If content is king, YouTube is its castle. Since being purchased by Google in 2006, YouTube has claimed the title of largest video property and second largest search engine in the world. When 85% of adults online claim to use it, who can argue?
The stats about YouTube’s domination are so impressive that it’s hard to understand why only about 9% of small businesses choose to utilize it in their marketing efforts. Video is expected to make up 70% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017 and if your business doesn’t follow the masses, you will be missing a large part of the market and an even greater sales opportunity. The good thing is that Google has molded YouTube into a powerful advertising and social media tool to help you connect with your target market and integrate video into your comprehensive marketing plan.
First, let’s discuss paid media.
There are two basic advertising methods available on YouTube: display ads and pre-roll video. Display ads usually appear on YouTube Watch pages and are priced on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis. Pre-roll video serves before a video and advertisers only pay if a user chooses to watch the advertisement. If they press the “skip ad” button, the advertiser doesn’t have to pay for the view. This is also known as cost-per-view, or CPV.
Both display ads and pre-roll videos on YouTube can be targeted using a wide array of segments including age, gender, interests, location and more. The data collected about their users helps advertisers reach the perfect customer when they’re actively engaged in content.
Next, we’ll cover owned media.
If you are wary about investing dollars in YouTube advertising right away, you may want to try creating and maintaining a channel for your business. Channels are a great way to leverage the power of YouTube’s audience without the monetary cost. If you choose to be an active member of the YouTube community, you must be prepared to regularly dedicate time from your schedule to create videos and update your channel.
Consider this when starting a YouTube channel for your business: your potential customers come to YouTube to watch, learn and be entertained. If you want to catch their attention, you have to create original content that solves a problem they may have and shows your expertise over the subject matter.
The general rule of thumb is to keep videos to two minutes or less as to not lose their focus. YouTube has great tools to optimize your videos including their Audience Retention report, which shows you where users fast forward, rewind, or even stop watching completely. You can also find useful feedback and ideas in comments on your videos and videos on similar channels. By utilizing YouTube’s features to create valuable videos, you can build an audience that knows your brand and trusts your business.
YouTube’s popularity is only going to grow as internet users consume more content. Whether you want to target your market through advertisements or grow your audience through a channel, your business needs to be present to maximize ROI in the digital age.