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How to Use YouTube to Market Your Business – ReadWrite

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Bob Buckley


If you aren’t getting enough customers in the door for your business, it might be time to try a new marketing strategy. Tapping into the growing trend of video is a great place to start. YouTube is the second largest website on the internet by monthly web traffic, according to data from Ahrefs. This makes it an awesome place to get into video and potentially drive a ton of business your way.

How to Use YouTube to Market Your Business

Start a YouTube Channel

In case you don’t have money to invest in paying for advertisements, you can still do something with the potential to be just as effective. The great thing about starting a YouTube channel is that there are no barriers to entry.

Contributing content to any website typically involves an application process. You can’t always get feedback if they don’t think your content is a fit, either.

To start a channel, all you really need is an email address. We will get to the other things required to grow it, but, the most important step besides signing up is deciding what your channel will be about.

Pick a Topic

You will need to pick a topic for your channel to focus on. It usually makes sense to go with one related to your business, so you can promote it in each video and include links to a website in the description.

Staying focused on your topic is important – it wouldn’t work very well for building an audience if you had a finance YouTube channel where every third video upload was cooking-related. Maintaining consistency will also make creating each video a little easier and faster.

Set Up a Filming Space

Depending on the types of videos you plan on making, you might want to set up a consistent filming space. This can be as simple as using your office and filming at your desk. It should be somewhere that’s blocked off from a lot of noise and interruptions.

That may just mean coordinating with your assistant (if you have one) to hold calls and avoid coming into your office while you are filming. The same goes for the family if you work from home.

Get Filming Equipment

The nice thing about today is that you probably already have a nice camera. A lot of phones have been able to film in HD and even 4K for a couple of years already. In addition to a camera, you will want a tripod, lights, and probably a decent microphone.

The tripod is crucial and you can pick one of those up for around $20 or $30 on Amazon. If your filming space has reliable natural light through a window, you could stick with that in the beginning.

The phone’s microphone should also work, at least at first. If you decide to stick with this marketing strategy, you can get all of the other equipment for under $200 later on.

Get Video Editing Software

Depending on your computer, you may already have some video editing software installed. If you use an Apple, iMovie is free and a powerful program for editing. PC users also have a variety of free options that can make high-quality videos.

I use Lightworks for our YouTube channel and it works pretty well on my older laptop. OpenShot is another free, open-source program that works well and can create videos up to 4K in resolution.

Get Comfortable on Camera

It’s pretty normal if you feel a little uncomfortable getting on camera. Pretending to talk to someone when you’re really talking at a tripod will always feel a little weird. One strategy that I’ve found works pretty well for dealing with that is to have an audience.

As long as they don’t make a ton of background noise, having someone sit behind the camera can help you focus more on making the video sound conversational. If you really can’t see yourself on-screen, consider working with someone who already has an established channel.

Work with YouTube Influencers

Working with an influential YouTube personality could be big for your business. When some of them command audiences in the hundreds of thousands, one shoutout on a popular video could (maybe) pay for itself many times over.

Every social platform has influencers, but ones on YouTube are especially powerful. Instead of written posts or pictures, they routinely speak directly to the people you want as customers.

Make A List of Relevant Influencers

There are going to be at least a few influencers you could approach that cater to your market. They will have a pretty wide range of subscribers and a number of views on their videos.

You can make a list in an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet and organize them in order of highest to lowest subscriber count (or vice versa). It also can’t hurt for you to watch a few of their videos. That will help you make sure there isn’t any content you would want to avoid associating your brand name with.

Costs of Paying for Mentions

The cost for influencer marketing will vary depending on the number of followers someone has. Everything will still be negotiable, but data from eMarketer shows a few standard rates.

If you approach someone with 500 to 5,000 subscribers, expect to pay around $315 per video. The costs can go all the way up to $3,857 for channels with 500K + subscribers.

Measure ROI Before Spending a Ton

If you’re not careful, you could end up putting a lot of money into influencer marketing without seeing much in the way of results. Just look at the story of the Instagram star with 2 million followers who couldn’t sell 36 t-shirts.

Depending on your budget, you should take caution in paying for videos ahead of time or anything like that. Additionally, consider starting with a smaller YouTube personality.

Data from this study shows that micro-influencers are actually more effective along with being less expensive. In case influencers seem too risky, you can always look at the old-fashioned (but still effective) way of getting your business’s name out there: advertising.

Getting into Advertising on YouTube

There are a handful of different types of advertisements you can run on YouTube. If you get everything ready for starting a channel and decide you don’t want to do that, you will still be in a great position for making video ads. In addition to video ads, you have the option of display ads, overlay ads (ads that show at the bottom of a video), and sponsored cards.

The Video Ads

Most of the other social platforms offer video ads now. However, on YouTube, people are expecting to be watching a video so it’s a lot more likely that someone will already be engaged when your ad pops up.

There are a lot of marketers out there that you can look at for low-budget video ad ideas. Take the Dollar Shave Club’s video from a few years ago, for example. They just filmed their founder walking around the warehouse saying funny things and it was wildly successful.

This and other low-budget videos helped propel the 2011 startup to unprecedented (couldn’t help using the word!) growth and being acquired for $1 billion in 2016.

Different Types of Video Ads

There are a few different types of video ads to consider using. You will need to decide which one makes the most sense and structure your video around the way it functions for optimal results.

The ones you might be most familiar with are skippable video ads, which allow users to skip to their video after the first five seconds. These can be inserted at the beginning, middle, and end of videos. Then there are non-skippable ads, which can go up to 15 or 20 seconds in length, according to Google.

The third ones to consider are called “Bumper ads” and are non-skippable, running for up to 6 seconds. All of these are compatible with desktop and mobile devices, maximizing your reach.

Tying it all Together

YouTube is not showing any signs of slowing down, especially with the current stay-at-home state of the world. You can leverage a few different strategies to get your business known on the platform.

It’s worth dabbling in all of them a bit to see if one really stands out as effective. Consider starting your own channel, working with influencers, and making video ads to reach the masses.

 

Bob Buckley

Bob is a 2021 CPA candidate and the founder of thiscollegelife.com.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Politics

Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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