By Mikey Dunn
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most talked about networks in social media marketing, while YouTube has become an underestimated veteran.
Now more than a decade old, it's no longer the only video-streaming platform on which marketers can host content. Facebook has become a big contender, and most competitors offer their own forms of video hosting. Then live video burst onto the scene, in the form of Meerkat, Periscope, and now Facebook Live.
But YouTube is still here and has as much potential as ever, both as a platform and with how marketers can use it. Here’s why you should still consider YouTube to host your content series, raise brand awareness, drive web traffic, and more.
The falling-star perception of YouTube can be shattered by its current statistics. According to Alexa Rankings, it still ranks No. 3 in the United States in web traffic, behind only Google and Facebook. In the world, it surpasses Facebook for No. 2.
Whether you plan to run skippable video ads or manage an entire channel, your audience is already watching YouTube content. In fact, the site has more than one billion users, which is one-third of the world’s total internet users.
Beyond that, it's the second most-used search engine after Google—its parent company—and reaches more 18-34-year-olds and 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in America.
YouTube Success Stories
Blendtec is a company that sells commercial and personal heavy-duty blenders. Thanks to its viral “Will It Blend” series, brand awareness for the company skyrocketed, and sales of its featured blender rose by more than 1,000 percent. It created a YouTube channel and consistently produced content that grabbed attention—blending unthinkable objects from glow sticks to iPhones.
Likewise, Likeable Media created a YouTube series for Citrix, to promote its featured product, GoToMeeting. The “Because Awkward” paid video campaign played off peoples' desires to work from home in the digital age. The campaign increased brand awareness dramatically, with one installment alone surpassing 5 million views.
Even if your brand can't commit to building a YouTube channel from the ground-up, the site can still be very beneficial.
You'll find all kinds of content on YouTube—from DIY videos to daily vloggers to talented musicians, and more. Those who create the content are considered social influencers because they make stuff that their niche audiences love and trust. They have thousands, if not millions, of subscribers on the platform, and they also have massive followings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If your brand or product is a fit for one of these "YouTube celebrities," you can connect with potential customers in a way you didn’t think possible. However, working with YouTubers is a partnership that requires clear expectations on both ends.
Getting Started & YouTube Channel Tips
- Be Consistent – The most common mistake users make on YouTube is not sticking to a consistent schedule. Uploading frequently will lead to more views in the long-run, so realize that starting and running a channel is a commitment.
- Be Relevant – Research your audience and produce content that answers their questions, catches their interest, and stands out.
- Be Thorough – Use everything YouTube offers to your advantage. Titles and descriptions are key places for SEO and hyperlinking, thumbnails can lead to a view or fade your video in the noise, and annotations and cards can be key tools for CTAs.
- Be Engaging – When your audience comments on your content, comment back! Offer challenges, run sweepstakes, run polls, call out your biggest fans in the next episode. If the face of your brand is relatable and accessible, your audience will become loyal, connect with your channel, and trust you.
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