It’s 2005, the year YouTube was founded. In those days, it was a searchable source for video entertainment created by–– well, anybody who wanted to make a video. Fast-forward to the present, where YouTubers like PewDiePie, Dude Perfect, and Badabun – just three accounts – have a combined audience approaching 180 million viewers.
If you’re a brand, and you still think YouTube is just for video entertainment, it’s time to change the channel and tune into reality. Yes, YouTube’s biggest draws range from a guy who shares his personal opinion while playing video games to a brother and sister who have a lot of toys, but it offers something unmatched anywhere else if you are a marketer.
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s also the second most popular website in the world. YouTube sits at the intersection of what the world wants and what a successful marketer must deliver. And the world wants video. Nearly a third of all the people on Earth with Internet access watch video. They watch more than a billion hours of it daily on YouTube alone.
They seek it out.
Billions of eyeballs
Your holy grail as a marketer is to make yourself discoverable. It’s different than what your mission used to be, which was to interrupt with a memorable message. That’s the antithesis of marketing today. It’s also why your competitors really don’t mind it at all if you continue to dismiss YouTube as the land of mukbang and cute cat videos.
Here’s the reality of who watches video on YouTube. And remember, they search for it.
- YouTube boasts more than 1.9 billion users who use it monthly.
- Over 90 percent of American adults between the ages of 18 and 44 watch videos on YouTube.
- More than 50 percent of adults over the age of 75 watch videos on YouTube.
Can they find you on YouTube if a prospect or even an existing customer wants to know more about your product or service?
Show and tell
Brands have discovered the power of visual storytelling on YouTube. The most successful video storytellers have also discovered that it’s not about self-promotion. It’s about education and perspective. If you need to wrap your head around this, head over to the LEGO YouTube channel. It’s the most popular branded channel on the site, with more than 7.1 million subscribers who have watched LEGO videos over 8.7 billion times.
Education and perspective are the twin engines that power branded YouTube channels. Approximately 80 percent of YouTube users said they watched a video that helped them make a purchase decision. For those who have already made a purchase, they are three times more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial video than read the product’s instructions. Google data shows that explainer or how-to videos rank in the top four most popular YouTube content categories – and that viewers are twice as likely to pay close attention compared to those watching TV.
Will they find you on YouTube?
Lost at sea
Your competition is hoping that you won’t bother, and that you’ll think it’s futile because 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. They’re banking on the idea that you won’t dig to discover that Dropbox posted a 67-second video explaining what it was and how it worked – which has been viewed 12.3 million times. Or that video conferencing platform Zoom uses more than 250 videos to help tens of thousands of viewers learn how to improve communication with customers and coworkers.
They’d prefer that you continue to think of YouTube as the place where people go to watch music videos rather than the place where twice as many small- and medium-sized businesses have created channels since 2016.
As vast as the aggregated YouTube audience is, you have the upper hand. It’s the second most popular search engine on the planet. All you have to do is make yourself discoverable.
How to be found on YouTube
YouTube is the great equalizer of video in some ways. You don’t need a massive production budget. You do, however, need a strategy. You must understand your audience, as well as how visual storytelling will help them make a deeper connection with your brand.
Most importantly, you have to remember that YouTube is a search engine that recommends videos. Video production chops have to be matched – or even surpassed – by your understanding and use of SEO. YouTube is a visual experience – for its users. For marketers, it’s more about writing compelling video descriptions and the correct use of hashtags, as well as an effective call to action (CTA).
Generally, people watch video for one of two reasons: they want to be entertained, or they want to learn something that helps them solve a problem. It means your strategy for video on YouTube must be problem-centric. This may be the most important thing to keep in mind, other than that YouTube is a video search engine. What you share with prospects who become customers is the problem, not your solution.
Your prospects have turned to video to help them find ways to fit brands into their worldview, and YouTube is where they go to figure out which videos will help them accomplish this. YouTube is the new way to try before you buy, but before that even happens, it’s the way today’s consumers decide if a brand is worthy of their attention. Will they meet you on YouTube?
Meet us on YouTube, and learn more about to put marketing strategy behind your video.
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