How To Use YouTube To Take Your Small Business to the Next Level (The Framework & YouTubers to Inspire You!)
YouTube used to be the go-to destination for funny cat videos and “fail” compilations, but the video platform has certainly come a long way since then. While YouTube is still prevalent among entertainers and vloggers, it’s also grown to be a useful platform for businesses to connect with a wider audience.
In fact, research by Google found that 90% of users globally said that they discover new brands or products on YouTube.
Google also found that 70% of people indicated that they’re open to learning about products from brands on YouTube and almost two-thirds say that online video has inspired their purchases.
These numbers give us a compelling case for using YouTube for business.
Leveraging video content brings your small business to life online, and can help you get in front of more people.
YouTube also enables you to position yourself as an authority in your industry, which helps build your audience and even drive sales (depending on your objectives).
Read on to learn more about the benefits of using YouTube for business and how you can make the platform work for you.
Table of contents
- The benefits of using YouTube for business
- What sort of content could you create on YouTube?
- When should you think about starting a YouTube channel?
- How to set up a YouTube channel (step-by-step guide)
- How to market your YouTube channel
- 10 YouTubers in the spa, salon, barbering & wellness space
The benefits of using YouTube for business
Let’s look at the specific advantages that you can gain from an effective YouTube strategy.
Increasing your visibility
YouTube marketing is a highly effective way of reaching new audiences who may be interested in your products or services.
In 2020, 73% of adults in the US use YouTube, with an average viewing rate of over 11 minutes per day. If your business can get a slice of this, you are putting your offerings in front of numerous fresh eyes.
Building your brand
We all know that hairdressing and personal care is an immensely crowded market. When many salons and spas are offering the same or similar services, it’s challenging to carve out a unique brand image for your business.
This is why brand recognition is central to your ability to both attract and retain customers. Recognition creates familiarity, which in turn builds trust in your services. Quality video content in the form of hair tutorials or product reviews enables you to provide value to clients even before clients step into your salon. It’s these kinds of extras that make all the difference when consumers are choosing a service provider.
Getting insight into your clients
The community aspect of YouTube allows your audience to interact with your content through comments, shares, and likes, meaning that you can gain a valuable understanding of what your customers want most from your business.
For example, you could put a call out on social media asking your followers what they would most like to see a tutorial on, or monitor the comments on your videos to see whether there are patterns in what people are saying. This can help inform not only your content, but also your client relations and even the services you choose to offer.
Giving a “behind the scenes” look at your salon and staff
“Behind the scenes” videos are highly popular with prospective clients. These videos give people an inside look into your operations, which in turn inspires confidence in your clients.
Few of us would buy a new laptop without doing some research first and comparing the alternatives, and choosing a personal care provider is no different. People want to ensure that the service takes place within a pleasant environment, that the staff are well-trained, and that the results will exceed expectations.
What sort of content could you create on YouTube?
Not sure how to use YouTube for business marketing? A good first step is to map out the types of content to publish. Here are the common video types that work best for service providers.
An intro to your establishment
We all know that first impressions matter. A strong video introduction that shares info about your services and team members is a great way to grab attention and pique their interest.
Here’s an example from Wisecuts Barbershop. In this video, Jimmy Wise, talks about the services they offer at Wise Cuts, the clientele they serve, and the value they add to the local community.
“How-to” videos and tutorials
This is one of the most popular categories on YouTube, and with good reason. Consumers love high-quality content that matches their search queries — it’s a brilliant way to introduce them to your brand and begin building a relationship that leads to sales.
We can see this in action when professional barber TyBarberSign created a “Quarantine self-haircut” video to teach his followers how to maintain their hairstyles while salons are closed due to COVID-19. If your clients are currently unable to visit you, using YouTube for business marketing in this way allows you to maintain this relationship and keep providing value.
If your salon or spa carries a range of specialty products, review videos are a great way to publicize this and provide your business with another unique selling point. Like how-to videos, it’s an excellent way to establish the expert knowledge of your team.
Have a look at the following video, in which Chinwe Juliet reviews different products for natural hair.
Coaching for fellow stylists/technicians
Being an industry leader also helps to widen your appeal among your peers. Industry professionals are always looking to upskill and keep up with the latest innovations. Creating content that is targeted towards your fellow stylists can position you as a thought leader and open up a new revenue stream (i.e., being a coach or educator).
Here’s an example from stylist Jamie Dana, where she discusses Instagram strategies for other hairstylists.
Research has proven that we are far more likely to trust a fellow consumer’s experience with a brand than what their advertising tells us. The personal care industry is highly results-driven, so videos featuring actual clients are a powerful way to persuade prospective customers to book that first appointment.
