Watch And Learn: How YouTube Is Changing The Face Of Digital Marketing
-How often have you answered, “no, but I watched the film,” when someone asks you if you’ve read a particular book? The truth is, we are visual beings. We would far rather watch something than read about it - which is why video features more and more strongly in modern digital marketing campaigns. And why YouTube has enjoyed a meteoric rise to its current position of second in the social media standings, second only to the mighty Facebook, and catching up fast.
The very first video uploaded onto YouTube has been watched a staggering 45 million times. What is it? Footage of a young man at the zoo remarking on how long elephants’ trunks are. It’s hardly earth-shattering stuff, but 45 million people thought it was worth watching. So, if a video like that can attract such significant attention, imagine what a well-thought-out, professionally filmed, truly interesting clip could do? This, my friends, is the mind-blowing power of YouTube.
YouTube first launched in 2005. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s second largest search engine, after Google (which, perhaps not coincidentally, now owns it). Globally, people watch over one billion hours of YouTube videos a day. Every. Single. Day. And we don’t just mean clips of young men at zoos, or domestic pets performing great catrobatic feats. According to a survey by GlobalWebIndex, one in four YouTube visitors watch branded videos, making it a marketing force to be reckoned with.
Yet, despite this impressive statistic, experts estimate only nine percent of small businesses use it as part of their digital marketing strategy. If you’re one of the 91 percent currently not leveraging YouTube’s power, perhaps these numbers might help convince you to start:
• YouTube has launched local versions in over 90 countries around the world, making searches even more relevant to consumers.
• It’s possible to navigate YouTube in 80 different languages, which represents 95% of all languages spoken by the international Internet population.
And if you’re not convinced that video is the right fit for your brand, consider this:
• In 2017, 81% of businesses used video as a marketing tool, up from 63% in 2016.
• Google’s research shows six of 10 people prefer online video to live TV. In addition, experts predict that by 2025, half of people under the age of 32 won’t subscribe to a pay TV service, preferring to watch all their video content online instead.
• Collectively, the 10 top-viewed YouTube videos in 2017 amassed over 630 million views. This added up to more than 40 million hours of viewing time.
YouTube As A Driver Of Traffic
Ok, so people watch a lot of YouTube. But does that actually translate to more website traffic for those companies advertising on, and uploading videos to, the platform? In a word, yes. Of course, the amount of traffic depends on the video content you upload. It needs to be powerful, interesting and meticulously optimised for search.
Optimising isn’t difficult – it’s simply a case of sticking to the basics and doing them well. The title of your video, for example, should address a problem your customers have: “How To Make Perfect Pancakes,” “Here’s How To Find Lost Icons On Your Desktop,” or “A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Blog,” for example. You should also ensure that your thumbnail, description and tags are all properly optimised.
Carefully placing links to your website in your video helps encourage clicks. Run analytics to find out where your audience is most likely to see them. The description is often a good place to start, as it’s where many viewers will go to find out more about you after they’ve watched your video. You should also include a strong call to action (CTA) – NOT just “click on this link.” Try saying something directly related to the exact action you want a visitor to take: “Visit our website to receive more recipes like this - free,” or “For other great digital marketing tips, subscribe to our free weekly newsletter using the contact form on our website.”
What Type Of Content Should I Post?
When it comes to content, your videos should be interesting and relevant to your ideal target audience, and they must be infinitely sharable. Essentially, these four video types work well:
• Training video – Show how customers can use your products or services to derive the most benefit from them.
• Explainer video – Describe what problems your product or service solves. A customer is, after all, just a person with a need. Address that need effectively and you have a customer for life.
• Customer Stories – these are essentially testimonials highlighting how real people got real results using your product or service.
• Webinars – bring in experts to discuss specific topics or pain points common to your target market.
Benefits Of YouTube
Over and above everything we’ve already told you about this amazing platform, one of the truly great benefits of YouTube is its Analytics. YouTube Analytics gives you invaluable data about each and every video you upload, including:
• How people found your video
• How many views it gets
• Which ages and gender finds it most appealing
• In which countries the video is viewed most often.
• How many comments it’s received
• What ratings it’s been given.
With over 1.5 billion active users, YouTube is simply not a marketing platform you can afford to ignore.