Should Your Brand Be On... YouTube?
The Simple Answer, Definitely.Subscribe
Need to know if you should be on the latest, hottest and trendiest social media platform? Should Your Brand Be On... is a series that digs into that very question.
If YouTube doesn’t do a single thing to raise your brand awareness, it’s still a free hosting platform for all of your preexisting video content. YouTube is the second most popular platform with close to 2 billion users logging in every month–and it's the second most popular search engine after Google. Its viewers watch over 1 billion hours of video on the platform every day.
There are really two ways to go about being on YouTube: using it as a hosting platform or being a content creator for YouTube.
USING YOUTUBE AS A HOSTING PLATFORM
If your brand thrives off new business, you need to meet potential customers wherever they are. It’s why brands have Google Business listings, social media, emails, etc. The more outlets you have, the wider audience net you’ll cast.
Additionally, video content for accessibility purposes for the percentage of customers who either rely on or are simply drawn to video can go a long way, especially if your brand has to get across need-to-know information to generate business. Airports, Disney World and the CDC are all examples of organizations that use video for accessibility purposes. Whether your video gets 10 views or 10,000 views, it’ll make a difference in improving SEO and generating awareness for your brand.
However, if you’re trying to reach the demographic of “people who use YouTube,” you might as well be trying to reach the demographic of “human beings.” YouTube is not like a social media platform in the way that the average users create their own feed of content they are interested in. Having a fan following is not as easily earned on YouTube as it is on Facebook or Instagram. That leads us quite nicely into the other half of this article.
CREATING CONTENT SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUTUBE
If you’re thinking about creating content for YouTube, recent trends have shown that there is no right and wrong way to do this. In the “Golden Age” of YouTube, the viewer-guaranteed, copy-and-paste format of themed videos or “tags” ruled the platform. That style content that earned certified “YouTubers” billions of dollars is now virtually obsolete. This is actually a good thing for current YouTubers like LaurDIY and Bethany Mota who were able to leave their family-friendly YouTuber phase and make the style of videos they want to create. For new content creators, however, the YouTuber map is a little harder to follow now than it was in 2005.
This is due to the purchase of YouTube by Google in 2006 when they started to manipulate its algorithms to push specific content (for ad revenue, as well as cleaning up piracy issues–you can read about all that here). The type of videos trending or recommended were changing so quickly if creators couldn’t keep up, they were left behind. This matters because it changes the way new creators go about making their content.
According to YouTube’s Top Breakout Creator Report, most of them are YouTubers as an afterthought, establishing themselves on another platform first (Charli and Dixie D’Amelio are TikTokers, Gamer channels are starting on Twitch and John Krasinski started at a paper company in Scranton, PA).
This is leading us to believe YouTube is not the place to start your content creation journey. Due to YouTube’s current algorithm of pushing videos with higher value production and the continued growth of new channels each year (new channels trying to build an audience on YouTube increased by 95% in 2020), there are other platforms growing in popularity for video creation like Facebook Watch, Twitch, Instagram and TikTok. Unlike YouTube, these platforms allow more flexibility in the type of content and the production value of the videos you’re putting out.
CREATING VIDEOS FOR OTHER PLATFORMS
If you read our last installation of Should Your Brand Be On, you would know that TikTok is taking over (much to most of the Drive team’s dismay). If you’re hesitant to start on a new platform, however, Instagram Reels and IGTV are a great place to start making content, as are Facebook and its new-ish Watch feature. Actually, we encourage trying those out first. With the competitive nature of YouTube and the growth in these platforms, as well as maximizing your content across all your existing platforms, creating great videos–YouTube or not–is a great use of your brand’s time.