How to Use YouTube for Marketing


YouTube Announces New Harassment Policy

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

YouTube is increasingly gaining importance as a social network. Why? YouTube is the second–most-visited website and has the second highest volume of online searches. Those stats alone are worthy of the attention of any marketer.

YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users. They watch a lot of content, and spend more time there than with video on other social channels.

Pew Research Center found that 73% of  U.S. adults say they use YouTube, 90% of 18- to 24-year olds. The only other social media platform that approaches YouTube in terms of its reach among Americans is Facebook, which was used by 69% of U.S. adults as of early 2021.

Google data shows that 68% of people use YouTube to answer questions.

Think Quality Over Quantity

YouTube is different from other social media platforms because it isn’t a content feed. As a content library, people are able to access information easily that was posted weeks, months or years ago.

Videos that offer valuable content have the opportunity to rank in search and be viewed for a much longer period than Facebook or Twitter. YouTube marketing requires a quality over quantity strategy. Create content that will be interesting for a longer period.

To post a video for sustained access:

  • Reduce the number of uploads into one or two high-quality videos
  • Use effective thumbnail images
  • Optimize content for search

Capitalize on Relationship Marketing

YouTube is a great place to build your brand – the look and feel, the tone and the voice. Users will be able to see the body of your work in one place. You have a great opportunity to establish a lasting impression.

Use videos to establish your subject matter expertise. Create value in your brand for your target market. Using a visual platform to accomplish these goals will increase brand recognition. Use the platform to build trust in your brand over time, and be less focused on short-term marketing metrics.

Focus on Your Niche

YouTube recommends additional videos to users based on what they watch. YouTube promotes videos to only some of your subscribers first, then to more of your subscribers, then to non-subscribers whom YouTube has identified as having similar viewing behavior as your subscribers.

If your market is clear, YouTube will do the work of finding new people for you. This won’t work if your messaging – and therefore your target viewer – is too broad or not clear.

Have a clear value proposition and consistently deliver on that. This doesn’t mean that you should never try something new or get stuck in a rut. The key is to have a focused message.

Monitor Metrics

YouTube Studio offers metrics that will help you gauge the impact of your effort there.

  • Click-Through Rate, how many people click to watch your video
  • View Velocity, how fast your video gets views once you make it public
  • Average View Duration, over 50% is ideal
  • Watch time, how much time people spend watching your videos overall