In the past decade YouTube has implanted itself firmly into the modern world’s cultural landscape. Since the platform was bought by Google in 2006, YouTube has become an integral part of popular culture giving users the freedom to upload their own videos, create their own channels, and even make a living (such as by advertising).
While many of us may use the site to watch funny videos featuring dancing cats or check out the latest Taylor Swift track, YouTube has been cited as a platform that has been transforming the way in which people communicate. On a political level, during the 2007 CNN/YouTube presidential debates, civilians submitted questions to candidates through the site. This allowed people from all walks of life to express their concerns to their potential President in a way they might never have before. Another impacting example can be seen after fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd released a video titled ‘My Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self-harm’ just before committing suicide. Legislative action was launched following her suicide with the aim to study bullying and develop a nationwide anti-bullying program.
Furthermore, according to Video Brewery, 90% of online shoppers claimed they found videos helpful in making buying decisions – a number supported by the fact that retailers with online videos promoting their products sell more than companies without. Much of these videos consist of product reviews made by users, some with a large following, some without, but it ends up influencing what’s trending, what to buy, as well as a consumer’s final decision.
YouTube is a powerful platform with hundreds of millions of hours of watch time on a daily basis ranging in topics from humor, DIY, product reviews, and much more. Knowing this, it is easy to understand that if you don’t already have a channel for your business, then you could be missing out on a potentially massive method of connecting with potential customers, raising awareness about your company, and driving traffic to your site.
Join us as we look at four reasons to get your business on YouTube – some of them may surprise you!
YouTube is Still Growing
According to YouTube’s statistics, there are over 1 billion users on the site, with the number of video-hours being watched each month rising by more than 50% every year. Every year!
Thanks to its cross-platform design, users can watch any video wherever they like: the YouTube app is available on the vast majority of smartphones (it comes as standard on Android devices, of course) and tablets, while the site itself is just a click away on desktop/laptop computers. Every one of these users has the potential to watch one of your videos and be converted into a customer. Just imagine the possibilities of creating a video engaging enough to pull millions of viewers in, wherever they are, whenever they’re online!
Sharing YouTube Videos is Incredibly Easy
You create a video, upload it to YouTube, and one person watches it. Hopefully, if you’ve put time and effort into making the piece funny, engaging, and helpful, that person will want to share it with friends who may find it interesting – how can they do that?
Sharing YouTube videos is very easy. Simply click the ‘share’ icon and a selection of sites available for sharing appears, including the major social networks (such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn). According to a DMR statistic, more than 323 days’ worth of YouTube videos are viewed on Facebook alone each minute – this is a major channel of promotion for your videos: sharing from one person to another can quickly lead to videos going viral and acquiring thousands, even millions of views in a very short space of time.
Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, for instance. Back in 2014 this raised more than $100 million (donated by over three million people) to help combat Lou Gehrig’s disease. This fundraising effort became a phenomenon in a matter of days thanks to the simple, fun game at its core: people poured buckets of ice water on themselves and then nominated a number of their friends to do the same or donate money. Thanks to the wave of global celebrities taking part, millions of people got involved, and all for a fantastic cause.
If you can crack the code and create videos that have mass appeal, then your business could see impressive levels of traffic and propel your online presence to new heights.
YouTube Allows for Cost-Effective Marketing
Anyone, even the biggest businesses can create their own channel and upload videos to YouTube for free. This is a highly cost-effective method of marketing, ideal for small businesses looking to build awareness on a limited budget. Of course, the more money you make in the long-run, the more you’ll benefit from hiring professionals to work on your videos, and the more impact you’ll likely to have. Looking for users that are already talking about your product or services and building relationships with them can also get you the starting traction you need.
Even if you do start paying experts to produce your videos, you can still take advantage of free, no-frills pieces, like simple presentations, webinars, and tutorials. These can be recorded with little more than a camera and a room to film in. What’s best is that they are authentic – an automatic attention getter.
A YouTube Channel Puts a Face on your Business
In this day and age, engagement is key. The Internet has given the average consumer more choices than ever before – if a business doesn’t meet their exact needs, they have a high chance of finding the same products or services within seconds for a better deal. To make your company stand out as much as possible, focus on connecting with users. This means you need to understand your target demographic and their taste as well as you can in order to appeal to them.
By introducing your team and your business on YouTube, you can inject some much-needed personality into your profile – show users who you are and what you stand for. By putting a face on your company, potential customers gain interest and trust. Most prefer this over a faceless corporation that keeps themselves at a distance. Successful YouTube users focus on what their viewers like to see. If you know that your average consumer also travels, in addition to buying your products, then talking about travel topics, like destination ideas with nice pictures of places can keep their interest and subscribe.
YouTube remains a massive element in today’s global culture giving anyone and everyone a voice, as well as building awareness for all manner of issues. As a business, you can capitalize on its reach in a quick, simple, low-cost way. Start slowly; create videos on a regular basis and always respond to comments where possible. Show people you care about their opinions, and try to cultivate a community of followers. The more people care, the more they’re likely to share!