If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add video to your pest management website — complete with analytics — YouTube has an enticing offer: We’ll do it for free.
Essentially, the company has rolled out tools that enable any small business to edit, post and analyze viewership of a promotional video at absolutely no cost.
The beauty of YouTube video is that the content need not specifically promote your pest management product or service. A consumer-targeted informational video, such as “How to prepare your home for a bed bug treatment,” could result in more traffic to your website — and more brand awareness when visitors make a purchasing choice.
Perhaps the best aspect of promoting on YouTube is that it’s absolutely free. Essentially, YouTube allows businesses to post promotional productions at no charge as a way to boost traffic to its site. Plus, it offers businesses free analytics to track the performance of the videos they post, and continually refine their pitches, for the same reason.
You can get the most out of those analytics by optimizing your videos for the Google search engine. For tips on how to optimize, simply conduct an online search for “search engine optimization YouTube videos.”
YouTube also makes it very easy for even the most novice users to get a promotional video on its service. The YouTube Creator’s Hub (YouTube.com/yt/creators) is where you can learn the basics on how to create and set up an account, and get inspiration on how to shoot your first video. You’ll also find links to editing tools here, which will help you polish your raw footage, as well as tips on how to optimize your video. Plus, there’s a free users forum, where you can get advice from seasoned YouTube posting veterans.
Once your video is on YouTube, the free service also offers you an embeddable video player you can add to your website. The technology embeds a small screen on your website that visitors can click on to view the promotional videos about your business you’ve posted on YouTube.
Embedding the player involves little more than dropping a snippet of code onto a webpage. YouTube does the rest. The player, which is also free, can be placed in other locations online, such as adjacent to your company’s blog, on your social networks, or in virtually any other web-based environment. The player creation tool also enables you to optimize your video for various search engines by allowing you to include titles, descriptions, ratings and viewer comments that are associated with your video.
Once you’ve optimized your videos for Google, you’ll also be able to continually analyze how your videos are performing with another free tool, YouTube Analytics. You can learn the basics on this YouTube support center, but essentially, Analytics is a service that offers you a heat map of where your views are originating. It also will show you how people are discovering your videos by revealing the search terms they used to find them. Plus, you’ll be able to discern the age and gender of your audience, observe how many times viewers rate or comment on your videos, and more.
Bottom line: Whether you’re looking to experiment with web video for the first time, or you’re an experienced user looking to cut costs while increasing the sophistication of your web video promotions, YouTube is a free solution that is tough to beat.
Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan, N.Y. Contact him at email@example.com.