I just finished reading an interesting and insightful article, “If You Are Still Ignoring YouTube, You’re Missing Out (Again) on Being a Leader”, by INfluencer Tara Hunt here on LinkedIn. This is the first time I’ve come across any of her material; she breaks down the world of vlogging and social media through her own YouTube channel and articles she is publishing on LinkedIn. She creates content that is both personable and really easy to understand.
The basis of her article is that YouTube is still wide-open for grabbing up the market share of thought-leadership in the marketing space essentially because of the cord-cutters looking for video to watch after leaving traditional programming via cable and satellite TV and the lack of online video content for adults in their 30s and beyond. Tara cites YouTube’s reputation as the online destination to “see viral videos and a bunch of youngsters with huge subscriber numbers – many of them playing video games, unboxing, and showing one another how to create the latest makeup look.”
Indeed, this is YouTube’s (and it’s content creators’) biggest challenge – how to appeal to a larger, OLDER and more diverse audience.
But, before I’m going to tell you why YouTube is not necessarily the right place to be, let’s take a step back and understand WHY we are here 12 years after the birth of YouTube.
Why is video marketing just now “becoming a thing”???
Video Entrepreneur Magazine rightly pointed out that, “Video content is coming of age as Internet access is becoming an indispensable public utility as necessary as electricity, water, and telephone. While infrastructure scales up and technological advancements roll out, bandwidth and download speeds are making video content available for almost every connected consumer in the world.”
There’s also really no excuse to shy away from making videos any longer.
The equipment and software required are inexpensive, accessible and easy you use. If you have a question about any video production tool or technique, you can bet there’s a video tutorial available online.
There are numerous ways to make money and establish thought leadership through video – even if you don’t want to be on camera. One of my favorite examples of this is the “FightMediocrity” channel on YouTube through which they share easy to digest business book summaries via whiteboard videos.
Even if you don’t have the time, energy, equipment or know-how to do it yourself, freelancers selling all manner of video-related services are becoming easy to find and engage directly.
The barriers to entry in video production are crumbling before us – EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. – L. Scott Harrell
So what’s the deal with YouTube? Should your plan for global domination hinge lay on the foundation of YouTube, or nah?
I would absolutely agree that even though YouTube has been around since 2005, it is still the land of massive opportunity for people, businesses and brands – but I think that video should also be created and shared natively via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, too. Depending on the audience, many people and brands are finding it easier to find and gain traction on other social media platforms precisely because of the glut of videos produced by and for a relatively young audience on YouTube.
“Native video content” is video that is sized, formatted and uploaded directly to a specific social media channel opposed a video that is uploaded to one video hosting site, (i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.) and then sharing the video’s link to other sites like Facebook and Twitter. At its most basic function, (disregarding why content for Facebook and Twitter’s silent auto-play newsfeed behavior in mind) producing content for individual social channels doesn’t take that much more time or effort as long as you’re thinking about video orientation, aspect ratio and your calls to action beforehand. For example, a typical call to action (CTA) on YouTube is the request to the viewer to “give a ‘thumbs up’, subscribe and comment” while on Facebook the CTA is a product of their user interface tools, “like, share and comment.” Similarly, the language used for Twitter video is “retweet and follow.” Personally, I just edit in one of the quick video clips I’ve pre-recorded specifically for YouTube, Facebook and Twitter that has a visual call to action and my social media username along with a voice-over reinforcing the video.
As a video creator, if one of your goals is to monetize your video views it’s important to note that Facebook and Twitter are now beginning to roll out revenue sharing with content creators as well. YouTube is no longer the only way to make money by making videos.
So what I’m getting at is this…
Since (practically) everyone now has easy access to online video and the golden rule of advertising is to be everywhere your audience is at – there really is no reason not to post your video content to multiple social media platforms, especially if you’ve already conquered the process of video production.
I’m not ready to take sides in the video wars between Facebook and YouTube any time soon. Neither should you.