YouTube is one of the world’s largest and most popular online video communities. It’s a place for people to connect as well as a distribution platform for content created by users and advertisers. As mentioned in earlier posts, it’s the world’s second biggest search engine after Google but YouTube does not crawl other websites to find videos like some video search engines do. The only way to be in the YouTube search engine is to upload your video to YouTube.
Here are a few stats on YouTube that every marketer should keep in mind:
- Since going live in December 2005, YouTube has grown to a point where it is getting 800 million visitors per month (as of April 2012) and is now streaming 4 billion videos everyday.
- One hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second, or 24 hours every 24 seconds, or a decade worth of video everyday
- ¾ of YouTube’s traffic comes from outside of the U.S.
- 22 billion search inquiries are conducted on YouTube each month
- YouTube gets 86% of the visits to video sites in the U.S.
- YouTube is replacing TV viewing for many users
- Google is the top referral source in driving traffic to YouTube, followed by Facebook
There are lots of different ways to participate on YouTube. There are 9 YouTube account types (everything from comedy to sponsors) and 15 major video categories (sports to travel and events).
How To Get Started On YouTube
In order to upload a video to YouTube, you need to create a channel; there are 3 channel options:
- User channel (most common for the vast majority of users – personal and business)
- Partner Channel (historically, you needed to have a certain track record in terms of subscribers to your channel, views of your videos, etc to be a partner; partners are given privileges such as more flexibility on channel branding/setup, opportunities to monetize videos, help in promoting their videos; up until March 2012 there were ~20,000 partners; YouTube recently opened up the partner program to everyone in terms of being able to monetize your video (it’s uncertain what YouTube plans are for providing everyone access to the other privileges that partners have been getting).
- Brand channel (requires a commitment of $ million’s in ad spending per year); provides additional flexibility and customization options to better promote a brand on YouTube.
Every business that wants to use videos to market their services should have a YouTube channel as part of their marketing strategy. A channel is a page that can be seen by the general public and has information about the user (or business). When a business establishes a channel account the business needs to decide if the channel will be represented by a user’s name (or alias name) or the name of the business. These choices can all be made as the channel is being set up. Google now requires a Google account that links to all other Google products (e.g., Gmail, Google+, etc.) to set up a YouTube account. You can still use the name associated with your Google account but choose your business name to be associated with your YouTube account depending on what your goals are for your YouTube channel. If a business wants to promote their brand in the YouTube ecosystem, we recommended they use their company name on their YouTube account…this gives businesses the option of referring people to their “YouTube channel URL (e.g., www.Youtube.com/user/gotheremedia). In the settings menu for the channel there are options to customize what information is shown about your business, opportunity to upload a photo or logo image, and chose how videos are organized on your channel page. The channel account also gives the user/business access to various capabilities to edit uploaded videos, chose privacy options for each video, manage communications with other users, and choose what viewers are allowed to do with your video in terms of sharing it, commenting on it and rating it.