You remember how Blackberry used to be popular and has now faded away? If Blackberry was the "poster child" of smartphones, YouTube is that of video marketing - but it is not going to disappear. With over a billion users (almost one-third of all people on the Internet) and year-on-year growth of 60%, YouTube video marketing should be a part of your marketing strategy!
Let me guess what's running through your mind, "I don't know how to edit videos" , "Creating a YouTube channel will take forever", "I don't have the money or the manpower to create a YouTube presence", "I don't need videos", and other variations of reasons as to why you should not start pushing your business on YouTube.
The bottom line is simple: you need video, and YouTube video marketing is your best option. Here are our rock solid tips to get you rocking YouTube.
Awesome YouTube Video Marketing Examples
Luxury hair is a thriving eCommerce brand in the hair extensions market. After unsuccessfully finding hair extensions for her wedding, Mimi, and her sister created their own line: Luxy Clip-in Hair Extensions. With the launch of their brand, these two intelligent gals also launched a YouTube channel to educate and foster discussion around using extensions. Today the Luxury Hair has grown to over 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, with the majority of their videos getting more than 100,000 views!
Why do we say they rock YouTube? Every video they make adds value. Here's a tip to take with you in your own business: if you add value, the work will pay off. On top of the educational value of each video regarding the in's and out's of hair extension styles, the two businesswomen focus on keeping things personal. How are they personal? Luxury Hair does not make videos to just sell more, rather they keep the content consistent with what their audience wants . To top it all off, this is brand is a prime example of how to create a personal brand (hint: co-founders appear in all the videos).
Beardbrand is a classic example of using YouTube to launch your products. You see, Beardbrand was on YouTube before they ever released their first product. When the time came to release their first products, the company was able to leverage all of their video marketing to reach plenty of men in little time. Today, Beardbrand is one of the most successful (if not the most successful) brand in the beard grooming market thanks in large to their efforts on YouTube. This is a much younger brand than the previously mentioned Luxury Hair, so they do have fewer followers but they are on the right path: nearly 85,000 YouTube fans.
What makes Beardbrand a YouTube sensation? Inclusion. Their videos are for anybody trying to grow a beard, and not necessarily someone that's been growing a beard for years or someone that has been growing for days. Thanks to their videos, co-founder Eric Bandholz and the team have created a community for those trying to leave the bearded lifestyle, and on the way, gotten massive exposure on Shark Tank, Esquire, Men's Journal, and the New York Times!
John Lewis is an English retail store and eCommerce business that is rocking YouTube like it's supposed to be done. They don't sell only their own brands, which can make community building via video marketing a tad bit more challenging, but don't worry, they've got their YouTube marketing done right (almost 100,000 YouTube subscribers).
Why are they on our list of brands that deserve an A+ for their YouTube efforts? They are clever with their videos, they don't overdo the length of the clips, and have a bit of everything in all of their playlists. What we like most of all is that the majority of the videos that they share are not advertisements that have been aired on the net or on TV, rather the company puts time and effort into creating genuine and creative content for fans. As of today, they are slowly creeping up on 2 million social media fans. Not bad, right?!
TigerFitness is one of the leading brands in the online dietary and nutritional supplements market. In this uber competitive market, standing out is not easy, but they have done so (they are an Inc. 500 Company). Instead of creating videos that bring their products to light, the team at TigerFitness has gone beyond that on YouTube. Today they have over 500 thousand social fans, with the largest number of followers on YouTube, and not on Facebook!
They even have a video to explain why they have a YouTube channel! Effective, no?
It takes tons of work, and part of that hard work has come in the form of their awesome YouTube videos, with a new video added daily! Marc and his team strive to add something more to there videos than just the nutritional and fitness aspect. We're talking about value! TigerFitness creates a lifestyle around their products. As a result, their YouTube videos function to build a community of people striving for success and hitting goals. By marketing their brand a little differently than the mainstream supplement companies they master community marketing. Today, they stand on over 270,000 followers on YouTube. In the world of fitness and strength supplements (tons of competition), that is no small feat!
Rhett and Link
Rhett and Link, or as they go by on Youtube, Good Mythical Morning, is one of the best YouTube channels. That's right, not one of the top eCommerce brands on YouTube, just plain one of the best. What do they do other than awesome videos, which Wired called the duo "Viral Video Masters". The eCommerce is the by-product of their viral YouTube channel. As such, the store is a reflection of what they do. In essence this is reverse engineering: create videos, and then pick products.
