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The Google guide to growing your small business with video

We hear from Shane Nolan, director of SMB UK & Ireland at Google, who shares his top tips for raising your brand profile with video as people globally watch over 300m hours of video each day on YouTube alone.
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Online video has become an important way for businesses of all sizes to show off their products and services and reach new customers. This means it’s worth considering how video can play into your online marketing plan.

But first identifying your business goals will help you decide the most effective way to use online video. It’s important to keep in mind what your customers may be looking for before taking the next step.

For example, if you run a specialist grocer and you have a website where you share vegetarian recipes and sell specialty ingredients related to them, video allows you to bring that experience to life and share step by step preparation guides.

Even if you don’t make your own video, your audience is still likely to want to watch someone else’s cooking and baking videos. If your audience enjoys cooking, why not advertise alongside other cooking video content?

With video advertising, you can select certain types of content, or even specific videos, on which to advertise. You could pick someone else’s channel, such as Food Tube or SORTEDfood, or a specific video about vegetarian cooking. Your ad could direct viewers to your website, or tell them about your products.

If you decide that creating your own content on a YouTube channel is the way to go, you can build a following of subscribers to the channel and amplify the number of people who can view your videos by sharing them across your other social media accounts.

Videos can be entertaining, educational, informative and inspirational, just make sure they reflect what your company stands for and enhance your business objectives.

Look at Bristol-based adventure expedition provider, Secret Compass. As it sells experiences, the best way to show people what they offer is via YouTube.

slikhaarshop.com is an online store that sells hair care and styling products. Its YouTube channel has eight million views, close to one million subscribers and around 50 per cent of customers now come to its online store via the video site – all because it started recording video reviews of its products.

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When uploading content to YouTube, be sure to use accurate titles, relevant keywords and detailed descriptions. Not only will this help viewers know what to expect, it will also help your videos appear in search results.

Include calls to action to encourage your audience to take the next step. This may include asking them to share across their social networks, visit your website, subscribe to a newsletter or write a comment.

And don’t forget to embed your video content on your website and share the links with your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, LinkedIn and Google+ communities.

When sharing any great social content, it’s also important to add multiple hashtags as they can improve your visibility on most sites and ensure the content is seen by people following various subjects or conversations such as #CookingTips, #HowToVideos, #BusinessIdeas or #RetailDeals.

Using hashtags will also enable you track the success of social posts and will form an important tool in your analytics tool-kit, which is important for understanding which social platforms are performing well and resulting in the best audience engagement.

Remember, to run a successful social media strategy, you need to understand where your audience is most likely to want to engage with your brand and what type of content will be most effective.

Social media isn’t like traditional media – you can’t broadcast marketing messages, you need to engage in conversations and create shareable short-form content that speaks to different audiences in different networks using a tone-of-voice that reflects your brand.

The best way to succeed is to try things out. Set objectives, test content, measure, analyse, amend and then your social strategy should succeed.

Online retailers should ensure they don’t miss out on the six imminent ecommerce developments to prepare for.

Shane Nolan, director of SMB UK & Ireland at Google, shares his top tips for raising your brand profile by using video. To find out more about video and digital marketing visit https://digitalgarage.withgoogle.com/

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