Secrets of Selling More! (With Social Media – REALLY!) – Part 2
The 2’nd article in Bernard Martin’s series on social media use for industrial companies focuses on YouTube.
There is a lot of hype surrounding social media marketing and there are numerous articles explaining how to set up the accounts, how to use the various platforms and outlets, and, daily, new app’s to assist you in your marketing efforts. Frankly, it’s overwhelming. We’re not going to discuss much in this series about how to “build” your Social Media profiles. There are plenty of resources out there to find that information. We will talk about some “construction” issues but only as they relate to your selling efforts.
Rather than focus on what’s new, what’s the latest and greatest, this series of articles is going to focus on how you and your company can use social media as a sales tool and drive sales and profits to your bottom line.
USING YOUTUBE AS A SALES TOOL
Selling via YouTube can be simple. We’ll cover it all in this one paragraph. If you’ve already got product videos, trade show event videos, panel discussions, and technical instruction videos you’ve already got the content. By using YouTube video instead of sending out CD’s or DVD’s that can melt, freeze and break or just get lost in the field, YouTube provides a single web location where your sales, support and channel partners can access the videos quickly and easily.
1. By seeing and hearing the same video over and over your team of people become more attuned to product features.
2. You Channel partners can Favorite your videos so your video appears on their YouTube channel of vendors, distributors, agents, or dealers.
3. You can find other informational videos that complimentary manufacturers or suppliers have posted and favorite them to your channel so YOUR company becomes a “resource”
4. You can “subscribe” and also become “friends” with your customer’s YouTube channels so that their competitors (your other customers in many cases) start to see your company name appear.
5. If you do live video presentations for training, you can have them auto upload to your YouTube channel in many cases.
There are two very important things you should be aware of when thinking about YouTube for your business:
1. YouTube is it’s own social network.
2. YouTube is owned by Google.
YouTube is a wonderful sales tool for your outside and inside sales people to direct customers to your videos. We encourage you to first direct customers and vendors to you website and then click a button link from there. This increases your backlinks in the Google Algorithm. We’ll talk a bit more about that…
Creating a YouTube channel is as easy as clicking the “Create Account” and filling out the form. But, therein lies the first problem. Make sure that you have checked for availability and selected a brand name that you want to use across all Social Media outlets before you select a Channel name. This issue starts to crop up quite often when companies “shoot from the hip” and start creating social media platforms willy-nilly.
The logic is “My 15 year old niece can create a YouTube channel so it can’t be that complicated” In fact, it’s not complicated but your 15 year old niece probably isn’t worried about how she appears in Google’s search algorithm: That is, how YOUR company appears to search engines.
Before you can start selling on YouTube you should have a basic understanding of how your channel is going to be perceived. That’s the first thing we’re going to cover.
When you set up your channel be sure to fill in all the fields and understand what functions they serve.
Channel Description – This is an often overlooked field that new-to-YouTubers generally overlook. The Channel Description is what will appear on OTHER people’s channel if they add your channel to theirs. If you don’t put any information here, nobody is necessarily going to know what you do and who you are to click on your name when your logo starts to appear on other YouTube Channels.
About Me – This is where you put a more detailed description of what you and your company specialize in. If you have a descriptive company profile already you can just paste it in the field. When you put in your description ask yourself “what does this tell people?” If it says:
“Since 1827, we have been constantly upgrading our technology to provide our customers with cutting edge products. Not only do we provide our customers with top quality products, we provide the best service in our industry. We provide superior customer care and top quality performance”
Although that sounds nice, it really doesn’t tell the search engines much about what you do so it probably isn’t going to show up in many searches when people are searching for a solution to their problem.
At the other extreme are the “black hat” spammers. “We’ll list every keyword that people could possibly put in search” so that we appear everywhere:
“Kitchen sink, mop, broom, birthday cards, etc etc”
According to Google recent statement: “Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.” – February 24, 2011
In essence, write a compelling description of what your company does.
Some examples of mis-steps with YouTube
The best way to understand how the Channel Description works is by viewing it on another channel. To the right is an example of several channels.
Note how the first few have a company logo, a channel name, (typically the company name) and a short description of what they do.
As you move near the bottom of the list you see where someone named “lspencer” created a company YouTube channel. The company name is smashed in with the person’s name
In Konica Minolta’s case, the channel name is so long that it is cropped off and there is no description.
Ning, a rather large social media website with 49 million monthly users can even make mistakes. Note that there is no channel description.
Iscar is a rather large company that was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2004 for $4 Billion. Even big companies can make the mistake of not inputting their logo or description.
Parlec Inc. is a small niche manufacturer and making a similar mistake to Iscar. In certain product areas Parlec competes head-to-head with Iscar. In Social Media everyone is still learning, so small companies can look better than even the biggest of competitors. You can use this to your advantage right now if you take the time to do it properly.
Subscribing to a channel
When you subscribe to a channel it is automatically tweeted to your followers on Twitter if you have set up Twitter and linked it to your YouTube account. That is an important fact to keep in mind. By subscribing to a YouTube Channel your logo appears on the YouTube channel you have subscribed to. Part of your strategy is to not only utilize your channel for your sales force but to get in front of other potential or existing customers when they visit other channels whether they be vendors, or industry partners.
By requesting to be friends with other companies (channels) on YouTube your logo appears a second time. Generally, most companies in the industrial markets are slowly learning about this aspect so, at the present time, you are one of the select few to appear on the front page of many channels.
You can leave comments on other channels. This is especially important if you have added a channel partner to your Favorites or Playlists as it increases your exposure to customers. If, for example, a competitor leads a mutual customer to a shared vendor YouTube channel and your company is posted as a friend or subscriber and you have left a comment the perception is that your company has a better relationship with that vendor. You should encourage your vendors to THANK YOU for adding them to your channel by posting a “thank you” comment.
Channel views are the number of times that someone, anyone, even yourself, looks at your channel. The number itself is not in real time, and may jump suddenly from day to day.
This is an accumulated total of all the views on all your videos.
YouTube Video descriptions and tags
When you upload a video to your channel be sure to take advantage of both Description and Tags. Just like in your channel description write some details about what the specific video you have uploaded is about. Be specific and use adjectives to target people searching for your products.
One of the simplest things that you can do when adding a video is the most often forgotten one. It’s also the one that matters most to search engines. It’s called a “Tag” It’s rather simple, it’s the keywords that a customer might search for that is covered in your video. It goes without saying but be sure to match your title and description to the tags.
Playlists are a great way of filing your videos as you start to load more and more videos and the topics start to get more specific. It’s also a good way to segment third party videos that you may have favorited because they may be useful for your customers. By using the functions in YouTube you can “feature” different videos each week or each month or even change it to AutopPlay a video when someone visits your site. This can be especially useful if your are doing a trade show or event that you know you’re going to be talking about one of your products.
If there is a select group of YouTube channels you want to feature or highlight from your friends or subscribers you can easily add them by pasting their user name into the features area. You can also adjust the order of how they appear. The only caveat to this, as we talked about previously, is that many companies have not completed the “Channel Description” field in their profile so their “tagline” does not appear under their channel name.
Additionally, they may or may not have selected a “good” name for their YouTube channel. This will affect how they appear in searches but this element is beyond your control. However, your channel is optimized correctly when it appears on other sites, if you’ve filled in the fields.
if you have other ideas or comments about YouTube as a sales tool, I’d love to get your feedback.
Bernard T Martin, President – Rapid Production Marketing
232 Dogwood Circle – Baden, PA 15005-2346 – c: 412.996.5700
LinkedIn: Bernard Martin