YouTube Best Practices For Any Business


You’ve seen at least 200 cat videos go viral on YouTube, and countless video parodies of the NFL replacement refs thanks to a few very questionable calls, and now you’re thinking it might be time to start using videos to promote your business.

Well, you’re right, it is time to start. YouTube has huge marketing potential for businesses looking to cut costs all while reaching a huge number of people.

Here are a Few YouTube Best Practices:

– Create brand awareness, promote products & services
– Drive traffic to your website
– Generate conversation about your brand
– Highlight presentations and meetings for clients/employees that can’t attend
– Highlight company events
– Act as an online help desk

Creating YouTube videos may seem intimidating for someone with no experience–what kind of video camera do I need, should I hire a professional video editor, what should I even record? All these questions are probably running through your head right now. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and you should be asking these types of questions.

A great aspect of YouTube is that you don’t need expensive equipment to create an effective video. Seriously though, take a look at the Talking Twin Babies home video with over 73 million views (yes, 73 million views of babies speaking jibberish) WHAT THE HECK! Below, I have outlined the best YouTube practices to promote your business.

1. Brand your YouTube channel

Customize your account with backgrounds and colors to match your brand. Your goal is to create a brand experience on YouTube, not to mention, the more branded your profile appears, the more credibility you seem to have.

2. Upload great content

Create content that addresses your audiences’ needs. Videos should be helpful, valuable and compelling to keep viewer attention. Keep your video under 2 minutes to promote something and no more than 5 minutes for online tutorials.

Note: Invest in a good microphone. Sound quality is essential to getting your message across.

3. Use tags

Tag videos to make it easily searchable for users. Make tags relevant with logical keywords relating to your business. You can use a YouTube search to find relevant and commonly searched for words and phrases for tags.

4. Engage with the YouTube audience

Simply posting videos is just not enough. Reply to other videos, subscribe to different users and develop relationships with those users. Chances are they’ll promote your videos too!

5. Cross promote

Add social share buttons to your blog and website and cross promote your videos across a variety of different social platforms. But, don’t post your video to every social website at the same time. You don’t want your viewers to think you’re spamming them.

6. Update regularly

If there’s one thing you do, it should be this. You must maintain your account to stay relevant, keep users engaged and drive traffic to your website. Remember, if you don’t have time to maintain it, don’t do it!

There you have it, the top 6 tips for successful YouTube marketing. What other video marketing tactics do you use to promote your business. I would love to know!

– Sarah

Twitter Redesign: A Picture Is Now Worth 140 Characters

Twitter Redesign: A Picture Is Now Worth 140 Characters

Last week, Twitter rolled out its newest look across the web and new mobile apps — one that’s consistent across all platforms and allows users to add a header photo to their profile.

CEO Dick Costolo told the Today show that the revamping of its mobile apps and website is in response to Twitter users who wanted a better way to express themselves.  “What we’ve heard over and over again from our users is they want to bring more of their personality to their profile pages” he said.

The Twitter redesign allows users to get to know people better through their pictures.  Photo streams now appear below your most recent Tweets, and the new design makes it easy to swipe through users shared photos. In addition to the new design, the new Twitter includes a header photo that can be customized to reflect users’ interest, giving you the option of using two photos for your profile.

The new update is a great opportunity for businesses to visually express their brand to their Twitter followers through new pictures and videos. The added customization offers companies an opportunity for more visual branding.

Split It, a San Diego-based SEO service has managed to blend their company avatar with the header and background.  Other companies, such as Taco Bell have also embraced the change and integrated their company icon with the new background.  And don’t think Twitter forgot about those of you reluctant to change, Twitter is allowing you to keep the old design…for the time being.

Split IT San Diego Taco Bell

Reception for the redesign seems mostly positive. The real-time analysis site, Topsy, offers sentiment reporting as part of its professional analytics service. Topsy Pro reported 54,361 positive tweets versus 23,252 negative tweets for the term “new twitter” during the first 24-hours.

Thanks to the new update, Twitter is putting an end to boring profiles, and giving brands a chance to add some life and personality into their social presence.

How is your business responding to the new design?

How can Pinterest Help your Business?

How Can Pinterest Help Your Business

How can Pinterest help your Business? The concept behind Pinterest is actually very simple and that is what makes it powerful!

Pinterest is an effective social media marketing channel if utilized properly. As with many of the good ideas on the Internet, Pinterest is based on a simple form of communication that most people are already familiar with. When you sign up for a Pinterest account, you will establish your own “digital” pin board. This is just like the cork board you have by the phone or the board that you put on your refrigerator. Just like with a physical pin board, when you want to share an image, you “pin” it to your digital board: the Pinterest website refers to the process of posting images as “pinning images” on the board. It is a common form of communication that just about everyone can identify with.

