Posted by Smilena Feb 14th, 2013
Today is the day when we cherish the greatest thing known to mankind – love! Happy Valentine’s Day! However, in the world of social media, 14th of February is not only about candy, chocolate and flowers. It’s also YouTube’s birthday. Officially founded 8 years ago by the brilliant minds of Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, our love today goes out to you guys! The world, as we know it today, wouldn’t be the same without you!
Home made videos with funny babies, campaign video content to promote a product launch, a live broadcast of a unique event, etc. etc. We’ve witnessed so many stories that got enormously popular incredibly quickly thanks to a brilliant platform that allows every user to share their video with the rest of the world: YouTube.
Brands on YouTube
From a brand perspective, YouTube is still one of the bigger platforms whose potential has not yet been fully explored. Yes, we’ve seen some great examples from e.g. TippEx and Old Spice. However, in comparison to the other “big three” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), it feels like a majority of brands are a bit more hesitant when it comes to putting in a solid effort in building customized YouTube channels (and communities), keeping them updated (and engaged with) and actually profiting fully from the great potential YouTube holds. Instead, many brands simply associate YouTube with an ads cinema: “If it’s the second largest search engine in the world, it must be an enormous traffic generator, then let’s upload our TV-campaigns and see if it goes viral“. Wrong!
YouTube holds the same potential for helping you build, engage with and sustain a community around your brand, as any other social platform you are already used to engaging with as a brand. If over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month, imagine the massive amount of people you can reach out to, engage with and transform into your brands’ message recipients.
Engage with your community
In addition, more than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community: Regular users are used to and willing to engage with content that appeals to them. You just need to take your time to acknowledge the community and to engage actively with them. As long as you just keep in mind, that content is the key and relevance is the door handle.
Furthermore, YouTube is a great social network for using storytelling about your brand behind the scenes. You can share videos about your employees, a tour around the office, a behind-the-scenes of your coming TV-commercials etc. By giving your viewers a peek behind the curtain and thereby giving a piece of yourself, you can turn viewers into fans. Videos that include human element are a great way to present yourself as more open and authentic than, for example, your competitors.
You can get the whole package
Finally, since numbers sometimes speak louder than words: Every day, 500 years worth of time are spent on Facebook every day watching YouTube videos. More than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute. YouTube is not only the platform which, if being used strategically, allows you to freely advertise your products; It’s also an incredibly suitable place to expand your brand’s awareness on other social networks.
Check out Shorty Media’s brief infographic on the incredible adventure of YouTube: