WTFTR: How to Leverage YouTube for Your Business

It’s been a hot minute since we last delved into the bowels of social media for your business. But—listen up—the comeback is real. This week, we’re kicking off a new series called WTFTR (or We Talk FTR…get your mind out of the gutter) with a look at that time sucking albatross your inbox knows all too well: YouTube.

Oh, you thought YouTube was just for wasting time and pondering the balance of nature? (See: cat versus pelican.) Well, you’re only half right. YouTube can also be a productive way for your business to reach potential customers. To find out how, we talked to Traditions Media Director of Social Marketing Dena Woerner. Woerner, who handles some of the most high profile social media accounts in the fishing industry, says the real power of YouTube lies in creating how-to videos.

Dena Woerner

“More and more people are going to Youtube to find out how to do things they need to do,” said Woerner. “It’s become common practice for me to find out that my daughter can do something amazing and when I ask how she learned it, she gives me that look. You know, the look just shy of an eye roll that could easily be followed with a, ‘duh!’ And then the words slap my forehead for me…Youtube. I’m not talking little tasks, either. She found out how to work on her car, she created wall décor for her room that looks like she paid a fortune for it, and if she needed to learn how to bait a hook, I bet she’d go to Uncle YouTube for instruction before asking dear old Mom.”

Recent web statistics back Woerner’s intuition. David Mogensen, YouTube and Google Display’s Head of B2B Marketing, writes that 91 percent of smartphone users turn to their devices while completing a task. And a whopping 67 percent of millennials (generally agreed to be anyone born from the early 1980s into the 2000s) agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.

But you don’t care about millennials, do you? If you don’t, Woerner believes you need to rethink that strategy ASAP. “If you think millennials aren’t your market, think again. They are the future of fishing. This is where they are and where they are going to learn the how-to’s of the industry. Sure, there are step-by-step guides and blogs, but video shows you how to actually do something.”

From the standpoint of an actual living, breathing and fishing millennial, I absolutely agree. Despite the common refrain that millennials are cheap—coming of age in a recession will do that to you—the reality is that many of my peers are absolutely obsessed with the outdoors and adventure. Millennials are making big money on social media, and they’re also spending big money traveling to Instagram- and Snapchat-worthy destinations…like that lake down the road from your store.

Here’s a great example of a how-to video with over 400,000 views. It’s a little long, but it’ll do:

Now that your gears are turning, let’s talk about some easy ways to actually put your money where our mouth is with some simple guidelines to creating YouTube videos.

  • Identify what consumers want to know and how your brand fits in.
  • Make your YouTube video short and sweet. 90 seconds or less if possible. Show basic, how-to steps.
  • Always mention your brand. Try to do so before the end of your video, as some viewers may drop before the end.
  • Use descriptive titles to make your how-to video easy to find.
  • Be sure to set a keyword with your video on the fishing terms that apply to your lesson and also for how-to lists.
  • Share your video on other social media outlets.
  • Remember, you don’t need professional video equipment to shoot a how-to video. Honestly, a simple smartphone with a tripod will do.

If you manage to do these things, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve made one more stride towards bringing a new generation of anglers into your store.

What kind of impact will that single stride make? That’s hard to predict.

Woerner cites a Google report that claims, “nearly three million millennials have purchased a product after having watched a brand tutorial.” Google owns YouTube, so they have a vested interest in creating some dynamic numbers to support content on the platform, but the numbers could be even higher if you take into account Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) videos—not to mention Vine and Snapchat.

Wow! That’s overwhelming, right? Yes, social media is a beast, and tackling YouTube in itself is unlikely to send you soaring into a new stratosphere of sales; however, YouTube is an excellent place to begin.

When it comes to search results, you can almost guarantee that Google is going to give themselves some love in their rankings. And you can almost guarantee that someone searching for a new way to use a product is going to search for that way on Google.