Following hot on the heels of Facebook, YouTube has announced that it has reached the billion monthly users mark. The video site broke the news in a blog released on Wednesday, with YouTube keen to highlight some statistics. The blog stated that “nearly one out of every two people on the internet visits YouTube” and “if YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after India and China”. As impressive as that sounds, the point that stands out the most is the fact that all of the Ad Age top 100 brands now advertise on YouTube.
YouTube is obviously a valuable advertising tool, so why is it not used by more B2B companies? YouTube is on a par popularity is very close to matching Facebook, yet one is bursting with B2B companies and the other has next to none. Why is that the case when video, and YouTube especially, has proven to be such a powerful advertising tool? Is it time B2B companies embraced video fully, or are the benefits exaggerated?
YouTube = Facebook
I know it’s been said once, but it bears mentioning again: YouTube is just as popular as Facebook. Maybe it’s because it’s a video site, but for some reason YouTube is not thought of in the same way as social networks. Is video such an alien concept that it can’t be embraced in the same way as Twitter and Facebook? There are some clear differences but the basic concept remains the same, especially if you want to advertise a B2B company. It’s another way to get your name out there, to be creative and make people aware of what your company does.
Ignoring a site with the reach of YouTube just doesn’t make much sense. If companies are now hiring dedicated social network experts, why not hire people with the skills to create an engaging and eye-catching video for your company?
There’s a reason more people watch TV than listen to the radio. Video is naturally more engaging than a song in your ear or words on a page (not more engaging than words on a screen though, obviously). If you can get people to watch one video the chances are they’ll watch another. And then maybe 15 more. That’s the beauty of video and YouTube; it’s addictive viewing. It’s the online equivalent of the chocolate bars beside the register in a shop. Why wouldn’t you pick it up when it’s just sitting there, waiting to be eaten?
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It’s not enough to have a presence on most social networks when you’re leaving out the second biggest of them all. If you make an attempt to utilise the site as an advertising tool and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. Trying and failing is better than standing still and stagnating, because we all know where that gets you.
It’s Not Going Anywhere
It’s past the point where video sites could be considered a fad. YouTube is only eight years old and already it’s breaking records at a similar rate to Facebook, which is a year older. Online video streaming offers a level of engagement that marketers could only dream about a few years ago, and now that it’s there on a silver platter, many B2B companies refuse to accept it. Some people entire viewing experience happens online. They watch their favourite TV shows or sporting events. As I type this I have half an eye on a live stream of a soccer game on YouTube. And there are more to choose from.
With the kind of possibilities YouTube offers, it’s clear the risk isn’t in trying and failing.
It’s in not even trying at all.
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