You’ve got a great product, a great team, and everything is lined up. Your startup is ready. Next, it’s time to grow your startup, and social media is a great place to start. Most startups spend so much time channeling time, money, and energy into sites like Facebook and Instagram that they completely overlook YouTube.
YouTube is a great platform that gives you plenty of different ways to grow your startup if you want to increase your visibility, brand recognition, and your client base in a number of different ways. And come on. Who doesn’t want that?
Why grow your startup with YouTube?
When you’re looking at all the different ways you can grow your startup, you always want to know which will be the most advantageous.
Using YouTube as a marketing channel can help you increase your visibility very quickly, since it will allow you to appear in both YouTube’s search engine and Google’s video search engine. All you need is a great, keyword-dense title and an engaging YouTube thumbnail. Tools like SEMRush’s keyword researcher can help you with the former. For the latter, you can make your own click-worthy YouTube thumbnail with Snappa, which has perfectly-sized templates and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop design tool.
Video content is also highly engaging; we’re watching more videos than ever before, and having a store of incredible YouTube videos to share on your blog and on social media will help you drive engagement and increase brand recognition at the same time. These videos can be used to capture initial user interest, and then push them further into the digital sales funnel with CTA links at the end of each video by shuffling them to other videos or your site for more information.
6 ways to grow your startup using YouTube
You can use YouTube for growth at various points of the growth funnel. The stages of a startup’s growth funnel are acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral. YouTube content can help you connect with users at all stages to build your initial user base. Eventually, this user base can become loyal clientele, giving you the foundation on which to build your business.
There are six different ways you can use YouTube to grow your startup, starting with the most obvious and elusive: viral videos.
1. Viral videos
If you’re looking to get a big boost in visibility and brand awareness, viral videos can help get you those results. This type of video is most helpful in the acquisition stage of the growth funnel and can help you get your name out into the world of interested users.
Dollar Shave Club, for example, had massive success with their viral video pictured in the example below. The video featured the business’s founder and a ton of great brand personality.
It’s difficult, however, to create a viral video. If it was so easy, after all, everyone would do it just for the money and infamy. To create videos that go viral, try to create content that users will want to share by making it valuable or emotionally impactful. Tell a story in the video, especially if it creates an emotional response (including positive ones!) because that’s what resonates with viewers most.
2. Thought leadership
Growing your startup sometimes means showing off what you know, and thought leadership videos are an excellent way to do just that. These videos can include having someone interview you, or having you talk about your area of expertise directly to the camera. They’re designed to demonstrate your advanced knowledge and establish you as a thought leader. This can help your startup’s reputation as a result.
Thought leadership videos are particularly helpful in the acquisition and activation stage. Potential clients are a lot more likely to pay attention to your product if it’s got a big and trustworthy name backing it, after all.
3. Weekly news & insights
Creating videos sharing weekly news, updates, and new insights is a fantastic way to increase the value of your startup. You can share industry news or news about the features of your startup, along with new tips you want to share with your audience. This kind of brief, weekly, timely video is relevant to your audience and is a great way to build a rapport and relationship with them. In the example below, AdEspresso shares updates on their new features with their customers.
This type of video can work wonders in the retention stage of the growth funnel; that regular communication that shares valuable information to always keep your clients updated about what’s happening keeps them feeling in the loop and helps nurture a long-term relationship in the process.
4. Step-by-step tutorials
Step-by-step tutorials are one of the best types of content you can create on any platform, but they’re extremely effective—and valuable—as a YouTube video. These videos can show viewers how to use your product better or more efficiently. This makes them more successful while making your product more essential to them all at the same time.
Step-by-step tutorials can be used during the activation stage, but are most effective in the retention and revenue stages where you can remind users how necessary your product or service is to them.
5. Education content
Educational content can sometimes overlap with tutorials or thought leadership pieces, but the underlying goal is to provide information to the viewer that they didn’t have before. An air conditioning company, for example, could have a video explaining different types of units and the benefits of each.
They could also show you different signs to watch for that could indicate that your air conditioning unit was about to fail. In the example below, a video from Home Depot shares different types of gardening pots and what plants would thrive within each.
Educational content, like other types of videos on this list, can be beneficial at almost any stage of the growth funnel, but can be most effective at the revenue and referral stages. If this content is valuable enough, there’s a good chance your current customers will not only use it to their advantage, but send it to their friends, too.
Answering questions that users ask is another incredible way to offer an immense amount of value, even in videos that are thirty seconds or less. They’re extremely cost efficient to make. And, since users ask questions themselves, you never have to scramble to come up with a video topic.
This type of content can be effective at all stages of the growth funnel, depending on whose questions you’re answering, but may be most effective in the retention and referral stages. This is especially true if you have exclusive groups, like a Facebook group, where users can ask questions that you can select to answer.
As a video-centric platform that has unique search engine benefits, YouTube is a platform that all startups should be using as part of their growth strategy. YouTube content can be valuable and effective at all stages of the startup growth funnel, making it an ideal platform that can provide a large number of benefits without cost or risk. Just remember to always have each video serving a specific goal, and to include clickable CTAs at the end of each video to usher users on to wherever you need them to go next.