YouTube has been around since 2005, and chances are you’ve watched a video or two on the site before. It’s a video-sharing site that allows users to upload, share, and view videos, and it quickly became one of the fastest growing sites on the web. Purchased by Google in 2006, today it has over 1 billion unique visitors each month.
What many businesses don’t realize is that YouTube is more than cute cat videos. It has become an invaluable marketing tool for many different industries, including restaurants. Interesting and entertaining videos can introduce and help build your brand. Let’s take a look at how to get started and then what to post.
Like with any other social media site, you must first create an account. For YouTube, click the blue “Sign In” button, located at the top right hand corner of the page. YouTube is connected with Google, so if you already have a Google+ account then you can sign in with that here. If not, you can create a new account.
How to upload videos?
Once you have created your video (scroll down for some ideas!), click the “Upload” button, also located at the top right hand corner of the screen. You can make the video “Private” or “Public.” As a restaurant, you would choose “Public.” And voila! Your video will upload in a matter of minutes.
This is how you track the performance of your videos. You can view your analytics by clicking the downward arrow located new next to the “Upload” button. Here, you can see how many views and subscribers your videos have had, how much time people spent watching your videos, and a look at demographics (like the country and gender of your viewers).
Videos are organized according to categories or Channels on YouTube. YouTube generates its own Channels that you can subscribe to, or you can create your own Channel. First, click “All My Channels.” You can create a Channel for your Google+ page, or you can click “Create a new channel.” You will be prompted for a few details about your Channel. Channels are also something that can be followed. The best way to find new channels is to look at what other users are subscribing to. For example, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube has over 3 million subscribers, many of which are restaurants, food bloggers, and food personalities. Start browsing, and before you know it, you will have many different channels to follow.
Becoming part of the community
How does one become a member of such a huge community like YouTube? By being social. Close-knit YouTube communities work with users who collaborate and/or recommend each other’s content. You can start by commenting and liking other videos, then, as other users notice what you’re saying, they may start doing the same for you.
What to post
Like with photos for your website and social media pages, it’s important to make your videos look good. You don’t need to be a professional filmmaker with fancy equipment; you most likely have everything you need in your pocket – a smartphone. Most smartphones allow you to film and edit your videos right on your device. YouTube even lets you edit your video on their app.
So what do you post? Here are a few ideas for food-related content to help get you started:
– Cooking Shows: You’ve been open for a few months now and customers are asking how you cook your ragout. Why not show it on your restaurant’s food channel? Remember, this is not a full-length cooking show. The more popular videos on YouTube tend to be shorter ones.
– Behind the Scenes: Many people like to catch a glimpse of what’s going on in the kitchen. With a YouTube video, you can show your customers what goes on behind the scenes, where all the action is. For example, you could show the preparation and plating of a specific dish.
– A Tour of the Market: Does your chef visit the market to source some of his ingredients? Why not tag along one morning to see how he chooses his fish? This not only tells customers where your ingredients come from, but can also educate them in how to select meat, fish, or fresh produce. You could also produce interviews with your chef or other staff members.
YouTube promotion is a fun and easy way to market your restaurant online, especially if you are not much of a wordsmith for a blog or newsletter. Grab your smartphone and collaborate with your staff to start producing informative and entertaining videos.