hand holding phone showing video archives
Video marketing can seem daunting at first, but it can be a very budget-friendly and effective method of promoting your business. — Getty Images/metamorworks

YouTube is a marketing tool that many small business owners find relatively inaccessible. For some merchants, YouTube seems like a platform relegated to Millennial influencers or brands with big budgets; not mom-and-pop, Main Street shops.

However, small businesses that master YouTube marketing see big impact on their customer engagement. The data doesn’t lie: Video content is one of the most powerful ways to reach customers. According to industry analysts, “YouTube is the second largest search engine, processing more than 3 billion searches per month.” Small business owners looking to grow their sales shouldn’t ignore YouTube marketing. Here are a few ways to make this channel work for you. [Read our full social media marketing guide.]

Pick the right type of content

Videos on YouTube serve a variety of purposes. Broadly speaking, whatever videos you choose to create should be sales-driven (videos that focus on a product) or content-driven (videos that focus on entertainment, education, or inspiration). Video expert Animoto suggests that for every sales video posted on your channel, you should have two content-driven videos to balance it out. Most viewers on YouTube are searching for tutorials and other how-to content. How can your small business use video content to educate potential new customers and build trust for your brand? Spend some time watching other YouTube videos to figure out what you enjoy watching, and then strategize how you can replicate that experience for your business.

Use a free tool to create videos

You don’t need to hire a production crew or invest in fancy equipment to create high-quality video content. Use a free site, like Adobe Spark or Biteable, to create professional-looking videos from their templates. If you have a live event, capture footage with your smartphone and use a free editing app like Videoshop to quickly personalize your content for posting. There are many platforms out there that come with built-in filters, licensed music, and text overlay tools to help you customize content for your channel.

No matter how you choose to create content, be it with your iPhone or with a template, make sure your videos are consistent with the rest of your branding. Keep your colors, filters and tone similar to those on your other channels, like Instagram.

[For more, see: 5 Best Ways to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.]

You don’t need to hire a production crew or invest in fancy equipment to create high-quality video content.

Keep it short and sweet

Analysis by the social media gurus at Hubspot found that the best performing videos are around two minutes long. Anything longer than four minutes will likely lead to a drop-off in engagement. Make sure your videos contain a strong call to action (CTA). Even if your video isn’t sales-driven, it should feature a link to your website or a landing page where you can capture their contact information.

Don’t ignore other opportunities to market outside of the video script. The best YouTube marketing takes into account the video title, description and tags to include keywords and CTAs throughout the user experience. Keep your YouTube video titles to 60 characters so the full text is fully displayed in search results. Likewise, add keywords, or search terms that tell the user what the video is about, right in the title.

Help customers find your videos

Many small businesses use their YouTube-hosted videos to promote their brand on other social media channels. Use your email list, Facebook page, Twitter channel and website to gain views on your content.

Some brands also run marketing campaigns within YouTube. This can be a good option for small businesses that have a limited marketing budget. Views on YouTube are cheap, costing an average of $0.06 per click, in comparison with Google Search’s cost per click (between $1-2). There are three types of ads in which you can invest on YouTube: TrueView, Preroll, and Bumpers. Setting up a campaign is relatively straightforward once you have your content ready, and there are plenty of online tutorials that can walk you through the different variables and targeting options.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best social media management tools, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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