By: Zacharoula Kataxinos, Manikol Ouk
YouTube is a video sharing site that anybody can participate in. It was created in 2005, and was purchase by Google in 2006. YouTube has become one of the most viewed social media sites around the world. It has become a search engine in the sense that, just like Google, you can search it for lessons on how to cook to how to fix your car. There are over 1 billion active users, and in 2014 YouTube made over $4 billion in revenue. There are many functions and activities you can engage in on YouTube, such as uploading a video, sharing your favorite video on other media sites, watching live stream videos of some major events, plus getting involved with on-site discussions. 80% YouTubers are located outside of the United States, and there are minimum age limits to view certain videos. One of the most successful YouTubers is Michelle Phan; she has made over 1 million dollars from YouTube. Michelle uploaded a makeup tutorial of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance makeover, and in just 2 days she gained over 1 million subscriber and a contract with Lancôme. Michelle later continues to inspire YouTuber’s everywhere by posting her “dos and don’ts” about YouTube. YouTube has become the 2nd most viewed site on the Internet.
Beyond being a popular Social Media site, YouTube is also a popular and effective marketing tool for businesses. Starting back from when the site was purchased by Google almost a decade ago, it’s become a powerful tool to advertise a business. There are many ways in which the site can be utilized for advertising, starting by simply making a channel. The process of making a YouTube channel is free, and there are many benefits that can come from it. The ability to gain subscribers, which will be the first to view and share your videos, and help your channel grow. Businesses also have the advantage of being able to get personable with their customers through a discussion board. In a way, the YouTube channel itself is a free way to advertise. The company can upload videos, and keep them on their site for however long they want. The only challenge to that, is reaching out to get subscribers. That’s when YouTube advertising strategies come to importance. Yes, there are companies that have prospered just by making a YouTube video – one example of that being Blendtec. Blendtec’s creative videos went viral all over the web when they used an iPhone to prove how strong their product is. That’s all they did, and Blendtec continues until today to make videos such as that. Blendtec didn’t pay YouTube to advertise; it all happened through their channel. Another example is The Ellen Show. America’s favorite TV show host doesn’t have anything to advertise on YouTube, but because she uploads snippets of her show to YouTube, her show has gone viral.
There are four primary ways to advertise on YouTube. The most popular and effective one is instream ads. Those are the advertisements that we see playing before our selected video. We’ve all seen them, and have all waited anxiously for the “Skip Ad” option to appear in 5 seconds on the screen. The fascinating part to this ad though, is that the company didn’t get charged. Instream ads, are on a charge per view basis, meaning that the ad is only charged when the viewer has seen 30 seconds or more of the ad. That cost per view can range anywhere from 50 cents a view up to over $2; depending on what target audience you’re trying to reach out to and which region it will be played in. For us viewers, that “Skip Ad” button is our best friend, and for advertisers that’s also the case as well. Consumer behavior has it that most people do, in fact, skip the ad within those 5 seconds. The best advice to make it effective is to make it as catchy as possible, and most importantly get the brand name out within that short period too. Another method is the transparent overlay ads that appear on the bottom of the video, and also the display ads which are the suggested ads that come up upon searching for a specific topic. Once again, companies are not charged for those ads until the viewer actually clicks on it. The prices for again depend on target audience, region and size of the company. The least effective method of advertisement on YouTube is the non-skippable ad that pauses the video to play. These could be rather annoying to consumers, and they may not garner the same attention as other ad formats. YouTube ads do have their pros and cons, as do ads on any other social network. The main point though for any company, however, is to actually utilize it to find out. The stats show that YouTube has an immeasurable amount of success as a social network. It’s a powerful tool for advertising and broadcasting anything we want to show and see.
According to an article from Entrepreneur, there are some valuable tips a marketer should take into consideration when advertising on YouTube. The first and foremost is understanding the effect of YouTube. It is a website with an astounding amount of activity, a wide audience from all over the world, and it’s the second most visited website on the internet. The only mistake would be to not utilize YouTube as an outlet. In comparing the different methods of advertising that YouTube offers, the most effective one by far are the instream ads, which play right before the video. Regardless whether you’ve actually watched it to the end, chances are the ad has been acknowledged, and the brand has gotten its message out. To go along with that, another tip would be to make sure the brand name or central message has gotten out within the first 5-15 seconds. Chances are the ad will be skipped within the first 30 seconds, the rest of the ad will be ignored; however, the brand name will have already been acknowledged. It is important to remain persistent in YouTube advertising, which may mean many attempts in advertising before you can measure success.
Mostly, with any social media site, there are always pros and cons of using it. For YouTube, there are more pros than cons. Advertising on YouTube is one of the best ways for consumers to see your commercials/ads, and that may influence them to buy your product. There are more consumers viewing ads and commercials on YouTube than any other site. Unlike Facebook, where there could be fake people or fake like on a certain page, YouTube has ‘trueview,’ so you know that people did not skip your ads, and that they are actual people. Another pro for markers is the site’s low cost. When your commercial is viewed for less than 5 seconds and the viewer choses to skip your ads, YouTube will not charge you for the commercial being served. YouTube can also be easily share on another social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Since YouTube is free for some uses, companies can also set up a page for themselves (e.g. Blendtec, Vat19, Buzzfeed, and a lot more). The only cons advertisers may face on YouTube is that sometimes ads are skipped without being viewed, and ads with non-skip options may irritate consumers. Also, sometimes critical messages can go viral on the site and can make customer feel negatively towards your company.
Overall, YouTube is the web’s 2nd most viewed site that offers a lot for consumers and marketers. Since Google purchased YouTube, it has become an effective marketing tool for businesses. The site can be used for advertising, and that can be initiated at almost no cost, as channels are free to create. Formal advertising on YouTube is very cheap too; it can cost from 50 cents to $2 per view. YouTube will only charge businesses if their ads are viewed for more than 5 seconds. Surprisingly, the least effective method of advertisement on YouTube is the non- skippable ad; these ads could be rather annoying to consumers and also cost a lot more because your ads are always being viewed. However, YouTube is becoming a powerful tool for advertisers to broadcast anything they want.