If the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, how many words is a video worth? According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That is why video is such a powerful marketing tool.

YouTube is the largest video channel with 2 billion users and the second largest search engine behind Google, who owns YouTube. Those are hard facts to ignore when considering which channels to market your business.

Other Interesting Facts About YouTube:

  • The second largest social media channel behind Facebook
  • The largest channel among the 18-34 year demographic.
  • 5 billion videos watched daily.
  • 500 hours of videos are uploaded every minute.
  • 38% of users are on the channel at least once per day.
  • Over 70% of users are on a mobile device.
  • 73% of the adults in the U.S. use the channel.
  • Users are researching products they want to buy and 80% are doing it at the beginning of the buying cycle.

Sources: Cast from Clay, Hootsuite Blog

Like other search engines, YouTube is an effective marketing channel because users have an intent to buy. They are searching for videos to do research about products such as how-to videos or product reviews. Even when watching other content, users are 81% more likely to engage with a paid advertisement on YouTube over a TV commercial.

Advertising on YouTube:

The great thing about advertising on YouTube is the advertiser is only paying if the user watches at least 30 seconds of the ad or clicks on the ad. Savvy marketers can take advantage of this pricing structure by being creative with messaging. By creating messaging and branding that gets the point across to the viewer under the 30 second timeframe, the advertising can avoid paying for the ad. While it does not work all of the time, it is a strategy to get the most bang for your buck.

There are 4 types of ads that can be run on YouTube:

  1. Skippable in-stream video ads – These are ads that play during a video and allow the user to skip the ad after the first 5 seconds. Ads must be a minimum of 12 seconds, up to 3 minutes in length.
  2. Non-skippable in-stream video ads – Similar to skippable ads, but the viewer can’t skip. Ads are limited to 15 seconds in length, but are charged to the advertiser based on views since the option to skip is not available.
  3. Discovery ads – Rather than in-stream ads that are similar to TV commercials, discovery ads are shown in search results when people are searching for a subject using keywords. The ad contains a thumbnail and text and are charged pay-per-click.
  4. Non-video ads – Even if you don’t have video ads created, you can still advertise on YouTube with display ads. These are ads the contain static images, graphics, and text that are displayed in the side bar of the YouTube screen. These ads are charged by impressions.

The beauty of creating an ad campaign on YouTube, is ads can be targeted by keywords (discovery ads), demographics, geography, and users interests. This feature allows advertisers to maximize budgets and get the right message in front of the right people.

So If It Is So Great, Why Aren’t All Business on YouTube?

Only about 8% of small businesses have a presence on YouTube. The main reason the number is so small is the perception that video content creation is expensive and time consuming. With today’s smartphones, this is no longer true. The quality of videos taken with a smart phone are better than video cameras 20 years ago. Also, video editing apps are inexpensive and allow the creator to splice multiple videos, add images, video effects, graphics, text, music, and voice overs to create professional videos very quickly. YouTube Studio is a feature that allows some basic editing as well. Gimbal stabilizers that keep the phone stable during videoing are also very inexpensive and give professional quality results.

Another hinderance to small business adopting YouTube is generational. The demographics of viewers on YouTube are younger than the typical small business owner. Older generations are typically not active on YouTube other than occasionally watching a how-to video, so they don’t see the benefit of marketing on the platform. This perception needs to change because there is a enormous opportunity that is lost, when a business neglects to connect with potential new (and younger) customers. The younger generations are forming their buying habits and brand loyalty now and could potentially be lifetime customers.

How To Get Started On YouTube:

  1. Create a YouTube channel. Instructions are here. You can customize the channel with a header photo and links your website and social media channels.
  2. Upload videos you have already created. If you have created videos for your social media accounts, load them to your YouTube channel.
  3. Download a video editing app to your phone or computer.
  4. Get your smartphone out and start creating video content. Practice makes perfect. Video content ideas are a walkthrough of the business, employee interviews, customer testimonials, events, product how-to, new product introductions. If you normally would take a photograph, take a video instead. You can snap shot a photo from a video.
  5. Consider creating a YouTube ad campaign to reach new people. If you are already running Google Ads campaign, it is easy to create a video ad in your Google account.

During this pandemic, business must get creative to survive. Being able to pivot to new and innovative strategies to reach people is important. Budgets are tight, so taking advantage of inexpensive, yet more effective marketing channels makes sense. I always advocate to use a multi-channel marketing approach to reach people where they are, on their smartphones and computers. YouTube is one of those essential channels. Our motto is “target the right message, to the right person, at the right time” and the multi-channel approach fits that strategy. We are always here for you if you need help.