No one would deny YouTube’s role in shaping the internet.
It’s immediacy, ease of use, price (or lack thereof) and an almost infinite selection of videos fit in perfectly with our modern, binge-seeking tendencies.
It’s the perfect place to escape to; an ideal destination for those seeking entertainment and music.
Whether it should be relied on exclusively for business purposes, however, is a question worth examining.
There is a lot to gain by attempting to cultivate an audience on YouTube. Many, many major corporations have YouTube channels that they regularly update and direct leads and prospects to:
In terms of attracting viewers, YouTube is peerless. With close to 2 billion people flocking to its site every day, YouTube has supplanted all other, more traditional forms of video platforms. It has even risen to the second most preferred platform to watch videos on TV.
Given that 70% of the content viewers watch on YouTube is determined by its algorithms, results in your videos often being discovered unintentionally. When someone shows interest in a video relating to a competitor of yours, there’s a good chance he’ll be presented with your videos and vice versa.
In a near-infinite sea of content, a sophisticated, strategic approach is required to stand out. YouTube SEO does that. If you work on optimizing your video’s title, target specific keywords and encourage viewers to comment, even low-budget videos have a chance to go viral.
- Social network
With almost every corporation and brand having some form of presence on it, it’s easy to forget that YouTube was created as a social network. Largely relying on user-generated content in its early years, YouTube has managed to preserve some of the communal elements that help make it such an instant hit. YouTube stars cultivate rabid fan bases on the platform and have been able to become incredibly wealthy because of the intermediate nature of YouTube.
Norm’s Rare Guitar shop is a great example of a business capitalizing on this trend. Posting daily videos of employees playing the rare instruments up for sale, the Los Angeles-based guitar store grew its YouTube channel, now boasting more than four hundred thousand subscribers. True; the steep prices of the store’s merchandise will prevent the vast majority of that latter group to ever graduate and become customers. However, in terms of generating positive brand recognition, Norm’s have untapped YouTube’s business potential.
Together with the aforementioned opportunities, YouTube presents some companies with a number of challenges, as well. Some companies gauge whether their video succeeded or not based on a specific set of metrics. By and large, these are found on platforms other than YouTube.
Video hosting and management platforms have been gaining in popularity in the last few years.
Offering a wide array of analytical and engagement-enhancing features, companies often seek video hosts to compliment their YouTube channels.
Pro-tip: It’s important to differentiate between video ads that will naturally be hosted on the chosen ad platform and hosted marketing videos that are deeper down the funnel, like explainers, video tutorials, and demos.
Let’s examine the benefits of using a video hosting platform for your videos:
Your viewers, your site
YouTube is the world’s second most popular site for a reason. Anyone and anything can be found on it. This, however, presents companies with a considerable challenge; It is hard to stand out in a sea of competition.
This becomes an even taller order considering YouTube’s use of Google’s powerful algorithms. The latter arranged for viewers of your own videos to be met with other relevant content. Often, this will include your competitors’ videos and even ads.
A cardinal rule of lead gen is to do all that is in your power to keep your visitors on your site, once they’ve landed on it.
YouTube smartly configures its embedded players to enable viewers to click on it and view the video on its site. Typically, your visitor will be sent to your own YouTube channel, if you have one. This (hopefully) can be the beginning of an hours-long binge-fest on your videos. But, as we all know, staying focused on YouTube is far easier said than done.
Good video hosts even give you the tools to easily build a YouTube-like video page or channel.
That way, you can provide your viewers with the familiar YouTube environment, and enable them to binge on your videos, exclusively.
Your video player can be customized to fit your company’s colors, you can add a watermark to each video and have the closed captions appear with your company font (more on that in a minute).
You know exactly who’s watching
Marketers would likely point to the following two words if forced to choose the single most important element of their job: Lead generation.
Any content a company creates and disseminates is done with that goal as its primary catalyst.
Your site is designed to retain critical information regarding your visitors’ interaction with the various content they are met with. This data is fed through to the various automated platforms you work with (in the event that you do), such as HubSpot and Marketo.
When a visitor downloads, reads a blog or clicks on an email CTA, you know it.
The same should apply to visitors’ engagement with video. As mentioned above, YouTube will shine a very general light on the way your audience interacted with your videos. For some businesses, this will suffice.
Conversely, video hosts’ analytical capabilities account for individual viewing patterns.
When a viewer watches your video, you’ll know who he or she is, what device was used to watch your video and where viewers were in the world when they watched it. It doesn’t end there; with our attention spans ever-shrinking, chances are that a bulk of your viewers won’t be watching your videos through till the end.
Video hosts’ analytical capabilities account for that, as well. You’ll know the exact moment each viewer stopped watching, and the precise moment he or she returned to watch a specific video.
Video hosts, such as Cincopa, provide analytics pertaining to individual viewers’ video engagement
Every view counts
As mentioned above, the end goal of converting a site visitor to a customer sets the tone for what your site visitor will encounter while on your site. It manifests itself in the form of remarketing ads and recommended content after a visitor leaves your site, as well. Video hosts enable you to leverage video interaction to facilitate future prospect conversions.
You know those automated forms that pop-up when you visit sites, asking you to sign-up for a webinar or newsletter?
Video hosts enable you to incorporate those on videos. You can choose to grant access to specific videos to those who fill out and submit the form. Additionally, you can employ a cliff-hanger tactic that sees these forms popping up during high-leverage moments during a video; right before an exciting turn or following an interesting and engaging twist.
Good video hosting platforms enable you to incorporate on-video calls-to-action (or CTAs), as well. These can prove extremely useful following a highly-engaging video and can extend your viewers’ visit on your site in the form of watching additional recommended videos or reading perfectly curated blogs.
To be able to watch the video, visitors must first fill in this pop-up form
Perhaps the most powerful lead-gen element made possible by using good video hosts is incorporating video engagement into marketing automation platforms.
Integrating with platforms, the likes of HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot, truly tap into videos’ lead-generating potential.
Relevant data pertaining to your video viewers is fed into these platforms; that way, you can dictate workflow stages based on defined video engagement benchmarks (e.g. a viewer is sent a personal email if he or she completed viewing more than 50% of a specific video).
You will also be able to score contacts and leads based on the way they interacted with your videos.
You can award points to video viewers (e.g. ‘contact receives 5 points if he or she views beyond the 20% mark of a video’). Conversely, you can attribute negative points to those who exhibit less-than-desirable video engagement (e.g. ‘contact is given -5 points if he or she does not reach the 10-second mark of a specific video).
It’s 2020, and companies have begun realizing that video needs to be approached the same way that any other form of content is:
YouTube offers a massive audience, and building a strong presence on it is a best practice pursued by industry giants the world over.
Video hosting and management platforms can be a gamechanger when it comes to videos hosted on your site.
Good platforms will tell you everything you need to know about individual viewers and will enable you to turn your site into a video destination.
Finally, powerful lead-generating features, along with MAP (marketing automation platforms) integrations will facilitate the eventual conversion of viewers into paying customers.