YouTube is no longer just a place to watch funny videos--yes they are still there, but there is so much more. It has come a long way since it's birth in 2005, now eight years later, YouTube has evolved into the world's second largest search engine (second to it's parent company Google), a stimulant of online culture, and a launching pad for Internet fame.
Video-based content is being uploaded and distributed through YouTube at insane rates. People can follow different YouTube channels, upload their own content, comment and discuss videos, and follow other people's content. YouTube gives users the power to link directly and even embed videos into their website, blog, and other social channels. These features have helped to make YouTube a go to for web-based entertainment, and have made it very easy to add videos to your website. It also has the ability to monetize through ads--both for itself and its users--adds an attractive layer of financial sustainability.
You might be thinking to yourself that video has no place in your Internet marketing strategy, and you might be right. However, more often than not video can find a home in your online marketing repertoire; it's just a matter of figuring out what types of videos to create. Your videos do not have to be a huge Hollywood production.
They can be simple videos that provide content helping your audience with something, or instructing them how to complete a specific task. For some products, these types of videos will be extremely valuable to your customers. Educate your audience on how to better use your product, even include ideas about how to use your product in unique ways. Provide your audience with exclusive content, which can be early access to new products, special promotions, or even "top-secret" company information. By giving out exclusive content, you give your following a sense of honor.
Keep in mind that social media marketing is all about engaging with your customer-base, and videos are a great way to do so. The commenting area on YouTube has been notorious for harassment, spam, and Internet trolls. A lot of companies have opted to shut down their comments on videos entirely, because of these reasons. We would suggest leaving your comments on to begin with and see what type of engagement you receive. If it gets out of hand, you can always shut them off down the road. However, if you do leave them on, DO NOT ignore them. You can see great results with YouTube marketing if you choose to engage with your audience through video and responding to valid comments.
As always, measure your results and create content based on what your measurements represent. Keep track of what type of videos get the most traffic and engagement and stick to those.