Everyone that knows anything about websites, SEO, and marketing (and virtually anyone that hasn’t been living under a rock since Al Gore invented the internet) knows about Google. The term “Google” has been used as a noun and a verb, possibly a few other less savory ways as well. We all care about Google, worry about Google, some even fear Google, but having your website come up at the top of page 1 when someone searches for a term that’s even remotely related to your website is the golden ring that everyone online is reaching for. But what about the site that comes after Google.com as far as searches, you know, the one that’s OWNED by Google?!
YouTube has only been around since 2005 and has gone through several changes. Once thought of as a place for amateurs and wackos to go post silly short videos for their friends to watch on a terrible quality player, it’s now the third most visited site behind Facebook and Google. Sure you can still go spend hours watching cats chase lasers (honest boss, I don’t do that) but you can also learn how to sight in a laser on a gun, make a jalapeno popper (that looks like David Hasselhoff), make a router pantograph, remove an axle from a Jeep, or put on fully fashioned stockings. You might think these are crazy things to do but nearly 80,000 people went to YouTube to see how to make that 3D router pantograph. Those last three also happen to be CommerceV3 customers that are using YouTube to educate their customers on how to use their products, introduce new products, or even just show off customers using their products.
I know I know, everyone has a fear of being on camera or putting up a shaky, low quality video that they think will likely scare off more business than gain, but those days are gone. You don’t need a production studio any more to put out something decent that will educate a customer, or better yet, potential customer that’s never heard of you, we’ll get to that in a bit. An inexpensive Flip video camera, as well as many of the latest smartphones, can produce HD video thats more than adequate for YouTube, and editors either come with the camera and in the case of an iPhone, you can even download an app and edit right on the phone, I’ve seen some pretty awesome short films done this way. Eagle America sells router bits and accessories and Kaiser Willys selling parts to fit older model jeeps, both have a clear vision of how YouTube can help a client that is trying to accomplish something, but “oh by the way,” happen to sell stuff to help you do that. While Secrets in Lace’s “how to put on stockings” may be a stretch (har har, stretch, get it,) they use video to show off their products on real world models that aren’t size 0 with over sized, well you know. Many sites struggle to have photography good enough to convey everything about their product, what better way to do that than have a human being holding, wearing, or using the product?
Google also owns YouTube and because of that, videos happen to come up pretty high in search rankings, many times on page 1 of searches. You could get a video to rank higher on Google than some of your actual site pages, especially if you have many competitors, they’re likely to be afraid of video as well so you may even be opening an untapped market. People also will go to YouTube specifically to learn how to do something or research products, even my three daughters 16, 13, and 8 do this, especially near Christmas and birthdays. You can even put the videos on your site, either on product pages themselves or on content pages (Content Only Product in CV3) so visitors to the site can also see and learn just by copy and pasting the embed code that’s right on the video page, into the product page in the store. You can even choose what size player you want to display so you don’t eat up too much room. Check out Eagle America’s product page for that router pantograph, they use a tabbed view to access their videos. If you notice on the YouTube page there was a link in the description right to it. You’re also giving people/customers, another reason to come to your site as well as another reason to market to them, Your email subscribers will probably enjoy getting an email from you that isn’t “Come buy my stuff!” Take it a step further and use our customer groups feature to segment that list and send the right emails to the right customers about the new videos, hey look, you’re “getting social!”
Give it a try. Its free to play around with the camera and upload to your own personal account, you can even mark a video as private so no one sees it until you’re ready. If you need help with ideas let me know and if you give it a try let me know, I’d love to see your videos.