Have you ever wondered how to use YouTube for business? Or why so many businesses are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon?
You undoubtedly know that YouTube is the world’s post popular video sharing site, but perhaps aren’t exactly sure how businesses are using it, or if it’s worth it for your particular business.
Ways to use YouTube for Business
If you haven’t spent a lot of time on YouTube, you may already be worrying about what on earth you could possibly create videos about.
You may have this preconceived notion that business-related YouTube videos are dry, boring, or feature one person sitting in front of a camera droning on and on about their business. This doesn’t have to the case, however.
Some ideas for videos could be:
- Interviews with experts in your industry
- Presentations or speeches you give
- Short tutorials or how-to guides
- Catchy videos marketing your business
- Showing your product in action
- Introducing your staff to give your business a more down-to-earth feel
- Customer testimonials
- Answering customer questions on video.
YouTube for Business: How to Get Started
If you’re on board with using YouTube for business, the first step is to set up your YouTube account. It’s simple and easy; just be sure you follow these 5 steps in sequence for the most hassle-free experience.
Step 1: Make sure you’re signed out of your personal Google account.
This is important. If you’re already signed into your Google account, YouTube will assume you want to connect that account to your new YouTube account. If this is the Google account you use for your business, that’s fine. However you likely don’t want to connect your personal Google account with the YouTube account you’re using for your business.
So your first step will be to make sure you’re signed out of your Google account. To see if you’re currently signed into your Google account, go to the Google Accounts homepage. If you’re signed in, you’ll be automatically redirected to this url (https://www.google.com/settings/account) where you can view your Google Account info like email and account preferences.
In the top right hand corner of your screen you should see the email address associated with your account. Click on this, and then click on ‘Sign Out’.
If you’re not signed in, you’ll be taken to the Google login page that looks like this:
You’ll want to exit out of this page, and sign up through the YouTube homepage.
Step 2: Create a new Google account through the YouTube homepage
Go to the YouTube homepage and click on the ‘Sign In’ button at the top right hand side of your screen.
Since you’ve signed out of your personal Google account, you’ll be taken to a page where you can create a new YouTube account through Google. Beside ‘New to YouTube’, you should see the ‘Create an account’ button. Click on it to begin setting up your account.
Next you’ll be asked to fill in a bunch of personal information, like your name, email, birthday, and a password. Keep in mind that if you’re not going to be the only person accessing your YouTube account, you’ll want to keep this information as neutral as possible.
This means you may want to set up an email account specifically for YouTube (unless you want your employees having access to your regular email!).
Don’t worry too much about the username here; this will be your Google username only, not your YouTube username.
Fill in all the required information, and then click ‘Next step’.
The next page will ask you to add a profile photo to your Google account. You can safely skip this step, as we don’t be using this account for anything other than YouTube. Click ‘Next step’, and then ‘Back to YouTube’. At this point your Google account is all set up.
Now here’s why we signed up for a Google account through the YouTube homepage: When you do it this way, your YouTube account is automatically set up at the same time.
At this point I recommend clicking ‘Close’ rather than ‘Next’. We’re not interested at this point in finding people to follow on YouTube, which is what we’ll be asked to do next. This is something you can always go back and do later.
You’ll now find yourself back at the YouTube homepage.
Step 3: Create Your Video Channel
Now that we’ve created a YouTube account, we need to create our video channel. A channel is basically a home base where all the videos we create will ‘live’. Channels make it easy for people to see all the videos we’ve uploaded, all in one place.
At the top of your screen, you should see a ‘My channel’ link under ‘YouTube’. Click on it.
Because the username we selected above was only for our new Google account, we still need to choose a name for our YouTube channel.
Look below the text and you should see ‘Would you like to appear on YouTube as a different name, brand or organization?’. Click on the ‘Create a username’ link.
