The oldest bicycle retailer in America under one families’ ownership is located in Ontario, California. Bumstead’s Bicycles is now owned by the forth and fifth generation of Bumsteads. But in their 99th year things were pretty rocky. After a failed attempt to move into larger, more expensive, quarters, they questioned whether they would be celebrating number 100. One thing they tried was YouTube Videos. Lloyd Bumstead points to creation of a series of YouTube videos as one of the best decisions they made in 2008. “In one weekend alone we had three new customers buy bicycles who were drawn by our videos.” Lloyd and son Garrison are now in year 101.
Why is YouTube working for small businesses? Visual media is trusted. Many consumers prefer to get their information by video instead of text. The emotion and energy of a powerful visual presentation convert visitors to buyers better than print. Use of music and special effects accomplish things that no other media can duplicate. But in this internet age, the big deal about YouTube is how easily you can get visibility on Google search. It is not uncommon for a thoughtfully keyworded YouTube Video to show up higher than your $5000 website.
In fact, Google is now making a concerted effort to “mix media” on page 1 search results. That’s why you now see news, images, videos, and local search engine results right on the top page mixed in with traditional websites. It is now estimated that a YouTube video is 27 times more likely to show up on page 1 of a Google search for your important keywords than a website. Results happen quickly, too. Commonly your YouTube video will be seen on Google search within hours.
What does it take to create a video that might get such startling results? You can either do it yourself or hire a professional video production company to do it for you. The cost for a professional will range from a few hundred dollars complete to $1000 per minute. For YouTube purposes a good $300 video is probably all you need. Inexpensive videos might include a staff member explaining the benefits of a product, service, or the company itself, but many videos are simple compilations of still pictures, text slides, super text, and music.
Going it on your own is simpler than you might expect, and yet the potential return on your time investment may depend on a serious commitment to getting past the basics that follow. Excellent results may require digging into tutorials available on the web. Learning how to “tell your story” in a way that captures and holds the viewer’s attention long enough to create action is more art than science. That said, here are the basics you will need to do it yourself.
- Camera – Almost any camera that takes digital video will work. I like the Casio Exilim cameras. You can even get the job done with the Flip.
- Movie Editing Program – Apple’s IMovie is fantastic, but there are many free programs available.
- The Script – Plan out what you want to say and how you want to tell the story.
- Directing – Whether you are only directing yourself or others, admonish the story teller to just relax. They can do it over as often as necessary. Also, YouTube is a relaxed environment. Many viewers don’t want the material to be too commercial.
- Upload your contents into your editing program. Add still shots as inserts or breaks in the action. Create an intro and credits. Edit the video down to the point where you story is fully told. Add music if you dare. Music is a big plus at least for the intro. Here is an example of a YouTube video created for a bike shop that captures these ideas and has successfully sold a lot of product.
- Upload to YouTube. Your Title should be keyword rich, but still attract viewers. Your description can be really long. Start with your website URL, then add content. Some suggest the description should be a transcript of what’s on the video. Tell the visitor what action to take. Add keyword tags.
- Promote your video. Get friends to go to the video and give it a 5 star rating and make nice comments. Add the video to Facebook, blogs, and your website. Tell your followers to go see it.
- Finally, do Google searches under the keywords that you targeted. See where you are showing up.
There you have it. Easy and actually fun. Go back to your YouTube account, look under insite, and track the results. You may even want to tweak the title or keywords to try and get better traffic. What is a success? Hard to know. The best gauge? Does anyone buy anything from you because they saw the YouTube video. Five views a day and one order a week is better than 50 views a day and no orders. buy 4000 watch hours on youtube