A Profile of YouTube
YouTube is by far the largest video sharing website on the planet. From movie trailers to cat videos, from music videos to non-profit call to actions, from live debate streams to crazy science experiments, YouTube has it all.
As a marketer, YouTube offers a powerful back door into other social media networks. People are hesitant to share website content; but people are often much more willing to share an entertaining video.
Traffic & Statistics
YouTube gets over 800 million unique visitors every month. It gets over 2 billion views every single day. That means YouTube gets more viewers each day than all three major TV networks combined. More than 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
According to Alexa.com, about 30% of global Internet users go to YouTube daily, creating huge audience possibilities for its users.
YouTube can automatically translate captions to 51 different languages and is available in almost every country in the world. More than 70% of the site’s traffic comes from non-US sources. (Source)
The strongest user demographic is the 18 to 34 demographic, which gets 38.7 million users in the United States. The 35-49 demographic gets 34.2 million, while the 35 to 49 demographic only gets 25.7 million.
YouTube users in the United States are slightly female dominant, with 67.7 million female users versus 60.5 million male users.
If you run a website that’s based on providing information, using YouTube can be a great way to add a multimedia dimension to your content. If you run a website based on entertainment, using YouTube is almost mandatory.
If you run a cause or have a mission of some sort, YouTube can be a great way to add emotion to what you’re offering. For most brands, YouTube can be a great way to add some personality and let people get to know your company better.
YouTube tends to work better for B2C companies than B2B companies. YouTube tends to work in lower price range services. It would be great for selling unique shoes or a concert show, but probably not as good for selling surgery, legal services or $2 million dollar homes.
YouTube Pros and Cons
- Pro: People are much more likely to want to share videos than other types of content. People are also more likely to click on videos than text content.
- Con: It’s time consuming. Planning for, shooting and editing a video takes a lot of time and manpower. Writing an article might just take a few hours; whereas creating a video could take days or weeks.
- Pro: YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, second only to Google. That said, SEOing for YouTube is much easier than Google. You can get a lot of traffic from YouTube by being deliberate about your approach.
- Con: Not the most reliable video host. Sometimes videos stall. That’s OK on YouTube’s site, but if the video won’t load when it’s on your own site, that can seriously damage your brand. You do not want to host sales videos on YouTube.
- Pro: Extremely easy to use interface. Uploading is simple and easy and can handle up to 2GB. Videos are automatically encoded at multiple resolutions, from 240p to 720p. You can embed videos on your site with the click of a button. You can upload in batches, even with a standard account.
- Con: There’s advertising on your videos. Sometimes those ads will come from your direct competitors. Again, you probably don’t want to embed important videos directly on your own site from YouTube.
Tips for Success on YouTube
Try to create videos that strike an emotional cord. Videos should be shocking, funny, touching, outraging, rallying, cheerful, cute or evoke some sort of other emotion. Purely informational videos have a hard time succeeding.
Start a channel. Don’t be disappointed if your first few videos don’t take off. It’s rare for a video to go viral right off the bat. More often than not, channels and audiences are built over the long haul.
Try out different styles of videos and ask your customers for feedback. If you’re launching a major initiative, it often makes sense to ask a few of your core advisors for feedback before launching it out to your general list.
Use other kinds of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and email marketing to boost the effectiveness of your YouTube video. YouTube can send your video virally through the social web, but you need to give it at least a thousand or so views before it can take off on its own.
If you’re embedding videos on your site, use Amazing S3 in conjunction with Cloudfront. This uses Amazon’s highly reliable servers to host your videos. Use a video player like Custom Video Player to handle the code. This is more reliable for on-site videos than YouTube.