YouTube for Business – Is YouTube Your Friend?
First of all, this post is aimed at B2B marketers, the people we normally work with. So if you are one of YouTube’s billions of viewers, yes YouTube is your friend. it is the best repository for great content. Everyone will find content that they like and can spend hours lost on the platform (if you are like me anyway).
However sticking to the task at hand; is YouTube your friend as a business supporting platform? The answer is not so simple.
Let’s look at the positives.
1. It’s free to host your video (very compelling especially for a small business).
2. It’s a social platform, people can discover your content.
3. It has an enormous audience.
4. You can organise your content into channels (offering a smart front page to your audience).
5. When well optimised, YouTube offers heightened search ranking points on Google
Like all SWOT analysis though every strength has a mirroring weakness.
1. There are more attractive ways to broadcast your video (Vimeo for one).
2. Just as much as people can discover your content, they can then be easily dragged away from it.
3. An enormous library of content means that your content is lost.
4. Channel front pages are less than 1% of your viewer stats. Users don’t seem to ‘do’ channels.
5. With so much competition success in search rankings is increasingly nigh on impossible.
Added to these weaknesses, major issues exist with YouTube and, for any business that wants to understand their viewer, these issues are by far the most important.
1. The viewer is YouTube’s not your’s.
2. You have no access to the data belonging to the viewer of your content.
3. Viewer engagement is guess work. Time viewed is not a good enough metric.
4. If viewers have accessed your YouTube content from your owned sites, they can be easily lost never to return.
5. Interactivity is limited so ‘response’ is difficult to attain.
We would suggest that YouTube should still be a place where you can host ‘discoverable’ content. The kind of content you might suggest that will appeal to people who are searching with questions for which you have the solution. How to’s, case studies and the like.
However your ‘About us’, ‘work here’ and ‘thought leadership’ content should be owned by you and not another social platform, you need to understand more about who is looking at this lower down the funnel content and why.
Help is at hand. Platforms such as Wistia and Vidyard are optimised to gather data you need. Interactive video platforms like I-VDO and Rapt allow you the marketer to interact with the user. Video shouldn’t be just a branding exercise for business. Video can offer intelligence and response and we think that is rather smart.