Media evolution is often driven by technology. YouTube is no exception. The video-sharing platform has around 3-billion views a day. The mobile version of the platform gets over 400-million views a day, or 13% of the platform’s total views. Few of us, however, think about it as an avenue for making money. And if we do, we probably don’t think of it as something within the grasp of ordinary people.
The truth is, YouTube empowers ordinary people to market themselves in extraordinary ways. Ayite Gaba, a Google Business Development Associate who specialises in YouTube marketing, points out two incredibly pertinent reasons YouTube is able to do this:
Of course, a large number of the channel’s viewers are from emerging markets themselves. Using YouTube, they can have access to educational content of a higher quality than the infrastructure around them might otherwise allow for. People are hungry for education and YouTube is a great way of enabling that, says Gaba.
That’s why YouTube is a great marketing tool, but how do can you leverage it to your advantage? Although there is no way of guaranteeing you’ll be the next Justin Bieber or Isiah Mustfah, there are a number of things you can do to ensure your channel is competitive as it can be.
These areas of focus can be illustrated with examples of people and brands who have used the platform successfully.
While having a Standard or Branded Channel won’t make it any more difficult for people to find you, the Custom option allows you to go completely crazy, says Gaba. Tequila flavoured beer brand Desparados, for example, made a completely interactive YouTube campaign, which playfully engages with YouTube’s features.
This can also be an opportunity to educate people about something you’ve had on the market for some time. Power tool company Black & Decker, for instance, is using its YouTube channel to teach people how to properly use its equipment.
The workouts demonstrated on the channel became immensely popular. This allowed Carvell to sell advertising space on the channel. It now makes R150 000 a month just in Google AdSense adverts. The lesson here is that you can’t forget the basics of making money off the internet.
The scattered nature of the Nigerian film industry means that he is able to snap up the rights to a number of films relatively easily. A side-benefit is that its YouTube channel is likely to become one of the largest official repositories of Nigerian movies. It can’t hurt that the movies get over 2-million views a week.
Proving that expensive bandwidth needn’t be a barrier to internet relevance, Potgieter sent the videos to a friend in the UK to upload at first.
Potgieter has since released a range of DVDs and merchandise but still uploads free content to YouTube. This free content also lets him retain a level of interaction with his fans. This shows that it’s possible use the content on YouTube to sell merchandise through your own product. The YouTube channel is also used to leverage Potgieter as a live performance drummer.