Online marketing: How to make the most of the new YouTube
While audiovisual consumption makes up more than half of Internet traffic, its star platform has become more professional and more ‘sociable’. What are the main changes and how do they influence the advertising of products and services?
The figures of the principal audiovisual platform on the Internet don’t stop surprising us. Internet users upload 48 hours of video per minute and, at the same time, consume more than three billion videos per day. The medium-term perspectives seem favourable: according to figures from Cisco, video traffic currently represents 51% of online traffic, a figure that could climb to 90% in the next three years.
Although YouTube’s dominance of the sector is unarguable, the platform hasn’t stop reinventing itself. In December last year Google’s video portal adopted a series of changes aimed at making surfing easier and more intuitive. Simplicity when it comes to programming the video browsing history, synchronization of tasks (watching a video while searching for another for example) and a choice of material quality were some of the innovations.
Nevertheless, the most important modification is the integration of YouTube with Google+. Now, the first thing users see when logging on to their accounts is a list of the most recent videos on the channels they’re subscribed to. They can also see the channels that their contacts on Google+ are following.
This innovation doesn’t just mean that YouTube has become more similar to Facebook and Twitter. It also means a change of model from the online video platform that was based on anonymous user searches; we now have a social tool that strengthens interaction between registered users and channels. As Tom Loftus defined the spirit of the renewal in The Wall Street Journal: “We are faced with a more professional and channel-orientated YouTube.”
Renewed channels and more visible brands
If these transformations mean a new relationship between users and content, it also implies that those who use YouTube to advertise products and services will have to adjust to the new landscape.
In tune with the modifications, YouTube channel administrators also have new tools to boost their online presence. The overlay feature, which already existed, now offers new possibilities. This application, which basically enables the inclusion of small publicity texts at the bottom of the screen whilst content is playing, was available in the Promotional Video category. Now, it is no longer necessary to have an approved and active campaign. With just a Promotional Videos account one can make use of the overlays, which in turn redirect traffic to the brand’s website, with the resulting benefit of increased visibility.
The other new element to take into account is the redesign of the channels, which facilitates their association with the profiles that brands have on other social networks. Until now, to find channel account owner information you had to go to the bottom of the page, under the last video posted. With the redesign of the site, this key information is now in the top-right corner of the page. Although this may seem a minor change, it means an essential modification in terms of usability and functionality. There is no need to underline the pre-eminence that Twitter and Facebook have today to understand how useful this link is.
It’s true that the fact that the effectiveness of YouTube as a social network marketing tool is not exactly new (we explained to you the successful experiences of Ford and Old Spice in another article). Nevertheless, the latest innovations in its interface enable the consolidation of advertising campaigns and the maximization of their reach.
At a time when audiovisual content is establishing its place on the web, betting on YouTube visibility appears to be an unavoidable option for engaging with users who are increasingly demanding. And more connected.