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Webucator's Free Introduction to Social Media Tutorial

Lesson: YouTube

Welcome to our free Introduction to Social Media tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Social Media Training course.

YouTube is a very popular video hosting and video sharing service. YouTube is owned by Google and YouTube results show up in Google searches.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about using YouTube for branding purposes.
  • Learn about using YouTube for sales opportunities.
  • Learn about using YouTube for SEO benefits.
  • Learn about using YouTube for support and customer service functions.
  • Learn about setting up an internal YouTube policy.
  • Learn about tools, services, and management.
  • Learn about tracking activity and results from using YouTube.

YouTube for Branding

With YouTube, your business has the opportunity to share video content such that it is searchable within YouTube and Google. Some things to consider for your company brand on YouTube are:

  1. Do you want to post all company-related videos that you create, or will you focus on just one area, such as your product videos?
  2. Do you want to engage with YouTube users by allowing and responding to comments?
  3. Do you want to have one YouTube channel or multiple YouTube channels?

If your company already has a YouTube channel, or multiple channels, it is important to assess how your brand is portrayed through the content that is featured and the interaction with viewers, and to think about whether there is anything you would add or change in terms of content or interaction.

YouTube has a lot of interaction among users, and some users will post inappropriate comments on your videos. Be prepared to monitor these closely.

Examples of YouTube Channels

The screenshot below shows Verizon Wireless's YouTube channel:

Things to note from this Verizon Wireless channel example include:

  1. You can brand the page with your logo, as seen on the far left.
  2. You can see how many subscribers you have on the top right.
  3. You're able to feature one video, as shown in the middle, that all viewers will see when entering your channel.

Beyond the option described above, YouTube also offers larger companies the option to host a Branded Channel, for which companies need to commit to spending money with Google Advertising, estimated at more than $200,000.


On the engagement side of YouTube, you have the opportunity to get subscribers. A subscriber will be notified each time you add a new video resource to your channel.

Ideally, by just adding great video content, subscribers will come. However, it is common for companies to invite past/prospective customers to subscribe to their channel content.

YouTube Channel Brainstorming

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will develop thoughts on your company's YouTube efforts.

Develop three ideas for your company to get subscribers to your YouTube channel. You may want to consider:

  1. If your company already has a YouTube channel, or multiple channels, take a look at the way your brand is portrayed through the content that is featured. What are your thoughts on the current strategy? Is there anything you would add or change in terms of content?
  2. What reasons might your current and potential clients have for subscribing to your channel?
  3. How can you integrate YouTube videos with your other marketing efforts?

YouTube for Sales

From a sales perspective, it is generally desirable to have great video content that is easy to find by your ideal customers and that leads your customers back to your website. Things to consider when creating videos include:

  1. What titles to use for your videos. Videos with SEO-friendly titles are more likely to show up on Google searches.
  2. How to get viewers to share your videos. If you have or can create a viral video campaign that is highly appealing to your ideal customer base, think about what you will do to encourage your customers to share this with others.
  3. How to get viewers back to your website. Consider including links to your website in the video description and right within the video itself:
  4. Whether or not to purchase ads for your videos. If you do, your ads will show up when a user searches for relevant keywords.

YouTube for SEO

YouTube is not particularly helpful with respect to getting existing pages on your website to show up better in search engines. However, because Google delivers YouTube videos in their organic results, it does present an opportunity to get additional visitors to your website via organic search. For example, if Google sees a user search for XYZ topic and they see that ABC video offers an ideal match, Google may deliver the video in search results.

The following example shows how you might incorporate SEO into your YouTube strategy:

Pretend your company is an Apple repair facility and you offer online help (for a fee) for MacBook Air users who have problems.

Using the Google Keyword Tool (reachable by searching or within Google AdWords), you can see how popular some related terms are among Google searchers.

As you can see in the above screen shot, there are an estimated 2,900 global searches and 1,300 U.S. searches for the keyword fix MacBook Air. Given this, you might create a video showing how to fix a common problem with MacBook Air, and title it Fix MacBook Air.

As you can see in the below results for a Google search for the same keyword phrase, some of the results Google delivers are YouTube videos:

Those channels used the desired keyword in the title (notated by the bold text) and in the beginning of the description, and now have an opportunity to sell their services to viewers. If your video showed up here, you could use it to demonstrate your expertise and then direct people with additional problems to your site.

When it comes to SEO and YouTube, you might find it relatively easy to determine the perfect keywords for your video; however, you shouldn't expect overnight results as it can take time to get people to view your videos.

YouTube for Support

Two ways to incorporate YouTube into your support strategy are:

  1. If your support teams are coming across numerous related questions, consider developing a video highlighting the solution. You can then have your team direct users to that video content.
  2. Have your support team search YouTube for existing videos showing solutions to problems your customers have and share these videos on your channel.

YouTube Policy

When we look at policy for YouTube, the same considerations we discussed for other platforms are important.

  1. Point-of-Contact: Your company should select one person or a team internally who can handle all of interaction among users of YouTube.
  2. Content: Your company should determine a policy stating which employees have access to the company's YouTube channel and have the rights to upload and share videos.
  3. Comment Response: Your company should create a protocol on who responds to comments and on how negative responses are handled. Some companies will not respond to negative tweets; others see negative tweets as opportunities to engage in a discussion that can change mindsets by posting and responding appropriately.

Tools, Services, and Management

Specific to tools and services, YouTube has everything built right into the platform. The only external tool decision is going to be which video production tool to use.

Within YouTube, you can now edit any of your uploaded videos very easily. Consider the following screenshot:

For each video, you can open up the editing tools and make any desired changes such as cropping, new effects, and audio adjustments. This tool is very user friendly.

YouTube also offers tools to help you create videos at http://www.youtube.com/create.

From a management perspective, here are two considerations:

  1. Make sure you have a specific policy related to who can post videos and respond to video comments on behalf of your company.
  2. Encourage employees to help provide content for videos.

Other Video Sites

There are numerous video hosting sites out there available to your business, but most are just for hosting videos on internal websites, and not for SEO/outreach purposes.

But, we would be remiss in this lesson to not mention one of YouTube's newest competitors: Vimeo.com.

From Vimeo's website: Vimeo is a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make. We provide the best tools and highest quality video in the universe.

Vimeo, tailored to creative professionals, does boast some high-quality videos and a very loyal following, but does not seem to do very well from an SEO perspective.

Look at the following screenshot:

You can tell through this one video example that the engagement can be very high, but most videos are tailored for individual's use versus a company. If your company and your employees are on the creative side of the company spectrum, Vimeo could be an ideal fit.

Tracking Activity and Results

Another tool YouTube provides is YouTube Analytics:

For this Dreamweaver video, you can see a detailed overview of the users viewing the video including number of views, location, and other demographic information.

As with our other discussions, determining how much traffic you are receiving from YouTube is important. You may be getting a lot of views, but how many of those users are actually following through and visiting your desired web page? Google Analytics can be used to evaluate this information.


Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will develop thoughts on using YouTube.

How will you use YouTube in your organization? Consider:

  1. On which topics might you be able to create videos?
  2. What are some common questions your customers ask that could be answered through a video?
  3. Once you have developed some topic ideas, look up search keywords that might be used to find the video.
  4. Using YouTube's search tool, search for topics related to your industry. Are any of your competitors advertising their videos?
  5. Briefly explore Vimeo, searching for topics that are relevant to your industry. Based on the results, do you think your company would benefit by having a presence on Vimeo as well?