YouTube celebrated its tenth birthday the other day, almost nine of those years being as a property of Google (GOOG). It would seem like a raging success: Some stars of the medium make significant amounts of money, companies use it as a powerful marketing tool, and Google harvests enormous amounts of user data that become marketing gold. YouTube is the top video site in the world, with more than a billion users and $4 billion in annual revenue.
One reason is that it caters to a narrow audience of young viewers. Music videos are its most popular content. YouTube’s stars remain relatively unknown. Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is the biggest star, with 35 million subscribers to his wacky videogame montages. Even Ms. Wojcicki hadn’t heard of him before joining YouTube, she told a conference last fall.
Flesh out your topics and start creating fresh content on a regular basis. Just tap record on the camera, and talk. Be natural. You’ll also get better at hosting these segments as time goes on. If your videos require other people and/or editing, find some friends who can help pro bono. With videos ranging from five to 35 minutes, Ezarik says she spends more time editing than shooting, but is starting to enlist some help to free up her time.
If you really love making video content, consider doing it as a side hustle – something to beef up your resume, find a creative outlet or boost your professional profile in the area about which you broadcast. When it comes to making it big on YouTube, "It's obviously becoming more challenging as there are more creators out there, and everyone is fighting for an audience," Vaught says. "But the barriers to entry are also lower."
But even if you discount YouTube's multiples a bit to account for its profit uncertainty, you're still left with a very valuable business. At six times Mizuho's revenue estimate, YouTube would be worth $90 billion. At seven times, it would be worth $105 billion. And those valuation figures would rise a little more if one tacked on a slight premium (say, $5 billion or $10 billion) for the potential of YouTube's subscription businesses.
Most successful YouTubers have a very strict publishing schedule – and they stick to it. These YouTubers also promote new videos to their audience on other social media platforms so that even those who haven’t subscribed to their channel can still know when a new video is coming out. While you’re setting up a YouTube marketing strategy for your business, consider how often you can realistically commit to posting new content and make sure you can stick to it.
Watch time reports the total number of minutes your audience has spent viewing your content on your channel as a whole and by video. This helps you see what pieces of content viewers are actually consuming instead of just clicking on and navigating away. Watch time is important because it’s one of YouTube’s ranking factors. A video with a higher watch time is more likely to rank higher in results. YouTube provides a line item report on watch time, views, average view duration, and average percentage viewed for individual videos, location, publish date, and more. A video’s average percentage viewed, or retention rate, indicates the average percentage of a video your audience watches per view. A higher percentage means there’s a higher chance that your audience will watch that video until the end. Try placing cards and end screens in videos with a higher average percentage viewed rate to improve the number of views your calls-to-action receive.
38. Brand your content and videos. “If you are the original creator of the content then you should brand it with your name and logo along with a link to your website. Branding is very important because it gives you the credibility. On top of that, if your videos provide value then tons of visitors will share them with others. In this way, if your video is posted or uploaded elsewhere, you will still get the credit and traffic because of your branding.” – Salman Ahsan, Top Five YouTube Marketing Tips that Work, Mastermind Blogger; Twitter: @MMBlogger
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YouTube ads provided a big percentage of the Segarses’ income during those early days, and worked well with their content. “Our workouts require strategically placed water breaks, which easily lends itself to monetization/ads that aren’t intrusive to the user experience,” says Segars. “People even joke about how relieved they are to see ads and get a quick minute to catch their breath.” Meanwhile, that revenue allowed them to adopt a no-sponsor policy. “It has cut out a lot of monetization opportunities, but our audience is well aware of our stance and appreciates it,” Segars continues. “We think that trust is an important part of building a brand.” As a result, they’ve roped in a loyal audience that’s now willing to pay for a variety of workout programs and meal plans for sale on the Fitness Blender website.
Where eyeballs go, money follows. “People giving up TV and getting video content through mobile devices is a huge trend, and brands are spending huge amounts to reach those audiences,” says Evan Asano, the CEO of MediaKix, an influencer marketing agency. “It’s a similar, if not bigger market for influencers than Instagram.” Another reason brands love YouTube is that its numbers are harder to fake. “You can buy views on YouTube, but it’s much more expensive than buying followers and likes on Instagram,” Asano says. “It’s pretty cost-prohibitive to drastically inflate a channel’s views on a consistent basis.”
Make your videos with a specific type of person in mind. This is basic advertising 101; identifying your target demographic. Don’t tell me that your demographics are 21 – 55 year old women. This is the shotgun approach that’s too general and vague. Do you talk to a 21 year old girl the same way you’d talk to a 55 year old lady? Of course not. Define your audience and create videos that’s catered to them.
Promote your videos. Only videos that record thousands of visitors and channels that update videos frequently make the cut for YouTube's Partner Program. Wait to apply until you've developed a following and have garnered thousands of hits for your channel and videos. Promote your videos on your blog, through forums, and wherever else it's possible to leave a link.
When researching keywords, I recommend doing keyword research both for Google, and specifically for YouTube. This way, you’ll make sure that you’re ranking as best you can on both search engines, increasing views significantly. Any of the top keyword research tools will work for Google (I discuss them in-depth here), and I most recommend keywordtool.io’s YouTube-specific search. Prioritize the keywords you find in the YouTube search, as this will be your best bet for being found.
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As more advertising dollars flow to YouTube, it's making the already hugely profitable Google even more prosperous. On Thursday, Google's corporate parent — Alphabet Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif. — said the company overall earned $5.1 billion, or $7.25 a share in the third quarter, up 27% from the same quarter last year. After subtracting advertising commissions, revenue climbed 21% to $18.3 billion. Both figures beat analyst projections.
Regardless of the exact number, it's safe to assume that YouTube's ad sales are growing at a rapid clip. On its earnings calls, Google has signaled that outside of mobile search, YouTube has been the biggest driver behind its rapid ad sales growth. Last quarter, "paid clicks" on Google's own sites and apps rose 59% annually -- this figure covers not only actual ad clicks, but (among other things) the showing of YouTube video ads that were watched long enough for Google to get paid.
“Don’t go overboard with this type of content, though. You’ve probably seen some commercials and had no idea what the message was until the very end, which left you confused about the company. Make sure that your videos evoke the emotions you want customers to feel about your company, even if there isn’t a direct connection between your video content and the product you’re ultimately promoting.” – Eric Sui, 4 Tips to Improve Your YouTube Marketing, Social Media Examiner; Twitter: @SMExaminer
Next up you’ll want to become a YouTube Partner. This isn’t as hard as it used to be. In the past, to become a YouTube partner you had to have some 15,000 hours of your video watched at any point in time. The benefit here is that you can upload more than 15 minutes of video, which may help on some video projects. You also get analytics tools and some more advanced editing tools.
With the basic profile complete, it’s time to add a few finishing touches! Before we move on, it’s important to get one thing straight -- you can customize the way your YouTube channel looks to subscribers and unsubscribed visitors. This means that unsubscribed viewers would see different featured content than dedicated, subscribed viewers. Pretty cool, right?