How to Use the Most Powerful Sales Tool: YouTube

Oct14_Post 1In baseball utility players are never the stars; they’re pretty good at everything, but don’t excel in anything.

In content marketing, the story is different. According to a study conducted by Aol Platform, when it comes to online sales, YouTube works best at the beginning of the sales cycle and also as the “closer.”

In product videos, YouTube is used 18 percent of the time at the top of the sales funnel and 14 percent of the time as the last step in the sales cycle. In addition, it’s used 14 percent of the time as the sole content vehicle for online sales. Not only should you have a YouTube channel, you should use it directly on your site.

Its nearest competitor is Facebook which is used 11 percent at the top of the funnel and 10 percent at the end.

Do you look at your analytics and wonder what you can do to lower your bounce rate and increase your engagement time? One word: video. A Comscore study said that last December the US watched 52.4 billion hours of online video with the average American logging more than 19 hours of web video.

Since those figures came from last December, another thought comes to mind: if you’re a retail business, perhaps video is your ticket to killer holiday sales this year. And with so much on the line, let’s look at how you should approach video content creation and share some tips.

Forget DIY Product Shoots

You may be fine at videoing your kid’s birthday party, but take it up a level when you want to portray your products or your company in an online video. If you’re editing together static shots from a variety of angles, you want a professional lighting setup. If things have to move and be demonstrated, you want a local pro behind the camera and in the editing room. When you plan your video, put yourself in the place of someone who knows nothing about your product. Don’t take things for granted.

If you’re selling a service – perhaps yourself – don’t stand in front of a white wall and just start talking. This is perhaps the most difficult video to create and I’ve seen so many professionals think they can just talk to the camera. Outline what you want to say and get a professional script written. The final video may be better as a montage of stills with limited video of you. In a world with services like Elance and others you can find a good voice-over person to do the narration without paying a fortune.

Get Your Customers/Users Involved

There are a variety of ways you can get users to upload videos of your product. If you have a WordPress site, there are plugins that get this done. Getting your fan base to upload video for you is a powerful means of social media marketing. Create a hashtag for this purpose. You can encourage fan videos by honoring the best each month with some kind of prize or notoriety. When your customers feature your business through their social media accounts you’re able to reach new prospects with very little investment.

Go Beyond Basic Product Videos

Use video to answer customer questions before they ask them. Maybe you sell a variety of related products or services. How do they compare to one another? Should a new customer buy the entry-level product, or go for all the bells and whistles? Don’t be afraid to honestly compare your product line. Customers want to know.

Make Buying Easy

Integrate videos into your purchasing pages. Don’t corral all your videos in a place on your website that requires additional clicks if customers what to push a “buy now” button. It doesn’t do any good to engage a customer with video and then have them drop out of the transaction trying to get to the purchase page. Also, make sure your videos aren’t too long and that they load quickly.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the power of video and YouTube. After all, the medium engages viewers through both hearing and seeing. The question now is if you’ve seen and heard enough to get truly serious about selling with video.

Image: Aro Video Sign Wellington, © 2009 Newsbie Pix, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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ChamberofCommerce.com specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Chamber is focused on providing the latest business news, small business advice, and helpful tips and resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs and mid to enterprise level companies. Follow us on Twitter at @ChamberOnline.

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