The Secrets of YouTube Marketing Revealed

I bet you only use YouTube when your 10-year-old daughter wants you to watch some cute pet videos, right?

But you would never think of using it to market your business.

If I told you that YouTube has a ‘Science & Technology’ category, a ‘How To’ category, and an ‘Education’ category, can you begin to see the possibilities?

Whether you work for a high-tech company, a hardware store, or a university, you might want to learn more about using YouTube to publicize your operation.

Why YouTube Marketing?

Because YouTube is all about video broadcasting. And videos are perfect for showing technical equipment, demonstrating a procedure or giving parents of prospective students a virtual tour of the campus.

Videos can even show a “talking head” touting the benefits of any product or service. Just like a TV commercial. But you have up to 10 minutes to make your case, not 30 seconds. And it won’t cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This is not your father’s TV. It’s not 97 million Americans watching the Super Bowl on one channel on one day and seeing whatever ads the station selects, whether they want to see them or not.

This is 400 million people worldwide actively seeking information on an estimated 6 million to 9 million YouTube channels every month. Yes, I said millions of channels. And watching what THEY want to see.

As of 2009, approximately 100 million Americans watched about 6 billion videos on YouTube each month. Americans performed more than 2.9 billion searches on YouTube every month.

In fact, YouTube accounted for 79% of all US visits to 60 online video sites in 2009. Google Video was #2, with a 4.6% market share.

What Businesses Can Do on YouTube

Remember, social media is about monitoring and participating in the conversations about companies, products and services. And finding evangelists and influencers who can help you build your business.

Your customers are already having these conversations on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — wouldn’t you like to know what they’re saying? Wouldn’t you like to find those evangelists?

Here are some things businesses can do in a YouTube video, according to the book YouTube and Video Marketing an Hour a Day by Greg Jarboe:

• Publicize a news event about your company.
• Introduce a new product or service.
• Demonstrate a new product or service.
• Distribute a speech given by the company president, CEO or VP.
• Record celebrity endorsements of your product or service.
• Show conference presentations, exhibits and speeches.

You can even advertise on YouTube. You can place your own ads on videos that match your criteria. It can be a traditional Google text ad or a video ad to the right of the video player. Or you can place the ad in the lower part of the video itself as a semi-transparent overlay while the video plays.

You can also create a Brand Channel complete with your logo that gives you many more options than a regular channel. It’s expensive, but “YouTube gets a Super Bowl–sized audience month in and month out,” according to Jarboe.

Yes, more than 147 million US Internet users watched an average of 100 videos per viewer in January 2009. That’s a bigger audience than the 97.5 million people who watched the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl!

And it’s not just 10-year-old girls. Sixty-two percent of YouTube viewers are 35 and older. Almost half have a college degree and a similar percentage have incomes of $75,000 or more.

Marketing Will Never Be the Same

Jarboe’s book could be used as the textbook for a college-level course in YouTube marketing. He says it will take you eight months to get through it, but don’t panic!

The first month will go very quickly because only weeks one and two have any “homework.” Basically, just get on YouTube and look around.

Weeks three and four are essentially an outline of the rest of the book. You can probably finish the entire first month in a few hours.

Likewise for week four in the second month. There is no homework, you just have to read one or two pages each day. Piece of cake!

But then it starts getting technical:

• Month three: You watch top-rated videos so you can learn how to create a “viral” video.
• Month four: You learn the basics of creating and customizing a YouTube channel.
• Month five: You learn about engaging with and contributing to the YouTube community.
• Month six: You learn the principles of digital video production.
• Month seven: You learn about becoming a YouTube Partner and advertiser.
• Month eight: Covers YouTube Insight, TubeMogul and other metrics.

A YouTube channel is the equivalent of a Facebook profile. You create the page and put whatever you want on it. But instead of lots of text, you put lots of videos. Videos of all those things that businesses can do on YouTube.

And YouTube allows viewers to rate your videos, favorite them and share them with friends. They can also upload a video response to your videos, add comments and subscribe to your channel.

But be forewarned! A TubeMogul study of the viewing of 188,055 YouTube videos found that half of the viewers stopped watching a video after only 60 seconds.

Ouch! Do you know what that means?

