YouTube is hot! Did you know it’s the third highest ranking website, following quickly on the heels of Google and Facebook? About 35 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute. In fact, more YouTube videos are uploaded every 60 days than the three major US television networks produced over the course of 60 years! More importantly, over 2 billion videos are viewed every day.
Do you need any more evidence as to why you should be producing videos and posting them on YouTube? In addition to the 2 billion videos viewed daily, mobile users (people with smart phones) provide over 100 million views per day on YouTube. More and more, people are turning to YouTube as their search engine of choice. They’d rather watch a 2-minute video for information than sit and read an Online article about the same topic.
Think about that for a minute. Let’s say you want to learn how to properly grill short ribs for your family’s upcoming 4th of July celebration. Would you rather read an article about it … or would you prefer to watch a video of a professional chef explaining how to grill to perfection while watching him or her execute the savory task? If you choose the latter, all you’d need to do is log onto www.youtube.com, and type “how to grill short ribs” in the search box. You’d get a whole host of how-to videos on grilling tips and tricks.
**Diving into Video**
Now, let’s translate this over to your pond business. Suppose you get a lot of customer questions on how to plant a waterlily in the pond. You could write an article and share it on your blog or website, but many of you confess that you hate writing (you know who you are). Or, you could invest in an inexpensive camera with video capability (around $100) and shoot footage of you or an employee planting a waterlily in a pond, explaining the step-by-step process.
If needed, you then spend a little time editing the waterlily-planting video with Windows Movie Maker, which was generously uploaded to your PC free-of-charge courtesy of Microsoft, and voila! You have yourself a video to post on YouTube.
Your customers can now watch a segment of your waterlily-planting video, pause it while they perform the first step, play it some more, and then pause again for the next step … and so on until they’ve completed the project and have a stunning waterlily stretching out of their pond. How easy for your customers to learn this simple task to beautify their water garden … and it didn’t take much on your end to help them out a bit.
Once you decide to set-up your YouTube channel (which is free, by the way), you’ll be able to start posting and sharing your videos. Be sure to write titles, descriptions, and keywords to make your videos easy to find. That way, when someone searches for “how to plant a waterlily” while they’re on YouTube, your waterlily-planting video will pop up in YouTube’s search results.
Another great feature of YouTube is attracting friends and subscribers to your channel. Whenever you post a new video, these subscribers will be notified via email. Be sure to include links from your website, marketing materials, and other social networks such as Facebook, to your YouTube channel so your customers know where to find you.
Facebook has made it extremely easy to share YouTube videos. You can post the video to Facebook, Twitter, or even Google+ while you’re on YouTube by clicking the appropriate icons provided. Or you can copy and paste the link to the video in your Facebook status update or in the comment box on Twitter.
Want to include your videos on your website? No problem! YouTube provides an “embed code” to make this process simple. (See screen shot of code – article pictures.) To see the embed code, click the “Share” button beneath the video on YouTube, then click the “Embed” button. The code will then appear highlighted in a text box. All you need to do is copy the highlighted text and paste it into the code on your website where you want it to appear. You can always have your web person do this for you and it only takes a minute or two.
Finally, once you install a new water feature for a customer, be sure to let them know they can watch your helpful pond care and maintenance videos on YouTube or on your website if you’ve embedded the videos. It’s just one more value-add that you can provide for your customers.
**Practice Makes Perfect**
Having a YouTube presence allows you to reach existing and even potential customers on a rapidly growing social network. The more videos you create and upload, the easier it will become. You’ll feel more comfortable in front of the camera as time goes on, or finagle an outgoing employee to be the on-air personality for your company. When you can’t be available by phone or in person, your customers will appreciate all the tips and tricks you’ve provided via video.