Is YouTube Still Relevant?

Is YouTube Still Relevant?

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If you’ve been paying attention to breathless media pundits over the past couple of years, you’d assume that YouTube has been relegated to the dustbin of social media platforms in favor of trendy, hyperactively paced short-form video app TikTok. Praised as the video platform of Gen Z, TikTok is popular for several reasons – such as an advanced algorithm that quickly picks up on visitor preferences to show similarly themed videos, easy-to-use editing tools, and the impression of being spontaneous and authentic. Despite controversies surrounding exactly what happens to the massive amount of user data it gathers – which has led to the app being banned on state government-owned mobile devices throughout the U.S. – TikTok remains a cultural phenomenon.

So where does that leave YouTube? Actually, reports of its obsolescence are premature. Launched in 2005 and acquired by Google the following year, YouTube has shown impressive staying power. Consider the following statistics compiled by journalist Stacey McLachlan for Hootsuite:

  • YouTube is the world’s second most-visited website – right after parent company Google.
  • 694,000 hours of video are streamed on YouTube each minute – even more than Netflix, where users stream just 452,000 hours of video.
  • YouTube has 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors. In total, the site gets 14.3 billion visits per month: that’s more than Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon and Instagram.
  • In the U.S., 62% of users access YouTube daily – some even visit several times per day. Meanwhile, 92% of American users claimed to use the platform weekly and 98% say they access the site monthly.
  • 81% of internet users have used YouTube.

What YouTube Can Do That TikTok Can’t

Although TikTok increased the time limit of its videos to 10 minutes, most users prefer creating and viewing videos of much shorter duration. There’s no time limit on YouTube videos, making the platform ideal for delivering in-depth content. According to McLachlan, one-third of internet users watch a tutorial or how-to video on YouTube per week. And despite the reputation of Gen Z members having a fleeting attention span, McLachlan observes that how-to videos, tutorial videos and educational videos are particularly popular with Gen Z. In fact, 53.5% of female Gen Z internet users and 52.2% of male Gen Z internet users have watched a video in this genre this week!

One important advantage for business owners is that you can start a YouTube business channel. This provides a home page that displays thumbnails of each video that can be launched with a click. Viewers can subscribe to your channel to receive updates when you post a new video. To decide if starting a YouTube channel is right for your business, our blog post – “Should You Start a YouTube Channel for Your Business?” – covers this topic in detail.

The Advantages of a YouTube Channel for Your B2C or B2B Business

Did you know that YouTube videos can boost your SEO? Keep in mind that YouTube is the second largest search engine worldwide, just behind Google! To get the most out of your channel, Brent Barnhart of Sprout Social provides a detailed step-by-step guide for not only starting a YouTube channel, but for optimizing it in the following ways:

  • Include relevant keywords and phrases in titles and descriptions.
  • Write custom captions and transcripts that make your videos easier for YouTube to crawl.
  • Create unique thumbnail images that catch the eyes of potential viewers.
  • Tag your videos to make them show up in relevant search queries.

Additional SEO-boosting advice comes from video/media specialist Alex Dunn of Bluleadz:

“The businesses that see the greatest results on YouTube are those that create keyword-heavy, topical playlists and segment their back-catalogue of video content; both practices that impact future content … Playlists also help boost your SEO on YouTube, as the platform can more accurately pull information and create rankings with a pool of topical videos than with individual, ‘set-and-forget’ uploads.”

Your YouTube channel should generate leads and provide new sales opportunities. Keeping focused on your ROI will help you see what works and what may need to be adjusted. The content you create to engage viewers and encourage them to continue their customer journey with your business, obviously, needs to be more substantial than a 60-second shout-out.

Types of Videos Your Business Can Create for YouTube

Content marketing writer Melissa King provides insights on popular types of content for business videos in her article for Databox. Those best suited for small-to-medium-size businesses include the following:

Video tutorials Video tutorials teach viewers how to perform an action. Businesses often create tutorials related to their products or niches. This format helps you establish your authority in your industry, build trust with customers and connect back to your product. DIY videos are included in this category.

Educational videos These include a broad range of subgenres – including tutorials, explainers and related videos. They educate viewers and improve your authority with them as a result.

Explainer videos These videos break a subject down to its bare components. They familiarize your viewers with subjects related to your industry, brand and product.

Behind the scenes videos These videos show what happens at your organization. They can show off your day-to-day, highlight a staff member’s work, or showcase your company culture. Such videos humanize your brand and connect the viewer to your team. If you work in a niche industry that the typical person doesn’t know about, they can also be enlightening for your customers.

Product launch videos These videos announce your release of a new product or feature. This format capitalizes on YouTube’s social media capabilities. Viewers who get their news from YouTube as a social media channel will learn about the newest updates from your organization.

Product demo videos These videos demonstrate how your product works or how to use your product. Because of this dual purpose, they can come in the form of showcases or informational videos. They allow you to show off your product’s details and answer common questions about using it.

Of course, some types will be better suited for your particular business than others. However, this wide range opens many possibilities for creating videos that are informative, interesting and engaging.

The Take-Home Message and Our Blatant Self-Promotion

While some types of information can be successfully conveyed by a one-to-two minute video, other types need more explanation and time to deliver the full message. Establishing a YouTube channel for your business can be an asset in building your brand and generating leads to help you reach your marketing goals. Leave the shiny objects for the easily distracted. Keep your eyes on the prize to achieve success that offers long-term returns!

Video marketing is just one component of a complete digital marketing strategy. Our team at Virtual Stacks Systems welcomes the opportunity to help you create a plan targeted to meet your marketing objectives. Every small business is unique, and so are our solutions! We offer experienced website design and redesign, SEO marketing,  social media marketing,  PPC advertising, review management services and much more!

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