Advertisers spent $5.60 billion on YouTube in 2013, eMarketer reports. That figure doesn’t account for costs spent on producing the videos, gathering testimonial information from customers or other related costs. The good news is more than 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube and reaches more U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 than any cable network. While we know there is an audience on YouTube ready to consume, where do companies start? Which media can brands tap into and connect with their ideal customer? Here is a look at how to get started.



The six-second video platform Vine has millions of users posting short clips and funny moments. It may seem counter-productive for brands to jump on board the six-second video campaign, but everyone from Airbnb to Target embrace the medium. Dunkin’ Donuts even featured the first-ever TV ad made solely from Vine during “Monday Night Countdown.”

The upside is being able to quickly create a short video to show your product being used or a tour around your office. A particularly clever Vine has the potential to go viral, with millions of people sharing it. Of course the downside is a company has only a few seconds to get its message across. Brands must create a succinct campaign that compliments the medium.

YouTube videos

Companies can use YouTube to post an explainer video about their products, interview with CEOs or capture launches or events. But what if you’re a B2B company, or have a less than glamorous product or service like routers? B2B juggernaut Cisco Systems produced ‘The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day’ video promoting an $80,000 ASR 9000 router.

What if your company has a complex service involving multiple layers of technology and consumer protection? LifeLock offers identity theft and fraud protection through advanced Internet monitoring, credit alerts and intuitive threat detection. Its YouTube channel balances showing how their services work with why you should use them. For example, its ‘Do Your Thing’ video assures customers their identity is protected while they get on with their lives.

Training tutorials

Making the sale isn’t as simple as advertising your product and managing the delivery. Customers need thorough instructions and a deeper understanding of how products like software and services work. A company like Microsoft offers countless training tutorials and videos to give its existing customers the tools they need to use their products, and potential customers peace of mind before purchasing.

Meanwhile, companies like Lynda make a living through training tutorials. Its video information products train users on everything from motion graphics to video editing. Lynda connects with customers by offering them a service they need. But it’s also noteworthy that they offer tutorials that enable their customers to make their own training tutorials for their businesses.

Video testimonials

Reality star Kim Kardashian knows a thing or two about connecting to fans through video. She co-founded ShoeDazzle, a company with legions of fans posting video reviews and testimonials. Loyal customers essentially become spokespeople and consequently persuade their peers through video. Luckily you don’t need to be the next Kim Kardashian to employ this technique. Just get your customers engaged and let them do the rest.