Although creating videos and putting them on a YouTube channel might not be possible for every company, it can be a fantastic way of creating powerful content (Google loves YouTube - not surprisingly, as it owns it!).
This content not only links to your website, but also markets your product or service.
As we discussed in our recent post on using a website to sell green products, a video can be a very direct way of showing off what your product does, and thus very helpful in building up the reputation of that product and your brand.
Video can also be a great way of demonstrating knowledge - creating how-to guides, or offering further information about your area of expertise.
Just make sure your videos are short and to the point; no one is going to be watching if you spend 3 minutes of a 10 minute video introducing your ideas - think about how short your own attention span is when looking at articles or videos on the internet.
Or maybe you want to create buzz about your company with a viral marketing campaign - something quirky and memorable that people will want to share, and get them talking about your company (like this recent video by Walmart which quickly made its way round the internet - just try googling 'walmart video clown' and you'll get an idea of its popularity).
Quite apart from its links with Google, YouTube is an ideal place to get started with a company video campaign as it is easy to set up and very easy to share.
Once you've set up your YouTube account (which requires a simpe verification by phone or email), you are given your own channel, to which you can add details of your company (YouTube's own help pages are pretty handy, and here is a useful step-by-step outline of how to go about it).
Naturally enough, we have some tips to help get you started and get the most out of your YouTube experience:
1. Customise your channel.
Like any other site that represents your company online (be it a website, Facebook or Twitter page - or all three), it needs to be instantly recognisable as yours.
A YouTube channel can be customised, so make sure you spend a little time changing colours and the background to tie in with how your company is branded (using the colours from your logo, images that are already used in your website etc.).
2. Don't forget the words.
Although YouTube is a site for sharing videos, don't forget to include descriptions and keywords with every video you upload (and the description of your channel) - these should be relevant to the content of the video, but bearing in mind the kind of areas you want your business to be linked to more generally.
Have a look at what elese is available from companies or organizations in your field, as well as from individuals.
This is good for general market research (what is available, where there is a gap, and what is the kind of video offered by comparable businesses) and for generating interest in your own videos.
One way to get noticed is to upload a video in response to someone else's, thereby creating a conversation and attracting the attention of anyone who commented on the first one.
As with other forms of social media, YouTube is a community and as such, the kind of engagement that promotes interaction is more powerful than using it as a one-way communications channel.
4. Be flexible.
A YouTube channel isn't as fixed as a website - it can be a place to experiment and try things out, experimenting with the style of videos as well as their content.
As we continue to build our own YouTube channel we will be coming back to this topic of video marketing and the power of video to build links to your homepage, so watch this space!
In the meantime, here is our most recent video - providing information about designing the home page of a website.