Are You Using YouTube?

By Ed Attanasio

Many body shop owners who have already embraced social media are reluctant to use YouTube to promote their businesses. They feel likes it’s too expensive to produce videos and many claim they don’t have anything to say to their customers. But, once they try it, body shops are reporting positive results via YouTube, with increased traffic to their websites, blogs and other social media sites. They’re tracking new customers from their YouTube videos and discovering the value in these short, informational clips—ranging in subjects from “How to Spray Waterborne” to “Online Estimates” and all the way to things such as humorous T.V. commercials and interviews with customers. painters, body men and even front desk people.

The simple fact is that most successful YouTube videos aren’t professionally produced and involve just one person talking to a camera. They’re shot with inexpensive equipment, without special effects, high-tech sound or any lighting more than sunshine or the artificial light emanating from the light bulbs in your shop. Shop’s normally use employees and friends in their videos and usually the pay is: 1.) Continued employment and/or 2.) A free lunch.

Here are 5 main things to consider when producing YouTube videos to promote your business:

  1. Know the MarketSpend a few minutes going through YouTube to see what other collision repairers, vendors and jobbers are doing on the site. You will find the videos that do the best are generally funny, upbeat and/or offer useful information. Think either comical or instructional or maybe even a combination of both. Find out what videos in your market have attracted the highest number of views, favorable ratings, most subscribers and best comments and try to figure out what they’re doing right.
  2. Use Keywords GaloreThe easiest (and cheapest) way to direct potential customers to your videos on YouTube is by incorporating carefully selected keywords and inserting them in the title, description, and tags of your videos. To find new keywords, use the Google Keyword Tool to devise variations of your keywords for additional tags.
  3. Create Your Own Channel and Make PlaylistsPrior to uploading your videos, setup your own YouTube Channel, including a profile and a graphic look you devise. Always include a link to your web site, blog, Facebook page and Twitter hash tag. Playlists are a great way to get your videos watched by a lot of people. To assemble one, add your videos to a new playlist and incorporate other peoples’ videos dealing with the same topic. Then, select a catchy name that will help people to find them through a search. By assembling a library of videos, you can attract more people and hopefully keep them engaged longer.
  4. Use Multiple Calls to ActionIf you don’t ask, you won’t get it. Sure, they like your video, but how can you get them to respond? Here are some calls to action that are all available on YouTube and can be used to get your visitors more involved:
    • Please rate this video.
    • Follow me on Twitter.
    • Find me on Facebook.
    • Subscribe to my videos.
    • Visit my blog for more great videos.
    • Embed this on your site.
    • Please post your comments.
    • Send this video to your friends.
    • Check out my channel.
  5. Promote Your VideosUploading videos to YouTube isn’t enough. You need to promote them. These are some ideas:
    • Ask people you know to share their lists and contacts.
    • Embed your videos in your blog.
    • Email your YouTube link to your friends and contacts.
    • Write an article about your video and post it to article directories and forums.
    • Post your video on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media forms.

Ed Attanasio is a writer/blogger/journalist with more than 30 years experience. He has written more than 300 articles about the collision repair industry, primarily for Autobody News and a wide range of popular automotive blogs. He was recently hired to be a guest blogger for Collision Websites and will be submitting articles for us twice monthly, to provide invaluable information for body shops from a national perspective.