If you do a fair amount of reading around social media and online marketing blogs, you’ve probably noticed a lot of people are calling 2013 “the year of the video.”
But let me ask you something first, how do you perceive YouTube? Do you see it as a social network? maybe a search engine?
In case you didn’t know, the #2 search engine in the world is not Bing and it’s not Yahoo. It’s YouTube.
Let’s talk about “Discovery” for a second…
Part of what you do for your business marketing online is trying to increase your digital footprint. You want people to find you. You need to be discovered before people can fall in love with you or your brand.
Still YouTube seems to be underestimated by many both as a search engine and as a social network.
I’m currently involved in a project with a website that requires the integration of a couple of third-party services. As you’d expect when dealing with tools that are a bit technical to deal with, you need to rely on some type of training/documentation. One of these services completely fails on educating the user on how to integrate its own platform, the other provides very heavy documentation that is really hard to understand.
I immediately head to YouTube to see if I can find something there and, to my surprise, there are tons of tutorials on how to install, configure and integrate these platforms. Here are my findings:
- Most of these tutorials are from people that had no relationship with the companies other than having used them
- I found a guy I can hire to do the work for me, again, no official association
- For one of the services, I found a way to avoid all this work by installing a simple WordPress plugin
- For the other, I found a competitor that might even be a better solution
To be honest, I’d rather get this information directly from the company I’m dealing with but, it’s simply not available. And YouTube helped me find the solutions I needed.
The problem, for these companies anyway… is that they’re failing to leverage YouTube to be discovered and possibly generate new business. Of course the fact that they’re failing to educate their existing clientele is an epic mistake but that’s material for a whole different post.
For others, this is a great opportunity, they get discovered by solving the problem and answering the questions these companies are not. My YouTube search resulted in a guy from outside the company that’s about to get hired and a competitor that I wasn’t even aware of and just became an option.
The reason we worry about SEO so much is because we want our websites to rank high in search engines so they can be found. The same reason we are present on social media.
But the work you can do on SEO yourself is limited and, as a small business, hiring an SEO company is usually out of the question.
Chances are you are already doing all you can about optimizing for Google.
So what do you do?
Many companies of all sizes adopted blogging instead as a marketing vehicle in the recent years to use content to be discovered in specific niches.
Now you have to take the same approach with YouTube.
YouTube in your content strategy
So here are 11 quick reasons (what do you want… I had 10 reasons and I thought of one more) why you need to consider adding video to your online marketing strategy:
- Again, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Why aren’t you there?
- Not everybody reads blogs, on YouTube you’re tapping into a possible new audience
- YouTube videos are shown on Google results
- Video is the best next thing to actual face-to-face interaction and it’s much better to humanize your business than written content
- People search YouTube to learn about products and services more than any other social network
- Video is easier to communicate and educate your prospects and existing clients around your products
- Video is easier to consume than written content
- Many of your competitors have no presence on YouTube, but they do on Facebook and Twitter
- The opportunities to produce great video quality are reachable to any size budget (even your iPhone can be enough)
- Videos, specially YouTube, are widely viewed on all kinds of screens (PC, mobile, tablet)
- YouTube videos are super easy to distribute to other social networks and to embed on websites and blogs
Online Video Stats
Comscore published this presentation on Online Video Stats last week.
These numbers are huge. Here are some of the main points you might be interested to know:
- Online video reaches 85% of the US Internet population. It is the most consumed content format online
- The number of videos watched online has increased by 800% in the last 6 years
- YouTube has 153 million unique viewers, that’s almost 100 million more than Facebook
- YouTube own 48% of the share of content (video views), The second platform is AOL with only 2%
- Men and women are equally likely to watch videos online
The State of YouTube in 2013 [Infographic]
Lastly, I want to share this infographic with you, ShortyMedia is taking us back to look at the brief history of YouTube. Actually, this February 14 the video platform will be 8 years-old.
It’s cool to look back at some of these events, for example how Google acquired it for $1.65 billion in 2006. Imagine how much YouTube would be worth right now, considering Instagram was sold for a cool billion…
But I want you to take a look at where the platform is today, so you can see the potential for exposing your business to a whole new audience:
- 800 million monthly unique visitors (Try naming a few websites with that kind of traffic)
- 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute
- 4 billion hours of video are viewed every month
How about you?
Are you using video as a way of increasing brand awareness? or to entertain and educate your prospects or existing customers? Or are you planning on doing so in 2013?
I’m sure your business has a Facebook Page and, taking in consideration how hard is becoming to actually reach your own audience, maybe is time to entertain the idea of putting some of that energy and time into a YouTube Channel instead.
Share your thoughts in the comments section!