It means you shouldn’t even consider creating a compelling video until you engage the services of an experienced copywriter. A copywriter who can write a video script that grabs your prospects’ attention and never lets go.

Here are two places you can find experienced freelance copywriters:

My only negative comment about this book is the high number of non-technical errors. Not just misspelled words, but missing words! Of course, your brain will supply the missing words based on context; but I’m sitting here thinking, “Doesn’t Sybex have editors?”

Otherwise, this book is a treasure trove of information about YouTube and how you can use it to build your business. In the words of Suzie Reider, head of YouTube advertising, “Marketing has changed, forever — and will change more in the next few years than it has changed in the last 50 years.”

Are you jumping on the bandwagon or sitting on the fence?

Social Media Examiner gives this book a 5-star rating.

What do you think about YouTube? If you are using YouTube, please share your experience! Comment below…

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About the Author, Ruth M. Shipley

Ruth M. Shipley is a freelance researcher and writer who loves to write a good story. Because that’s what most people love to read! See her Social Media Examiner page for more stories about social media books. Other posts by »




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  • johnhutson

    Thanks for the post. Awesome info about the demographic data.

    I for one thoroughly believe that where possible, you should utilise YouTube, even for the advertising side of things (PPC etc).

    Its been suggested that it is now the number 2 or 3 search engine, and bearing in mind that means beating Yahoo and Bing – that is a stat that cannot be ignored!

  • Guest

    Hello and thank you on great post!
    YouTube is a trend today and your article is a proof that even bad video makes more money than NO video.
    Video marketing is different from other ways to promote an idea or information because it leaves a stronger impact and impression.In any case I would like to remind you that one picture is worth more than a thousand words.

  • http://blog.ubervu.com/ dragosilinca

    There’s another plus to it that’s missing – as opposed to TV ads, this can be trackable, you can measure the exact impact of the video and participate around it in the comments section or on blogs.

    There’s a caveat however. YouTube might get more viewers than the SuperBowl in a given month, but those are highly scattered over millions of videos. It’s like saying that because Google.com gets billions of hits each month, it’s where you should be. You might find that there’s a lot of competition for the popular spots and that for your little niche, there may not be enough viewers.

    Definitely worth a try, but I would not expect it to be the end of everyone’s marketing problems.

  • kdecoste

    Thanks for this! I reposted to a Social Media group on FB and hope they find this interesting as well. I am new to this blog, but appreciate the info shared here.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks so much!

  • Natasha

    Thanks for this post – I found the stats particularly compelling.The other nice part about YouTube is that it offers some decent ways to track your return on a (small) investment in terms of followers and consumers who subscribe to the channel. I’m interested in checking out the book, particularly on the section on metrics.

  • http://www.webmarketersspeak.info/ Lafate Smith

    This is awesome information and statistics about YouTube and where it is headed. I agree wholeheartedly. The one thing that surprised me however is that there was no link to a YouTube channel for Social Media Examiner posted in the blog post, unless I overlooked it. Nonetheless, I will search YouTube to see if you have a channel. If you do, I will definitely subscribe. Thanks!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    We do not have a channel…

  • http://blog.ubervu.com/ dragosilinca

    It would probably make a good use case of how effective it is and how it can be measured (hint-hint) :)

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    Great article. This book sounds great, but your readers should know there are lots of free information out there (especially on YouTube!) to help you design and market your videos. I currently subscribe to 40 or more channels – which is not a lot really – and go to them first. I love how YouTube has an update email with new uploads to those channels otherwise it’s really overwhelming. And I really like how they have developed their sharing systems, embedding systems, and ability to monetize it. I have some favorite channels – http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers and OF COURSE http://www.youtube.com/user/WritingWhitePapers (new videos soon Michael??)

  • ruthmshipley

    Exactly, Branko!

    Researchers using eye-tracking technology have found that people will watch information longer if it has a picture. Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.idra.org/ Christie

    Thanks for this! I appreciate the specific examples in particular.

  • ruthmshipley

    You’re absolutely right. This is millions of people collectively watching tens of millions of videos. Each person might only watch 100 videos a month.

    But some YouTube videos have millions of views. Yes, those millions of people didn’t watch the video all at the same time like a TV audience does. Does that really matter?

