Why Your YouTube Strategy Isn’t Working

Kiev, Ukraine - May 20, 2013 - A social media logotype collection of well-known social network brand's placed on modern computer keyboard. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and more other logos.

There’s some 300 hours of video uploaded every single minute, says Brightcove’s Mark Blair in this opinion piece. And it’s clear that not everyone is getting their fair share of views.

Mark Blair
Posted by Mark Blair

It seems inevitable these days that if you have a brand, you have a YouTube page. With more than a billion users and 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute (according to Google), it is without a doubt a hugely successful social platform.

For marketers, it is a valuable tool as well, providing significant SEO integration and a large, awaiting audience that can like or share your video easily. Not to mention the fact that it’s free.

But if you think about those numbers for a second — 300 hours of video uploaded every single minute — it’s clear that not everyone is getting their fair share of views. Even if every YouTube member spent all day watching videos, only a few will reach the heights that Gangnam Style or the latest Justin Bieber music video can attain.

After all, the average person has a seven-second attention span, so most videos have very little time to get their message across, if at all. The question for marketers to ask themselves is whether YouTube is truly the best marketing platform. Despite the potential audience, YouTube eradicates a lot of functionality in return for simplicity and low cost.

The best marketing collateral is that which offers a positive and consistent branding and user experience. Integrating YouTube into your website or other platforms immediately tells your prospective customers which platform you are using, and breaks the prospective customer out of their experience with your brand.

Video quality is, of course, paramount. A recent survey Brightcove conducted found that 35 percent of respondents were more likely to remember brand content if the video was high quality. Compare that to YouTube, where previous research found users regularly suffer poor quality, loading or buffering issues. Imagine the cost to your business from having lost potential customers simply because your video stuttered or was low quality.

YouTube is an extensive distribution channel, especially if you are marketing to consumers, but it should not be your one and only channel. It distracts your audience to watch other videos, while providing you with limited functionality and support, and likely an influx of comments that you either cannot filter or have the time to deal with.

So what should brands do to avoid these issues? Having a distribution strategy that covers multiple platforms — from your own website to YouTube, to video services on Facebook and Twitter — is essential. At the same time, using the optimal video platform that can cover all of these potential end-points will give brands the utmost control over their video marketing, and ensure that it does not go to waste because the concept of a free platform was too tempting.

Though it provides simplicity at a low cost, YouTube comes at a price.