YouTube: The Future of Social Media Marketing

YouTube was founded in 2005 by three PayPal employees (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim) who had trouble sharing a dinner party video in order to prove that the party actually happened. Karim felt the idea truly started with the 2004 Super Bowl, when Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction and when the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami occurred.

Karim had trouble finding the videos and this lead to him creating an online video sharing site where people could find these videos at a moment’s notice. While on the other hand, Hurley and Chen believed, it started when they wanted to create a video version of an online dating app based off the app “Hot or Not”. The first video uploaded was titled, “Me at the zoo”, where Karim is showed at the San Diego Zoo.

YouTube was named so to show that it is You which equals personalization, and Tube which refers to video or TV (picture tubes that connect to a TV). YouTube was released in February 2005 and was later bought out by Google in November 2006 for $1.65 billion.

YouTube was first used to upload and view videos in one convenient location. Now YouTube is the third most viewed website, with over 1 billion users worldwide, and hundreds of millions of hours are watched every day. It is used not only as a video sharing site but most recently used as one of the main social media marketing trends and strategies.

Most marketers are starting to market through YouTube for many different factors. One major factor is because of the expansion of 4g/LTE. This makes it easy to stream videos at the touch of your fingertips. YouTube’s statistics say that mobile watchers’ “average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, up more than 50%”.  Which proves how YouTube is bringing in more than half of their viewing through mobile devices.

These statistics prove that more viewing is swinging towards hand held devices. With the social media market targeted toward handheld devices, YouTube is focusing on becoming the “new TV”. Along with the videos that are willingly being watched, are advertisements that have, most recently, popped up before almost every video. Some videos don’t have an advertisement at the beginning but advertisements could be throughout the video either from the YouTube star (product placement) or from YouTube having intervals of advertisements in videos over a certain amount of time.

Since there is major pull from handheld devices, such as, cell phones and tablets, it is crucial to have videos that are not only short and eye catching, but also great to watch on the go and on smaller formatted screens. YouTube has participated in this by creating shortcuts and easy access to the same things you would need to go to another video or link, but on a smaller device. They not only created cards but are now able to post a link of another video on top of the screen of the video you are currently watching.

A new factor in any social media is that it spreads quickly. YouTube will and continues to spread even quicker through short videos that are interesting and more eye catching than reading an article (viral videos). Many marketers are releasing short 30 second advertisements to grab the viewer’s attention in a subtle yet action efficient way.

The nature of a person is to share whatever they find interesting, so the more shown, the more likely that the specific advertisement or product will go viral. An example of this, are the advertisements by Old Spice. They have shown so many videos that catch most people’s eyes. They not only post the same iconic videos, but they change the advertisements to keep the people entertained and on their toes. Their videos continue to go viral very quickly and most people associate the old spice guy with Old Spice and nothing else. It has become engrained in people’s brains and left a permanent mark.

Another alternative factor is that the YouTubers are sampling and testing products for the viewers, so they will be able to make smarter decisions on what they should buy. YouTube can create a comfort through their own services and through their YouTubers.  The YouTube viewer can feel comfortable in what they are deciding on because YouTube and YouTubers are endorsing the products. This proves that this generation is all about buying the newest and trendiest items, but only if they are efficient, work well, and have a definite good review of the product from other people.

The videos made are the future of marketing to help not only the viewers make smarter decisions, but also to create a bond and future marketers through YouTubers. The companies and the YouTubers that are endorsing their products are there to help create an atmosphere that the viewer is watching to prove to them the benefits of that product and why they should buy it.

Besides for the outside influences of product placement, YouTube also helps promote the products on the channel itself. The companies can create a channel and customize it based on their brand colors, logos, and much more. When creating their channel, they can choose names that promote what they are trying to sell instead of just choosing a random name or combination. The point of the videos is not only to promote the product, but it also there to help connect to the viewers. The connection is important because the viewers are less likely to read content, and can connect better through a deeper and emotional way-through sight.

Other ways to promote your business on YouTube is by driving traffic to your website. The first way is that your content can be shown through YouTube, but also come up on the results page of and major search engine. The company is more likely to come up toward the top in the results because it is a video and not a written article; especially because in this generation most viewers want the information given to them in the most efficient way possible. The most efficient way possible is to have a video because you don’t have to sit and focus on what needs to be read, you can most of the time just listen to what someone is saying.

There are also YouTube cards, which let you add text, pictures and other videos. Cards help connect and promote what you want instead of having annotations. If annotations come up on a hand-held device they must be removed to view the video, making the user not want to watch it. So, cards help not only organize, but cause people to want to watch the videos.

YouTube has progressed and gained a lot of marketers’ attention to spread the word of advertising through their social media. YouTube has specifically helped marketers by providing ways to customize, organize, and create viral videos and sharing. YouTube doesn’t only help the marketer but inevitably helped the viewer, who is interested in the products. YouTube is helping the viewer have better access and enjoyment for what they are watching and being recommended. They are helping spread the word of companies, large and small, to create a more productive and useful society, where everyone is happy and everything is simplified.

Since the social media market rising, this generation is becoming comfortable with the combination of visual and oral video. It is helping a lot of people comprehend the information at a faster rate and more information in the long run. This gives the marketer a better advantage because YouTube is creating a way to get a wider selection of people and continue to pass it on to even more people than the original amount that viewed it.

As YouTube becomes one of the main strategies of the future of social media marketing businesses have many ways to be able to promote themselves. They can take advantage of their videos becoming viral. They can use YouTube to its full advantage because it is simple to use and is easy access to many viewers.