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The Evolving Face of YouTube

YouTube has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users—making it the second-largest audience in the world, just behind Facebook. It’s a powerful channel that businesses should include in their social media portfolio, especially to reach younger demographics. In the U.S., over 90 percent of teens and more than 80 percent of millennials spend an average of 40 minutes a day on the platform watching videos. In addition to audience reach, being owned by Google doesn’t hurt search results.

Like other social media channels, YouTube has fielded its share of criticism recently for content. This prompted the company to clean up its act, pledging a human review of every video uploaded in its Preferred Creator program, compelling “news” feeds to add a disclaimer on videos if they are tied to a government entity and creating stiff requirements for anyone who wants to generate ad dollars on the platform. To monetize a channel, a producer must first generate 4,000 hours of “watch time” within a year and attract at least 1,000 subscribers. According to YouTube, the changes are intended to “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”

It will be harder for businesses making money off a YouTube channel, but there are many other reasons for organizations, including small businesses, to create videos on the platform. According to a 2018 marketing survey published on Hubspot, video production’s high return on investment is spurring tremendous growth, with 81 percent of businesses using video as a marketing tool―up from 63 percent in the previous years’ survey.

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Here are the three most compelling reasons your business should create YouTube videos.

1. Build Trust and Credibility
When you show people interacting with your product or having success with your services, it portrays your business in a positive light. Every size business can use testimonials to build brand trust and credibility. With increased quality and relatively low prices of video equipment, videos can even be done “in house.” Briefing your customer ahead of time on key points you’d like them to talk about, using a good microphone and learning a bit about lighting and camera angles will create a more professional video.

2. Establish Authority in Your Industry
Informational videos will establish you or your business as an authority in your industry. The more tips and information you post, the higher you will rank as an authority in your chosen topic. Provide enough information so that potential customers will watch more of your videos or contact you to help them. For example, a real estate agent might create a video about home staging when putting a house up for sale, encouraging the viewer to contact them for more tips and a list of resources, such as closet organizers, high end rental furniture or affordable artwork used in the video. Embedding the video across multiple channels will raise interest and convert to sales.

3. Engage Your Target Market
As the second-largest search engine after Google, YouTube provides a huge opportunity to connect with people interested in your business.

Videos can be tagged with keywords to draw in target demographics. Interactors can leave their feedback and questions in the comments section below the video and start a conversation with the company. Like other social media platforms, it is important to keep up with comments on YouTube to show the community you are engaged, which will build confidence about your brand.

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Video Production Options
Uncertain about producing your own video? As an option to finding a local video producer yourself, YouTube recently launched YouTube Director Onsite. A screened and qualified video producer will work with you to create a script, come to your business and shoot video and edit it into a finished commercial. The production is free when you commit to purchasing $350 in advertising space on YouTube.

Finally, YouTube has excellent tools to take your large video files and compress them for optimal viewing on the internet. Not only can you use your optimized video on your YouTube channel, you can share videos on your own website and blog, Facebook, Google+, your digital newsletter, Tumblr, Twitter and many other sites.

Yes, your business should be on YouTube, harnessing the world’s second-largest search engine to build brand exposure and awareness.

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