By Cheryl Higley
We live in a very visual society, and YouTube has brought the power of video for businesses front and center. While the channel is flooded with giggling babies, silly gaffes and music videos, social media savvy companies are managing their professional presence on YouTube to get the word out about their companies.
As more companies warm to the idea of using social media to promote their business, like any marketing, it’s important to have a solid strategy. While some snow contractors have an established YouTube channel to showcase their work (check out Paul Vanderzon’s channel at vdzonpaul), suppliers of snow & ice equipment are ahead of the curve.
Pro-Tech Mfg. and Distribution is one such company (view Pro-Tech's YouTube page here). Marketing Communications Manager Jered Shuknecht, shared his suggestions for snow contractors who are considering this channel as a marketing tool:
What’s your goal? Pro-Tech’s ultimate goal with their YouTube channel is to help generate sales. Every video on YouTube point back to the company’s website through links in each video's info section. “The intent is to provide quality content, which will engage the viewer, pique their interest in our product, and drive them to the product pages on our website where hopefully their next step is to contact us with an interest in making a purchase.” From a snow contractor’s perspective, perhaps it’s showcasing testimonials, your service offering or showing your crews in action.
What’s the value? When setting up a YouTube channel, Shuknecht advises snow and ice professionals to make sure they have something of value to share and that they keep their brand in mind when designing the channel. In Pro-Tech’s case, it might be product demonstrations and tips, customer testimonials, humorous videos, company highlights, etc. And of course, they are the creators of Project Sno Fighter. “Video takes everything to a very personal level and has also allowed us to also share our stories as a company by putting employees in front of the camera and getting them involved in the process of educating viewers about our products. The effect of seeing an employee discuss the product is much more powerful compared to some actor or voiceover artist.”
What’s the investment? You don’t need to hire a film crew to establish a presence on YouTube. A flip camera or even a smartphone can suffice: “Some of the most popular videos on YouTube have been shot using the video camera on someone's smartphone. There are even apps available for smartphones that allow you to edit your video content and upload to your YouTube channel on the spot. YouTube now also provides video editing tools to users to enhance the content you upload,” he says.
Where to next? As the stats show, sharing across the social media channels is an ideal way to drive traffic to your channel. Shuknecht suggests embedding links in your videos to your website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. “There many opportunities for companies to cross pollinate their social content. Doing so will help strengthen your reach and the impact that you have with your online audience.” Once up and running, don’t forget to track your hits. “Tracking tools and analytics can be used to provide you with valuable feedback on what is working for you, where your traffic is finding you, and where you can improve.”
Does your company have a video presence? Do you subscribe to anyone on YouTube? Share your thoughts in the comment section.