Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about YouTube and how it has changed the way we consume media. The platform has grown to nearly a billion users a day, and with this growth, comes plenty of discussions about the impact the platform has had, and continues to have, on our society at large.
Inevitably, these discussions touch on a variety of topics, including politics, race, and gender, for which the platform is heavily criticized. But while YouTube’s influence in our media sphere is undisputed, it is not entirely clear how influential the platform is. One of the reasons could be attributed to the fact that few people know how to navigate the platform effectively. Learning how to maximize YouTube’s full potential, and avoid its numerous pitfalls, is certainly a task that requires some research.
To help users maximize the potential of YouTube, I spoke with Michael Pasternak, director of content strategy for Survice.com. Pasternak is a seasoned digital marketer who has worked for many of the top online companies, including Google and Microsoft, and has extensive experience in content strategy and creation. He became a YouTube expert after building and directing content for major YouTube creators, including Daniel Dae Kim, a.k.a DANIEL RADIO, and Charlie D’Amelio.
The Rise of YouTube
Like most online hubs, YouTube began as a simple video-sharing platform where users could upload and share their creations. The difference is that YouTube grew from a small start-up to a multinational brand in a matter of years, largely thanks to the platform’s efficient content management system (CMS) and sophisticated algorithm. It also managed to integrate several critical elements that enabled it to take off.
The first of these elements was “Smart Thumbnails.” The idea behind these thumbnails is to transform passive viewing into an active, immersive experience. When someone clicks on a video’s thumbnail, they are taken to a page that serves as a mini-version of the video. This mini-video incorporates tools like thumbnails that suggest content based on what a viewer is interested in, as well as a player, which enables video content to be enjoyed via livestreaming, or via downloaded files.
The second element is the fact that YouTube users could upload and view multiple videos in one place. This feature, called “playlists,” made it possible for viewers to experience new content without having to leave the platform. It also enabled creators to grow their following by setting up playlists filled with content curated from their channel. These playlists could then be shared with other users, potentially leading to more views for the original content.
The last critical element that helped elevate YouTube was its effective monetization strategy. YouTube enabled creators to integrate Google’s AdSense, which enabled them to earn a revenue share from each video view, even if a viewer doesn’t click on a single ad. This effectively turns every video into an advertisement, creating an opportunity to make money from content that would have never existed otherwise. It also helps explain why YouTube is one of the most effective vehicles for marketing organic food and products.
Why Use YouTube To Market Your Product?
Since its inception, a variety of businesses, from big-name brands to entrepreneurs with a small following, have turned to YouTube to market their products and services. Some of these brands are bigger than life, recognizable to anyone with an internet connection, while others might exist only in your head.
Here’s a short list of some of the more memorable brand launches on YouTube:
- KAYO SPRAY – water-repellent car cleaners (for BMWs, Volkswagens, and other cars)
- PIZZA DELIVERY – get pizza delivered by bicycle or motorcycle (for Domino’s)
- SQUID APES – eat organic chocolate and get healthy snacks delivered to your door (for Mondelez)
- FRESH EGG FARM – video reveals the disgusting truth about factory-farmed eggs (for Cage Free)
- WELCOME TO THE COSMO – learn about the different ways you can incorporate green elements into your home (for IKEA)
- GOOGLE APPLAUSE – discover what makes you unique and how you can share your passion with others (for Apple)
Building A Subscriber Base On YouTube
If you’re looking to grow a following on YouTube, one of the best things you can do is to create compelling content that resonates with audiences. To do this, you need to stand out from the crowd by offering content that is original, informative, and fun to watch. While it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel to prove your worth, you do need to put in the effort to come up with something that is engaging.
When you upload your content to YouTube, you need to ensure that you tag it appropriately so that potential subscribers can find your content easily. In addition to this, you can use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner to get keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your content.
The Dark Side Of YouTube
Over the past few years, there have been a number of high-profile cases where YouTube creators were demonetized for unclear reasons. This is a type of content that is heavily scrutinized by the company’s algorithms, and it can lead to serious repercussions for a channel, including the removal of content and the loss of revenue. While most cases of demonetization are clearly articulated, and the reasons for doing so are made transparent, it would be unfair to say that these cases aren’t a big concern for YouTube creators.
How To Navigate YouTube Effectively
To help users maximize the potential of YouTube, I reached out to Michael Pasternak, who has worked for many of the top online companies, including Google and Microsoft. Pasternak is a seasoned digital marketer who has worked for many of the top online companies, including Google and Microsoft, and has extensive experience in content strategy and creation. He became a YouTube expert after building and directing content for major YouTube creators, including Daniel Dae Kim, a.k.a DANIEL RADIO, and Charlie D’Amelio.
Pasternak is one of the few people who really knows how to navigate the platform effectively. Below, he shares some of his top tips on how to get the most out of YouTube.
Get To Know The Right People.
To succeed on YouTube, you need to understand who the key players are, and how to work with them effectively. The first step is to find out who is behind the platform and gain a good understanding of their goals and objectives. This knowledge will help you choose your approach for interacting with them, and eventually, developing a working relationship that will prove beneficial to your mutual success.
In addition to this, you need to find out who the decision makers are, and the people that can most affect your project. On YouTube, this mostly falls under the heading of “Content Creators.”
Understand The Video Marketplace.
YouTube is a content-driven platform. This means that the products and services that succeed here are typically those that offer users compelling content that they can’t find elsewhere. If your product is valuable and offers consumers something new, you have the opportunity to succeed on YouTube. But to do this, you need to become an expert in the video marketplace.
This is where you will find the bulk of the competition. You will need to become familiar with the various video platforms, including TikTok, where users can post their own videos, and Instagram, where users can share their favorite things.
Develop Your Audience Through Video SEO.
If you are looking to maximize the reach of your video content, then it’s imperative that you develop an SEO plan, which will enable you to compete for the highest search results possible. The better your SEO plan, the more people will reach your content, whether it is popular or not. Developing a clear, concise strategy that incorporates keywords, with the help of an experienced agency, will put you ahead of the competition.
Taking a step back, let’s look at what happened here. You have a video content creator named “XYZ Company.” This company creates great content, with a niche following. Now, let’s say this company decides to launch a product line, and they choose to do so on YouTube. To make sure their content is reaching the largest audience possible, they upload their video content to YouTube, with the goal of driving as many views as possible. This is a smart move, as viewers who see their videos live on YouTube are more likely to subscribe.