Why Your Brand Needs to be on YouTube

Posted by Ka-Lok Ho

How to use YouTube for your brand marketing

YouTube is not a hosting platform.

YouTube is a search engine. YouTube is social. YouTube is engagement. YouTube is learning. YouTube is the new university. YouTube is entertainment. YouTube is TV. YouTube is evergreen. YouTube is evolution. YouTube is life. YouTube is the cultural zeitgeist.  

YouTube. YouTube. YouTube.

It’s many other things too, of course, cat videos, trolls, pranks etc. but a hosting platform it is not. That would be Vimeo, in spite of their efforts over the years.

If your brand is not on YouTube, it needs to be.

If you’re not proactive on YouTube, you should be.

If you’re not creating original content for YouTube, it’s essential to be.

Many brands have an active presence across the web but not on YouTube, and if they are, they’re using it as a hosting platform to store all their other videos: whether it’s product page videos for their site, square format sound-less paid social content intended for other platforms, or out of home advertising and TVC spots; these brands’ channels look like a database of every video they’ve ever made.

It’s no secret that video is the preferred popular format, but brands that argue they need video but then turn around and say YouTube isn’t the right platform, or it’s not useful for their business model and only want to focus on video for other platforms are misguided.

What they are saying is not, ‘I want video’, but ‘we want video advertisements.’
Which is not content marketing, let alone marketing.

If Google search rankings are important to you, and you have someone optimising your SEO, but you don’t have YouTube as part of your strategy, your content plan is flawed.

The influence of YouTube

At the start of the article I said YouTube is evolution and is the cultural zeitgeist. It’s what changes the landscape of how ads operate, which then is the driver of the evolution of engagement. 

What do I mean by that?

Look at how ad metrics have evolved over the past couple of years and how they pay out. It largely changed from click through rate (CTR) to view through rates (VTR) and engagements - likes, comments, shares. The main driving force behind that? YouTube.

Look at the length of the videos from influencers nowadays, it’s common to see 8-10+ minute videos, a drastic change from only a view years ago when the marketing mantra was ‘attention spans are short’, Vine was at its peak, and all videos were 1-3minutes.

Why the sudden change?

Ad companies started paying out based on engagements instead of click throughs. Which means YouTubers, creators and brands had to actually make good, engaging content as opposed to clickbait content to get a the view count up. It’s no longer about just impressions.

YouTube is the driver of change.

YouTube is misunderstood by brands

The difference between YouTube and any other social platform that allows video? The format. YouTube has a search function. 

It doesn’t matter how much organic content you create for any other channel, it doesn’t matter how popular it was because Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all an infinite scroll. How does that affect you? It means your content will get buried. It may not disappear like Snapchat or Instagram stories, but after a day no-one will remember nor care.

YouTube is evergreen. The search bar at the top of the page is what separates it.

The same reason you write a blog, is the same reason you should create videos on YouTube. If someone searches for your brand or related content on Google, your videos will pop up.

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google with a combined search volume larger than Bing, Yahoo, and AOL combined, and not surprisingly as Google owns YouTube, it favours YouTube videos in the search results.

Audiences want to watch videos

Long form content is here to stay.  Everyone has a podcast nowadays. Instagram recently announced they’re extending the time limit for IGTV videos. 

This all says that people do consume video. People want to consume video. 

Sure video performs well on other platforms, but video without sound is not the best experience. Silent video with captions is still not great.

The reason we do those things for the other platforms is essentially because it’s intrusive. The audience is not necessarily in a state that they want to watch videos. 

This is some conjecture and observation now, but if silent videos and captioned content is the way forward, it doesn’t seem to affect the way we enjoy movies; the camp that are against having subtitles on during films still seem strong. That’s not the way (good) video is going to go.

On YouTube, you are speaking to an audience who want to watch videos – with sound, in HD, in widescreen.

Your customers are willing and ready to engage with longer content.

Brands fear what they don’t know

It’s easy to see why brands misunderstand and avoid YouTube, because it’s unlike other platforms. It takes more time to build traction and grow an engaged community and is less about immediate gratification. It doesn’t work in the same, capture-attention-to-achieve-click-throughs-to-convert-sales, and it’s not supposed to. 

From a business standpoint, what I just said sounds like a really bad ROI. 

Utilising YouTube well encapsulates the entire idea behind content marketing; to build an engaged community to strengthen customer loyalty and gain trust.

An audiences engaged attention is the true currency that will pay off in the long run.

The question I bought up in the previous blog, about brands avoiding long form behind the excuse of lack of resources or time commitment, again rings true; 

Do you have enough value to provide that you can keep your customer attentive and engaged for a long period of time?

It is a commitment. Yes it will take some resource, so you can continue to make soundless, captioned Facebook videos for the short term gain, but you’re missing out on all the benefits to be reaped from YouTube.


So let’s summarise just a few pros of YouTube;

  1. Strengthen customer loyalty

  2. Evergreen content

  3. Second largest search engine

  4. Community building

  5. SEO 

  6. Google favours video in search

  7. IT’S FREE

Have I said ‘YouTube’ enough yet in this blog? 

TL;DR: use YouTube.

Here at Erudite, I will not preach what I don’t believe in or do, so I too will put my money where my mouth is, and videos are to follow imminently.

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