As can be seen from the previous articles in this series, there are many social networks that one can utilize in order to promote and sell artwork. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can create a far-reaching group of followers who are interested in your artwork, prints, and technical knowledge. Often, however, the beginning art marketer overlooks one of the most popular social-media sites in the world, YouTube.
YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees in 2005 and is a service that allows users to upload, view, and search for video clips. As of 2013, Alexa, which is a site that provides web site metrics and analytics data, ranks YouTube as the third most visited site in the world, trailing only behind Google and Facebook. According to Wikipedia, on 21 March 2013, the number of unique users visiting YouTube every month reached 1 billion.
According to YouTube Statistics:
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
- YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
Because of the extreme popularity of this service, it can be a great vehicle for generating and directing traffic to your central storefront. By posting product demonstrations, musical performance clips, time-lapse videos, or demonstrations an artist can easily promote their business through this network. I should note that simply uploading a commercial is something that YouTube doesn’t really allow since it is a violation of their Terms of Service. Because of this, one has to be more creative in their approach.
I am not going to focus too much on the “how-to’s” of using this service, but with the sheer number of videos that exist on YouTube, it is easy to get lost in the mix. Like any other social-networking community, it is important to participate. Become friends with other members and subscribe to their content. Believe it or not, YouTube is another social-network where people can comment on videos and give them a “Thumbs-Up” or “Thumbs-Down.” Many of the techniques that apply to Twitter and Facebook apply to YouTube as well. As you have learned by now, participation and cross-promotion are the keys to social-network success. Since YouTube is a social-networking community, it is necessary to spend time commenting on the videos of other members and forging relationships. Make sure your videos contain links to your web site, central-node, or storefront as this is how you are going to direct traffic back to a page where you can actually sell your products or promote your business.
When you create your YouTube account, there is an information section to complete. Like all the social-networking sites of which we have spoken previously, it is necessary to fill in as much of this data as possible while keeping it very professional. Choose an appropriate profile picture, be sure to provide a link to your central storefront in the web site URL section, and be clear and concise in describing yourself and your business in the “About Me” area.
Probably the most important thing to know about posting videos on YouTube is to make sure you choose appropriate tags which identify the video content. Since I am promoting artwork and my videos are often time-lapse demonstrations of the creation of specific works, my video tags are usually something similar to: art, fine-art, watercolor, watercolour, floral, painting, etc… These tags are what allow the search engines to find your videos and if neglected, will leave your videos viewer-less.
Another important thing to consider is the short attention span of the modern Internet user. For this reason, I have found that if videos are kept fairly short, they are more likely to be viewed in their entirety. The ten minute videos at my Powers Fine Art YouTube Channel are very rarely watched to completion while my films that are under two minutes are sometimes watched multiple times by the same viewer. The idea is to get the information to the recipient through the quickest means possible and video is a fantastic way to accomplish that goal.
If you would like to read more about the videos I create to promote my artwork, read this older article that gives a brief insight into my procedures and also mentions some important information about using background music on YouTube.Tagged with: art, business, ecommerce, marketing, network, social, youtube