David Preston

At its onset, YouTube was a hub of amateur videos used mostly to get a laugh out of a worldwide audience. However, today it has graduated to become the stomping ground of professionals, businesses, celebrities and even The White House.

However, for many businesses, especially small businesses, YouTube can be a daunting place to engage in social media marketing. If it’s used correctly, YouTube can be an effective tool that helps you build your brand, reach more customers and spread awareness about your products and/or services.

Here are a few ways you can utilize YouTube to increase your brand’s authority:

1. Set up a YouTube channel to effectively market your brand.

Branded YouTube channels are the way your business will organize videos, how customers will find you on YouTube and a way to showcase your company “with specific colors, information and links to your website and/or relevant social media pages.”

On your YouTube channel, you can select different videos as “favorites,” organize videos into different playlists and give viewers the option to subscribe to the company’s YouTube content. This is a place to:

  • Post videos of positive customer testimonials about your products or services.
  • Introduce your staff to your customers with short video bios.
  • Create a virtual tour of your office and city to show your company’s culture.
  • Give calls to action on videos that explain your products or services.

Prompt customers on your website to visit and subscribe to your YouTube channel. For instance, potential customers visiting Verizon.com would benefit from visiting the Verizon FiOS YouTube channel. It uses videos to breakdown the different facets of the FiOS brand, with tabs for “Entertainment,” “Products & Technology,” “Verizon in the Community,” “En Español” and “Small Business.”

2. Create videos that will demonstrate “Expertise and Thought Leadership.”

Your brand would benefit from showing a sense of innovation through video representations on YouTube. Promote these videos on your website in appropriate blogs, resource sections or product pages to help bolster the page’s content with videos.

There are several ways to promote your brand as an expert in your line of business on YouTube. Try out a few or all of these options:

  • Record company presentations and upload them to your YouTube channel “to demonstrate authority and public speaking skills.”
  • If you didn’t record the presentation, upload the slides with a detailed description of the event, its purpose, etc.
  • Establish yourself as an authority and expert with videos featuring industry facts and tips that would be of interest to your clients.

Socialmediatoday.com reports that a featured company called Sendible posts “recordings of [their] joint webinars with industry experts.” This makes them a credible resource to clients looking for information about their business or industry. Incorporate a similar method in your YouTube strategy to generate “loyalty and trust” amongst your clients.

3.  Build another layer of customer service with videos on your YouTube channel.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so a video that helps customers use a product or service is all but priceless. With a customer service section of your brand’s YouTube channel, create “how to” videos that show your customer all the things he/she needs to know about your product or service. It’s a great way to connect with customers and provide them with useful information they will value.

In this section, you should also include videos that:

  • Lay out solutions to any problems that are common with your company’s product or service. Use a speaker with an engaging and friendly personality so customers feel at ease.
  • Cover FAQs (and maybe even customer-specific questions).
  • Give tours of each product or service your company offers, so your clients know how to navigate any purchases they make from your company.

Social Media Examiner discusses a brand with a YouTube channel done right. Steve Spangler started out on a regional news broadcast demonstrating fun science experiments for families with kids. A few viral videos (and a lot of work) later, and Steve Spangler has a robust YouTube channel with a variety of content that includes “how to” videos of experiments parents can try at home with their kids.