Investing Resources in a YouTube Campaign

I recently wrote a post on whether or not YouTube was really the second biggest search engine, and one of our readers posted a thoughtful comment and question in response. After turning my reply into a small novel, I decided addressing his question in a post of its own might benefit everyone.

He asks:
“Betsy, can you think of a type of brand that should not invest in a YouTube presence?”

Yes, I can.

First of all, let me say that the trick to successful marketing on any platform is investment and content. The most successful YouTube campaigns involve an understanding of the viewer’s needs and intentions, video optimization, and making your audience aware of your content.

Simply creating videos and posting them to your YouTube channel isn’t enough. You need to

Be Goal Driven

Determine goals for why exactly you’re on YouTube in the first place. Is it to drive traffic to your site? Create brand awareness by going viral on other social media channels, websites, and on YouTube itself? Increase your YouTube channel’s subscribers and exposing your brand? I’m a proponent of testing social media marketing strategies; however, like any other marketing initiative, make sure you understand why you’re implementing this strategy and what you need to get out of it. In other words, don’t do it just because everyone else jumped on the bandwagon.

Determine Your Resources

Have the ability to shoot concise, creative, and well-made videos that positively represent your brand – even if it’s with an iPhone. They don’t have to be funny or shot with professional equipment, but your videos do need to be able to grab the viewer’s attention and make her come back for more. Do you have someone on staff who can come up with concepts, shoot, and edit your videos in a timely manner, or will you need to invest in an outside agency?

Outline A Solid Plan of Action
Plan a strategy around promotion and visibility. Some steps you can take include

  • Optimization and transcriptions
  • Cross promoting your videos on other social media platforms
  • Native advertising

Pinpoint Your Measurements

Figure out what kind of return you’re looking for (site conversions, video shares, etc.) and how you’re going to measure it against your investment.

I have worked with companies who pulled amazing YouTube campaigns together using creativity and playing on their viewers’ senses of humor and interests. I also worked with companies whose offerings were so niche that they struggled to cultivate YouTube followers, a viral presence for their videos, or traffic to their YouTube channel or website from the videos, so the cost of producing the videos wasn’t worth the return in the end. YouTube was not a worthwhile investment for those brands.

YouTube can be very powerful when your content delivers material your users want to consume. Like any other social media platform, it needs to be done in a way that benefits your company and its goals. Otherwise, you’re throwing away an investment that could be better used elsewhere.

By Betsy Rainwater

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