    And why did they watch it? Because it was recommended by people they know and trust. Or they landed on the video’s watch page and read all the comments by people just like them and saw all the ratings. Every watch page has a list of that video’s “awards.” Awarded by all the people who watched it, not some ratings agency.

    Of course YouTube should be only a part of your marketing strategy, not your entire marketing strategy.

    And thank you so much for writing about the competition for “popular spots” and “niche” markets. I’m currently reading Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail. His book is all about the Long Tail of niche marketing. The Long Tail covers a LOT more products than the Short Head. Much fewer sales, yes, but many, many, many more products. The Long Tail turns an economy of scarcity — only the “hits” — into an economy of abundance — “everything else.”

    YouTube is a perfect example of The Long Tail. YouTube has allowed anyone with a digital video camera to create a video and upload it to YouTube. You don’t have to be a video production company anymore!

    You can optimize your video for the YouTube search engine just like you optimize a website for Google. And YouTube distributes your video to anyone who is searching for the information your video contains. It brings demand and supply together based on the comments and recommendations of other customers.

    A Super Bowl ad is the old way of advertising. YouTube is the new way.

    Here’s Anderson on traditional advertising: “We’re entering an era of radical change for marketers. Faith in advertising and the institutions that pay for it is waning, while faith in individuals is on the rise.” (p. 98) “Recommendations have all the demand-generation power of advertising, but at virtually no cost.” (p. 110)

    Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine. I recommend his book highly to all businesses that have a niche product or service.

    The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. Chris Anderson. 2006. NY: Hyperion.

  • ruthmshipley

    Thank you so much for reposting this article on Facebook!

  • ruthmshipley

    Phyllis:

    Yes, in the section on creating videos, Jarboe mentions several videos on YouTube itself. He doesn’t even write much about the topic. He just refers people to the training videos on YouTube! And Videomaker (www.videomaker.com), which also has a YouTube channel. And Mark Apsolon (www.markapsolon.com), who also has a YouTube channel.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2TVSLHZW2ZS2F74MJPFITEAKTE The Accidental Leader

    Thank you for such great information. As a Boomer, trying to stay up with social media can be mind boggling, but articles such as this chunk it down to bite sized pieces. Having tacked blogging, LinkedIn, and a bit on Twitter, the more I do the more I am confident that if I take it one step at a time, as technically green thumbed as I am, that I will at least not be in the marketing dark ages. Love the examples, and book suggestion, this is a grand help!

  • KatrinadeGruchy

    You are right, marketing will never be the same againg and its exciting! The resources are great as Ive been stuggling to find experienced freelance copywriters for a while, so thank you!

  • http://www.ekmedia.com/ Melissa

    Love the stats in this article. I also understand that your page has a better chance at a high Google ranking if you have video in it.

  • http://twitter.com/howdoimarketbiz Joann Whetstine

    Video comes up in search about 50% of the time, so, this article is great for suggestions on what to make videos about and how to engage the audience. Times are changing quickly online and we all have to keep up. My clients are just starting to use YouTube so this article is very timely!

  • Muxxex

    Excellent post summarizing YouTube marketing and it’s great to see so many well written responses on the part of the author :)

    YouTube marketing isn’t anything new, it’s actually been around for quite a while but it only seems recently people have begun to take notice (probably from the analytical data from sources like TubeMogul).

    One that that many people are afraid of is the costs of beginning a video marketing campaign. It’s actually all in your head. You can purchase high definition cameras (such as the Flip HD) for under $150 which creates amazing looking videos.

    Remember, most videos are shot with a simple web cam, people still watch them!

    Another important thing is the sound quality. You can have an amazing looking video but if the sound is subpar, people are bouncing.

    Video editing couldn’t be easier. Earlier days had you on tape decks, working back and forth between analog machines, a real hassle. Windows, Apple and Linux all bundled editing software which takes you only 1 hour to learn the basics – really!

    I suggest, for your company, you make videos that are based around the same products and PPC keywords you are aiming for. Do you sell bicycles? Do a video about learning how to ride a bike!

    It’s exactly like writing content for your website, just fill it full of enough information but don’t make it some epicly long video, people have a finite amount of time so they want to see something informational/funny/inspiring in bite size pieces. Tease them with videos, test out which ones have a great response.

