Social media consultants are a dime a dozen, and I don’t plan on joining the masses. But after watching too many businesses fall flat on their face with YouTube, I decided to offer some help. My credentials include 130,000 subscribers, 14 million views, and having been through NextUp training at Google headquarters.
“Let’s just make a video and maybe it’ll go viral on YouTube.”
Have you ever heard anyone say this? I have, and it makes me cringe.
It’s not such a bad thing when it’s applied to home movies or casual videos. Those don’t involve much time or money. But when business people use this “strategy”, when real dollars are invested into producing a video that only gets 67 views… it’s palm-to-forehead time.
YouTube is a part of social media, yes, but videos are not like tweets or Facebook updates. Videos involve conceptualizing, writing, location scouting, casting, rehearsals, sound, lighting, editing, graphics… and all the details in between.
So with all that involved, you don’t want to squander it by saying, “Maybe it’ll go viral.” That’s not a smart YouTube strategy, or business strategy.
Think of YouTube as a huge, roaring river.
The current of this river is insane, with white-capped rapids and dark, muddy water. Uploading your video without a strategy is like tossing a stone into that river and hoping it will be taken down stream. Ka-PLUNK! It drowns in an instant, and sinks to the bottom forever. The flow of water (video traffic) is just too much.
The first problem I see with most businesses on YouTube is that they don’t spend time in the community. They don’t realize it’s a social network. You don’t walk into a party, put your bean-dip on the table (your video) and leave. You walk in, put your bean-dip down, and mingle. The longer you stay, the friendlier you get with the others.
On top of that, businesses don’t spend enough time learning the mechanism of YouTube — how videos are connected, how and when to use annotations, the importance of getting viewers to “like” your video, and so on. It’s not easy when YouTube changes this mechanism every few months — but staying on top of it all is vital to your strategy.
Lastly, a lot of businesses are uploading the wrong kind of content. It’s too flabby, too long, and doesn’t offer value. Many don’t realize that we’re dealing with an audience that has the worst kind of A.D.D. imaginable. They’re looking for a reason to click away, with a finger sitting on that mouse button.
Please note: The good news is that I’ve been hired by YouTube full-time as a Content Strategist. The bad news is that I’m having to shut down my consulting service. If you are interested in learning my personal strategies on the topic of making YouTube videos, consider taking my private YouTube training course.