Got YouTube? You Need It — If Only For SEO

Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel

Fletcher Prince YouTube Channel

Was checking my website stats and my blog stats the other day.  I can see which sites referred people to my website and blog.  Guess where at least half of them came from?

Not Twitter.  Not my Facebook Page.  My YouTube Channel.

I knew video was one of the most compelling ways to convey your message.  I knew at least 25% of search processed through YouTube.   And I knew YouTube was important for SEO. I just had not realized until that moment how important it was to my brand.

Everyone Needs A YouTube Channel (Yes, You, Too)

I know I sound like a broken record — scratched CD? — when I say this… but if you and your company are not on YouTube, you’re really missing out on some fantastic SEO opportunities for your personal or business brand.

This is why I counsel my clients to allow me to create a branded YouTube Channel for them — even if they are not ready to create their own video.  YouTube provides a generous profile area and you can put your website link, blog link, and all your social media links there, if you want to.

You want to be there.  They estimate about a 1/4 of search processes through YouTube.

Weekend Homework For You!

This is what I recommend if you haven’t really stepped into YouTube, or if your company isn’t there yet: create a YouTube Channel for yourself, under your name.  For instance, I have one that is MaryFletcherJones. You have your own Facebook profile, right?  And your own Twitter account? And a LinkedIn Profile?  Well, you need your own, personal YouTube Channel (with your picture on it), as well.  The company one is not enough.

Use that Channel to look at fun videos and comment on videos related to what is important to you, either as professional or in your non-working life.  Maybe music videos.  Or movies (they have full-length movies for free on YouTube!)

For instance, I use that Channel to upload my vacation videos.  Now I own my name on YouTube, and that’s important to me, and I hope you will also recognize how important it is to own your personal brand online.  Your YouTube Channel should look good and you wouldn’t want to link to anything that would hurt your brand, but you can have some fun with it.  My personal YouTube Channel is my sandbox for experimenting with video.  (And I have other Channels, too, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So now that you have a personal YouTube Channel, see if you can, next, create a video channel for your company or nonprofit organization.  If you don’t have that authority, start the conversation at work. Having experience with your personal YouTube Channel will add reinforcement to your suggestion!

Brand That Business Channel!

Your official business or nonprofit Channel is where you should pay extra careful attention to branding.  For example, you will want to carefully design a YouTube Channel-friendly logo and background.  In my view, your YouTube Channel, Twitter Profile and Facebook Page should match, in appearance and message, to the greatest extent possible.  Not identically of course.  I like to think of these social media platforms like a luggage set.  You know how you can buy a matched set of luggage?  It all looks similar, but the individual pieces serve different (although related) purposes.

My company YouTube channel is Fletcher Prince.  You can check it out, and see the others channels we have created, to get an idea of what I mean by branding.

No Video?  No Problem!

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re worried because you have no video, right?  No worries.  Favorite a video that is related to your industry, a good quality, short one.  It will appear in on your Channel.  Now your Channel won’t look empty until you get around to uploading your own, original video.  And people will still visit your Channel and subscribe, yes, they will.  So when you do upload your first video, you will have a ready-made audience of supporters.  That’s important.

Being Social Is An Important Aspect of Engagement on YouTube

Should you subscribe to other YouTube Channels?  Well, yes, but not willy-nilly.  I think you should subscribe to the YouTube Channels of companies you do business with, your vendors, industry associations, and competitors.  You heard me right.  Subscribe to your competitors’ Channels.  For one thing, if you’re lucky, they will have enabled Subscribers view on their Channel, and then your logo will appear on their Channel!  How is that for crafty? 🙂  But more importantly, you can get updates on what they are doing, and how they are using this powerful medium. That’s valuable information. You might even emulate them.

How Much Will This Cost You?

YouTube is just fantastic for marketing.  So, you might be wondering about the hitch at this point.  Like, how much it costs.  A public relations professional with many years of experience (but fewer than mine) asked me what it cost to be on YouTube.  I was really surprised that she did not know that.  But if she doesn’t know, then maybe some of the rest of you don’t know.

So here’s the deal.  It is free.  See those ads?  That’s why it’s free for users.

We will help you design and set it up properly and of course, that service is not free (although it is reasonable).  But if you want to attempt it yourself, it will not cost you a dime.

Homework…Plus Extra Credit

So, this weekend, I would encourage each and every one of you to create your own YouTube Channel, under your name.  If you can, create a Channel for your business or nonprofit organzation (with authorization, of course).

  • Design and organize it well (or hire us to do it).  Add your hyperlinks.
  • Subscribe to about twenty Channels.  You don’t have to stop there!
  • Favorite a video, if you don’t have video to upload, so your Channel doesn’t look blank.
  • Use the Twitter button to share a video on your Twitter account.  Notice how the video plays right on the Twitter platform? Cool, huh?
  • Try adding a YouTube video to a WordPress blog post, or Facebook Page update.
  • Comment on other Channels and videos.

Then, let me know how you are using YouTube for your business or nonprofit.  And if we can help you get started with affordable YouTube video production or YouTube Channel design (even makeovers!), please give us a call (571) 269-7559.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on May 13, 2011, in Social Media Tips, YouTube Video Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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