A Crash Course on YouTube for Business

Alex Genadinik
by Alex Genadinik 16 Oct, 2013


If you are trying to promote an existing business, chances are that you are trying very hard to grow your business via SEO, social media, possibly SEM, PR and other marketing channels. Good job on those, but are you also on YouTube?


YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. It also happens to be the single most flexible marketing channel because the videos don't have to just live on YouTube. You can embed the videos on your site, making your site's content richer in the eyes of your users and possibly the Google search algorithm. If that wasn't enough, YouTube provides a reasonable revenue stream for you via AdSense if you want to take advantage of that. So let us look at how AdSense via YouTube and the distribution potential compares to other marketing channels.


SEO marketing is excessively costly


First, since YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, let's consider the state of affairs with the largest search engine in the world. Google is extremely crowded. Every business in the world is not only simply trying to market itself on it, but many companies are also actively engaged in content marketing where they create thousands of pages, each competing for the same keywords as their competitors.  


Plus, the coveted top-10 search results are filled by Wikipedia, Google maps, YouTube videos, .gov and official sites, academic sites, dictionary.com listings or other authoritative sites. Often, for any search term of any value, that leaves just a few (if any) spots in the top-10 results for the hundreds of other businesses competing for that term.


And if that wasn't bad enough, unless your site is an authority site, it often takes months for a new page to rank well in Google (although they have the technology to begin to rank new pages within minutes). Businesses simply can't afford to wait that long because every day of not getting clients is extremely costly to a business. And that multiple-month wait may be the biggest cost in a marketing campaign.


YouTube is still in the Wild West


It might seem like YouTube has been around forever. And yes, it has been around for quite a while, but many people and businesses do not think of themselves as video creators. For those people that are on YouTube, it is far more difficult to create a high-quality video than to make a high-quality Web page. So the number of videos and companies that are on YouTube is significantly fewer than there are on Google. And if that wasn't enough, a YouTube search page contains 20 listings instead of the 10 on Google. Plus, it isn't all about search, YouTube also recommends further videos based on people's preferences so they have multiple ways to promote a video.


Yes, there is more of a barrier because a video has to be of at least reasonably high quality. But you will only learn how to make higher quality videos by starting, making "not so great" videos, and improving upon your production process over time. That sounds just like the common iterative start-up process we have all become familiar with. In fact, I started my own business channel on YouTube by just talking into my laptop's camera and recording educational videos on various business topics that I wanted to address. I am still getting comfortable with the process of creating videos, but I am now working on improving production quality by shopping for a real camera, lighting and creating images for the videos. And that can be the process for you as well.


Is a YouTube view as good as a page view?


First off, it is far easier to get a video view on YouTube than to get a website page view from Google search. If you use the per 1000 impressions ad revenue model, that means that you can earn far more money on YouTube. And if people do come to your site, you can embed your YouTube video into your page, which is just like adding another ad to your page. Only the ad on a YouTube video will actually enhance your page because the rich video content is seen as a quality signal by Google and many users. 

Plus, in a video, people are engaged with your brand for a number of minutes. And you can post links to your site (or whatever conversion you are going for) in the description and in-video messages.


Sometimes a video is Google SEO


We have all seen how often videos come up in Google search results. That trend is going to continue - if not increase - because Google actually makes money from those videos. And for competitive keywords, having a good video is sometimes the only way to appear in the natural search results for those difficult keywords. Additionally, in the same way a Google+ presence is recommended for SEO-minded companies - after all it is owned by Google - so too is YouTube, which is another Google-owned property. You'd favor someone using your products too right? 


How to convert viewers into clients


YouTube videos offer three potential ways to convert clients to whatever you want them to do. 


1) You can ask people to do something for you right in the video. In my case, at the end of videos, I ask people to subscribe (hint) and check out my mobile apps (hint).

2) You can put a text bubble right inside the video with links to whatever you are promoting. YouTube gives you tools to do that.

3) You can add text and links in the description of the video, asking people to do what you would like them to do.