We are in a digital marketing age that puts a premium on the soft sell. For a business utilizing YouTube, this means short, informative videos released on a timely and on-going basis. A 10 minute long poorly shot video saying "here's our company here's our stuff-buy it" is mediocre at best; and a 90 second to 3 minute, well shot video, giving free, relevant and interesting information is an excellent method.
So if you were an online tea seller interested in using YouTube as a marketing medium, the trick would be to think of the videos as an additional product as much as a marketing channel means to an end. So rather than making a video saying "hi, we are Earth Tea, here's our products, etc." which is not going to get much action, a better idea is to brand some videos that enhance your business and your customer's experience. So "Earth Tea" would make videos like "How to steep the perfect cup of tea" which would harmlessly direct people to your website and social networks at the beginning and end. These types of videos would both get shared, and brand your business, and heck, if they are popular enough they can become an additional income source by way of the YouTube partnership program. Profiting from your own marketing directly can't be beat! Any video like this outlined in my example would be set to "public" and hopefully be interesting enough to stand on it's own, but the videos from YouTube can easily be embedded into your own website, which I highly recommend.
Some more tips:
-Film a video about your companies story, as good stories resonate with people far more than mere selling. McDonald's has had excellent success in 2012 with a seemingly mundane video, a 10 minute+ video all about where the potatoes from their french fries come from. I watched the whole thing because it was compelling, but not pitching me on anything.
-If your business is a product like software, or a native web app, you can make use of a filmed screenshot to teach people how to use your site. Programs like Screenflow for mac allow you to record and upload to YouTube a video of your own desktop movements. See my Pinterest tutorial as an example: http://www.bradfordhines.com/how-to-use-pinterest-to-track-and-grow-your-business.html
- Don't rely on YouTube, use other video sites as well like Metacafe or Vimeo. One video made for YouTube may as well be shared to the other sites, it can't hurt.
- Don't neglect to brand your videos, and add your networks.
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