    You may be bidding $10+ for a keyword in Google Adwords but creating a video and posting it on YouTube can give you very high rankings with the correct optimization. Additionally, promoting a video is pennies on the dollar compared to Adwords PPC, you can promote a video for rock bottom prices and really reach a ton of people.

    The most important tip I can give you is to JUST DO IT. I know, ripped that from Nike but it hits home. If you spend 10 hours trying to work out 1 perfect video, you could have made 5 videos and learned as you go. No one is going to punish you for a video that is 1% less informational than the one you took 2x the amount of time working on, just have fun, give people what they want and enjoy the feedback and leads :)

  • http://www.stopdev.com/ Bryan

    Great article. I think you are right on the money with video marketing. We currently create some great vids at work, but they are only seen by our staff. We have been talking lately about publishing them to give our customers an excellent peek into our world and see the humor, excitement and fun that is behind our doors. I think this is an excellent marketing avenue. Keep it coming!

  • http://www.FitBodyFitnessTraining.com/ Greg Fellows

    Just starting out with You Tube video making fo rmy blog.

    Yet to find the right presentation style and feel totally realxed when filming.

    Bu article like your make the reservations go away and encourage me to get filming again.

    Greg Fellows
    http://www.gregfellows.com

  • gregjarboe

    According to comScore, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the U.S. As of December 2009, there were 9.7 billion search queries on Google, 3.9 billion on YouTube, 2.5 billion on Yahoo!, and 1.4 billion on Bing. But wait! There’s more. According to comScore, six out of seven U.S. Internet users now view online video content in a month, with YouTube continuing to experience rapid increase in viewership. By comparison, nearly 4 out of 5 Internet users visiting a social networking site on a monthly basis and Facebook and Twitter propelling much of the growth in the category. So, YouTube is big in both search and social media. That’s why it ate the lunch of video search engines like Google Video.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Greg Jarboe!

    Thanks for stopping by! Love your book!

  • gregjarboe

    Ruth, you’re absolutely right. According to comScore Video Metrix, nearly 178 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 187 videos per viewer during the month of December 2009. If you look at just YouTube, 134.4 million viewers watched more than 97 videos per viewer that month. To put this in some context, Americans conducted 14.7 billion core searches that month, with Google accounting for 9.7 billion of them. In other words, Americans watch more videos a month than they conduct searches and more videos are viewed on YouTube than searches are conducted on Google.

  • gregjarboe

    Thanks, Mike. My editor tells me that my book is being used at Regent University (Virginia Beach VA). This means Chapter 4 will be on the mid-term exam. My apologies to all the students who have to cram for the test.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Greg,

    I know the felling. I get inquires from students about mine all the time.

  • http://aaronhoos.com/ Aaron Hoos

    Good post, Ruth, thank you. I’ve been thinking about adding YouTube to my business’ marketing for a few months now and your thoughts have been a helpful guide. I appreciate it!

  • http://www.pookymedia.com/ pookyamsterdam

    YouTube Video has so much going for it – and unlike a 30 or 60 second commercial, it can last as long as 10 minutes – though the general rule of thumb is around 5 minutes (think of your own viewing habits here). And you do get a chance to engage the viewer and integrate them into your message for a much longer time, with a much deeper message.
    Online video is now a fact of life. Over 86% of the US audience watched Online video in December of 2009, and also in this month, eMarketer released its latest projections for U.S. online video advertising to grow to $5.2 billion respectively by 2014.
    Search captures intent, video captures interest. Intent drives performance campaigns, while interest paves the way for branding messages.
    You also have the video on persistently and perpetually, meaning it is always on plus you don’t have to book expensive air time on a TV or cable channel. You also get feedback immediately on the comments sections plus you can facebook it, twitter, myspace and additionally post it throughout a distribution network.
    PookyMedia uses an Avatar based 3D Virtual World platform which gives incredible looking video and is extremely cost – effective. Want the Eiffel Tower but can’t get to Paris? No problem when you shoot in a Virtual world – Love this article.

    http://www.pookymediafilms.com/
    @pookymedia

  • http://www.engageyourstrengths.com wdaunheimer

    I’ve recently found and subscribed to your blog and have been enjoying your posts. I’ve been wanting to create and post some videos, but have yet to figure out how people make the type I have in mind. I’d like to create them with powerpoint slides in the background and a small inset of me talking (example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXCmyTh66Uw). Any ideas?

