Tips for Promoting Your Library on YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine, behind Google (which owns it). As a marketing tool, video can be very powerful, especially among Millennials and teenagers, who tend to be very visual learners. Video is also a medium in which they are very comfortable.  More than one in four Internet users between 12 and 17 record and upload video to the Web, according to a recent Pew Research Center Study. So, its worth adding finding ways to add it to your marketing mix.

What makes a successful video that people will watch? In a recent TED Talk, YouTubes Trends Manager, Kevin Allocca reveals the reasons that a video goes viral: Tastemakers, Communities of Participation, and Unexpectedness.

In libraries, video can be used both to promote your services and educate your patrons. Here are some potential topics for compelling video:

  1. Give a tour of your library and introduce your staff. This is a great way to show off all of the services you offer the community.
  2. Record the action at one of your events. Encourage your community members to be part of the video, but be sure they understand that the video will be posted online and that they give their permission to appear in it.
  3. Get your library advocates to speak out by telling the camera one reason they love their library.
  4. Interview a visiting author about his or her work.
  5. Promote the latest books by having staff members record a video book review.

Try to follow Kevins guidelines, and find ways to add humor and unexpectedness to the video. In every community, there are comedians and actors. Seek them out and ask them to participate in idea generation, script writing, performing and producing your video. Aspiring performers may not mind volunteering their efforts because theyll be able to add the video to their body of work which could lead to that big acting job!

Once youve created your video, be sure distribute it widely. After you upload the video, YouTube will provide link and embed codes to make it easy to share in social networks and elsewhere on the Web.

Be sure to distribute far and wide:

  1. Post on your website
  2. Share on Facebook
  3. Tweet the link to the video
  4. Feature the video in your newsletter
  5. Post a sign at your front desk with details on how to get to your YouTube channel

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.