The Secret to YouTube Success? Watch More YouTube
We all know that Google is the most popular search engine on the internet. But do you know what's second? It’s not Ask.com. It’s not Bing, either. It’s not even Yahoo. It’s YouTube. The video-sharing website now gets more than 3 billion video views per day. To put that into perspective, that's double the audience of the three largest primetime television networks combined.
Part of YouTube’s appeal is its constant production of new content; the site has 48 hours worth of video uploaded every minute. On such a huge platform, but in such an oversaturated market, it takes more than uploading a video to YouTube to stand out from the crowd.
I've come into contact with many people who laugh at the thought of YouTube as a marketing powerhouse. On the surface, YouTube may appear to be nothing more than an outlet for cute cat videos and wasting time. But dig a little deeper and you'll find YouTube to be a complex, rich network for interaction. Take a look at the most popular YouTube channels — their audiences are bigger than many basic cable programs’.
One of the things that makes YouTube a truly great marketing platform is that it levels the playing field. Viewers aren’t going to YouTube to watch the content with the biggest budgets, flashiest production values and mass consumer appeal; they're looking for content that speaks directly to them. To do that, you have to really know your audience and continually seek out new ways to engage and connect with them.
The first thing you need to do to succeed at YouTube marketing is give up TV and watch YouTube instead. Unlike TV, however, watching YouTube isn't a passive activity. You should be following popular YouTube channels and getting involved socially. Participate in the online community. Subscribe. Comment. Like. Favorite.
You'll naturally come up with ideas for the medium you consume the most. One of the reasons Orabrush has had so much success on YouTube is because it requires its team to watch YouTube every day. Not surprisingly, our best ideas come from — you guessed it — YouTube.
Once you've transformed yourself into a "YouTuber," you'll be enough of an expert to recognize ideas both bad and good. You'll know what's been tried or is being tried. You'll understand the system well enough to know what works and what doesn't.
You have to put in the hours because there's no quality shortcut when it comes to social media.
Now go and watch YouTube. The best part is if you get caught, you can tell your boss you’re working and you won’t be lying.
Jeffrey Harmon is the head of marketing at Orabrush, the tongue cleaner manufacturer that's now the third most subscribed sponsor channel on YouTube, with more than 38 million views. Check out the channel at www.youtube.com/curebadbreath. Jeffrey is speaking at this year's SES San Francisco event, which takes place August 15-19. He's speaking on Aug. 16 at the "Social Media Solutions on a Budget" session. Jeffrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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