Does YouTube Marketing Really Work? Here’s How to Make the Most of It

THINK creative group blog on YouTube marketingIt wasn’t long ago that “content marketing” meant producing and promoting blog posts, infographics, white papers and other static media. But as the digital landscape continues to evolve, “content” is increasingly coming to be understood as “video.” YouTube—the original video platform—continues to be a big player when it comes to the most effective channels for video marketing.

Before we dive into YouTube specifically, take a look at these statistics from a recent article in Forbes on the continuing rise of video marketing:

  • By 2019, 80% of all web traffic will be claimed by video.
  • Video consumption on mobile devices doubles every year, based on numbers from YouTube.
  • They say a picture is worth a thousand words—according to marketer James McQuivey, a single minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

It’s no wonder then that 2017 has been called “The Year of Video Marketing,” or that video has been dubbed “The Future of Content Marketing.”

And for anyone serious about video content marketing, YouTube is the place to be. Each day, YouTube’s billion regular users generate many more billions of video views, accounting for hundreds of millions of hours of streaming time.

It’s Popular, But Does Marketing with YouTube Really Work?

YouTube is the second largest search engine, processing more than 3 billion searches per month. Think about what that means—after direct Google searches, people are turning to YouTube to find solutions to their problems—looking for tutorials and other information in video form to address their pain points. Plus, most key demographics watch it more than cable TV. These facts alone demonstrate the huge possibility your video content will be seen by your target audience. 

In 2017, YouTube is predicted to evolve even further, making more changes that will benefit companies who incorporate it into their social media and video marketing strategies. From added profile and socialization features for better audience connection to exploring long-form, television style content, YouTube is expected to make some major upgrades this year.

Today, there are tons of examples of successful, high-profile YouTube marketing campaigns. From Moz and Rand Fishkin’s informative Whiteboard Fridays to Chipotle’s acclaimed series of emotionally powerful animated shorts, there are plenty of brands currently demonstrating just how much potential there is to create value and awareness by promoting great video content on YouTube.

Top and Middle of the Funnel Video

YouTube’s strengths—ease of consumption, emotional impact and viral potential—make it an ideal medium for the top and middle of the funnel. Short films, webinars, how-to videos and other informational video content can all be great tools for raising awareness and improving perception of your brand.

In addition, thanks to YouTube’s new targeting tools which let advertisers target video ads based on users’ recent search history, it will soon be easier than ever to deliver dynamic content that’s perfectly aligned with user intent.

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Bottom of the Funnel Video

What about the bottom of the funnel? According to animated explainer company Wyzowl, video does pretty well at driving conversions as well as awareness:

  • 64% of businesses who use video believe that it has directly led to increased sales conversions.
  • 76% of businesses who use video believe that it provides a good return on investment.

All things considered, it seems like YouTube marketing is one trend that totally lives up to the hype.

How to Run an Effective YouTube Marketing Campaign and Define Success

Recognizing that video marketing works is one thing. Doing it well on your YouTube channel is quite another. Here are some tips on making the most of what video can offer: 

  • Create great content. You don’t have to have a Hollywood budget or A-list stars to make great video content. Something genuinely funny, informative, personable and above all unique is more than enough to be effective. Start with great content that really represents your brand and your audience’s interests and take the rest from there.
  • Optimize your brand’s presence on YouTube. Create a dedicated brand channel, optimize videos for SEO and with necessary CTAs and stay active in the relevant communities. You can read more about our YouTube marketing tips here.
  • Utilize videos on your site. Give your YouTube videos extended life by putting them on your site. Numerous studies have shown that on-page video increases engagement and conversions for a variety of different websites. For the foreseeable future, your company site should have an open spot for video.

Apart from vanity metrics such as impressions, views, likes, comments and shares, will a well-executed YouTube marketing campaign have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line? How successful you’ll find YouTube marketing ultimately depends on how you define a campaign’s success. Video content, like any other, should be created with a strong idea of the customer’s journey and your internal sales funnel in mind. It will likely take time to build a following—as with any social channel—but there are ways to get a jump start on your YouTube success, like setting up an AdWords Campaign. Ultimately, if you stay dedicated and keep producing quality content, you'll see results.

Of course, there’s still plenty of room for other media in your content marketing strategy. Video content doesn’t exist to exclude blogs and other content, but rather to support and complement them. An effective content strategy is always well-rounded—but there’s no denying that YouTube marketing should be at the forefront.

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