How Small Businesses Are Using YouTube to Find Customers

small businesses using youtube

It’s no surprise that customers are doing more of their shopping on mobile devices.  After all, the move toward mobile has been increasing for a few years now.

What may be a bit of a surprise is where customers are starting their purchase journeys.  One of the places they start is … YouTube.

Yes, the mega-mammoth video site is a place where small businesses are finding more and more of their customers. Or perhaps, I should put it this way:  YouTube is where more and more customers are finding small businesses.

Think Mobile, Think YouTube

You might be wondering, what’s the connection between YouTube and mobile?  It turns out that over 50 percent of YouTube’s video views occur on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.  In other words, when you think YouTube, think “mobile” along with it.

It’s not hard to understand why so many people are viewing videos on mobile devices.  Videos tend to be shared a lot on social sites. People check social media using mobile devices.

Videos are often viewed in spare moments, such as while people are waiting in line and commuting to and from work.  And people go to videos not just for fun, but to research topics.

When they see an ad with a video, it’s a natural next step to go shopping with that ad fresh in their minds.  Consumers are doing more of their shopping on mobile, too.

Businesses trying to reach millennials may want to pay special attention. Google research notes that YouTube reaches more viewers between the ages of 18 and 34 than any single cable network.

One of the companies that uses YouTube ads is Cosatto, a baby products retailer.  The retailer is reaching out via video ads targeting an audience that is on YouTube researching baby products.

Think “How To”, Think YouTube

Here’s another way that small businesses are getting customer attention through YouTube: via how-to videos.

YouTube is do-it-yourself nirvana.  According to figures by Google, “searches relating to ‘how to’ on YouTube have grown 70% year over year” between Q1 of 2014 and Q2 of 2105.

So if you want to attract the attention of your target market, create a video that answers a commonly asked how-to question relevant to your products and services.  Claire Mudd, Head of Americas SMB Marketing at Google, offered an example of a small business using how-to videos to get the attention of its target market. She writes in a blog post today on the Google and Your Business Blog:

“So if someone searches for “how to make a holiday cocktail” and your company sells those ingredients, your video ad can show up in that moment. Ole Smoky Moonshine, a corn whiskey distillery from Tennessee, wanted to position itself as a great addition to specialty beverages for holiday parties. To raise brand awareness ahead of the holiday season, the company partnered with their agency VaynerMedia, to introduce the “C’mon Live a Little” tagline among their key audience of 21­ to ­34­ year­ olds in zip codes near their distilleries. The campaign featured a series of short TrueView video ads which drove a 22% increase in brand awareness and 1,115% increase in related keyword searches.

To stand out, include your business logo, a link to your website (or phone number) and a strong call-to-action in your video ad. Having a memorable ‘hook’ at the start of the ad can also capture people’s attention, lead to more views and increase the chances they’ll search for your business afterwards.”

More Examples of Small Businesses Using YouTube

There are more examples of small businesses using YouTube in Mudd’s blog post that went up earlier today, including additional research statistics.  Check it out.

Youtube app image via Shutterstock – editorial usage license

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.