To mis-quote (badly) my mate Willy S, that IS the Question.
Or is it….. really????
Is Youtube now a mandatory public expression for any and every business wanting to make sales and create their own brand awareness.
The benefits are clear. Youtube is a machine, actually an advertising machine that cunningly disguises itself as a platform for creators to broadcast their creation after a short pre-roll advertisement for an unknown company who pays them to hawk their wares. Whether that “creator’ message is a cat video (!) a company message (thinly disguised ad or product tutorial with lots of upgrade CTA’s) or a video of little Johnny / Jane’s 5th birthday for overseas based grandparents. Youtube is the platform that turns those little clips on your phone into a mini TV show for the world to watch while they sit on their couch and eat potato chips in the comfort of their own home, and in their own time. (Or maybe thats just me…)
And that, I think, is they key to why it works - “in their own time…”
You see, the key to fair and effective advertising is the gift of give and take. I’ll give you your favourite Radiohead music video you so clearly WANT to watch, but first, here’s a 15 second toothpaste ad you NEED to watch. I know its 10.20pm but you need this toothpaste ad to remember to brush your teeth before you go to bed (after watching a bit of Radiohead). Just taking advantage of your time during a TV show is not give and take. It’s just TAKE.
I know from personal experience I am far more likely to consume an ad when I WANT to watch a Radiohead YouTube video at a time that suits me. Stick it on a pre-roll for a Herald / TVNZ news video and you’ve lost me before I’ve seen 2seconds. Put it in a Shorty street commercial break, and I’m off to make a cuppa. Totally ineffective.
The success of Youtube and the subsequent success of those who choose to use it to their advantage cannot be underestimated.
The number one YouTuber in 2020/2021 was 9 year old Ryan Kaji, amassing an amazing 12.2 BILLION views, from 41.7 MILLION subscribers, and earning an estimated $29.5 MILLION USD.
9 years old. What was I doing at 9? Probably using firecrackers to blow up little plastic army men with my 2 best mates, not my closest 41 million friends…! What a loser… but I digress….
Ok so this kid is a business and I am sure he has a manager / parent driving this business income with brand deals, and a plan for growth, but what happens when he hits 30? Is he still going to be unboxing toys for tots? The cynic in me would force him “hipstering” up and selling man bun ties and skinny jeans, but hey, you do you boo….
More interesting stats indicate that the top 10 YouTubers (yes, that really is a word) collected a combined $204m USD in the 20/21 year (Covid year remember), and there wasn’t a Kardashian or a Trump or even a Swift among them.
Instead these were (mostly) normal people determined to make an impact on a platform that gave them the tools and audience to view their video creations in their own time, and in the comfort of their own creator den.
The fact they managed to monetise their channel and bring in ad revenue, build an audience, sign off market brand deals, and in some cases (ironically) ink TV deals with big networks in the USA, means that yes, there really is now a strong proposition for EVERYONE to have their own YouTube channel.
In fact it may even be the real estate of the future! Imagine holding the name rights to the channel - “John Smith”? How many John Smiths are there in the world? (Side note, almost the same as Mohammed Patel). Another side note… Yes, I know you were just about to Google it… John Smiths YouTube channel now has - at the time of this writing… 146 subscribers watching his music inspired videos.
Now I’m not saying that by launching a YouTube channel now is going to make you a cool $40m USD in the next 12 months, not at all. The apparent “overnight success” is more likely 10+ years in the making for most, and even then that is probably conservative.
Except for Ryan.
Ryan is 9.
Be like Ryan.
Ryan's 10 years+ of hard work would taken him back 90 days out from date night with the Mrs, but then I guess you could call that work. Maybe his parents should have THEIR name on his channel?
Ryans Mum and Day will no doubt now be well taken care of in their retirement with an ocean view room, 3 square meals a day and their own named and reserved chairs on the Poop deck of the latest Carnival cruise liner.
But I digress again…
The point here is that any thoughts you had of one day starting a YouTube channel for your small or medium sized gardening / painting / music / jewellery / cat food / home made sauces business better happen sooner, rather than later, because internet real estate is selling out fast and your business or personal name might already be taken.
The opportunity to bring awareness to your unique flavour is now cheaper than it’ll ever be, more searchable and available to more people than ever before and just better than any paid online Google / Facebook ads will ever be.
Today is STILL the best day to start something, ESPECIALLY starting to build a YouTube house on an internet section. The time you invest now is the time you start to learn how to grow as a business, find customers for very little cost, establish an internet brand that is optimised and searchable to everyone, available worldwide and accessible on any device, at any time and from any location.
I should take my own advice… Maybe I already have but am just holding off publishing them because of my perceived opinions of others…..
I’m such a paranoid android…