We are the change

To buy or not to buy? YouTube is the Answer

Pirated pop videos and teenager’s angst-ridden mini-films are YouTube’s most well-known content. However,

it is also home to many videos about products and services. Some videos are made by companies. Others are made by professional and amateur reviewers of products. Most importantly, some of the videos are made by customers.

Potential customers are increasingly using these videos to make their purchasing decision – to buy or not to buy.

Demonstrations from the company

Imagine that you are considering taking your children to Disneyland Paris and you want to find out what you can do and see there. Disney has dozens of professionally-shot videos on their YouTube channel. By watching their videos, you can see the hotels, rides and the parades for yourself.

Dialogue with customers is one of the more sophisticated uses of videos by companies. On one of its recent Vlogs (video blogs), Dell’s Technology Strategist demonstrates three different operating systems for its computers. He begins by thanking customers for their feedback on Twitter and then explains how Dell has responded to their comments.

Feedback from other customers

Potential customers often want to know what other customers think of a product. By using the internet, they can now find this out without any intermediation by the company.

Instinctively, I turned to YouTube when I was trying to decide if my husband would enjoy indoor skydiving. He has been obsessed with space since he was three so maybe this would be the zero gravity experience that he has always craved.

Sean, Salgareda and Jane had all posted the videos of their indoor skydives on YouTube. I could see for myself that they were having a great time. This convinced me that my husband would love it too.

Reviews from the professionals (and the amateurs)

Customers are particularly likely to seek advice before buying expensive, complicated products. We all know that a car or computer can look good and perform badly.

Jeremy Clarkson’s videos attract many viewers simply because of their entertainment value, that’s true. But probably some of the 200,000 people who watched his review of the Jaguar XKRR wanted to know his opinion before deciding whether to buy one for themselves.

Amateur and semi-professional reviews of computer products are almost a mini-industry now. Some reviewers have posted hundreds of product assessments. If you are considering buying a new laptop, you can watch these reviewers demonstrate it. They also give their opinion of its strengths and weaknesses and how it compares to alternative machines.

Making YouTube work for your business

You may be able to entice more potential customers to buy if you showcase your products or services in a video. Perhaps you could demonstrate how your products work? Maybe you could interview customers about their experience of your service? If you are running a small business, an inexpensive, well-shot amateur video may be all you need.

Remember to include a link to your video on your website. You could even include a link in your e-newsletters and email campaigns.

Finally, it is worthwhile being aware of the videos about your products made by other people. The opinions of customers and amateur and professional reviewers can have an enormous impact on your sales.

Tell us… who do you think is using You Tube really well as a business tool… please leave a comment below

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About the author: Margaret Webster. www.pagster.co.uk Margaret Webster is a freelance copywriter. She helps companies to communicate with their customers, employees, investors and other key audiences by writing their websites, intranet sites, brochures and other promotional material. She also writes articles about marketing and corporate communications.

Margaret’s approach is to begin each project by understanding the client company, its objectives and its audience. This has enabled her to write engaging, results-oriented copy for a wide range of audiences as diverse as CEOs of large organisations and track workers on the railway. Margaret wrote Network Rail’s website and an intranet site for one of their employee programmes. She has just completed writing the website for Epigeum, an online training company.

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