Here’s a great example of a client results video from Salon 215 Elite:
When should you think about starting a YouTube channel?
We’ve explained the benefits of using YouTube for marketing, but adding any new channel to your marketing strategy is still a big decision. Video content in particular is a bigger investment from a time and technical standpoint than other forms of content marketing, such as social media or blogging.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right time to set up your Youtube Channel.
But when exactly is the “right time?” This will be different for every business, but here are a few things that you should consider:
Knowing what you want to achieve
Something vague like “get more sales” isn’t enough to provide direction for your YouTube content. (After all, every business wants more sales.) You need to think about how a YouTube channel will help you to achieve this end.
Here are some more targeted business marketing goals that you could set for your YouTube channel:
- Building the profile of your stylists/technicians
- Creating a stronger sense of community within your client base
- Boosting your SEO (and chances of being found via search engines)
- Providing better product support for your customers
- Position yourself as an educator or thought leader for fellow service providers
All of the above will contribute towards your overall goal of growing your business, but they also offer their own content strategies. Providing better product support, for example, could mean creating a series of review or tutorial videos that feature your stylists/technicians.
So before you launch, make sure that you have a clear objective to help your content creation efforts, and with how to market your YouTube channel itself. Otherwise, you’ll be putting out videos that have no real focus or call to action — and this isn’t a good use of your marketing spend.
Having a plan for how you will manage administration/content creation
Setting up a new marketing channel is an exciting and creative process, but you need to address the (boring) practical elements before you start filming. Managing a YouTube channel is no small undertaking and means figuring out logistics such as:
- How many hours per week will my business be able to put towards the channel?
- Will I be able to manage it as the business owner, or is my bandwidth too limited?
- Do any of my staff have experience in filming/editing video content?
- Will I have to look at hiring outside expertise?
If you don’t address these kinds of questions at the start, your content output could stagnate.
Most of us know of at least one business who hasn’t uploaded a new video in over a year. This is a common result when the YouTube channel hasn’t been well-aligned with the demands of the business.
This brings us to the million-dollar question: Are you currently in a position to support what your channel needs?
For example, if your business is in the process of hiring and training a lot of new staff or undergoing a brand refresh, you may find that now isn’t the best time to embark on this process.
Know your costs
While using YouTube for marketing is technically free, there are still a lot of associated costs to be aware of.
In 2020, you can keep your costs down by filming your videos with a smartphone. The video quality from our handheld devices has advanced to the point where big, expensive cameras aren’t necessary. However, investing in a decent lighting set-up is a must within the competitive hair and beauty genre, while microphones will provide a massive boost to your sound quality.
Video marketing can be incredibly engaging, especially when it’s used to promote a location-based service like a salon or spa. But poorly-lit footage or muffled audio isn’t going to do much for your brand.
The bar for quality content on YouTube is far higher than it was just a couple of years ago, so it’s best to start a channel when you are in a position to invest in it. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of time churning out content that doesn’t hit the mark.
How to set up a YouTube channel (step-by-step guide)
1. Go to YouTube and click “sign in” in the upper-right corner. When prompted, enter the email and password for the Google account you want your channel to be associated with.
Note: If there’s going to be multiple people managing your YouTube channel, it’s a good idea for security reasons to create a new Google account rather than using a personal one.
2. Once you’re signed in, go into the menu in the upper-right corner and select “Create a Channel”.
3. You’ll be prompted on whether you want to create a channel using your name or a custom name. Since you are a business, it will look much more professional to have the channel under your brand name.
4. Input the name of your channel into the box provided.
And that’s all there is to it! YouTube will now prompt you to complete the following fields:
- Uploading a profile picture
- Adding a channel description
- Adding social media and website links
While you have the option to set these up at a later date, you should always have your branding elements set up before you begin posting content. For a business, few things look as unprofessional as a half-finished marketing channel.
Profile picture. This is what will appear next to your videos and channel description. Your aim should always be to build brand recognition, so an image of your logo or business name is a good fit. For best results, an image at 800 x 800 pixels is recommended.
Here is a great example by hairdressing giant Aveda. Since their brand name doubles as their logo, using it as their channel icon is an easy way to spread brand awareness.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to market yourself, it’s a good idea to use your photo as your profile picture. This approach puts a face behind the name, and allows viewers to feel more connected to you as a person.
Channel description. You have 1,000 characters to play with here, so use them wisely. You’ll want something engaging and descriptive that sums up your business and the kind of content you’ll be posting.
