How to Use YouTube for Marketing Your Hunting Business
- June 22, 2016
- By Adam Preston
We’ve covered a lot of ground in these Realtree Business blogs over the past year, and if you’ve paid attention you’ve realized the crucial role social media plays in not only building your brand but marketing your products and/or services to your customers. (Editor’s Note: Click on the Marketing tab and search “Adam Preston” to get up to speed on valuable tips for using social media for outdoor marketing.)
Yes, Facebook is king of the mountain. In fact, it’s becoming the Walmart of the social media space; you can essentially put all your eggs in that basket and flourish — at least for a little while. You don’t want to do that, though, for all the reasons we have stressed in these blogs.
A few platforms we have yet to touch on deserve extra attention, and I’ll start with these next three blog installments explaining the dark horses in this race. First up: YouTube. That’s not a social media site, you say? Ah, that would be incorrect. It’s not only the social of social sites, it’s the front runner in today’s huge trend toward online video.
Any discussion about YouTube requires warnings in addition to best-practice tactics. There is no denying that Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Periscope are stealing our collective short attention spans with streaming video services. But the fact of the matter is Twitter serves up more than 600 million viewers daily and still provides the best platform for longevity. Unlike the other social sites — where your video is up for the here and now and then almost immediately buried — YouTube is a true “TV channel/DVR” that allows your videos to be watched again and again for years to come.
First, three warnings you should heed when venturing into the YouTube waters:
1. Content is (Always) King
If you want to market your hunting business, you have to teach yourself how to do it with excellent content — not just hard-sell advertorial (at best) videos of your product’s features or your services.
Let’s say you run an archery pro shop and want to broaden your reach with your own YouTube channel. Excellent idea! A good way to generate traffic is to provide short educational videos on new products you have in the shop or carbon shafts in Realtree Camouflage. Create a 3-minute video clip showing the arrows and explaining why they’re not only cool but how they’re one of the best options for long-range accuracy and downrange penetration.
The content — the techy information you know like the back of your hand — is what will resonate with your viewers. The presentation — perhaps a 15-second intro of nothing but arrows hitting a target in a tight group — will attract and retain viewers. You needn’t be a professional video editor to create YouTube videos, but you will want to either learn how to do it yourself or rely on one of your younger tech-savvy employees (or, better yet, a freelancer) to create these for you. YouTube does skew toward a younger audience, so keep that in mind when creating and uploading videos.
2. SEO is Queen
Search-engine optimization is everything when it comes to the Web, and YouTube is no exception. You can create the most compelling videos in the world, but if you don’t know how to write headlines and descriptions, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for people to find them.
SEO is pretty much a fancy way of saying “common search terms.” It’s not super difficult, but it does take some deliberate thought to come up with the best headlines and descriptions. An easy way to start out is to open a new browser and “Google” terms you think might work. Just start typing, and you will see suggestions pop up; it’s almost as if Google wants to read your mind as quickly as possible.
“Best Arrows for Bowhunting.”
“Best Carbon Arrows with Realtree for Deer Hunting.”
“How to Tune Carbon Arrows to Your Bow.”
These are just examples of terms that might fit your video. Important note: With SEO, every word counts. Take that second example: “Best” “Carbon” “Arrows” “Realtree” “Deer” “Hunting.” Every one of those terms will come back with countless searches. In the end, someone could find your video on the first page of search merely by matching one or more of those terms in their search phrase. How will yours stay on the first page? That’s easy: By becoming so viral that a ton of people like what they see and watch the video for at least 30 seconds.
3. It’s all about First Impressions
That last statistic — “the 30-second rule” — is where most YouTube video makers go wrong. They get so caught up in wanting to tell the whole story, they forget that shorter is better and the introduction is dang-near everything.
So, let’s go back to our archery pro shop example. You create a 3-minute video on those new Easton arrows and want to pack so much information into the video that you just start out with a guy standing at the counter with an arrow in his hand. He starts out, “Hi, I’m Joe from Superstar Archery and I want to tell you about our new arrows.”
Nothing against Joe, but snooze alert. It has to be way more compelling than that if you want to rack up the viewer numbers. Shy away from the nitty gritty and try something more creative: perhaps an up-tempo 30-second intro with those arrows drilling the kill zone of a Delta-McKenzie Team Realtree® bag target. Whap-whap-whap-whap! Arrow after arrow hits the bull’s-eye. Maybe pan back to the shooter and show him nocking the arrows. Before you know it, you’ve caught the viewer’s attention and now you can use the rest of the video to brand your business and educate the viewers on your new products and services. Always, always, always remind the viewers what they’re watching and where it’s happening. Never assume they know who you are, because they probably don’t.
At the end (and subtly throughout) the video, flash your own website’s URL and even your phone number if applicable. Finally, in the YouTube page description, always lead off with your own URL, followed by the description of the video. You will soon find a new flow of traffic to your website.
YouTube success won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a channel and even more attention to maintain it. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, assign the task to a skilled staff member. If neither of those are options, consider hiring a freelancer. A clean-looking YouTube channel can be a legitimate building block to successfully marketing your hunting business. If you build it properly, it will become an asset to the future of your business.
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