your social channels, and then … what?
If you have videos that feature evergreen content, you can extend your mojo by re-promoting them down the road. Even if the content is seasonal, like how to protect your plants in cold weather, set yourself a reminder to re-link to it from Facebook, Twitter, and your other social networks the next time temperatures dip.
3. Like, comment on, and share other people’s videos
It’s easy to forget that YouTube is just as much a community as Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere. If there are YouTubers out there whose content you find especially useful, show your appreciation by liking their videos, leaving an appreciative comment, and sharing that content with your audience. Chances are they’ll return the favor.
4. Send personal messages
Did you know that not everything on YouTube is out there for all to see? When you create a video, YouTube gives you 3 privacy options:
- Public (anyone can search for and view)
- Unlisted (anyone with the link can view)
- Private (only people you choose can view)
Those last two options offer you enormous possibilities for communicating with your customers, prospects, and peers through targeted, nonpublic videos. That can mean something as simple as a quick holiday greeting or an entire video seminar that’s only available to blog subscribers.
5. Make screencasts
Even if yours is an offline business, screencasts (digital recordings of your computer screen’s output) are a great way to engage your online audience. Thanks to super-simple software like Jing (which also happens to be free), it’s easy to create lively, useful screencasts that can show your customers, for example:
- How to navigate your website
- How to place an online order
- How to contact customer service through online chat
- How to submit a comment on your blog
- How to enter an online sweepstakes or contest
Even simple activities like finding the daily specials on your restaurant’s website represent an opportunity to connect with your audience and remind them that you’re looking out for their interests.
So, those are my secret weapons on YouTube—what are yours? Let us know your favorite tips and tricks in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!