Here’s something that may surprise you. YouTube is the second most popular search engine after the almighty Google. It gets more than 1 billion visitors a month looking for news, entertainment and answers.
If you want to create attention for your store and show off the cool things you sell, putting short videos on YouTube can open up a whole new audience for you.
It’s also worth mentioning that Google owns YouTube. You do the maths!
Setting up a business presence on YouTube
If you already have a Google account (ie: you use any of Google’s products like Gmail, AdWords or Google+), use those log in details to sign in at www.youtube.com.
If you don’t have a Google account, go to YouTube and click ‘Sign in’ on the top right of the page. Click ‘Create Account’ and fill in the required information.
Once you’re signed in, you’re free to watch the videos, but you need to create a ‘channel’ (like a profile page) to be able to load your own.
NB: YouTube accounts are linked to a Google+ page. If you don’t already have a Google+ page as you set up your channel, it’s going to make one for you! Don’t worry, I’ve got a great post about using Google+ to promote your business too.
Create your YouTube business channel
These steps apply to desktop or laptop users, using a browser. Some of the options are different for mobile/app users.
Once you’re signed into YouTube, click on the profile image top right, and then on the cog next to the ‘Creator Studio’ button in the drop down box. This will take you to an ‘overview’ page.
On the overview page, click through the ‘Create a channel’ link next to your email address. On the following screen, click ‘To use a business or other name, click here’. If you have a Google+ business page, you’ll see this as a channel option on the following page. If not click the ‘Create a new channel’ button to make a new one.
Now you have a new channel and you’re ready to make yourself at home!
Customise your channel for your brand
Just like other social media profiles, you can customise the content of your YouTube channel to reflect your business and brand personality.
Your main channel page contains a number of menu items including ‘Home’ and ‘About’. If you can’t see them, click on the ‘My Channel’ menu item to the left of your screen.
Your small square channel icon feeds in from your Google+ page (you need to go there to change it) but you can add a big image as your channel header. Colourful images are great for attracting the eye so use it to show off your product ranges or another image that supports your brand.
To make changes to the channel header area, hover over the cover photo area to reveal the pencil icon to the right. Click on it to change the image, or add links to your website and any other social media accounts you have.
You can also add ‘Featured channels’ you like in the box to the right.
Next, head over to the ‘About’ tab and write an interesting description for your users in the ‘Channel description’ box. It will take up to 1,000 characters.
Upload your videos
YouTube lets you upload videos in any of the following file formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, .MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, .3GPP, .WebM. If you want to change the default settings for the videos you load, go to your ‘Video manager’, click ‘Channel settings’ and then ‘Default’.
To load a video onto your channel, click the ‘Upload’ button at the top of the page and browse for the file you want to upload. You can even create videos here!
To make the most of web searches, use appropriate keywords in the title and description of your video and use the tags facility.
When you’ve chosen your video, select the privacy setting and hit ‘Publish’, ‘Done’ or ‘Share’ (it’s different for each privacy setting) to send it to your live channel.
To learn more about making video for your business, check out my last post.
Promote your YouTube presence
Your hard work’s not over yet! To get the most attention to your new channel, add a link to it on your Spiffy Store, in your newsletters and other social networks you play in. And keep making those videos!