YouTube will be the single most important marketing platform of 2017, whether you like it or not.
This is not my biased opinion (just because its my strongest platform), it comes down to math. So here are some things to consider:
- It’s already won 2nd Place. YouTube is not only the 2nd Largest Search Engine, It gets the Second Largest Amount of Traffic, in both cases the number one spot goes to its parent, Google.
YouTube’s focus on search, archival content, watch time and delivering content based on user behavior, in addition to the sheer volume of traffic, makes it a practical choice for marketers.
Dollar for dollar and hour for hour, it makes the most sense to create content where the most eyeballs are, but also where you get the most replay value once you’ve spent the time and money to create that content.
2. Diverse Demographics. While Snapchat and Instagram have the attention graph, especially for young audience, and Facebook his where the majority of adults spend their time on the internet, YouTube reaches across ages, cultures and demographics.
You can pick any audience you like, and it has a large enough presence in YouTube to justify being there.
In terms of buying behavior, the numbers are in, video drives sales, and YouTube dominates video viewing, even beyond traditional broadcast television.
3. Distribution Advantage. YouTube can reinforce nearly any other Social Media platform you are utilizing. You can use the other platforms for distribution, or use YouTube as funnel to grow them.
This isn’t limited to social networks, it can drive website traffic or even grow your email list.
Content produced on YouTube is valuable and has its own ability for distribution via discovery and search, but using it on your own website and other social platforms and within your email marketing strategy, only makes it more valuable.
It’s difficult to replicate that with the other platforms you spend time creating content for, such as Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook Live.
4. Data that Drive Decisions. YouTube provides some of the most comprehensive analytics data of any social media platform and can directly integrate with campaign tracking in Google Analytics. It also has the ability for to directly integrate polls into your video content.
YouTube can provide robust analytics, showing you which videos drove subscribers, click-thru rates, and breakdowns of demographics from age, to gender to which devices they consumed content on. The only platform that comes even close to providing this much actionable data aside from Google itself, is Facebook.
5. Longevity. YouTube at it’s core is a search engine and a library. Your content lives on and is accessible. Snapchat and Instagram Stories dissapear. Facebook and Instagram and Twitter Feeds are something you’d have to scroll through into infinity to find something, and while they offer search it’s not very intuitive. Beyond that it’s something most users don’t tend to uses.
YouTube is built on the backbone of search. If you utilize and “evergreen” content strategy, then your content is always marketing for you, always selling for you and brining you value. From and ROI standpoint it gives YouTube and advantage when it comes to justifying content creation.
6. Influencer Marketing. When it comes to influencer marketing that drives sales and conversions and has long-term value, YouTube has a few distinct advantages. The range of influencers from superstars to very niche micro-influencers and even subject matter experts, means that you can find people to work with that fit the goals of your brand.
The diversity of the user-base as well as the creators also makes this more attractive than platforms that mostly skew younger. Ads and sponsorship have also been a part of the platform since its early beginnings, which means that the audience has come to accept that in a way they resist on other platforms. The aquisition of Famebit as a company that connects
brands and creators, also is a clear signal that YouTube wants help make influencer marketing easier and more transparent.
7. Stability and Certainty. There are only 4 major social media platforms that we can safely say are not going anywhere in the next 5 years: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Facebook and as a consequence Instagram not only have strong a large and active user-base, but enough cash-flow to make them safe. LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft, and YouTube is owned by Google.
The future of the remaining indepedent platforms and new startup social media apps is nebulous. Twitter is under pressure due to its stagnant growth, and as a result that could effect Periscope and Square as well. Tumblr was overpriced when Yahoo bought it and hasn’t been profitable for them.
Snapchat has a more active userbase than most, but is going through and identity crisis and has a hard time convincing the marketplace outside Millennials and Generation Z of it’s value. It also took a huge hit after Instagram Stories rolled out.
YouTube has no real competition at the end of the day and offers a unique experience and features you won’t find a true alternative to.
OKAY, YOUTUBE MAKES SENSE FOR MARKETING, SO NOW WHAT?
Well YouTube may have it’s advantages as a platform, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to be effective when utilizing it. Beside just learning the technical ins and outs of the platform, you also have to understand the YouTube user community, as well as develop a content and communication strategy for your brand. That’s not always the easiest thing to do when you’re already juggling other marketing efforts.
If you’re a marketer or decision maker within your business and you’d like to discuss consulting and how to build out your YouTube strategy you can feel free to reach out to me at info[at]robertoblake.com
If you happen to just want to become more educated about YouTube I do have over 100 videos covering topic around growing a YouTube audience, as well as tutorials on how to use the platform effectively.
PLAYLIST BELOW OF 150+ VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE TOPICS