Exhibiting is largely a visual industry, so it’s interesting that the most visual of all social media outlets, YouTube, is vastly underused in our marketing world.
Check out these stats:
- YouTube has over 2 billion users. TWO BILLION.
- Eighty percent of people under 50 watch YouTube every day.
- It is the world’s second largest visited site, right behind Google.
- People watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos a day, more than Netflix and Facebook combined.
And yet . . .
- Only 9% of small businesses use YouTube.
YouTube is the hottest, ripest new social media out there. It just makes sense for exhibitors to showcase their visual genius – products, demos, presentations – on this worldwide stage. The key is to publish stellar content and steadily increase your online presence by getting views, likes, and followers.
Here are some quick tips to do just that!
1 - PLAN YOUR CONTENT
Since you probably already know the kind of video you want to create and the audience you want to reach, you need to plan your content. Do you want to entertain or to inform? Do you want showcase something new or feature a popular product? Get a plan for the types of videos you want to do so that you can start uploading them frequently and consistently in early days. Most regular YouTubers create a month of content at a time.
If you’re not sure exactly what your audience is most interested in, try some keyword searches to look for highly-ranked results. Use the Keyword Planner inside Google Ads or the Keywords Everywhere extension for the Chrome browser, both of which will show you common phrases people use when searching for content related to yours. They will also provide a tally of related searches done each month.
An extra tip: “How to” videos are by far the most popular searched and viewed on YouTube. Use YouTube’s management tool TubeBuddy to analyze your keywords and phrases to see which ones have the best shot for high volume.
2 - EQUIP YOURSELF
You don’t need to invest in a lot of fancy equipment right away. Many video creators do just fine with their smartphones. However, if you want to have excellent content that your viewers will connect with, it’s smart to eventually invest in the right equipment. Think light, sound, and camera. And think of them together. It doesn’t matter how great your video is if the sound if warbly or low. It doesn’t matter how great your sound and lighting are if your video has a glare, a shadow, or a blur. Most YouTubers use DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. They use tripods and studio lighting. They use shotgun or lavalier mics for the best sound.
Remember that your video is telling a story, and a story is multi-sensory. Your audience needs to connect with the sight and sound of your video. Make sure it’s up to par.
3 - EDIT FOR EXCELLENCE
Once your videos are shot, you’ll need to edit them to make sure they are interesting, engaging, and error-free. Think like a viewer: create what YOU want to see. Delete anything that is not making your videos better. In the beginning, use a video editing program that is simple to learn and use, like Windows Movie Maker or Apple iMovie. They are user-friendly and free to download. When you become more savvy, you can invest in something like Final Cut Pro, which doesn’t improve your content but will have more editing options.
Maybe the idea of editing your videos scares the bejeebers out of you. Don’t worry! Fortunately, this piece of the puzzle is easy to outsource to a professional. Freelance editors are a dime a dozen on fiverr.com or upwork.com.
No matter who’s doing the editing of your videos, have them repurpose some of the original for social media use. Clips, screen captures, and sound bites are great to use on other platforms that do well with short pieces of video.
Finally, consider manually adding your own captions to your videos. It makes them ADA compliant, but it also ensures they are correct. YouTube’s auto caption tool is not perfect, so it’s safest to do that bit yourself. Also be sure to add “yt:cc=on” to your tags to have the captions automatically auto play.
4 - OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEOS
Once you upload your video, you might feel like DaVinci after a masterpiece. It’s done! Well, no, it’s not. You still need to optimize your content to help it rank up. Give your video a strong, descriptive title that viewers are likely to type into the search bar, and make sure to include your main keyword/phrase. Write a good description (about 200 words) using your keyword, their synonyms, and long-tail keyword variations. It’s not a bad idea to search other videos similar to yours to see how THEY described their videos and the keywords they chose as most important.
5 - BUILD YOUR NETWORK
While YouTube isn’t the same kind of social media site as Twitter or Facebook, it is still all about the connections. Users can share, connect, collaborate, and comment just like other sites. So, it’s important to build your network inside the platform. Comment on other similar vloggers’ videos, give shout-outs to other creators, recognize key subscribers. The more active you can be in and among the platform, the better.
6 - CONNECT WITH VIEWERS
Closely related to your network connections are your personal viewers. As you slowly gain more and more followers, make time to connect with them. Always respond to comments and messages as much as you can. And take a minute to follow and like their content, if they have some. The more personal you can make your channel seem, the less promotional it will appear, and that draws people in to your content.
7 - BEST PRACTICES
Finally, remember to use your best manners with online relationships. Ignore rude or inappropriate comments. Double-check your personal social media pages to make sure you are a consistent presence online – viewers are almost always interest in the personal lives of the people they follow. Please your audience by consistently uploading new videos -- get it out there!
Have fun diving into the online video world of YouTube!
This article was inspired by "YouTube Video Tips" by Rebecca Hagen and first appeared at skyline.com