Why do they rock? It all comes down to the fact that their content and its quality is the number one priority and it's their main business (they mainly work on branded content). By putting all the emphasis on the content, the videos speak for their products. The duo still wisely ends their videos with a promotion for their other videos and their products. Yes, posting annotations too frequently and very early in the video can turn viewers away, but saving a few call to action at the end to the website or product is a wise move - if you create high quality videos. On YouTube, they'll probably surpass 9 million subscribers in 2016, which in itself is quite a feat when your name isn't Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, or some other popular pop music star. When it comes to being entertained and learning more about YouTube marketing, this is probably the best you'll find.
3 Crucial YouTube Marketing Tips
Now take a look at these three tips before you get started.
1. Test Ideal Video Length
Be careful not to assume that all your videos have to be two minutes or less. Video length should be determined based off of what you are trying to accomplish in your video (inspire vs. teach) as well as the time that your audience has on their hands. The best option, as in almost every other element of your business, is to test what length makes for the best result (best result = more engagement). John Lewis goes short, while on the other hand, Good Mythical Morning from Rhett and Link is a bit longer spanning more than 10 minutes.
2. Create a Branded YouTube Channel
The branded style is the only way to go if you want to use YouTube as a growth machine (versus a non-branded, personal channel). The YouTube homepage of all of the mentioned brands in the above examples all rock their branded channel. A branded channel that matches your web store and other social profiles/pages will give you another path on which you can drive traffic to your products.
What do you need to do? Upload a unique cover image (that is similar to what's being used on Facebook and Twitter), your logo, and link to your website and other social media profiles/pages. Don't forget to fill out the "About" section as well!
3. Use YouTube Cards
You wouldn't have a product page without a call to action, so would you create videos without a call to action? YouTube cards are the latest and current form of clickable call to actions that you can add to your videos.
The Advantages of Cards:
- Duration: throughout the entire video (unlike annotations)
- Alignment: top right corner ensures that it does not interfere with content
- Preview: at the start of the clip the "i" icon will open up to show a preview
- Mobile: the cards are active for both desktop and mobile viewers
For those not familiar with this, or want a rundown on how this works, check out our YouTube Cards Tutorial. Don't let your YouTube marketing efforts fall short of amazing because you did not cover the basics.
Useful Apps and Tools to Create Videos
Smartphone Tripod: Gone are the days of tripods for video cameras and here are the days of tripods for your phone! Using a tripod with your smartphone will give you high-quality videos that are steady (and watchable) enough to look professional. Check out Amazon for a good tripod.
Smartphone Microphone: If you are going to create high quality videos, then together with the tripod, be sure to add a mic so that the audio is professional. Is this a must? No it is not as we are able to create our videos without one, but then again, we stand quite close to the camera. Amazon has some good options.
Selfie Stick: Depending on the type of videos you'd like to make, holding onto your own selfie stick might make sense. Here's a look at some offers on Amazon.
YouTube Editor: When it comes to putting your videos on YouTube, the most obvious choice of editor is the YouTube Editor. It's a simple and effective software for basic functions.
YouTube Audio Library: Need music for your videos? Look no further than the YouTube Audio Library, where you can instantly download background music for your videos - for free.
Windows Movie Maker or iMovie: These are most most basic video editing tools that come standard with any Windows or Mac computer.
WeVideo: The cloud based software is a great tool for anyone making a video or two every month. WeVideo is free for up to five minutes of published video a month.
LightWorks: For anyone looking to create videos at the highest quality known to mankind, be sure to check out the affordable LightWorks.
Videoblocks, Wedistill, and Pexels: The three platforms vary a bit from each other, but they all offer one very basic option to anyone creating videos: stock video add-ons. Check out all three and see what works for your videos: Videoblocks, Wedistill, and Pexels.
Start Using YouTube Now
At this stage, you now have a few examples that you can reference to in order to see how the pros are doing YouTube marketing. After we dished up five examples from five awesome brands, we went through a couple of pro tips that'll make your videos and efforts on YouTube more professional and attractive.
Finally, we also went through a few of the more useful and effective tools and apps available to help you create videos without having to spend a fortune on hiring a freelancer or buying expensive video equipment.
To those still not sure about whether or not going on YouTube is worth their time, just let the following sink in.
Online video is the Swiss army knife of internet marketing. It really can be used all over the customer lifecycle, whether it's customer service, marketing, or even recruitment." - Mark Robertson
"Video marketing is the most effective way for you to get someone's attention and engage them for a substantial period of time. Keeping someone engaged is the best and quickest way to gain their trust. Gaining trust is the only way to convert your audience into happy, long-term clients/customers/subscribers." - David Grimes
If you have any questions regarding how to start or improve your YouTube video marketing efforts, please feel free to ask away in the comment section below. If you are already on YouTube be sure to share a link with us in the comments!