YouTube Marketing Mistakes

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Over the past couple of years, we’ve been delving into the world of YouTube. With our clients, we use YouTube to post testimonials, demonstrations, tutorials and other informational clips. We are constantly brainstorming and discovering new ways to use this new and highly-effective social media tool, so this article by Mashable has been helpful to us.

Mashable recently released an article on the Top 5 YouTube Marketing Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses. This article contains advice from three top experts on video marketing and how they recommend avoiding these top five YouTube mistakes:

1. Having Unrealistic Expectations

When small businesses upload a video, they believe that in order for it to be successful, it must be viewed by millions.

“Remind yourself that having a video go viral is a notable success, not the norm,” says Matt Smith, director of strategy at digital agency The Viral Factory.

No matter how good the video content is, you can’t just upload it to YouTube and wait for viewers to watch it. Businesses need to have a strong and well thought out promotion and distribution plan.

We use other social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, to share YouTube videos.

2. Thinking Small

Keeping realistic expectations is important, but don’t weigh out the possibility of your video going viral just because you’re a small business.

“There are plenty of small brands that think they need to be a Nike or an Adidas to be successful in social video,” says Sarah Wood, founder of social video distribution and engagement company Unruly Media. “This is simply not true! Any brand, large or small, can score a hit in social video.”

3. Treating a Viral Video as a Commercial

Don’t limit your video content to an ad on a limitless new media outlet.

“When you go into online video with the understanding that it can do more than just sell a product or service, you’re already ahead of the game,” says Justin Gonzalez, social media strategist for Bars+Tones, creative video agency.

YouTube is a social media site where people want to engage in fun content, so don’t limit your company to the old sales pitch style.

4. Putting All Your Eggs in the YouTube Basket

“Youtube My Facebook” from Cedric Vella on Vimeo.

YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms, but definitely not the only one!  We try and use YouTube as much as it seems fit, but for some of our clients, YouTube is not the best social platform.

“Businesses that want to leverage the word of mouth potential of social video need to focus away from just YouTube and explore the world of social video that exists beyond YouTube, Twitter and Facebook,” says Wood.

5. Basing Success on View Counts Alone

Most businesses upload content on YouTube and anxiously watch the numbers increase and wish to get 1 million views. Although achieving 1 million views is impressive, you can’t base your success on the number of views; meaningful engagement is what matters. Of course we love seeing our number of views increase, we like to watch for comments for viewers, which can give much more feedback and be much more meaningful.

“Sometimes marketers get bogged down in looking at the metrics and trying to determine whether the number of video views really made a difference in the bottom line, or whether it was just enough to build buzz around the product or service,” says Gonzalez. “When you can clearly define why it’s necessary for your business to be on YouTube, you’re ready to move on to the next steps.”

Keep these YouTube mistakes in mind as you begin experimenting with it as a marketing tool.

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