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Promoting Products and Services via YouTube

So far, I’ve talked about videos that only broadly promote your company, in terms of enhancing your company’s image. You can also use YouTube more directly to promote your company’s products and services—that is, to drive potential customers to your website where they can purchase what you sell. To do this, you need to produce and upload videos that function as online infomercials, subtly promoting your company’s products and services.

Let’s say that you offer gift baskets for sale. You create a short video for YouTube about how to make gift baskets—something that would be of interest to anyone in the market for them. You prominently display your web page address and phone number within the video, and in the descriptive text that accompanies the video on the YouTube site. Because the video has some informational content (the how-to information), it attracts viewers, and a certain percentage of these will follow through to purchase the gift baskets you have for sale.

Or maybe you’re a business consultant and you want to promote your consulting services. To demonstrate what you have to offer potential clients, you create and upload some sort of short video—a motivational lecture, perhaps, or a slideshow about specific business practices, or something similar. You use the video to establish your expert status and then display your email address or web page URL to solicit business for your consulting services.

Or maybe you have a full-length DVD for sale. You excerpt a portion of DVD and upload it to YouTube, with graphics before and after (and maybe even during) the video detailing how the full-length DVD can be ordered.

Likewise if you’re a musician with CDs to sell, an author with books to sell, an artist with paintings or other artwork to sell, or a crafts maker with various crafts and such to sell. The musician might create a music video to promote his CDs; the author might read an excerpt from her book; the artist might produce a photo slideshow of his work; and the crafts maker might upload a short video walk-through of pieces she has for sale. Make sure you include details for how the additional product can be ordered, and let your placement on YouTube do the promotion for you.

As an example, Charles Smith Pottery offers a series of instructional videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to use a pottery wheel. Interested viewers can then access the accompanying website (detailed both in the video and in the video’s description) to learn more and to see what products the company has for sale.

Another example is t he San Francisco Electric Tour Company, which offers Segway tours of the San Francisco Bay Area. The company created an entertaining demo video about the Segway and their tours and then uploaded the video to YouTube. Interested people can view the video and then contact the firm to schedule a tour. It’s quite synergistic.

Then there’s John Pullum, a hypnotist and mind reader who provides corporate entertainment and motivational speeches. He’s uploaded videos of several of his appearances to YouTube; they’re both entertaining and informational regarding the services that he has to offer. Any viewer who likes what they see can then go to his website to learn more or to arrange an engagement.

The key is to create a video that people actually want to watch. That means something informative, useful, or entertaining. It can’t be a straight commercial, because people don’t like to watch commercials. It has to provide value to the viewer.

Once you get the viewer hooked, you lead him back to your website where your goods or services are for sale. It’s a two-step process—watch the video, then go to the website to learn more or buy something. If your video is interesting enough, viewers will make the trip to your website to close the deal.

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