youtube-logoDriving traffic to the website for your small business can be a challenge. Google Adwords tends to be prohibitively expensive in industries dominated by national brands, or large lead generation companies. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is murky and difficult to navigate as Google continues to make changes to how they rank sites in their results. Word of mouth is much easier said than done. Social Media marketing, however, has been getting an increasing amount of attention by small business owners due to the combination of low-to-no overhead, and potential for large reach within your service area.

There are countless guides on using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to grow your business. Today, I’m going to focus on Youtube, and share examples of businesses using video to their advantage.

YouTube is actually the second largest search engine in the US, much to the disappointment of Bing and Yahoo. While most of these searches are non-transactional (people looking for music videos, cats playing the piano, etc) there are both direct and indirect benefits to using video (and YouTube specifically) as part of your small business marketing plan.

Direct Benefits

By recording simple videos and placing them on YouTube, you instantly gain access to the audience of the most trafficked video site on the internet. Roughly 100 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube each and every minute (More YouTube statistics can be found here). According to, YouTube is the third most trafficked website online, behind only Google and Facebook.

Once your content is live on YouTube, you’re eligible to be returned as search results when people look for videos related to your business/topic. Doing simple things like remembering to add a link to your website in the video description will aid in transitioning viewers from seeing your content on YouTube, to coming to your website.

Indirect Benefits

One of the biggest indirect benefits of using YouTube is the ability to embed your video content on your website without additional hosting or bandwidth charges. Creating video to help explain difficult or in-depth concepts and issues can help you more easily connect with your viewers. Getting a website viewer to hit play and passively watch a video is much easier than getting them to read every sentence of a 900 word article on the benefits of your product of service.

This also presents an additional opportunity to connect with your customers, and develop a sense of familiarity and trust with potential buyers.

One example of a small business utilizing video is the Seattle based company, Moz. Moz sells Software As A Service (SAAS) products to online marketers. They maintain a very active blog and community, and publish a weekly video series called “Whiteboard Friday” in which the Moz CEO, Rand Fishkin (and sometimes, a guest host) tackles online marketing topics and issues in front of a whiteboard. These videos regularly produce tens of thousands of views, plus additional tweets, shares, likes, and comments. It also helps showcase the company personality and culture through it’s laid back, informal tone as well as the animated introduction.

An example of a business outside the tech space using video is the Louisiana based lawyer, Loyd J. Bourgeois. Mr. Bourgeois created and maintains, and utilizes video on his “Video Tips” page. While these videos have “only” generated several hundred views each, they have helped Mr. Bourgeois connect with his website viewers, and help begin the critical process of building trust between an attorney and their clients. According to Mr. Bourgeois, “The videos have been a big help. The folks who call in after viewing the video tips are notably much more comfortable in the overall process, and we are able to get started more quickly because they are better prepared. They’re also more comfortable, as they’re already able to put a face and voice to a name from the very first point of contact.”

By utilizing video on your business website, specifically YouTube, you can easily develop initial connections with your viewers, as well as open up your brand to a large potential audience. Once you commit to using video for your business, make sure you customize your YouTube Channel artwork, and remember the best practices for utilizing online video for business.