Have you thought about WHY you should post to certain platforms? Are you even posting to the right platforms to capture the attention of your target audience?
Our new series is here to help you! We’re diving into the major social media platforms to help you make better decisions about what platforms to use and why you should use them. We’ll even talk about why you might not want to use them.
This week, we’re exploring the reigning champ of social media platforms: YouTube.
The Basics About YouTube
Launched in early 2005, YouTube made its start as an online video sharing site and quickly shot to mass popularity. Before the end of the year, it had already been purchased by Google, changing its business model forever.
Today, the platform is the second-most visited website of all time after Google itself! Their mission? To give everyone a voice and show them the world. Aligning with the company’s recent announcements to double down on their commitment to fostering a better and more-lucrative environment for creators.
YouTube’s Platform Features
The platform offers a variety of features allowing users to view content and follow creators, as well as even create content of their own. Below are some of the most popular features available to users:
- Search and Watch – If you can think of it, you can search it. YouTube’s partners have claimed the platform now hosts over 800 million videos
- Engage – Like/Comment on your favorite videos and engage with other viewers and subscribers.
- Subscribe – find a creator that you love? Follow them! There are 38 million active channels on YouTube of which 15 million are content creators and 22,000 of them have crossed 1 million subscribers.
- Videos – Start your channel and upload! It’s estimated that approximately 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
- Playlists – Organize videos together in themed playlists to make similar content easy to find.
- YouTube Shorts – The platform’s answer to the rising demand for TikTok-like short form video content.
- YouTube Music – The platform’s answer to music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
- YouTube Premium – The platform’s answer to Netflix. It offers ad-free access to content across the service, as well as access to premium YouTube Originals programming produced in collaboration with the site’s creators, as well as access to YouTube Music.
- YouTube TV – The platform’s answer to meeting the demand of those who have cut cable, but still want access to live television.
Why You Should Consider Using YouTube
Like most major social media platforms, it is FREE to create your own profile and start uploading. With over 30 million daily active users, YouTube isn’t just a place to draw engagement – it’s also a prime place for you to grow awareness and trust for your brand.
Research shows that 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Then 84% of people say a video convinced them to purchase a product.
While YouTube “stars” make the headlines, you don’t need a fancy, funny, trendy video. Consumers are craving more content from brands. Statistically, 86% of people want to see more videos from brands, with 36% of those viewers wanting more educational-type content.
Videos are preferred by search engines, and more often than not show up at the top of a search engine results page. By incorporating YouTube video into your content strategy, you could also help your sites rank higher in Google. Ultimately helping you to draw in more organic traffic.
Discover more tips on getting started with video on social media
Ease of Use
Once you have a YouTube channel set up for your business, it becomes incredibly easy for you to use that content in numerous ways.
You can embed it on to webpages or blog entries. You can embed the videos into your newsletters or other methods of communication to your customers. When you embed videos on your website, you are also keeping users within your site, rather than linking to a third party site, where you could lose their traffic.
Also, YouTube really hasn’t changed much over the years. Within the platform itself, it is easy to share your videos to other social media networks.
It’s also easy to create playlists within your channels. If you’re giving several tips in specific categories, you can keep those videos in one place, increasing the likelihood that users will watch even more of your videos.
Monetizing Your Video Content
As we mentioned before, YouTube has been doubling down on their creator economy and paid out over $28.8 billion in ad revenue in 2021. Not only can you monetize your content by allowing YouTube to place ads on your videos, but you can run targeted ads of your own.
YouTube Partner Program
Once your channel reaches a minimum subscriber and watched hours threshold, you will become eligible for revenue sharing from ads being served on your content through the Partner Program. But don’t forget, you also have to follow a standard of community guidelines.
Running Ads for Your Business on YouTube
Creating an ad campaign for YouTube is quite different than running a PPC (pay per click) or paid social media campaign. There are plenty of creative constraints, but also a wealth of additional targeting options. Here are a few different kinds of ads that you might consider for your business
- Video Discovery Ad – appears after a relevant YouTube search
- In-Stream Ads (Skippable and Non-Skippable) – Only pay when someone watches at least 30 seconds of your ad, or until an action is taken from it
- Bumpers – Play before the watched video, just 6 seconds in length and non-skippable
- Overlay Ads – a banner ad that appears at the bottom of the video. These can be a great way to supplement a congruent larger ad campaign
Check out this YouTube Video Advertising Guide to learn more about setting up your first YouTube ad campaign and learn more about available campaign objectives to meet your small business needs!
Getting started can be hard and might seem impossible, but check out these small businesses that started out on YouTube and have since grown their channels to inspire millions of viewers every day.
Some of the Pitfalls
Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Like any platform, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here are a few reasons why YouTube might not be the right fit for you.
- Time – Dedicating the time to create regular video content is an investment. If time is a major issue for you, a third-party agency (like The Social Ginger, of course) can help you with conceptualizing new content, filming, editing and developing a content strategy.
- Equipment – An old camcorder isn’t going to make the cut with this one! Fortunately, your smartphones have just about everything you need: a video camera and access to apps to help you capture, create and edit your video. However, you may want to consider investing in a microphone and a good ring light. Check out this list for some of our top suggestions for getting started!
- Community Guidelines – YouTube adheres to a strict set of community guidelines in order for creators to be able to share and monetize their content. Three strikes in 90 days and you’re out! This might seem easy enough to follow, but it is important to be aware of, especially if you have an “edgy” brand or your business involves a taboo or controversial topic. The smallest violation can make your content ineligible to generate ad revenue.
More From this Series
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