Should your business have a YouTube channel?

A common question with an answer you might not expect.
Business owner thinking about whether or not to create a YouTube channel.

Many business owners are told that in order to succeed, they need to actively engage with social media platforms or else no one will be able to find them. While the two most common recommendations are to join Facebook or Instagram, now more than ever many are told that they need to expand onto video-based social platforms too, such as YouTube and TikTok.

Some will dedicate countless hours to creating these themselves even if it is not their passion. Others will hire a professional content creator to do it for them, easily spending thousands on just a couple videos.

The truth is that yes, these platforms can do wonders toward exposing you to a larger audience. However, depending on the scale of your operation, that might not actually mean anything to you. Quantity doesn’t mean quality. What use is that wider internet audience if no one from it will convert to a customer?

Before investing in this type of particularly expensive marketing, you need to determine if it is right for your needs or if that money is better spent elsewhere.

Your business youtube channel can help your marketing, or hurt it.
Before investing time and money, you need to decide if a video business channel is right for your target audience.

Know your market

Consider this scenario: imagine that you are an electrician that drives to your clients’ residence. You own only one storefront or you are purely service-based with no storefront.

In this case, you can only reasonably accept clients within a certain driving radius. Otherwise, it will start to cost you valuable time and money that would be better spent elsewhere. For the sake of the example, let’s say that distance is anyone within 30 miles of your business. With anyone outside that radius, you could reasonably expect to have done at least two jobs in the time it takes to do that one. It also costs you more because you are spending more on travel expenses.

With a video platform like YouTube, you might be exposing your business to a nationwide variant of your target audience. This means countless eyes from across the nation will learn about your business and make a connection with your name. However, how many of those individuals are actually within your service area?

Chances are that number is very slim, if there are even any. What good is it if someone in Texas wants to hire you when you live in Pennsylvania? The answer is none.

Reaching a larger audience means nothing if that audience is out of your reach.

Pennsylvania Business Service Area Map Example.
If your business service area covers only a small region in Pennsylvania,

Five reasons why your small business should be on YouTube

Make no mistake, there are benefits to marketing through video-focused social media platforms. We’ll look at YouTube specifically since it’s currently the largest video-sharing website and therefore has the largest potential audience, but the general reasons apply to any major similar site.

Here are 5 benefits to your business using YouTube:

1. Reach a wider audience

With over 2.5 billion active users, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world! This is massive potential to put new eyes on your business. Even if you only manage to tap into a small fraction of that audience, it’s a huge jump over what you will find in your area.

2. Build brand awareness

YouTube is a great way to build brand awareness. You can use your YouTube channel to share videos about your company, your products or services, and your values. This can help you connect with potential customers on a more personal level to build direct trust and position yourself as an expert in your industry.

3. Generate leads and sales

YouTube can help you generate leads and sales. You should include calls to action in your videos to encourage viewers to further engage with your brand. A common example would be directing them to your website landing page so that they can learn more about you. YouTube ads can help target potential customers by putting your business in view of people actively seeking something within your niche.

4. Educate your customers

Though video content, you can educate your customers about your products or services. This goes beyond just brand awareness because you can use videos as a means to answer frequently asked questions or demonstrate your products in impactful ways.

For example, if you run a campground, you can take viewers on a virtual tour of one of your cabins to give them an in-depth view of what you offer. This provides a more informative display than static photos ever could.

5. Improve your SEO

Did you know successful YouTube videos improve your search engine rankings? When you publish videos on YouTube, they can be indexed by Google and other search engines just like your website or Facebook page. This provides another avenue for your business to show up in keyword search results related to your products or services.

Paired with a call to action, this can help you direct more traffic to your website and boost your sales.

Five reasons why your small business should not have a YouTube channel

There are many notable reasons for a business to maintain a YouTube channel, but that doesn’t mean that every business should. Especially for smaller businesses working off a tighter budget, investing what they can into a YouTube channel might yield no worthwhile results at the cost of valuable resources. Many businesses also overestimate the payoff of a YouTube channel when they hear the success stories of larger business campaigns.

Before investing your budget into a business YouTube channel, here are 5 reasons why your money will be better spent elsewhere:

1. Time-consuming

Creating and editing high-quality YouTube videos is time-consuming. A 20-minute video may not sound like a long time, but depending on its quality, prerequisites, and depth, that 20-minutes could easily have 20-hours of work behind its creation. If you don’t have the time or resources to create high-quality videos, your content will easily be lost a sea of other videos and what you do spend will be wasted.

2. Expensive

Creating high-quality YouTube videos can be expensive, especially if you need to hire a videographer or editor. Even doing it yourself, you need to keep in mind the cost of equipment and your time.

In 2023, most professional videographers charged between $75 to $350/hour (and that’s time on premise, not actual film time), and not all of them included editing for what they filmed. If you need to hire an editor to cut your film into a proper YouTube video, you’re looking at another $75 to $150/hour charge.

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s better to focus on other marketing channels.

3. Competitive

YouTube is an extremely competitive platform. There are millions of businesses on YouTube trying to do the same as you, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. If you’re not prepared to invest the time and resources to challenge them with a crafted marketing plan and quality videos, it’s not worth starting a YouTube channel.

4. Difficult to measure results

It can be difficult to measure the results of your YouTube channel. YouTube analytics can give you some insights, but they’re not always accurate or directly translatable to brand success.

For example, lots of views don’t mean anything if your videos aren’t resonating with your target audience. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed by data for view duration, ctr, impressions, and other specialized information.

5. Not right for all businesses

Not all businesses are well-suited for YouTube. If your products or services are particularly complex or difficult to explain in a video, then these types of platforms may not be right for your needs. As discussed above, businesses with limited geographic reach will also see less success from YouTube.

So, should your business have a YouTube channel or other video-based social platforms?

The answer to this question varies. It depends on a number of factors, such as your budget, your time constraints, and your industry. If you have the time and resources to create high-quality videos that are relevant to your target audience, then YouTube can be a great way to reach new customers, build brand awareness, and generate leads and sales.

However, if you don’t have that level of time and resources or it’s not right for your niche, then you will just be burning money with no payoff. Unless you’re large enough to have a marketing budget which supports that type of advertising experimentation, your resources will be better spent elsewhere.

For most small or medium-sized businesses, we recommend skipping YouTube or TikTok in favor of local SEO marketing. This strategy focuses on advertising within your specific geographic area, allowing you to stand out against the massive budgets of corporate competition. There are exceptions to this though, and in some cases, you may even want to utilize a hybrid strategy.

To learn more about using YouTube or local SEO for marketing, what types of videos might be useful for your business, or if you should even be creating videos, contact Web Wolf Design. We offer a free marketing consultation to help you determine the best strategies for your unique business.

Want to know more about how we can help?

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