Your channel description is used by YouTube to flag up relevant channels in response to people’s searches, so this is an important part of optimizing your channel. It also gets indexed by external search engines, so be sure to use the right keywords for good SEO.
The channel description of Jamie Dana tells viewers where she’s based, the purpose of her channel (helping fellow stylists to grow their businesses) and offers clear evidence of her success as an industry professional. It’s a concise and informative description that invites viewers to benefit from her expert knowledge.
Social media/website links. These links will appear within the lower right-hand corner of your channel banner, and lets you direct viewers to your website and other social accounts.
How to market your YouTube channel
Using YouTube to promote your business is a great strategy, but in order for this to work, you also need to promote the channel itself. Here are some quick tips on how to market your YouTube channel.
Promote your YouTube channel on other social media platforms
If you already have a sizable follower base on other social media platforms, tap into these networks and use them to promote your channel and videos. Whenever you post new content, give your friends, fans, and followers a heads up and share the link to your latest videos.
You could also add a link to your channel in your social media bio. Check out this example from Jamie Dana, who has a YouTube button in her Instagram bio link:
Spread the word using other customer communication channels
Leverage other customer communication channels, including email and in-store interactions. You could, for instance, add a YouTube link to the footer of your email newsletter.
Or if you’re chatting with a customer in person, you could find opportunities to talk about your YouTube channel. Let’s say you’re styling a client’s hair and you want to teach them how they can replicate the same effect at home. Use this as a chance to promote your videos. You could say something along the lines of…
It’s actually pretty easy to style your hair at home. I have a video tutorial on my YouTube channel that gives you a step by step guide on how to blow dry your hair and what products to use. Check it out on [YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL NAME]
Make your YouTube channel and videos search-friendly
Most people find videos and creators through Google and YouTube search. That’s why it’s important to optimize your videos for keywords that your target viewers are searching for.
Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to surface the search terms that people are typing into Google and YouTube and incorporate them into your video titles and descriptions. Be sure to avoid keyword-stuffing, though. The key is to write for humans first rather than search bots.
Use attention-grabbing thumbnails
Showing up on the search results page is one thing, but getting people to click is another challenge.
As such, you need to upload bold and attention-grabbing thumbnails that encourage viewers to click. Depending on your channel, a great thumbnail could come in the form of before and after looks or images of people with great skin/hair.
10 YouTubers in the spa, salon, barbering & wellness space
In need of some inspiration? We’ve rounded up a list of popular YouTubers in the beauty and personal care space to give you some ideas of what your channel could focus on:
TyBarberSign – Tyler Dew is a barber and online educator with a presence on YouTube and Instagram. He offers a lot of great content on barbering and styling.
Kayley Melissa – Kayley Melissa is all about “hairstyles for every day.” Her channel is packed with quick tutorials, character recreation, and videos on lifestyle in general.
Youssef Barber – Yousef is the owner of Diamond Cuts. He has an inspiring story and an impressive clientele (including the likes of Chance the Rapper and NBA player Jaylen Brown). He has a major presence on Instagram, though you can also learn about him on YouTube
Jamie Dana – Jamie is a hairstylist and salon owner who also wants to help fellow stylists improve their business and lifestyle.
Brittney Carmichael – Brit Carmichael is a vegan salon owner who also happens to be a business and spiritual coach. Her channel offers a wealth of information on self-love as well as spiritual and emotional wellness.
Brad Mondo – One of the most entertaining YouTubers around, Brad Mondo regularly films “react” videos on different hair trends and antics. He’s also a great source for hair tips.
Breanna Rutter – Breanna Rutter’s YouTube channel is dedicated to offering practical hairstyling tips and tutorials for women and men of color.
Styles By Nuk TV – Style by Nuk owns Salon 215 in Georgia. Her YouTube channel features a number of before and after videos, as well as some videos on women empowerment.
Adam Ciaccia – Adam Ciaccia is an Australian hairstylist whose YouTube channel is filled with educational videos on both trendy and everyday hairstyles.
Chinwe Juliet – Chinwe Juliet’s channel puts the spotlight on natural hair, makeup tutorials, and mom lifestyle videos. Her purpose? To inspire viewers to grow their natural hair and become fashion or makeup experts.
As a hair stylist or salon owner, content creation is key to boosting your value proposition. In this post, we’ve covered the basics of setting up a YouTube channel, and how you can use YouTube to showcase the expertise of your staff and your establishment.
The tangible nature of video-based marketing is a powerful way to pitch your business as offering far more than just a service — informative and engaging YouTube content is the method to make your business memorable within a crowded industry.
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