In our internet-addicted world, you need to have a business presence online. And that includes YouTube.
YouTube is a big deal — and it is definitely worth your attention as you establish your company’s footprint on the internet.
Four billion videos are watched on YouTube each day. Four billion. That’s a lot of people who are on YouTube every day — including your customers and potential customers.
The goal with a business YouTube channel is to establish a presence there — and to have it point people back to your business and website.
YouTube is another way for your company to be found by potential customers. It is another way that people searching the internet can discover your business.
Here is what you need to do to start with YouTube. It’s easy.
1. If your company doesn’t have a YouTube account, create one.
You do this by clicking the “Sign In” button in the upper right. At the bottom of the log-page there is a (smallish) link to “Create a New Account.”
(YouTube is owned by Google, so you will see plenty of Google on these account pages.)
If you’ve already set up a personal account on YouTube, you will need to sign out before creating a new, business one.
2. For your user name, enter your company’s name. This is a business account! For the photo, insert your company logo.
The rest of the set-up is pretty self-explanatory.
Now let’s talk about what videos to put on YouTube. There are no rules, but here are some recommended best practices:
- Overall, the idea with your videos is to be professional, not perfect.
- The subject of the videos should be your focus as a business. If you are a roofing contractor, then you should be making videos mostly about roofing, roofing problems, roofing work, etc.
- An easy idea for a topic is to show a current job you have going on. Your video could be a “status report” to show the owner or property manager. Take a minute to show what’s happening on the job — and explain what you’re showing.
- Where your company is concerned, you obviously only want to show positive developments. Don’t show your guys lounging around or goofing off. Don’t show materials being treated poorly or your crew engaging in any unsafe practices. But those things shouldn’t be happening on jobs anyway, right?
- Another great topic is to show a “before” videos of a roof before work begins. This can be part of your sales presentation to the customer (“Here are a few problems you need to be aware of”) — and it can also exist on YouTube to show your expertise and ability to diagnose problems in an expert and professional way!
- Do not name your customers by name. You are using YouTube to gain some free online exposure, but your clients may not want to be included. Showing a roof is fairly anonymous, so you shouldn’t any ruffle feathers there. Don’t name your customer (or their business), their address, or even their street. Instead, refer to the neighborhood in general. For instance, say something like this, “Here we are just west of Old Town, and I wanted to show you a few issues we’ll be dealing with on this particular roof.”
- Do short videos — a minute or two is best. If you are doing videos that are longer, they better be either very, very interesting — or geared to a specific client who is going to watch with extreme interest. (For instance, if you are showing a commercial client a lot of points about his extensive roof, your video is going to be longer — and that’s okay.)
- Don’t worry too much about “views” or “likes” on YouTube. Yes, both are good — and more are better than less. But your videos are not going to “go viral.” That’s fine. A handful of both views and likes is fine. You can “share” the video with an employee or friend or two — and ask them to like it, too.
- Do take a moment to write a description of the video. Be sure your text includes your company name and a link to your website.
- And make sure your video title is good and makes sense. Make it simple and to the point, something like, “YOUR COMPANY NAME looks at a roof in North Park Village.”
- To really get going with YouTube, commit to a schedule for adding videos to your company’s channel. Start off by making it your goal to add one or two new videos each month.
Here are some technical tips for using YouTube, to make the experience easier and better for you:
- Uploading video is extremely easy. A few years ago, internet connections were slower, and uploading video to the web took a long amount of time. No longer. You can upload even a longer video in ten minutes or less.
- You don’t need a fancy camera Use your iPhone, Android, smartphone, etc. — those work fine.
- Start by taking your own videos. Either hold the phone yourself or — if you’re ready to be on camera — have a friend/employee hold it for you.
- Hold the phone on its side, not “up and down.” Video that is horizontal (not vertical) works best on YouTube.
- Try to make the audio as good and clear as possible. If you have headphones for your phone, use those. Or at least record the audio by having your mouth pretty close to the phone. Don’t mumble.
- Many large, successful roofing firms hire professional “videographers” to make more polished videos. You could consider this, too — one idea is to find a company that makes wedding videos. They are often affordable and capable — and have availability during the week. It’s up to you, though.
Getting going with YouTube is a positive thing for companies of all sizes — we hope this guide helps you in the process. If yo have questions or need help, reach out by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rego Korosi. YouTube on the iPad is courtesy Esther Vargas. The roofing video image is based on a photo by Luca Masters. Finally, the YouTube generation graffiti is by jonsson. Thanks all.