These days even your grandmother has a Facebook account. So what does this mean? This means that old business models no longer work. With the overnight success of consumer-based businesses such as Amazon and Ebay, the decline of the print publishing world, and with the rise of social media groups such as Facebook and Twitter, it is clear that our society is going digital.

The question is where does YOUR business fit into this new model?

Clearly, social media is where it’s at. But when small business owners think of social media, they usually limit themselves to just Facebook and Twitter. Small business owners need to know that there are some great untapped and popular platforms such as LinkedIn, which connects users with other key decision makers in their industry, and Quora, which allows users to field questions to their follower group.

However, one of the most critical platforms that often goes ignored is YouTube. Sure, everyone watches YouTube to catch up on their favorite trailers or watch some quirky video, but what sets a great business online marketing strategy (and its subsequent success) apart from a mediocre one is its ability to harness all social media platforms to its benefit.

Your business can and should harness the YouTube platform for the variety of reasons listed below:

People Like Visuals: People prefer watching a video rather than reading an article. I can almost guarantee that if you have a YouTube video of your business on your home page, it will get watched. Sure, you can embed a video straight onto your site via custom programming. But why stop there? Increase the video’s traffic and visibility by uploading it on YouTube. Make it easy for people to access and share your videos and they will.

Great SEO Source: Many overlook the fact that YouTube is great for SEO tags and ranking. Tag it and then let Google do the rest. Since Google owns YouTube, it gives preference to YouTube tags over any other.

Branding Opportunity: Much like the good old days of MySpace, YouTube also allows you to customize your profile channel. Businesses can mirror their profile channel to reflect their page, thereby increasing their brand visibility and creating great user interest.

Calls to Action: YouTube allows you to offer multiple calls to action, such as inviting viewer to your blog, asking them to follow you on Twitter and allowing them to engage in discussions with you through comments. In short, YouTube allows for the option to engage in valuable dialogue with your user base and for a discreet marketing opportunity without appearing like a clamoring salesman.

Promotion Made Easy: Why is YouTube successful when there are now dozens of video hosting sites? Because YouTube is convenient, easy to use and recognizable. It allows you to embed your videos into your blog, promote them across social media sites and email them to your contacts.

Creativity Is Key: YouTube forces businesses to be more creative in their marketing strategy. The old marketing method consisted of an in-your-face commercial, but the new marketing methods have to come across as a story. Stories sell, and spinning your services or product into a story first ensures that the sale will come with it too.

Just about every type of business can benefit from a YouTube channel. The only thing you really need is time, a computer and a camera.


作者 Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.