By Peggy Bekavac Olson
YouTube is the world's most popular video sharing site. It's a great tool for businesses, both large and small, because it's free, easy to use and has broad market reach and appeal. It's only natural for companies in the payments industry to think about leveraging YouTube for business success. I think you will agree the following YouTube statistics are both interesting and impressive:
The numbers are huge and staggering, but at this point, you may be wondering how YouTube applies to your business and how you can use it to reap benefits. The answer is that YouTube can be used to market your company's products and services, showcase expertise and share knowledge, plus engages with customers and prospects in a virtual anytime, anywhere environment. No big budget is required - all it takes is a video camera, a little creativity and a plan.
The purpose of the following list is to get you started thinking of ways your business can benefit by utilizing YouTube videos:
As you can see, YouTube can enhance your business in a number of ways. Of course, you will certainly have some video ideas of your own to add to the list.
So how long should a YouTube video be? Wistia, a video hosting and analytics tracking service, has compiled interesting data on this topic. The company's research shows that shorter videos are more engaging and that people are more likely to watch an entire video if it is short in length. Thirty-second video clips are normally viewed by 85 percent of people all the way through, while the completion rate for videos that run between two to 10 minutes is only 50 percent. Frequently, when presented videos of four to five minutes in length, people don't even push the play button.
To keep viewers' attention, keep your YouTube videos between one and one and one-half minutes in length for optimal viewing. Put the best material, the part that you want people to see and the messages you want them to hear, within the video's first 20 seconds - before they get distracted.
Strive to make your content concise as to achieve the highest viewer engagement. If you feel you need more time to properly tell the story, break your video up into several smaller vignettes.
YouTube videos can be the do-it-yourself variety, but remember to keep them business-like and professional. Here are some tips on how to do create an effective video in-house:
If you go the outsourced route, engage a firm that not only understands online video production, but your business as well. You'll want to share your goals, expectations and budget to guide the scripting, acting, shooting, editing and production process.
YouTube provides an opportunity to promote your business for next to nothing. But nothing will happen unless you get people to view your videos. You accomplish video viewing through promotion.
Imbedding your YouTube videos on your website, blog and online industry forums; linking to your videos in emails and newsletters; sharing your videos through social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; advertising your videos on your website, phone recording, corporate and industry events are all great ways to promote your videos.
Although YouTube makes it easy to share content with the world, video privacy may be a concern for your business in certain situations. If you want to limit the viewing and exposure of a video, you can simply enable a YouTube privacy setting.
You may specify that a video be unlisted in YouTube. For an unlisted video to be viewed, you must send a link inviting recipients to access your video; only those viewers are able to access your unlisted video. You may also specify a video as being private. The private setting enables you and up to 25 other YouTube users whom you invite to see your video.
Unlisted and private videos will not appear in any of YouTube's public spaces such as search results, your play-list, a channel or on the Browse page. Additionally, viewers don't need a YouTube account to watch unlisted or private videos, which can be advantageous.
YouTube can be a wonderful tool for any payment business to employ. It's relatively easy to use and packs a lot of bang for the buck. So what do you think? I say give it a whirl. Try leveraging YouTube in your business today to experience the benefits of this creative opportunity.
Peggy Bekavac Olson founded Strategic Marketing, a full-service marketing and communications firm specializing in financial services and electronic payment companies, after serving as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TSYS. She can be reached at 480-706-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about Strategic Marketing can be found at www.smktg.com.
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