Here’s where you’ll choose your YouTube username. This is the most important information you’ll be asked for. This will be the name that’s associated with your YouTube account, so it should reflect your company or brand. Try to choose a name that’s short, understandable, and obviously related to your business. Using your full business name – provided it’s not too long or hard to spell – is usually a good bet.
Keep in mind you must use only letters and numbers, and no spaces are permitted.
Once you’ve entered your username, click ‘OK, I’m ready to continue’.
To customize your channel, click on ‘Channel Settings’ at the top of the page.
On the next page you’ll be able to customize your channel via 3 tabs: Appearance, Info and Settings, and tabs.
Here you can add an avatar that will be displayed next to your channel name at the top of the page. You could use a headshot, your company logo, or even a picture of your product. Images work best when they’re 800 x 800 pixels. Maximum size YouTube allows is 1MB.
You can also customize the background colour of your page, or choose a colour to display as the background.
Info and Settings
This section is important as the info you enter here will be displayed at the top of your YouTube channel:
You’ll be asked to select a title for your channel, a description, and relevant tags. Typically your title will be your username or something close to it. The description should give a brief overview of what users will be able to find on your channel, and your tags should be relevant key phrases people may use to find your channel.
Keep in mind that these will form your meta title tag and meta description tag in the search engines.
The main setting you may want to adjust on this tab are the feed settings. You’ll likely want to allow people to comment the videos you upload, however if you’d like to be able to approve comments before they go public, simply check off the ‘Don’t display until approved’ box.
Step 4 (Optional): Sign up for a Branded YouTube Channel
Signing up for a branded YouTube channel requires contacting the YouTube sales team. You’ll need to fill out a brief form and wait for someone to contact you.
Be aware that branded channels will cost you; although the channel itself may be free, branded channels must advertise on YouTube in order to keep their branded channel active. Although YouTube doesn’t post it’s prices online, rumour has it you’re looking at committing to a minimum of $15,000 advertising for a 3 month period.
Why have a Branded Channel
If you’re a larger business and are prepared to shell out some big bucks for advertising on YouTube, here’s what you’ll get for your investment:
- Greater ability to customize the look and feel of your channel through the background image, banners, and a branding box.
- A selected video will begin playing automatically when someone goes to your channel.
- Once a given video is over, another will begin automatically.
- Ability to limit accessibility to the channel by age or gender.
- Ability to redirect users to a different channel depending on geographic location.
- Ability to use ‘gadgets’, small web apps that allow for great functionality.
- Ability to syndicate your channel fully onto any website.
- Access to advanced metrics and statistics.
Step 5: Add Videos
This is the part you’ve been waiting for!
Adding your videos is easy. You’ll see the ‘Upload’ button at the top of the screen next to the search box. Click on it.
Next click on ‘Select files to upload’, and then choose which video to upload from your computer.
You’ll again be asked to give a title, description and tags, but this time for your video. These tags will also be the meta tags for your video, so make sure you fill these in each and every time so your videos are readily ‘findable’.
Some more tips for labelling your videos:
Title: Keep your keywords near the beginning of your title if possible. Make sure your title clearly explains what your video is about.
Description: Include an url to your site at the beginning of your description, and be as descriptive as possible. Don’t be afraid to be too wordy; more is better in this case.
Tags: Include any and all of your keywords here.
Step 6: Promote Your Channel
Until you’ve been adding great content for a while, your best bet for getting traffic to your channel is to promote it on your website, and to your email list and social media followers.
You can download free YouTube icons and put them on your site, or embed your YouTube videos right onto your site.
It’s easy to embed videos: Go to YouTube, to the video you’d like to embed. Click the ‘Share’ button found right under the video.
Click ‘Embed’, and then copy the code you see in the expanded box. Paste this code into the HTML of your website, and your video is ready to be viewed, right on your own site!
Using YouTube for business doesn’t require a huge investment of time or money, and if done right, can skyrocket your business’s growth and increase your online visibility.
What businesses do you know that are using YouTube successfully? Share a link in the comments below!