These days, online is everything. If you’re a brand looking to make headway with your audience, chances are you’ve already established a digital presence, because, as we all well know, that’s where the masses are. Old, young, and everything in between, the people have spoken, and what they’ve told us is: we’re on our laptops, we’re using a smart phone, we’re browsing on tablets! How will you respond?
Have you set up a Facebook page? Twitter handle? Instagram account? Good job! You’re keeping up with the Joneses. But, these days, that’s simply not good enough. There’s a surfeit of messages out there, and the competition is fierce! You want to rise above the rest, right? Well, video is fast becoming the best way to engage and grow your base online.
And that’s where YouTube comes in.
YouTube, the video-sharing social platform that has brought us enduring cultural gems like Justin Bieber, What Does The Fox Say?, Obama Girl, and Grape Lady Falls!, is one of the single best vehicles to promote your brand. It can help showcase your services and products in a way that less-interactive and dynamic platforms simply can’t. But, you might ask, how does one go about producing videos worth watching – ones with virality?
Sure, nothing beats pure creative genius, but even the brightest stars need some direction. So, we’ve assembled the following list of tips to help you formulate a YouTube strategy that sticks. Good luck!
1. Make your content shareable. Create videos that people will want to send to friends family over email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Do this by:
• Making your video topical. What’s dominating the airways and news channels? Use these topics to inform your content. Perhaps you allude to the latest Star Wars movie or riff on the current presidential campaign. Think relevance.
• Embracing your passion. Are you operating in a niche market? Perhaps you’re peddling coins from the 1800s or vintage scuba gear. There’s almost always a group of like-minded zealots trawling the Internet, eager to engage in conversations around your service. Be enthusiastic!
• Remembering that everything people share ultimately reflects on them. Users share humorous videos because it makes them look funny; they share political or literary links because it makes them look smart. Try to think about how you can tap into this phenomenon by appealing to the user’s identity or ego.
2. Be conversational. Communication in the 21st century is a two-way dialogue. Woe to the brand that talks at the consumer. Your message is DOA. What’s more, people prefer brands that sound and feel like a friend. Check your brand tone – do you come across as stiff, patronizing, overly formal? If so, make adjustments.
3. Be interactive. Some of the most successful brands on YouTube encourage followers to upload original content. Think GoPro (users send in videos of shark encounters, extreme alpine skiing, skydiving, etc.) and Jimmy Kimmel (parents prank kids by telling them they ate their Halloween candy). Know your audience, and figure out what makes them tick. Then, create calls to action that allow them to take an active role in the content creation process. It’ll boost engagement and help you build a content library that can be used across a variety of channels.
4. Don’t just promote your brand. Your videos shouldn’t be a series of ads or inward-looking messages. That’s predictable and boring. It’s the antithesis of a two-way dialogue. Instead, create content that your target audience will find helpful, useful, and entertaining. Check out Red Bull, and L’Oreal for some great examples of this.