As with any other social networking platform, Pinterest relies on the interaction of its members to produce interest in the website itself. Members are not allowed to post any offensive or pornographic images, and images can be reported to the administrators for evaluation. People can subscribe to (in this case, follow) other member’s walls and be notified when new “pins” are posted. Pinterest is utilizing the growing popularity of pictures and videos on the Internet and it can be the ideal place for you to grow your business and expand your brand name recognition.

The key to utilizing a social networking website properly is to understand that the average person does not want to read a commercial. When you use Pinterest to promote your business, you want to give customers the images they are looking for. As you prepare to release a new product, you can use Pinterest to post pictures of the product in action so that people can see the practical applications that the product offers. It helps people to understand why they should be excited about the product and that will drive sales. And if they are excited, they will share your “pins” with their connections and their connections with share with others and that can help you get rapid visibility on the Internet.

The advantage to using Pinterest is that people love to see pictures and Pinterest gives them just that – pictures!. It is the same principle that made YouTube so popular. When people know what to expect from a website, then they will feel more comfortable using it. So, once you get your business account set up on Pinterest, then you can start to post images that are interesting to your prospective customers. You can monitor the popularity of each image and use that information to develop additional “pins” that will get even more interest from the rest of the community. It can be a very powerful marketing tool if you take the time to learn how to really use it.

Here is a graphical representation of the tremendous rise in visitors to Pinterest between May 2011 and February 2012:

What Google Plus can do for your Website

How can Google Plus help your business?

It is natural for a company to favor its own products when creating other products of mass appeal. The Google search engine has long been the gold standard by which other search engines have been measured. The importance of Google to the online content industry was shown when Google changed its search algorithms in a way that rewarded good content and discouraged keyword stuffing and spamming.

The most recent algorithm update was called Penguin. With the Penguin update in place, more website owners are looking for ways to get their websites higher up on the search result pages for Google searches. One way that can be of help is to use Google+.

What Google Plus can do for your Website

Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook, but with more  focus on creating connections between people and businesses. One of the ways that you can potentially get your website to show up higher in Google search engine results is to list your website on your Google+ profile page and then get as many people to become your Google Plus friend as possible. The more people that circulate your website address, the more improvements you will see in your search results will be. Since this is all tied directly to Google, the results can be seen in a matter of just weeks rather than months and it is an effective way of improving search results.

Another way to use Google Plus to your advantage is to make sure that you claim authorship of all of the content you post on your Google Plus page. This will help you to get your content to get seen ahead of even some of the more popular blogs on the Internet. It will help you get your name, your company name, your website and your keywords all pushed up higher on search engine results pages. It will also help you to associate your name with your website so that you can take advantage of all of the new Google Plus friends you are adding on a regular basis.

How have you used Google+ for you business?

Companies That Hide Behind their Websites

Companies that Hide Behind Their Websites

One of my pet peeves revolves around companies that do not publish a phone number anywhere on their website. Instead, they rely on email, live chat, trouble ticket systems and these so-called user forums to interact with their prospective customers.  Basically, they hide behind their websites.

Now, since we are not a customer of any such company, we do not know whether they provide a contact number and we do now know how they handle post-sales support and customer management

We were recently researching shopping cart systems for one of our clients and we came across a particular shopping cart vendor – one of the 2 we had shortlisted – that did not provide a telephone number anywhere on their website! Our client is investing a not-so-insignificant amount of money in their website and in order to do them justice, we wanted to speak to the shopping cart vendor’s sales team. At that very moment. We wanted some questions answered so we could make a decision and get moving on the project. Just so you know, this vendor’s shopping cart license cost starts at over ten thousand dollars – per year! Despite that, they required us to submit a fill-in form to get pricing and support and other details.

We did not want to “fill-in” a contact form and we did not want to submit a ticket to their system and we most definitely did not want to post a question in their forum. We trolled their entire website and we still could not find a telephone number. We even went so far as to search for them on Facebook, LinkedIn and despite all of that, we still could not find a phone number. And trust us; if the information is on the Internet, we know how to find it!

In the end, this particular vendor lost our business (and will never get our business). Instead, we selected the next vendor – because they provided their contact details and we were able to get in touch with their sales team – immediately and get all our questions answered.

Given the intense competition and the sheer number of options available, is it not critical to allow your potential customer to contact you in as many ways as possible?

Do you know of any businesses that hide behind their websites?