YouTube Marketing: Viral Appeal Or Marginal Gains? (Part 2).

So you know what the video marketing game’s all about now and you’ve decided to add this to your existing internet marketing repertoire.

You know your niche market and you’ve got a reasonably good idea what sort of YouTube strategy would work for your business.

But the question is what do you do next?

What else can your small business do to ensure that it makes the most of its online exposure? Well, it’s quite simple really. What you should be doing with YouTube is testing the market, paying for the occasional advertisement and tracking that the content you’re sharing is actually working for you.

Pay attention to comments, and use proven A/B testing methods and Hot spots.

Most advertising firms will generally try to test their advertisements using some form of focus group. Although it’s effective, most small business will probably have neither the time nor the finances to do this. They’d prefer to get their videos out there in the public eye as quickly as possible. So what should SMBs do then? Should they forget the focus group and rely on instincts, or should they try an alternative? Obviously the best option is to get the opinions of their friends and family as well as customers. The easiest way of doing this is to use the comments posted below your videos. Granted not all of them will be irrelevant, but some are actually informative and helpful and could be useful. They’ll give some ideas about the direction you should be going in, and suggest ways that will help you to improve the quality of your shared content.

Large advertising firms also use what’s known as A/B testing. There’s no reason why your small business couldn’t do this too, but maybe on a smaller scale. Run two versions of your video clip as an unlisted video, preferably backed by search ads, then watch to see which one gets the best response.

You can also try using the online tools that YouTube provides to help you gauge how well your video is being received. The best of these tools is Hot Spot. This is an online technology that lets your business see when people are tuning in and out of your video. If users click on your content and immediately click off again, then the chances are it isn’t really delivering, in which case you might need to rethink your video and try something different instead. You can also try using Google Analytics, which will at least tell you how much referral traffic you’re getting from YouTube. If user you think that analysing behaviour is more trouble than it’s worth, then remember this: statistics show that users clicking on a site following a YouTube link spend more time there than they would if they were referred from another source. So hang tough – videos are worth the effort.

Try using the occasional paid ad.

The chances of your video going viral are slim, so you may need a little help promoting your content. You can therefore try buying some paid YouTube ads: these are advertisements that pop up when users do a YouTube search. Fortunately they’re reasonably priced and come in at around a third of the equivalent AdWords price. So you won’t have to spend a fortune. However you’ll need to ensure the content is relevant to the search term. Google will base the ad’s position on that relevance.

Tracking the ROI.

If you’re spending money on YouTube ads, you’ll want to know what you’re getting for it, after all value for money is important. The fact that people have clicked through your ads is great, but if they’re not actually buying anything it’s a bit of a false economy. What you need to do is check to see how your content is shaping up and whether any of the views result in a conversion. The unfortunate thing is the only way you can do this is manually. All any business can do is to improvise and use whatever resources it has at its disposal. Count up the number of YouTube views, track these against traffic that visits your website, and see how many of the customers coming to your site via YouTube actually paid for your products. You can also back this up with customer feedback. Listen to what customers are telling you and find out from them if the video played any part in them doing business with you.

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