It’s easy to overlook YouTube as a business tool. Most people think of it as a place for unruly teenagers, cat videos and clips from Saturday Night Live so you never have to stay up late to see it again. But that’s not the only value it holds.
First, realize that YouTube serves over a billion hours of video every day while 500 hours of video are uploaded each minute. Also, over 70 percent of YouTube views are on mobile, and that people streaming YouTube onto their TV instead of watching cable has jumped up to 250 million hours a day.
My point: Many people watch YouTube every day and if you’re not one of them, it’s more that you’re behind the curve and not that “only kids use YouTube.”
Second, remember that YouTube is the world’s No. 2 search engine in and it’s owned by the No. 1 search engine in the world.
So, what should you be doing to put a little more YouTube in your life?
Get a Lot More Out of YouTube
First, log in so that you have the option to subscribe. YouTube works hard at trying to guess what else you might want to look at.
Second, start by looking for things you want to watch yourself. Not for work. Just for you. Love pizza? Check out what it’s like to eat a $2,000 pizza. Want to watch people get their necks and backs cracked? It’s the oddities that make us start to get into YouTube.
Third is where we steer this a bit towards your business. Whatever you sell, search YouTube to see who else is talking about it. Let’s say you sell HVAC systems. I searched for “replace your hvac system” and got this. Now you can see how one group did it and decide whether you could make a better and more informative video.
Fourth, start thinking of YouTube when you’re looking for information of any kind. I have a Macbook laptop and wanted to swap out the hard drive for a bigger one. I used this video to do it, easy peasy. There’s an amazing amount of useful how-to information on the site.
To sum up this section: learn how to consume and use YouTube first.
Make Your Own Videos
Starting a YouTube channel is easy enough. If you have a Gmail account, you have a YouTube channel waiting for content. (You can search for “How to Start a YouTube Channel” videos, naturally.)
Your smartphone or the built-in camera on your laptop will get you started. If you want more, I wrote an article called Start Videoblogging on my website that can walk you through it quickly enough.
The content can be anything from interviews, reviews, installation guides, ideas on how to get more out of the product’s use, and any number of other pieces of media. That’s the beauty. Because you’re not a broadcast TV channel, you can use this opportunity however you want. If you look at my YouTube channel, it’s a bit of a potpourri. That’s because I’m not obligated to make a specific kind of a show.
By contrast, however, Good Mythical Morning is a YouTube channel that works hard to build themes, branding, and content consistency and that goes a long way towards earning them a rabidly passionate fan base.
Don’t Ignore YouTube
When I recommend that people start and run a YouTube channel, they almost always nod politely and then ignore the information. They worry. “I’m too fat, too skinny, too old, too something. I have a weird accent.” Join the club, people. There are few “perfect” people in the universe. And yet, plenty of people tune in and love what they see.
Tommy Edison is blind. Owen has some physical challenges. Samuel J Comroe has Tourettes. Shirley Curry is an 84-year-old gaming grandma (with about 750,000 subscribers by the way). Daym Drops is a food review channel by a pleasantly larger guy (you’ll love his energy). Your excuses are just that.
Remember that people want the information. Sure, they’d love to be entertained. But more than that, they need what you know. Make some videos and see if it earns you more business. It’s amazing when it happens, and there are opportunities waiting there. Remember what I said at the beginning of the article:
- 1 billion hours a day
- 250 million hours on set top boxes instead of regular TV
- 300+ million hours on mobile devices
- And it’s free to have a channel there
It’s yours to make happen.
Recommended reading: How to Use YouTube for Local Advertising
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advises leadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.
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