How to Use YouTube as a Marketing Tool
By now, most of us are probably well aware of the fact that social media is an excellent form of marketing for businesses and public figures alike. Part of the appeal is that anyone can log into these platforms and start posting! YouTube was one of the first, and admittedly, it functions a little differently than something like Instagram or Twitter.
What makes it different, though?
Can it becompared to the others? How should we utilize the space for our own purposes and still be able to make the most of it? These questions are just some of the ones that we will be tackling today, so make sure to stick around if you want to learn more!
What is YouTube as a Social Media Platform?
To start off, we would be remiss if we did not examine YouTube a bit closer. Here is the thing – while it is definitely a social media site, there are some more intricacies to examine as well. As you can see from studies like this one, there’s no denying that product placement and advertising as a whole has become more and more important to the platform. How does the site function as a whole?
Obviously, it is a place where users can post their original video content. Part of its strength comes from the fact that there is such a wide variety of content that is posted! Whether you are looking for a documentary, comedic sketches, or even commentary, you will probably be able to find it.
It is also relatively flexible in terms of what a person can post. Of course, there are user guidelines, just like any other similar website. However, they are not overly stringent and allow us to explore a huge variety of content! In fact, arguably the biggest thing that we have to contend with is the matter of copyright, which is something that marketing teams should already be familiar with.
Generally speaking, the thing to remember about YouTube is that it is a free platform for content creators to enjoy, along with their audiences. Therefore, we need to approach it as such, rather than just a site to dump a bunch of commercials on and then call it a day.
YouTube from a Business Perspective
Now that we have covered some of the basics in terms of what the site is and how it works, we can turn our attention to analyzing it from the perspective of a business or marketing team. How should we approach this platform with the goal of building an audience for a business? There are a few strategies that you could employ.
It will depend on a few things. For instance, what are you trying to sell? Is it a product, a service, or something else? Who is your target audience? All of the usual questions that you ask yourself in marketing will apply, but there will be more as well.
Building an audience is not always easy, after all, and on a platform that is saturated with thousands of content creators, it can be hard to stand out. Reaching your target audience is more integral to success than ever. That is why some businesses opt for a done for you YouTube marketing team, which can ease the process along. This is especially true if they are not overly familiar with social media.
If we want to gain notoriety and subscribers, we need to find the balance between creating engaging pieces as well as ones that will encourage visitors to purchase a product or service. It is a delicate operation, honestly, and understanding internet culture is a big part of it. The fact of the matter is that the reactions of the wider internet play a large role in how successful an advertising campaign is. Can you see why bringing in experts is helpful?
How Can We Utilize YouTube Compared to Other Social Media Platforms?
At its core, this website functions a lot different than the other big sites that are popular right now. The most similar is probably TikTok, as YouTube shorts become more popular for viewers and content creators alike. With that said, we cannot really compare it to something like Twitter or Facebook.
The interaction that we get with our audience on YouTube is limited in comparison, for one thing. Obviously, there is still some form of interaction and answering comments, but it is not on the same scale. Additionally, while there is the community tab, you have to have a certain level of engagement and a big enough audience to access that.
So, with that in mind, growth is probably going to be the most important thing to focus on at the start of a YouTube channel. Sites like this one, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17512786.2014.894327, make note of how that can come into play. Expanding your audience as fast as you can without burning out on content too early can be somewhat tricky, though.
Luckily, there are experts who can assist with that sort of thing, as we mentioned above. Most of the big creators on the site do have a team, even if they are not affiliated with any businesses. This does lead us to another point, though – the fact that we can sponsor content creators on the website to feature our products in their videos.
The specifics involved can vary based on how many subscribers the creator has, how many views they get, and the types of rates that they charge. Someone with a million subscribers will likely expect to get paid more for a sponsorship or partnership than someone with a hundred thousand subscribers, for instance.
You can also send PR packages or free products to influencers in the hopes that they feature them in their videos. With all of these methods of marketing, bear in mind that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) does have guidelines that are in effect. Influencers should not be hired to lie about a product for a business and should always be disclosing the fact that they are sponsored or got an item for free.