YouTube: Why Brands Should Be Paying A lot More Attention The YouTube generation are connected and in control of their own destiny. YouTube still remains the enigma for brands of all sizes. Youtube is one of the most important and powerful social media sites yet many “social media managers” and digital teams and CMO’s and still scratching their heads when it comes to YouTube. Why No YouTube Strategy? YouTube’s web traffic is only surpassed by Google and Facebook, with around 2.7 million videos views every minute. Through advertising revenue, YouTube makes an estimated $10,654.49 every minute (55% of which gets shared directly with content creators). 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute with some of the most popular content creators gaining at least a subscription a minute (true for over 1000+ channels).It is easy to say that YouTube is a very well established platform, however brands really haven’t got their heads around it. For me it boils down to only a a few reasons: –Lack of depth of digital skills – Virtually all brands now have a social media presence. Most mainstream businesses start with a Facebook page or a Twitter account, because they are easy, people understand how to create content for their personal accounts so learning how to do that in a business setting is easy. When it comes to niche platforms this becomes harder to wing, the average Joe doesn’t know what it takes to create compelling video content, or how to drive subscribers and generate real business results through video marketing.Lack of budget – There is a myth that content creation can be extremely costly. It is not wrong to assume that it can be costly but it is only as costly as you need it to be. You can edit videos to quite a high level now with off the shelf video editing software and a good camera has never been so cheap. This kind of negates the budgetary issue. If you need higher production values then I would assume your budget would be higher.Lack of creativity – creating compelling content takes a certain skill set. This relates slightly to the first point but you need to create content that is watchable, shareable, and has a ‘YouTube’ feel to it. Simply recording videos and uploading them to a channel is going to put you in a worse position then you were before. You need to have content that is worth watching.Lack of strategy – So even if you have the desire, the skill and the budget, you still need to know exactly how this content is going to fit into your wider content and digital strategy.As YouTube requires a lot more thought than just a cat meme (although cats do tend to go down quite well on there!) many social media professionals and strategists tend to ignore it – this kind of approach should not continue. Why Should I Pay More Attention to YouTube? The title of the post is, why brands should be paying a lot more attention to YouTube; the answer to that question is simple.97% of teens use YouTube at least occasionally. That is the biggest penetration of any social media platform, even ahead of Facebook. If you want to reach your target market, they are on YouTube. (source).Despite often being only considered a platform for teens, the most recent Google UK report shows that 90% of UK YouTube users are 18 or older, and 50% are over 35 years old. The study goes on to claim that 41% of UK YouTube users have taken action after watching an ad on YouTube.34% of Millenials watch more online video than TV (source) The next generation of talent is coming through on the platform right now. You probably haven’t even heard of these people, or you may have caught a glimpse of them as you were flicking through a few Mashable articles but YouTubers hold all of the power.In a previous post about working with influencers we mentioned the fact that President Obama worked with some of the most influential content creators on the platform when tackling policy on a national level. If that doesn’t give you an indication of the power of content creators then you are not paying attention.As we have previously written about, Gen Z is completely bought into YouTube and have grown up watching their favourite channels, this generation has more buying power than any other generation of their age and will soon be entering the workforce, if your brand is not reaching out to them through this medium then you are missing huge opportunities — and no, these guys don’t click banner ads, watch television adverts or like traditional celebrities. There are more surveys and research each week backing up this notion – YouTube more popular than TV.Pre-Purchase Research – YouTube now plays a huge role in buyer research. If you have a product you should be doing unboxing, review and live demos of your product. A more advanced strategy would involve collaborating with product reviewers, but you need to get the basics done first. You need to be in a position to intercept the potential buyer in the moment – not having any content will leave a vacuum. YouTube Statistics 2014If all of this hasn’t convinced you to take another look at YouTube, maybe this will help, especially if you like infographics! Here is a brilliant infographic from YouTubeDownloader on the most up to date YouTube statistics I have seen.