If a picture tells 1,000 thousand words, how many words does a video say? The short answer is: a lot. That’s why video content is dominating the Internet – and why YouTube has grown to become the second largest search engine in the world – behind only its parent company Google, and ahead of Bing, AOL, Yahoo and Ask…combined!
Based on the staggering numbers alone (upwards of three billion unique page views per month), the implications for brand strategies are obvious. This is why publishers are pulling out all the stops to entice brands and ad networks to dedicate large chunks of their marketing budgets to creating content to post on YouTube.
It’s not hard to see why. Animoto recently found that nearly 75 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video, 93 percent find videos useful in comparison shopping, and the same number said videos are helpful post-purchase as well. This means that good YouTube channels are tremendously powerful tools to build long-term relationships between brands and consumers.
One example of a great YouTube strategy is the page produced by Hyundai. It offers a combination of timely, professionally produced feature videos (the video about the new Genesis has already logged more than 150,000 views); a fantastic series called The Walking Dead: Chopshop, a branded take-off of Pimp My Ride featuring Hyundai vehicles; an archive of ads; and a channel of user testimonials. Hyundai’s hub has all the bases covered and millions of views to show for it.
Sports equipment-maker Rawlings also gets YouTube. Its hub features a channel of content for each sport as well as a series of highly-compelling pieces, called Glove Stories, which feature professional baseball players discussing the personal relationships they have with their Rawlings gloves. The company’s Behind the Patch channel offers a series of fascinating looks at how its products are made and tested.
Both Rawlings and Hyundai realize that production quality still matters, but they also know that well-received videos can generate tremendous brand loyalty, engagement and exposure at relatively little cost. YouTube not only gives companies a platform to post videos, but sophisticated tagging and organization lets them target their key audiences with the right content. The key from a social standpoint is similar to Twitter. Make sure to engage with the audience and your fans! Youtube is also a great place for promotions and to drive traffic across all of your platforms. From rock bands to computer companies, YouTube is fast becoming a necessity, not a luxury. Now is the time to step up to the camera and become a star.