  • http://techglobex.blogspot.com/ Tech Review

    Great tip. I always think video marketing is no so efficient. But you have mentioned quite informative tips. Thanks

  • http://www.mktgpress.com/ Greg Taylor

    I use YouTube as a media library. I make sure that my video is tagged similarly to the blog post where it is embedded. As the #2 search engine how can you ignore this medium?

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Hello Greg!

    Thank you so much for contributing.

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Thanks again, Greg.

    I hope my review stimulates sales of your book!

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Thanks for your inspirational comments!

    Many companies might hold back because YouTube has placed a 10-minute limit on videos. But you can always make a brief “teaser” video and place the full version on the corporate website. Like the previews that the film industry makes. And place a link to the corporate website on the teaser video’s watch page.

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Go for it, Aaron!

    As someone already mentioned, you can get a Flip camera for about $100. Although if you have enough money, you might consider something more sophisticated.

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Pooky:

    Exactly! Your YouTube video ad can run 24/7 and creating a YouTube channel and uploading your video is absolutely free. At least so far!

    The only expense is learning how to create an engaging video.

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Don’t know about a small video inset, but otherwise you’re describing a screencast. A screencast is basically a video of the output of a PC monitor with or without an audio accompaniment.

    IOW, you can go through a Power Point presentation, demonstrate software, or anything that can be displayed on a PC monitor. And you can add a voice that describes what the viewer is seeing.

  • http://www.smrinfosolutions.com/ Ruth M. Shipley

    Exactly! I don’t think anyone can ignore YouTube any longer.

    And many products are best demonstrated in a video. It’s really a no-brainer.

  • http://www.twittertraffictips.com/ Mark

    Ruth, have you seen some good b to b focused resources for how to best use YouTube?

  • ruthmshipley

    Mark:

    I’m not a social media expert, so I’m afraid I can’t answer your question. There’s an online magazine called BToB (btobonline.com, I think). They may have some information.

    Can anyone else answer Mark’s question?

  • mikewanner

    Hey Greg, I haven’t read your book but my gut tells me anything taught via University about marketing is mainly conceptual and not ‘real world’ tactics or strategies that made money. I absolutely suck at video but I make money doing it. I’m looking for something that is about YouTube but the books I see on YouTube are all academic. Is yours? Or do you share strategies and go right into implementation for bloggers, business owners, internet marketers, etc. Thanks for the feedback. Mike

  • KaCro

    But technically YouTube is not a search engine. It has a search function. And because the organization of YouTube’s content is so all over the place, people HAVE to use the search function – pushing up its numbers to be placed in that #2 slot.
    http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/14/1645227

  • KaCro

    Thanks for the article! Good info!!

    The one thing I would say though is to go in to YouTube marketing only if you’re ready to be completely vulnerable to any comments or mockery, as well as the positive influx to your site. Do your research as to whether or not YouTube is a good channel for your company. I work on the social media campaign for a mid-sized insurance company with some leaders that are jazzed up about getting on to YouTube because it’s where everyone is. Right now, it’s not in our best interest.

    I would add: Use YouTube to support your marketing campaign (not vice versa which would be developing a campaign just so you can use YouTube), avoid talking heads (snore), and make the topic compelling! Even a skilled copywriter would struggle with a topic or theme that just isn’t video-worthy.

    Just my 2cents!

  • ruthmshipley

    I agree completely.

    You should only use YouTube if you sell a product or service that is naturally best described visually. And that would probably exclude insurance policies!

    But remember, you can create a video ad that looks just like a TV commercial. I know there may not be very many TV commercials selling insurance policies. But anything that can be sold in a TV commercial can be sold in a YouTube video ad.

    And I’ve seen quite a few TV commercials that were mostly “talking heads.” Of course, they were only 30 seconds long. It might be a real challenge to create a 6-minute video of talking heads discussing insurance policies!

    So you’re right to stick to the text-based social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  • http://www.misterfuzzyhead.com misterfuzzyhead

    Good points – I always put my URL at the beginning and end – I need to work more on call of action – Thank You again

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