YouTube isn't just a platform for watching short videos online—it's actually the second most popular search engine, behind Google. With over a billion viewers every month, businesses can (and should) leverage the platform as part of their social media strategy. Sure, it takes a lot of patience and is just one of many tools to send traffic to build your website, but it is possible to drive sales through YouTube. Check out these five YouTube strategies for attracting subscribers (and in turn driving sales).
Think Content, Not Commercial
The first thing many businesses think of when they consider video is a commercial—run very far from that idea right now. YouTube is not for commercials. The most successful videos may or may not obviously promote a product, that's not where their success comes from. The one thing they have in common? Content worth sharing. Yes, some successful YouTube videos are also commercials, but all successful YouTube videos have content worth sharing, so it's the content you should focus on. So what makes content worth sharing? Funny videos tend to do very well, but emotionally moving content works too. Informative content, like how-tos, can be successful too. If the only purpose of your video is to sell a product, it's not going to get you very far. You have to add one more point—like eliciting a laugh or teaching something.
Don't be a stranger
YouTube presents the perfect opportunity to prevent being just another faceless online store. Take advantage of the visual aspect of YouTube and give your company a face—yours, or another employee. Don't just appear in one video and call it good—keep it up. Let subscribers get to really know your business by getting to know the person behind your business.
Send YouTube Viewers to your website, and vice versa
A successful YouTube channel doesn't do you much good if it's not actually driving people to your website. Encourage YouTube viewers to visit your site—include a link in the description and in your profile. You can even add it to the end of your video too. Then, do the opposite and send your website visitors to YouTube to bring up those subscriber numbers. Put a YouTube button on your website and share your videos on your blog.
YouTube is both a social media platform and a search engine. And for the latter, you'll want to include optimized keywords. Use the Google Adwords tool to identify relevant keywords that have a high search number, but low or medium competition. Use your keywords in the title, tags, and description of your YouTube video. Embedding that video on your website will help your website's SEO as well.
Continue the relationship
Congratulations, someone just watched your entire video. Now what? Don't just leave it at the video—continue the relationship by adding a call to action at the end of each one. Invite them to visit your website, subscribe to your channel, or like your Facebook page. To drive sales from YouTube, you have to encourage the viewer to go one step further, whether it's viewing your website or subscribing to your blog. YouTube is an excellent tool—but if you're not implementing YouTube strategies that drive your website sales, you're just wasting time and resources. YouTube videos need to be content-based first. Use the platform to develop a relationship by putting a face to your business across all your videos, then continue that relationship by including a call to action. Don't forget to send YouTube visitors to your website and use SEO keywords as well. Used with a combination of other social media tools, YouTube can be an important element to increasing sales.