For years an online strategy meeting went something like, "we really need to tap into those younger demographics online, let's put together a YouTube channel and start marketing to them." Later it became, "OK, we have a YouTube channel but we should do some online video advertising, on YouTube." Now, as the online video industry matures and evolves, that's just not enough anymore. So the question is, what will the future require for successful online video brand presence?
JWPlayer addressed that very question in their recent whitepaper, The Future of Online Video: Multi-Channel Video Strategy - Preparing for a Post-YouTube World. They look at the next step in the evolution of an online video creator whether that be a company, brand or agency and talk about how that requires one to move away from YouTube, but still fully utilize it as a major marketing tool.
YouTube Becomes the Iceberg's Tip
In the past for young brands and creators YouTube was the proverbial iceberg. It was the mammoth chunk of marketing ice floating in a sea of potential viewers. It's a great way to build an audience and start using online video for marketing and advertising, but sooner or later, you will want better control. Better control over your brand, your revenue (from advertising), your content, your traffic and maybe most importantly, your audience/subscribers/consumers. As they put it in the whitepaper:
It means leveraging YouTube as a customer acquisition platform and driving a percentage of your YouTube audience to a self-hosted site that has higher earning potential. After all, YouTube is simply a video distributor at the end of the day, and you should have many video distribution channels if you want to build a video business.
They are very much correct here. The good brands, the really good brands, use YouTube to acquire audience and spread their message, but the ultimate goal is to get those users onto the bus so you can ship them over to your own site and capture their attention in hopes of creating loyal viewers or customers.
JWPlayer argues that when you're on YouTube you're handing off a lot of cash to middle men including YouTube itself and an MCN if you're part of one.
Most of your doughnut is consumed by YouTube and the MCN leaving you just a tiny fraction of the ad revenue you could be generating. Cutting YouTube out and/or cutting out the MCN means more doughnut in your day.
Not only that, but the doughnut grows as JWPlayer sums up succinctly below.
...when you control your own advertising, you will get higher CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) for video ads than YouTube does...
I'm going to skip over a lot of the whitepaper because you can go download it and read at your leisure but I wanted to highlight one very interesting and important part of it.
Optimize Your YouTube Content for a Multi-Channel Strategy
Using YouTube as the tip of the iceberg for your online video marketing is vital to making the rest of it work. JWPlayer offered some vital things to do when using YouTube in this fashion.
First off they say you need to craft a compelling call-to-action. What a good one does is informs them how to get to the good stuff, the rest of the information, the longer, better video content etc. For example:
- What to do (visit my website)
- How to do it (click this link)
- Why to do it (for more awesome videos)
Optimize Your Video Descriptions
With the recent changes to the description box (see my article) there is now far more real estate to utilize for marketing. That means you now have more than twice the space available to get your point across and offer your subscribers links, etc.
Take Advantage of Overlays
Everyone should be utilizing the interactive overlays that allow you to have calls-to-action during your videos as well as getting more subscribers and linking out to more videos.
Just because the video is over doesn't mean you can't slide in an outro that offers a great amount of information, links to other videos and more calls to action.
Build Relationships with Your Audience
Relationship building is YouTube Marketing 101. You have to do more than just preach to your subscribers or inform them. You have to connect to them, bond with them, entertain them.
Again, this is all just filling the ice tray to start the tip of your iceberg. There's a whole lot more to do where this comes from and where this comes from is the JWPlayer whitepaper, The Future of Online Video: Multi-Channel Video Strategy - Preparing for a Post-YouTube World. Definitely worth a read for every online video marketer.