The business of YouTube.

24 Nov 2015

Why every marketer needs a strategy for YouTube.

More than ten years ago, the first video was shared on YouTube, changing the way we interact online forever. With over one billion users and 100 hours of video uploaded every 60 seconds, YouTube is no longer just a place for sharing videos of your kids with faraway family. Eleven years ago, we didn’t know the meaning of the term “viral video.” Now, it’s the holy grail of the online world.


Why do videos go viral?

In a TED talk about this very topic, YouTube Trends Manager Kevin Allocca says that videos that go viral feature tastemakers, lure in communities of participation and/or exhibit unexpectedness. “The audience defines the popularity. No one has to green-light your idea. And we all now feel some ownership in our own pop culture.”


What does this mean for businesses?

YouTube is a place to do two things as a business: create your own content and advertise on other people’s videos. But why? Well, if you want to reach a lot of people at one time, YouTube is a great way to do it. Here’s a look at YouTube by the numbers:

  • Over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet.
  • Reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • More than half of views come from mobile devices.
  • Average mobile viewing session is more than 40 minutes.
  • 3rd most visited website worldwide.
  • All of the top 100 global brands have run TrueView ads over the past year.

Beyond meeting customers and prospects where they are, marketing on YouTube can also help:

  • People find you on Google since videos results are appearing more often on the search engine.
  • Grow content that you can share out on social media. Video posts on Facebook are viewed more than any other types of posts.
  • Repurpose content that you’ve already created, like TV spots, speeches and more. It’s quick and easy to turn a PowerPoint into a video that you can narrate for a polished, informational piece.
  • Reach an international audience.
  • Drive traffic to your website and social channels.


Yes, but how do I get people to watch my videos?

There are several steps you can take to ensure success of your video or video series:

  • Make sure the visuals are alluring if the sound is off. Sure, you want people to listen, but videos shared on Facebook and other sites default to silent-view first. Try to ensure that the first thing people see is compelling enough to get them to turn up the sound. Or, take Buzzfeed’s lead and post how-to content with no sound necessary.
  • Keep it to a minute. 30 seconds is better. 15 seconds is even better than that. Short content is viewed more often, so challenge yourself to be brief. If you have a longer story to tell, post the full version on YouTube but cut it to shorter bits for sharing on other social channels.
  • When sharing on social, upload the file directly versus posting the YouTube link. The super robots will serve up your content more often if it’s native to the platform instead of a shared link.
  • Use the five-second rule. Even though some ads aren’t skippable, pretend they all are. Even if your video is just sharable content and not an ad, use the same gauge. The goal is to draw people in before the “skip this ad” button appears, which is usually about the five-second mark.


Need inspiration?

Here are some of the most popular brand videos on YouTube – and one oldie but goodie of the not-so-corporate variety.


Need help creating a video that gets views?

Contact us today and we’ll walk you through what we’ve done for companies in health care, technology, the nonprofit sector and more.


Looking to develop a larger social media strategy? Check out our free guide, Get Schooled on Social Media.

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Tags: financial services marketing, healthcare marketing, social media, nonprofit marketing, tech marketing