YouTube is getting more sophisticated – and more social – if the latest elements that the video sharing site have built in are anything to go by! No bad thing, I might add, as video (in one form or another) should certainly be an integral component of most social media programmes today.
In addition, we shouldn’t forget that it is also taking an increasingly visible role when it comes to the search engines results particularly after the changes Google made earlier in the year which allows us to subdivide the search results according to the type of information that we are interested in, blogs, images, news items, videos, forum posts etc.
So what are some of the key elements which makes YouTube such an important element when businesses are looking at an overall social media campaign?
1. It’s visual!
Yes, I know I’m stating the obvious – but it is key! We all work on different levels according to how we like to take in information – text, visual, sound primarily so we need to respond to those needs. It’s also quicker to take in, more often than not – according to a Forbes survey, 25% of senior execs actually prefer to receive information in video format rather than text, and that is one of the reasons why.
There are 17m unique monthly users of YouTube in the UK – and that was stats from last year – with a 43% internet reach. According to a TGI report, it also reaches reaches half of online UK small business owners which they rate as more than 7 times the reach of FT.com. Now that’s not a bad medium to tap into whether you are looking at B2C or B2B.
3. Emotion / Engagement
You can get the key points of demonstrations across so much better and more succinctly using visuals and you can get the humour across too. The success of the Old Spice campaign in using short YouTube videos to reply to Twitter communications made great use of this in a way that also supported the original campaign and gave more scope in the response as well.
4. Capacity for viral
While text can develop into something viral, almost inevitably (because of the attributes mentioned above) there will be a video or visual element to any campaign which achieves this peak of “sharability” – some of the best ones are glorious (some of Sony’s or maybe the Cadbury’s Gorilla), others unexpected (like Susan Boyle), but all tend to focus their links back to YouTube, whatever the method they use to distribute the news.
5. Easily shared and / or embedded into other media
It isn’t just an isolated video – indeed that’s not the point. YouTube gives an instantly accessible focal point that can be easily shared or embedded into the other social media behemoths of blogs and Facebook (and even into LinkedIn) as well as referenced in Twitter, emails etc. Awesome! That’s the real way we can tap into the power of Social Media, by using the ability to share the information and links from one to another taps and on to their own personal networks – very powerful.
Whatever you are intending to do with YouTube, don’t forget to set up your own channel – this is essentially your homepage or profile page if we compare it to the other social media sitesbranding etc.
In addition, you can also now send out bulletins to those who have subscribed to your channel. This follows the same format as updates in LinkedIn or the wall in Facebook and this information will appear:
- on your subscribers’ recent activity module (on the homepage)
- on your channel page in your recent activity module
You can do it quite simply by going to your channel page where you will find it in the menu as shown below:
So, another way to make your subscribers aware of what you are up to (and no doubt there are more in the offing) as well as make it available to the millions of business people that pass through YouTube every month.