YouTube has a range of uses and benefits for business that can complement those offered by other communication channels.
YouTube lets businesses show their products in action. This is particularly useful for companies with limited physical distribution channels, including those who mostly sell over the internet. Businesses that use YouTube to allow customers to see their products in action before they buy include toy manufacturers, theme parks and theatre companies.
Businesses that have a following or are part of a community can use YouTube as a tool to share and engage with customers. Examples include specialty bicycle retailers and running shops that share produce launches, event footage, video blogs and customer footage via video.
Some business people use YouTube to build their reputation as an expert in a field. This might include uploading video tutorials or short video tips, as well as linking to other experts’ videos that relate to their area of interest.
YouTube lets you embed video content in your website without increasing your site’s bandwidth. This means you can include video in your website without slowing down your customers’ download speeds.
Showing your brand’s ‘personality’
YouTube is a chance to add colour and movement to your business image. For example, a coffee supplier can not only post footage of coffee tasting events and video tutorials, they can also share video footage from the point of origin of the beans and interviews with the people who choose the varieties they use.
Leveraging events or promotions
YouTube gives you the ability to revisit successful events by showing video footage of them to people who weren’t there or who want to recall what happened.
If you run an event (such as an author talk in a bookshop or a seminar for a consulting firm) you can share the highlights via YouTube, as long as you have permission from the ‘talent’.
Solving customers’ problems
Some businesses use YouTube to provide solutions for their customers. For example, they post videos demonstrating how to install their product, or ‘screen capture’ tutorials showing how to use their software.
A video can be a great way to address a frequently asked question or help troubleshoot common problems with your product. It is better to be proactive about this by acknowledging an issue and showing customers how to deal with it, rather than letting the market do it for you and criticise your product in the process.
You can also use YouTube to offer solutions to people who don’t even know about your product yet. Every day, people post questions into search engines asking how to solve their problems, like ‘my pink socks ran in the wash. What can I do?’ If your product solves a problem like this, posting a video on YouTube demonstrating it in action is a great way to bring your product to the attention of the people who need it.