This post looks at how you can use YouTube and Video and is the fifth of my social media and video series. It is in two parts. This second part is a look at how the social media interactions can happen. The second part looks at how you can help those interactions along by using video.
Check out Part 1 if you haven’t already!
Uses of YouTube and Video
YouTube is a fantastic way to provide easy access to video on your website. By using the embeddable player, your loading time and level of engagement is improved as there is no need for you to have dedicated media servers to host your video content. Yet if you are going to use YouTube why not take advantage of its social networking aspects. By being active on the network your videos become more visible on YouTube AND on Google searches. Increased visibility leads to further visibility for your business.
There are three levels of engagement through YouTube and video:
This is the simplest point of engagement to understand, if you know and trust the person or business AND they have a You Tube channel invite them to become friends on YouTube and build your network of ‘YouTubers’. This number will more than likely be low, unless you are a social (media) butterfly.
The next level of engagement is very similar to the Twitter ‘follow’. It allows for connections to be created between channels without the personal connection of a ‘friend’.
Unlike many of the other social networks, visitors to a YouTube channel are more than likely, down to two reasons. The widespread Embedded YouTube Player acting as a portal to YouTube creating unique visits that can’t be predicted. Secondly, it is largely touted that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, with its results appearing within Google search results.
Each of the levels of engagement need a different approach and each of these approaches vary based on whether your organisation is Business 2 Business (B2B) or Business 2 Consumer (B2C). Friends and Subscribers both revolve around interacting with the video content of others.
Business 2 Consumer
Although any social media is a two way interaction, the way the B2C business interacts is most likely to be very close to traditional broadcasting.
The friends you are looking for on YouTube are your suppliers and your outlets (if they have a YouTube Channel). This allows you to keep them updated with the material you are producing for promoting and educating to the market. It also lets you keep updated with the videos they are producing that could be of benefit to your channel
This is the fan base for what you are selling. This allows the subscriber to find out the latest video you have produced. What videos are they likely to want?
There are also some ideas on my blog post about using video to promote customer loyalty.
These are the casual browsers who might have found one of your embedded videos, searched for a relevant term or being sent a video from one of your loyal subscribers. The goal with these is to turn them into subscribers. This is done by providing useful information that they find interesting and don’t want to miss out on. This means turning the volume down on the sales message and giving them what they need. It also means that you need to provide as many opportunities to let them subscribe as possible whilst reminding them that it is possible and desirable.
Business 2 Business
In my opinion social media was made for B2B communication, where so much depends on a personal relationship. The way a B2B business interacts with YouTube and video focuses on this ‘conversation’ idea.
This is your network, just like LinkedIn. I think everyone is a little guilty of forgetting that YouTube is a social network. The goal here is to find the businesses and organisations that exist within your network (and have a YouTube Channel)and add them as friends. To start with this might take a little leg work but once you get into the habit you will have an impressive friends list that pushes your video content out, pulls your network’s video content in and lets you share interesting content that either one finds.
This is for people outside of your network who find a great deal of value in what you are producing, they could be potential clients, suppliers or referral sources. The last source is your target for this engagement as it will be this source that ensures the videos reach a wider audience than your network.
They aren’t necessarily interested in your business but your commentary and opinions on the sector you work in that could be of value to their own audience. By using your video content they are promoting you to their network and in essence giving you credibility as an expert in the sector.
The best and simplest type of content is Video Blogging as this establishes your personality and attitude as well as your knowledge and expertise.
This is the same as B2C; these are the casual browsers who might have found one of your embedded videos, searched for a relevant term or being sent a video from one of your loyal subscribers. The goal with these is to turn them into subscribers. This is done by providing useful information that they find interesting and don’t want to miss out on. This means turning the volume down on the sales message and giving them what they need. It also means that you need to provide as many opportunities to let them subscribe as possible whilst reminding them that it is possible and desirable.
Tips for Video on YouTube
As you might have noticed, this post focuses on the social networking side of YouTube and Video. As the amount of your interaction affects the visibility of your videos on both YouTube and Google I want to focus on how these interactions can happen through the YouTube Experience. Only thing, make sure that you are signed in to your YouTube/ Google account.
It is worth noting that you don’t aim to do these things, they should be a natural extension of your reaction to the content. If the content doesn’t provoke a reaction… don’t engage.
This requires very little effort but watching videos on YouTube is the start of the engagement. These are tracked on Insights so it seems logical that activity will influence your video results. Try to watch the video all the way through, if it is good content then this shouldn’t be a problem. If time is a factor add the video to the ‘Watch Later’ playlist to do just that.
2. Like/ Unlike
Probably the simplest way to engage is to like/ unlike videos. Just use the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons. Which one to use is down to your taste and discretion.
Here is the first real strategic use of an engagement feature for YouTube and video. Consider adding a favourite if you a) think that your audience would appreciate it b) that you want to watch it again c) you can make use of the video yourself. Favourites are added to the playlist of the same name that can be accessed from your channel page. In addition you can access these favourite videos to put on your channel homepage or within other playlists
Comments on YouTube has a lot of bad press but it is possible to moderate them. Leave a comment if you wish to add something of value or pass on feedback. This is a good way to build your network on YouTube and start conversations around particular topics. For video hardcore, there is the option of leaving a video response
Probably the ‘holy grail’ of YouTube and video is a share across other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. This is only best when it is relevant to your audience, otherwise it is just noise. An easy way to help this a great deal is to link your YouTube account to Twitter and Facebook. This passes on every time you like or favourite a video. Careful that you don’t do this too quickly however as you could lose followers.
This is the ultimate goal of a YouTube channel. Subscribe to channels that you feel are relevant to you and your business as well as to ones that are funny, entertaining and quirky. Pass these videos on to your network and you will get a reputation as a node for quality video content. Tip, make sure that where possible you Friend and Subscribe. Due to the way YouTube channels can be customized one is not guaranteed to appear on the channel but by doing both gives you double the chance to appear.