Have you plugged into the power of YouTube yet?

YouTube is often the “forgotten child” in a social media marketing campaign. Today’s focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is based on the immediate access to text based systems, and the ease of response and dialogue. In fact, YouTube may be one of the most powerful players in your social media strategy team – especially in light of the more recent technology and related costs to produce high quality, creative video for your product or service.

Consider a few interesting statistics: just over 75% of the social media audience in the US reports that they have, and will continue to view online videos. You could extrapolate this to an estimate of over 558 million (yes, MILLION) hours of online video watching – every month. The channel appeals to a broad range of demographics. Ages of users range 18-55, and are evenly divided between males and females – spanning all geographies.

According to the company’s reported user statistics, fifty-one percent of users go to YouTube weekly or more often, and 52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues. YouTube truly does offer something for everyone.

With that broad of a range of users, and their frequency, you’re missing out on innovative and creative marketing strategies if you’re not engaged on the YouTube experience now.

So… how can you effectively use YouTube to market your service or product?  Here are a few suggestions:

First, consider leveraging the many channels offered specifically for your product or service category:

  • Autos and Vehicles
  • Comedy
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Film and Animation
  • Gaming
  • How-to and Style
  • Nonprofit and Activism
  • People and Blogs
  • Pets and Animals
  • Science and Technology
  • Sports
  • Travel and Events

Your first step is to decide what category your products or services fit into. Bear in mind that uploading a commercial isn’t the goal, but rather to create an interesting conversation around your product or service through your posting.  Ask yourself what kind of video might be the most interactive?  Commercials, unless their engaging on a national level, might get easily lost and overlooked in the hundreds of thousands of posting on YouTube each day.  Creativity is key.

Rather than a self-involved commercial, what about a “how-to” video that provide real value to your prospects and community?  Consider sharing other podcasts that are both informative and entertaining to your group of followers – and be judicious about promoting yourself all the time.  After all…it’s called YOUTube…not MEtube!

Your second step might be to establish your own brand channel:

While this may be more advertising than social media in nature, the investment to establish one for your brand might well be worth the investment.  Take this action only after you’ve given it careful consideration for your specific strategy.

For your investment in time and money, YouTube can be an effective way to share your brand’s values, and begin conversations with over 78.3 million users. Counter that potential with the fact that over 150,000 videos are uploaded every day, the challenge is to create and promote content that attracts, and keeps attention to your brand.

No matter what your social media strategy may be, you can can fun doing it.  Engaging your community on YouTube is just one way to round-out a truly effective social media campaign.

I’ll be investigating other topics that are YouTube related in anticipation of my presentation at the SM@RT Social Media Conference in Reno-Tahoe this December.

If you have any specific questions about how to integrate YouTube into your brand communication strategy, I’d love to hear about it!

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