What is the biggest search engine after Google? You might be surprised to learn that it’s YouTube, a video sharing website. If your business isn’t already leveraging the power of this advertising platform, then we’ll tell you why you should.
YouTube is part of the social media revolution, that along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has created a new whole new breed of one-to-one communication for individuals, media and businesses. It’s changing how we interact with each other on a local and global scale and it’s evolving at an amazing rate.
Social Media has given businesses big and small a new much more targeted and effective platform to advertise and communicate their products and to their customers.
With so much choice and competition, how do you decide on the best platform for your business? How do you maximise it’s potential and make sure you don’t inadvertently create a social media faux pas that could potentially harm your businesses bottom line or your brand reputation that has taken years to establish? By flipping traditional marketing on it’s head, social media platforms like YouTube present many philosophical dilemmas for companies.
Let’s face it, social media can be a mind field for businesses, big or small, but with good guidance on best practices you can navigate your business through any potential pitfalls to leverage it’s power in your favour.
Which brings me to YouTube; in our opinion, the strongest social media platform of them all. Yes. YouTube, better known as the video sharing site is considered a social media platform. And it’s one of the most powerful forms of social media and consumer influence online, and often the first place of research after your website before they decide to become a customer of your company.
We encourage all our clients to share their film on as many relevant mediums as possible as it will drive traffic to your website. Every business should have a YouTube channel and upload their films to it. Three key reasons for doing this are:
1. YouTube Advertising.
A quick and cost effective way to promote your business or service. You’ve seen it yourself – you go to watch a video on YouTube and before it plays you’re shown an advertisement, which you can select to skip after 5 seconds or sometimes longer. Depending on how you feel at that moment, this advertisement can either be of no use to you and you skip it as soon as possible or it could be useful and relevant to you and you are immediately made aware of the company’s existence and you watch the whole film and navigate to their website to find out more.
What’s great about YouTube is it lets you decide on who sees your advertisement. You can narrow your audience by location and interests which is ideal for the business who’s prime customer is the individual consumer.
For example, imagine you run a local business which sells professional road bicycles online in the UK. You have a promotional film which shows high quality bikes, stunts and brands. You want to drive more traffic to your website by advertising it on YouTube but you want quality leads. Through YouTube advertising you can select your film to be promoted to people based in the UK and Northern Ireland, aged 18 – 70, who have an interest in road cycling, sports, mountain biking, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Giant bikes etc.
Your budget is variable, so you decide how much you spend. The more you spend, the more people see your advertisement. The results can be amazing. You can expect to see your video views escalate rapidly after the first day of promotion and YouTube stats explain how your viewers are interacting with your video. Did they watch your video through to the end? Did they click on your website link?
There’s no point paying good money for a video content if people don’t see it. Maximise your films potential, and attract new customers by advertising it on YouTube.
2. If you don’t do it, someone else will.
How often would you book a hotel without checking it’s rating on Trip Advisor? Today’s consumers are savvy and want to ensure they are getting the best product or service for their money. Therefore more often than not they will want confirmation that your company is reliable and you offer a quality product or service.
If you sell products to the individual consumer then they can review your product and publish it on YouTube. You will have no input into what is said therefore it is important that your company is active in finding out what your product’s online reputation is. Potential customers will notice if there are lots of review videos on your product, but no product videos from the company itself. Customers want the facts, and they want to know you are active online.
By publishing your own product video you can ensure your video appears first before the reviews to install confidence in the viewer that your company is in touch with and cares about its customers’ opinions as well as giving them all the information they need.
If your company is B2B and doesn’t have product reviewers, it still doesn’t mean that people aren’t searching for you on YouTube, looking for visual evidence of your work to find out more information on your company. Make it easy for them and give them the best information possible by maintaining an up to date YouTube channel that will build your online reputation and maximise your websites SEO.
3. YouTube is almost the new TV, but way better.
Before YouTube impacted the world in 2005, companies only other discernable platform that leveraged the power of video to advertise their product or service was television.
You had to spend a small fortune on a campaign to target specific groups such as day time slots for the retired and full time parent, evening slots during Coronation street for the working mother, Friday late night for the busy executive who likes to settle down with a beer and watch the Football. This was the type of target audience you aimed for, TVRs (Television, Viewer Rating) is what you paid for.
Today YouTube offers a very targeted and cost effective way to advertise your business. There is a place for television advertisements but advertising on a large scale is no longer out of reach for the smaller business.
Now, almost everyone has access to catch up or live TV on their smart phone or tablet and YouTube is accessible from any mobile or desktop device with an internet connection. It costs considerably less to advertise on YouTube than on television and you can decide with more precision who your advert it targeted to based on personal information on each viewer, which is stored in YouTube analytics. With these analytics get more accurate with each passing year.
The dividing lines between the consumer and business is getting shorter and shorter. You can communicate directly with each customer, and that means you can advertise directly also. Video advertisements are one of the most effective ways of advertising as they utilise the power of the moving image, sound, music and story to spark emotion, increase user engagement and brand awareness to encourage the viewer to take action.
In 2014 people chose to spend nearly 1 billion minutes watching the top 10 ads on YouTube. The key word there is "chose." If you make content that people want to watch there is no time limit. After years of being confined to 15, 30 and 60 second adverts, brands are now stretching their legs, with the average duration of the top 10 being 3 minutes. Why? Because when viewers “choose” to watch an advert they’re happy to keep watching as long as the content remains interesting.