Online video is a growing marketing media. People are watching more videos every day. In fact, more than half of adults in the US would rather watch online video than television.
But this alone doesn’t explain why YouTube is so valuable as a marketing channel. After all, people can watch online videos almost anywhere. Why does YouTube marketing matter so much?
The primary reason is that YouTube is the premier online video platform right now.
True, YouTube isn’t the only video marketing game in town. Video on Facebook is growing. That means Instagram will most likely follow a similar trend. Video-based social media platforms like TikTok and SnapChat have their niches, too, even if they still have plenty of room to grow. And alternative video platforms must compete with YouTube for market share.
But YouTube is the baseline video marketing platform. More and more brands are starting their own YouTube channels, if they haven’t already. YouTube isn’t going anywhere. And marketers are wise to embrace YouTube now.
Consider all these areas where YouTube is already ahead of the pack.
YouTube is for early adopters
Each year, people spend more than twice as long watching YouTube on their TV than they did the previous year. And YouTube reaches enough people to challenge traditional television media.
Source: Think with Google
But as traditional media moves further online, it’s tempting to think that YouTube will become some sort of dinosaur. Since it’s the most popular platform right now, something newer and better will surely replace it as soon as traditional media really starts going online.
But that’s not the case. YouTube is the outlet that early adopters use to plug their TVs into the internet and bypass more traditional media channels. YouTube even accounts for two thirds of the premium video content that millennials watch. That means YouTube is a legitimate challenger to streaming services.
YouTube isn’t going to be replaced. It’s doing the replacing.
YouTube is useful
The big social media platforms aren’t going away any time soon. But they are taking some hits to their popularity. Privacy issues and information about the negative effects of social media are chipping away at the public perception of big social media.
YouTube isn’t exempt from some of these criticisms. But YouTube gets less credit than it should for being a social media platform. So it dodges some of the bad news bullets.
However, YouTube has another advantage over social media: it’s extremely useful.
Are Facebook and Instagram useful? Sure. But when was the last time you went to Facebook to find a video on repairing your vehicle or cooking a special dish? How often do you turn to social media when you need to learn something?
Why people use YouTube
Source: Think with Google
For an even more telling example, consider all the videos on YouTube about how to use Facebook and Instagram features or how to become successful on Snapchat.
The bottom line here is that, unlike other social media sites, people aren’t as likely to completely quit YouTube or have a negative perception of brands that advertise on the platform. YouTube is simply too useful.
How YouTube makes people feel
Source: Think with Google
YouTube rewards high quality content
YouTube is one of the most forgiving platforms when it comes to slow content production. There are plenty of successful YouTube channels that publish just one video a month.
That’s because YouTube rewards high quality content. This enables you to focus on delivering as much value as possible.
The slower publishing pace on YouTube also opens up more opportunities for branding, whereas the breakneck speed of social media marketing tends to drive the focus toward direct response marketing.
Additionally, YouTube content is easy to repurpose for other platforms. You can get tons of social media posts and ad ideas from just one quality YouTube video. So your YouTube marketing can improve the quality (and quantity) of your other marketing content.
YouTube ads are powerful and affordable
It’s totally possible to be successful on YouTube without running ads. YouTube videos get tons of views. And it’s easy to get a quick pitch and call to action into a YouTube video. But YouTube ads are also incredibly powerful.
One of the most popular shows on television netted 15.3 million viewers in 2020. YouTube has over 2 billion users. And a single video on YouTube can get millions of unique views.
YouTube ads are far more targeted than traditional TV ads. YouTube ads have better analytics than TV ads. And YouTube ads are far less expensive than traditional television advertising. That’s why the ROI on YouTube ads is so high.
When you consider that only 38% of adults report paying attention to TV ads, YouTube ads are a really good deal. Also, YouTube advertising hasn’t attracted the same sort of advertising budgets that TV gets…Yet.
As more viewers move to YouTube, the advertising money will follow. The longer your brand waits to start advertising on YouTube, the more likely it is that you’ll be competing against other YouTube advertisers with astronomical budgets.
Best to start now while you can still rake in conversions with a YouTube ad you filmed on your phone.
Leveraging YouTube for success (now and forever)
Video is the element that undergirds the entire argument for YouTube. Digital marketing is the way of the future. And video is going to continue its takeover in the digital marketing space.
As video picks up steam, your YouTube marketing will be the foundation for all your other digital marketing.
If you start a YouTube channel now, you’ll have a video production process, video content, and tons of video marketing data ready for when video makes its way into all your other marketing channels.
Also, since people rely on YouTube for how-to videos, YouTube marketing gives you an amazing opportunity to leverage one of the most proven content marketing tactics in the book: educating your customers.
That gives your YouTube channel plenty of potential to be a profitable marketing asset right now. If you focus on building repeatable video creation processes and gathering analytics data about what works for you in video marketing, you’ll get paid to build a video marketing system that works on any new or existing video platform.
Ultimately, YouTube marketing is about future proofing all your marketing, so you’re not left scrambling when video takes over the world.
About the Author: James MacGregor is Chief Content Officer and a co-founder at Biteable, the world’s simplest video maker. Along with manga and anime, James loves nerding out on marketing and growing start-ups.