YouTube for Business: Is It Worth It?

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard of YouTube. It's a popular video-sharing platform many people use to watch shows or listen to music. But, did you know you can use it for business, too?

A lot of people capitalize on the site's viewership — which is approximately 2 billion users — to build their companies and their brand. This might have you thinking that it could be useful for your business, too. Chances are, that's true. Let's take a deeper look at the platform and how it works.

How Does It Work?

Businesses, like personal users, have to create an account on the site. The good news is it's free for companies, just like for individuals. That means no immediate out-of-pocket expenses. You'll need to invest in promotional materials, though, such as ads to direct users to your videos. Many people use YouTube as an eCommerce communication tool, and it's one of the most recommended direct-to-consumer trends.

YouTube Strategy

There are multiple ways you can use YouTube to promote a business. The first is one of the most common, by creating video ads. These clips air between videos for free users. They can range from a few seconds to a few minutes long, depending on how long it takes to get your message across. The longer the video, the more it'll cost, but there's good news: you only pay if someone actually watches a minimum of 30 seconds of your video, or if they click on the ad within to visit your company website. This will drive more traffic to your site, but it's not making money directly from YouTube.

Monetizing YouTube

If you're looking to monetize YouTube, you have to use your account to actually create and post videos. This means creating a channel and regularly posting videos to it. They can be short clips or long ones, it's up to you. The more you post, the more chances you have to make money, but you don't want to post just anything. YouTube also has to approve your application to be part of the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Capitalizing on Your Channel

It's important that your channel has a coherent theme. For example, if your business is beauty products, focus your content on that. Create how-to videos showing viewers your products in action. You can also post tutorials, tips and care techniques to further engage your viewers. If you run an informational-type business, then consider making documentaries or educational videos. Animated videos and interviews also do well, it's all about how creative you are and how much you put into it.

Your channel doesn't have to be the main source of income, but it can be a large part of it. There are several ways to earn money on YouTube, including:
  • Premium revenue
  • Advertising
  • Memberships
  • Merchandise
Each of these methods requires meeting specific criteria. For example, to offer memberships to your channel, YouTube requires you have more than 30,000 subscribers. To sell with a merchandise shelf, you need more than 10,000. All of the avenues require that you be 18 or older. Make sure you review all of the terms and conditions before applying, lest you be rejected for not meeting set criteria.

Getting Subscribers

Subscribers are the backbone of your channel, they provide the support you need to grow, and the views you need to make money. Make sure you have a link or an icon leading to your YouTube channel and always promote it in an article, blog or newsletter. The more people know about it, the more chance you have to grow your base.

Another good idea is to engage your subscribers. Interact with them, responding to messages when possible and they're likely to share the channel with their friends and family who may have similar interests. SmartReply is a new feature that makes responding easier. You can set tailored responses to specific topics because let's face it, responding to every message just isn't feasible.

All in all, the platform can prove to be a valuable resource. You just have to know how to put it to work for you. Even if you're a beginner and have never used a camera before, there are plenty of resources to get you started — you can even find videos to teach you on YouTube! Even if you just use it to supplement your business, it can prove to be a valuable resource in growing your company and revenue streams.

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