In 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates proclaimed “content is king.” Today, his prediction rings truer than ever. Social media, streaming, podcasts, and video have grown to become multi-billion dollar industries; and in the constant battle for ears and eyes, YouTube currently reigns supreme. However, before investing time, personnel, and money into video content, it’s important to know if this platform is the right fit for your business and its goals.
Use the questions in this guide to determine whether your business should start making YouTube content.
Why YouTube is Such a Valuable Platform
Every day users watch over one billion hours of video on YouTube. With over two billion active users and a global presence, it can be an impactful way to reach your target audience. Even more impressive than its global audience is YouTube’s role in consumer search. While Google is the number one search engine on the internet, YouTube is the second most popular search engine. As a result, YouTube is estimated to be responsible for 37% of all mobile internet usage.
With such a massive audience, reach, and impact, YouTube has become a top destination for shoppers in search of inspiration. In 2018, around 60% of holiday shoppers reported YouTube helped them to find ideas and inspiration for their purchase. It’s no wonder, then, that 62% of businesses report they share video content on YouTube.
Is Your Audience On YouTube?
This is the first question you need to answer when considering whether YouTube is a good fit in your marketing strategy. While YouTube has a large share of internet traffic, it appeals to specific audiences.
Overall, the vast majority of YouTube users are young — the largest active user age demographic is 15-25 year olds, followed by 26-35 year olds. Of course, looking at user age only scratches the surface.
It’s important to take into account other factors, such as geographic and income data which can tell you more about YouTube’s audience. It’s equally vital to spend time looking at what brands and what content within your business’s vertical are represented on the platform. Ask yourself:
- Is there search demand on YouTube for content related to your industry, products, or services? If so, what kind of information are people seeking? What questions are they asking?
- Are your competitors creating YouTube content? If so, how well are their videos performing?
- Are there any videos on YouTube that align with your products or services? If so, how well do they perform?
All of the above questions are important to consider, and answering the last two questions only requires spending some time doing research on YouTube. However, the final question, analyzing YouTube search demand for your industry, takes additional time and knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). There are a number of free tools available that can give you some insights into keyword search volumes, and these can be a good starting point.
Do Your Products Or Services Lend Themselves To Video Content?
This question relates closely to your audience, and should often be considered when conducting initial YouTube research.
YouTube users are generally interested in three broad types of content:
Your content should aim to fill one of these content types. For many brands, educational content is a good place to start. This can include how-to’s that feature a product they sell, or relate to a popular service line. Other types of educational content include comparison videos, reviews, and adjacent how-to topics.
For example, a business that sells office equipment might create a video on ways to create a productive at-home work space, or how to eliminate distractions when working from home. While the aim of this content isn’t to overtly sell to the consumer, it helps the brand showcase its products to a larger audience. And that audience is composed of people who use office equipment and will eventually have need for new items in the future.
Before further mapping out a video content strategy, it’s important to look at search trends, existing content, and what type of content related to your industry is performing well on YouTube. This can help you decide whether or not there is an opportunity for your business to engage its audience and increase awareness, leads, and ultimately revenue through video content.
What Is The Current State of Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
After you’ve determined whether your target audience is on YouTube, the next point to consider is the state of your current digital marketing strategy. You should look holistically at your business’s digital health:
- Is your website optimized for SEO?
- Have you built a social media presence?
- Do you have a long-term digital strategy?
- Do you know which key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll measure and how you will track them?
In order to be truly successful on YouTube, you must first ensure that you have both a solid digital marketing foundation and a strong relationship with your online audience. A good foundation comes in the form of a website that has robust content, limited technical issues, and has been optimized for search engines.
Online audience rapport can be built through a social media presence — whether through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other appropriate platform. Being able to share your video content with an existing audience, particularly through social media, can help build the early momentum required to help your YouTube channel gain traction. Having both pieces in place helps ensure the success (and a stronger return on investment) for your YouTube content.
Lastly, it’s important to have a thorough digital marketing strategy in place, and the means of measuring the results of that strategy. Some strategic points to consider:
- Are you able to monitor website traffic coming from YouTube and social media?
- Do you have goals in place that allow you to easily track conversions from users who visit your website from your YouTube content?
- What does “success” look like for your strategy in six months? One year? Two years?
Without knowing what metrics are important to your business goals, and without a means to measure data, it will be difficult to know if you’re seeing any return on investment from YouTube content creation.
Is YouTube Content Sustainable For Your Business?
Before rushing headlong into video production, stop to consider if it is sustainable for your business. Compared to other types of digital content—like blog posts or podcasts—video creation often requires a considerable time investment. Maintaining a consistent production schedule can be challenging. In many cases, this causes sporadic video production, and can even lead some businesses to abandon the endeavor entirely.
For this reason, it’s important to discuss internally with your marketing team whether a video production schedule can be maintained, and, if so, what pace works best for the first six months.
Determine if it’s better for your team to focus on a single, long-form video per month, or to aim for two or three shorter videos. Equally as important is determining what your capabilities are. Consider:
- How will you determine what your audience wants to view?
- Who will write video scripts?
- Who will shoot the videos?
- Who will edit them?
- Who will appear on-screen?
- What is the best workflow for your team?
Taking the time to discuss and understand what your business’s capabilities are, and what workflow works best for your team, can prevent production from stalling out or simply falling off completely. It also makes it easier to avoid burnout and maintain a consistent production schedule that leads to better quality content.
Finally, for most businesses there is an upfront financial investment to get the proper audio/video equipment and software required to produce videos. Setting a budget is an important step. For some businesses, video content may not be worthwhile if the initial costs can be better spent on other marketing materials or initiatives.
YouTube SEO With WTM Digital
If your business is beginning a multimedia content marketing strategy that includes YouTube, it’s important to include SEO in your strategy. Successful YouTube content should be optimized to rank for the most relevant user queries and reach the right audience members, both on YouTube and within Google search results.
Our YouTube SEO process includes keyword research, competitor research, script evaluation, and data-driven video optimizations. WTM Digital has worked with brands across a wide range of industries to ensure their YouTube strategies are sound and their content is optimized to reach target audience members.
Learn more about WTM Digital’s SEO services, or contact us to discuss how YouTube SEO can help your brand’s video content drive growth for your bottom line.