Recent research has shown that a vast majority (over 90%) of SME’s are not yet on YouTube which, in case you hadn’t heard, is now the second-largest search engine in the world. Part social media, part resource library and part entertainment, this platform is an enigma, but one that you should strongly consider as a part of your marketing strategy in the next year.

There are ample articles online boasting impressive stats for video marketing (like this one), and so I won’t waste space here trying to convince you why to use video to connect with your customers. Assuming that you have identified this as a growth area, the below are tips to make this channel work for you.

Finish your profile

Although a YouTube account is easy (and free) to set up, the first thing that you should do is make sure that you customise every part of your channel. A completed profile will ensure that viewers can easily recognise the creator of the videos and get in touch with you. This involves linking to your company website and social profiles, writing a short description of your business, and adding in artwork for the icon and banner.

Like all social profiles, YouTube is an extension of your brand, so you want your channel to be recognisable. You can use or edit your company’s logo to fit the required formatting, and if you’re no graphic designer there is no shortage of professionals available to help you out.

Get your keywords in order

When establishing your YouTube channel, just like when you optimise your company’s website, you’ll need to do a brainstorm of the keywords that you’d like to rank for. It’s worth really thinking through the type of language that your ideal customer might use when searching, including any phrases related to your primary list, as well as considering the search volume of each keyword.

Normally it’s better to stick to keywords that have high search volumes, but if your product or services are quite unique, then prioritising keywords with fewer searches may pay off in the long run.

Tools like Keyword Tool are great for coming up with a long list of words and phrases that you’ll want to include in your titles, tags and descriptions.

Post regularly try different styles

One of the biggest mistakes that I see companies of all sizes making on YouTube is simply that they don’t update their content. While it may be tempting to make a video and house it on this site for all of eternity, that’s not really what it’s for. The channels that perform best do so because they consistently add content.

That’s not to say that you need to be posting daily, but make a plan to try out a few different styles of video in your first year. This could include brand videos, case studies, how-to videos, interviews or even screen captures. You’ll get a feeling for the type of video that your viewers prefer, and then you’ll be able to narrow down which get the best ROI.

While quantity is important, quality should always take precedence!

Promote your videos

Regardless of the prominence of your business, or the size of your client list, your videos should never, ever have less than 5 views. As soon as you publish your video, you should share it with your network. Post it across all of your social platforms, send it to your friends, family, clients and colleagues and shamelessly ask them to like and comment on the videos.

The first three weeks that your video is live is when the YouTube algorithm gives it a bit of a boost for freshness. This also means that it would be wise to align the publication of your video(s) with any launches or sales that you’re planning.

Engage with viewers

As a small business owner, your priority list is likely as long as your arm. If you’ve decided to throw your hat in the YouTube ring, responding to comments should be right up at the top of your list. The viewers who are interested enough in what you’re saying to watch your video through and leave feedback, are probably the most likely to convert to customers.

There’s no way to guess what kind of comments your video will receive, so you should be prepared for both positive and negative, and it should go without saying, but be sure to respond professionally!

Now that you know how to make a success of your videos, all you need to do is get out there and make them.