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A Look at Social Media: YouTube as a Marketing Tool (Content Creation)

According to YouTube statistics, the company attracts more than 3 Billion video views—Daily, this accounted for some 700 billion playbacks in 2010 alone (YouTube, 2011). Furthermore, content driven to this medium is done so that over 48 hours of video are uploaded each minute (YouTube, 2011). This represents an enormous internet community in the social media sector, driven by user-created content and viewed by a wide range of consumers. Specifically, YouTube’s traffic mostly comes from outside the US, representing 70% of video traffic (YouTube, 2011). Additionally, YouTube is localized in 25 countries and across 43 languages with a broad demographic of 18-54 years of age (YouTube, 2010).

The digital content channel YouTube has created has great potential in the future for marketing messages to reach consumers. To put this into perspective; while “traditional TV viewing was only up 0.2% [in 2010], internet video viewing was up 35% and mobile video viewing went up 20% (Brooks, R). This recognizes that while older mediums such as TV are at a standstill, new digital mediums are expanding rapidly—and may do so across a variety of channels. For example, a traditional TV set is stationary, whereas digital channels may be streamed to computers, smartphones, tablet PCs, and other mobile platforms.

YouTube as a Marketing Platform

After recognizing the potential for sheer traffic and click-throughs’ possible with YouTube, it is important to note how exactly marketers may reach their target markets. The most popular methods of utilizing YouTube as a medium for communication is by using any of: banner ads, pre-roll pop-up ads, promotional videos, sponsored video content, views, and in some cases sponsored comments or subscriptions. All of these marketing tools are combined into a mesh of user-generated content where competition is tough over consumers’ attention.

Two-Front Battle

Marketing on YouTube is two-tiered, where both outside corporations and content-creators are fighting for consumers’ attention. In many ways, these two entities may utilize the same marketing tools: such as promotional videos, and views. Therefore it is important to take precaution of conflicts between these parties—it would be unwise for a corporation to step over a content-creator that may be beneficial to their brand image.

Content Creation Methodology

One of the most popular ways for corporations to engage with consumers through YouTube is through their own content-creation. In other words, companies such as DC Shoes, Old Spice, and OraBrush, have created their own YouTube Channels and are regularly uploading content. To fully succeed on this front it is important to consider the following tips (Brooks, R):

1                     Create unique and compelling videos

2                     Make videos searchable

3                     Brand the YouTube Channel

4                     Utilize Annotations for interactivity

5                     Regularly post a bulletin to alert subscribers

6                     Utilize YouTube’s in-house ad-system (Promotional Content)

7                     Integrate with other social media platforms

8                     Review strategies with build-in demographic tools

Successful Integration: Blendtec

One of the most successful brands on YouTube currently has been Blendtec, a manufacturer of professional-grade blenders. To date, Blendtec has reached more than 175 million unique views in addition to acquiring 425 thousand subscribers who desire more content. Blendtec has long-used one of the most successful strategies by uploading regular short-videos to eventually catch consumer’s attention.

Their unique strategy uses Tom Dickson, the founder of Blendtec, on a fictional show named “Will It Blend?” whereby the capabilities of their product are demonstrated through non-traditional ways. Although initially their reach was quite limited, Blendtec gained much success by blending an iPhone into a pile of dust (Embedded Below). This video quickly became viral, and now Blendtec blenders have become a meme on the internet. Additionally, Blendtec now offers Will It Blend? Merchandise on their website, including DVDs and T-shirts bearing “Will It Blend?”