7 Steps to Successful YouTube Marketing

Social media coach Mike Sansone describes his seven S’s of successful YouTube marketing.

7 steps to successful youtube marketing

When I talk to business owners about doing video, they often get stage fright as if they’re about to audition for American Idol. Yet once they start filming, they find that by keeping it short (2-4 minutes) and staying simple, video is not only fun, the content created can be used in several profitable ways.

Here are the seven S’s of successful YouTube marketing:

1) Style

Your video should be valuable to your intended audience and worth the time it takes them to watch. Types of video you may want to shoot include:

  • Interview Style — You’ve probably seen videos of a person looking just off to the left or the right, as if he or she were talking to an interviewer. If you have an “interviewer” available to ask you questions during filming, then you can edit his or her voice out later.
  • Conversational Style — This is the best way to engage with your intended audience. You should actually envision the person you’re talking with and speak through the camera.
  • Presentation — Create a slide deck, make each slide an image, then use iMovie or Movie Maker to edit it into a movie. You can also record a voice over or add background music.
  • How-To or Demonstration — Very popular! Over 35 million searches on YouTube are of the “how-to” variety. Teaching someone how to peel garlic or change a headlight might not get millions of views, but those videos reach a certain target audience.
  • Back Story or Tour — A back story of how your business works or a tour of your office spotlighting certain members of your team are both great ways to engage. Consider this type of video similar to the additional features included in a DVD.
  • Video E-mail — One way to use YouTube that few businesses take advantage of. Publishing a video as “unlisted” or “private” prevents it from appearing in public listings, so that you can include it in e-mails to clients or prospects.

2) Storyboard

Major advertisers spend millions of dollars and many hours filming something as seemingly basic as a 30-second commercial. While you probably don’t have that kind of budget or bandwidth, the best investment you can make in a video actually comes before you even turn on the camera: your storyboard. An easy way to create one is by using post-it notes that you rearrange as you go. Each post-it should have a clear point and a description of the emotion or thought you want to deliver to your viewer.

3) Supplies

Between mobile phones, digital cameras, webcams, and flip-type cameras, there are many devices to choose from to record a video. If you’re just getting started any of them are going to be great. I still use a Flip camera and occasionally a digital camera. In addition, make sure the sound quality is good. You can find lavaliere microphones (wireless or with a long cord) for as little as $20. I also typically use one of three sizes of tripods (stand-up, mini, and one of the wrap-around types).

4) Setting

Always be aware of your setting. If you’re sitting in front of the camera, make sure there’s not a lot of action or “stuff” behind you. Your viewers could get distracted. Sitting in front of a big window is rarely a good idea (unless the setting outside adds value to your message).

Also, don’t forget lighting. The brightest lights should be shining right into your face. I sometimes will use a bright desktop lamp on either side of the person I’m shooting to get rid of shadows. A light shining on the wall directly behind the subject can help that cause, as well.

5) Shoot

Once you turn on the camera, keep rolling. Sometimes the most brilliant lines you or your subject will say are delivered when the camera is off — so don’t turn it off. You can always edit and “splice” scenes later. I like to turn on the camera long before we call “action” because there’s often great supplemental footage or “b-roll” that we can use in the intros or closings for future videos. Nothing gets wasted.

Remember, if you are reading from a script behind the camera (or using a tool like cueprompter.com) your eyes will be moving with the script, so make sure to also move your head. A nod here, a tilt there, a slight shake, or a raising of the eyebrow can all help to disguise the fact that you’re reading.

6) Shine

Once you finish shooting, it’s time to shine things up with an editor. If you’re a MAC user, iMovie is a great tool. Windows users can use Windows Movie Maker. Both are click-and-drag type of tools that are fairly easy to learn. Both allow you to edit sound as well. YouTube also has greatly improved both its video and audio editors.

7) Sharing

I recommend always uploading a video in a “private” setting until I make sure all the edits, keywords, descriptions, and thumbnail are ready to show. Once everything is ready, I publish to either “public” or “unlisted” (I choose “unlisted” for niche service industries or videos to specific clients).

Like any other skill, all this becomes easier with practice. So practice a lot and be sure to capture your practice on camera. The more material you film and edit, the more accomplished you’ll become.

Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a multi-week series on how to effectively leverage social media for your B2B Business. In the previous post, content marketing and social media strategist Nate Riggs shared 5 tips for using Twitter to build a groundswell for your startup. Prior to that, OpenView Labs Senior Associate Amanda Maksymiw kicked off the series with a post on why active participation in social media is more crucial than ever.


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