Joe Dysart is a freelance writer for WQP. Dysart can be reached at [email protected].
While YouTube has emerged as a marketing juggernaut for water quality products businesses, many are also discovering the free video-sharing service has scores of other uses — all of which are also free for the taking.
Employee recruiting, client communications, product/service how-tos and dissemination of news are all increasing in popularity on YouTube, as water quality products businesses and others transform the medium into a Swiss Army Knife of business communications.
"YouTube is ubiquitous to how we all do life nowadays, from car repair to learning about industrial water treatment," said James McDonald, PE, CWT, director of technology & marketing, Chem-Aqua.
Adds says Michael Miller, author of ‘YouTube for Business,’ an excellent guide: “If you’ve never visited the YouTube Web site, you’ve missed out on the hottest thing on the Internet today.”
What is YouTube?
Unquestioningly, one of the major reasons water quality products businesses and others are flocking to YouTube is its runaway popularity. Just a blip on the web’s radar a decade-or-so ago, the video-sharing service has since rocketed to one of the most visited sites on the Internet.
In fact, YouTube currently boasts 2.1 billion users each month according to Statista. And 74% all U.S. adults use the social network.
Besides its unquestionable popularity, YouTube’s ease of entry and low-cost also makes it hard for business people like water quality products businesses to resist. Virtually anyone with basic PC skills can upload a video to YouTube for free in a matter of minutes.
And since YouTube’s videos are generally viewed on small screen mobile phones, there is no reason for water quality products businesses to endure painfully large budgets for video production. In fact, the subtleties of high-end video production are generally lost on YouTube, according to Miller. Plus, water quality products businesses are saving significant coin using YouTube by shifting hosting responsibilities for their company videos to the online video service.
The rationale: Ordinarily, a water quality products business needs to pay additional transmission charges anytime a website visitor views a video hosted on that business' web site, but when that same video is uploaded to YouTube’s servers, water quality products businesses need never pay transmission costs no matter how many times that video is viewed.
All told, it’s a frothy mix of remarkable popularity, ease-of-entry and non-existent hosting costs that have water quality businesses flocking to YouTube.
So far, here are the top ten uses water quality businesses have forged:
Top 10 YouTube Uses for Water Quality Businesses
This is without doubt the most popular use of YouTube among water quality businesses, and can be wildly successful. Businesses with shoestring promotional budgets have become overnight stars on the service, often with zany and off-the-wall marketing pitches.
Besides using humor, water quality products businesses can also use the marketing side of YouTube to give video tours of their facilities. Or, they can feature video interviews with key staff to reassure current and prospective customers that they’re going to be doing business with a highly professional, highly people-friendly staff.
Teck Resources Limited, for example, offers the market an updated marketing video on its company mission using YouTube: "Teck Strategy Overview & Update."
2. Customer Testimonials
A customer's glowing testimonial of your product or service is the holy grail of additional sales. And the added impact of video makes the form even more formidable. Catalytic 3G Aqua, for example, uses a customer testimonial on YouTube to turn heads, as does Evoqua Water Technologies.
Given that many water quality products businesses already have videos touting their businesses as inviting places to work, posting those same productions on YouTube is a no-brainer.
“Don’t limit yourself to a single, long puff video,” Miller said. “Produce separate videos for individual departments, as well as to illustrate company values, employee benefits, facilities and the like.”
And potential employees of Alfa Laval can get acquainted with what it's like to work there with its company culture video.
Meanwhile, potential employees of Aqualine ME Water Treatment can take a virtual tour of on of its factories with this video.
4. Company Video FAQs
Any water quality business can leap well beyond the image of faceless, industry player with on-the-fly videos, which feature charming customer service people answering frequently asked questions. Sure, many businesses already have written FAQs on their Web sites. But there is something to be said for going the extra mile and offering the personal touch that is inherent in the video medium.
Biopipe Global, for example offers a video FAQ on "What is Biopipe No Sludge Sewage Treatment?."
5. News Video Clips
The beauty of posting your water quality news to YouTube is that your information is not sliced, diced or in any other way whittled down to a mere shadow of its former glory. Plus, if you have a Facebook or Instagram site, you can cross-promote the two online presences by posting your news on Facebook with a link to your supporting video on YouTube.
Dolce Water Treatment Solutions, for example, posted a news-oriented video on the recent installation of its reverse osmosis technology. And Evoqua Water Technologies regularly uses YouTube to post company news.
6. Advertising Focus Groups
Many sophisticated users of YouTube are also using the service as a free testing ground for commercials they plan to run on cable and broadcast TV, and elsewhere on the Web.
Specifically, they use YouTube’s free analytical tool, YouTube Analytics, to test the marketing punch of their commercials. The tool's metrics include the overall popularity of your video, who has viewing your video, where those viewers are coming from on the Web, and what keywords they are using to find your video.
7. Customer/Member Communications
When an email or friendly phone call simply does not cut it, many water quality businesses are posting videos to YouTube to connect in special ways with their customers.
The American Water Works Association got it done recently with a simple video greeting card.
8. Product/Service How-Tos
These videos can of course serve a dual purpose for your business, educating customers while subtly marketing your brand.
AE2S, for example, offers a free "Surface Water Treatment Primer Course," taught by its special projects engineer. And Bentley Hydraulics and Hydrology Modeling brings in viewers with its "Introduction to Water Quality Monitoring," video.
Meanwhile, Chem-Aqua is also heavily involved in posting helpful How-Tos about its products.
"Our 'Cooling Tower System Basic Operation' video has over 142,000 views — which is practically unheard of in our business," said Chem-Aqua's McDonald. "Second to that is our 'Water Softener Regeneration Process' video, with 72,000 views. If you do a good job at explaining or show something most people haven’t seen before — such as inside an operating water softener — the video can get attention."
9. Employee/Customer Training
Any water quality business with multiple locations across town, across the U.S. — or even across the world — can immediately see the benefit of posting training videos on YouTube, and having the appropriate staff or customers dial in. And by using YouTube’s “private broadcast” option, your business can ensure the training videos stay internal.
“Many companies find that YouTube is a fast and effective way to disseminate all kinds of employee information,” Miller said. “Done right, it gets information out there in near-real-time, with all the benefit of face-to-face communication.”
Hydromantis, for example, sports dozens of training videos on its GPS-X product on YouTube.
And YSlinc offers this in-depth training video on monitoring harmful algal blooms.
10. Savings on Business Travel
YouTube is also enabling many water quality products businesses to rack up substantial savings on business travel. Granted, there are plenty of instances where true face-to-face interaction is irreplaceable. But in many other situations, a video overture via YouTube is a bulls-eye compromise between basic email and an all-expenses paid business trip for one or more employees.