YouTube changed the world

How YouTube changed the world

atangen | Sep 23, 2013

By JACOB MYONG/Special to The Press

Movies and cinema have played a critical role in my life beyond just being a form of entertainment, and I imagine that most people reading this have a similar connection to the films of their time and those of today.

From beloved classics like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, and modern landmarks like Inception and Avatar, movies have captivated us for more than a century. Over the course of time, movies have drastically changed, but regardless of the era and relevance within their time, movies make magical, lasting impressions on the viewers, even decades apart. As a society, we have declared our enduring love for them.

The rise of YouTube

April 23, 2005 was a day that would change the delivery and consumption of video forever. It would also impact digital marketing for decades to come. Internet and movies became one and on that day, video marketing was born.

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the platform’s first video, entitled “Me at the Zoo.” This action officially launched what is now one of the most popular websites in the world. So how often do people watch videos on YouTube? It’s difficult to quantify the scope of YouTube’s reach and its significance in everyday life, but let’s try.

* Eight years worth of content is uploaded to YouTube every single day.
* Over one billion unique users visit YouTube each month.
* Over four billion hours of video are watched each month.
* YouTube is localized in 53 countries and across 61 languages.
* YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google.
* In 2011, YouTube had more than one trillion views – that’s around 140 views for every person on Earth.

We have fallen in love with this shorter, often more personal and directly engaging style of movie. Our society loves movies – old movies, new movies, and short movies hosted on the Internet. Only one of these kinds of movies can be
reasonably and affordably turned into a marketing tool. Therefore, you and your company need to embrace video marketing because it is certainly the way of the future.

Video: Engage your customers

Creating videos that effectively engage your customers and nudge them along whatever path you want them to follow isn’t easy. It involves high quality production, professional delivery, and most importantly, a well-defined message. And all this can be achieved affordably if you can creatively use the resources available to you.

Determining your video’s message should begin with picking its subject and then figuring out what you want to say. Some effective videos spend more time trying to engage and entertain you than actually trying to sell you. But in the end, the video will somehow relate to solving a problem and highlight the value of a product or service. It’s a very fine line, but completely achievable within any industry.

Some tips to keep in mind when creating your videos:

KISS (keep it short, stupid): The stats support this modified acronym for simplifying things. The longer a YouTube video goes on, the lower its chances of being viewed to the end. Quality matters but your video doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production. Make sure you use a decent camera, get the lighting right, and film somewhere quiet.

Ask for something specific. As with most methods of marketing, forgetting a call to action in your video would be a disaster. An unclear call to action = total waste of time. Provide your viewers with a clear path to completing the action your video is persuading them to take.

Much like a blog post that doesn’t get read, a video that doesn’t get viewed serves no purpose, right?

You worked so hard to create your videos. Try these things to increase the exposure of your “mini-movies:”

Feature your video on your web properties. You’ve got a website so take advantage of this built-in audience and measure results.

Share the wealth. Share your creation with the world on all your active channels. Share it with everyone you know, using all social media channels and other outlets. Who knows, maybe it’ll go viral – and that level of exposure is priceless.

Use email to share. Your email list is another pre-existing source of viewers that you should take advantage of.

These are some basic strategies for creating effective videos and ensuring they get found and viewed by your target audience. In the future, I will most certainly write more on videos, especially on YouTube marketing. If there are specific topics you’d like for me to cover in future columns, I welcome your suggestions.

Jacob Myong is a WSI Internet Consultant with The Coeur d’Alene Press. He has worked in digital media for over 15 years. Email or call 208-416-5173.

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