How (and Why) to Create a Well-Optimized YouTube Strategy
By Ann SmartyAug 23
Fifty percent of U.S. adults turn to YouTube when they want to learn how to do something. This applies not just to tasks at home but also tasks at work. Most people want to do their jobs better, to be more efficient and more effective. Successful businesses are leveraging YouTube videos to tap into their audience’s thirst for knowledge and desire to learn. A great example is HubSpot. Using our new YouTube analysis tools we take an in-depth look at how HubSpot is helping customers to learn, how they are delivering valuable content and how they are building stronger relationships with both customers and potential customers.
A Pew Research survey published in April 2019 found that 73% of US adults now use YouTube which rises to 90% amongst 18-24 year olds. Thus more Americans use YouTube than Facebook. Interestingly in a 2019 survey, 28% of adults said they also get news from YouTube.
There are 44,000 channels on YouTube that have over a quarter of a million subscribers. Each of these channels on average uploaded more than an hour of content in the first week of 2019. Only 33% of the videos uploaded were in English and only 17% were completely in English according to Pew Research. This reflects the fact that other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi are very popular on YouTube. As a consequence content with low language and cultural barriers such as music can attract large global audiences across the language spectrum. Witness the success of “Despacito” and “Bailando”, which have racked up 8 billion views between them.
18% of the english language videos uploaded were about gaming and these gained the most views on average. The median number of views for these gaming videos was 34,347, compared with 11,174 for videos focused on other topics. YouTube channels targeting children gain huge numbers of views and subscribers. According to the research over 80% of parents of children age 11 or younger report they at least occasionally let their child watch videos on YouTube, 34% say they do so regularly. We looked at the views of nursery rhyme videos using our YouTube analysis tools. YouTube channels such as CocoMelon are gaining hundreds of millions of views, their top video last year gained over 500m views and collectively the videos they published last year had over 5 billion views. That is a lot of YouTube parenting.
The huge numbers of subscribers and viewers of gaming, music and nursery rhyme videos is not overly relevant for most businesses. However, a 2018 survey found that fifty percent of U.S. adults use YouTube to learn how to do things, particularly things they haven’t done before. YouTube has become a global resource when it comes to learning, from practical DIY to cooking to engineering. For example, Sabin Mathew, an IIT Delhi post graduate set up a Learn Engineering channel in 2012. This channel now has over 3m subscribers. Many businesses have leveraged YouTube to deliver videos that help their customers, both directly with their products but also more generally.
HubSpot is a leading provider of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and service, and it has built a reputation for the quality and success of its marketing. HubSpot built one of the industry’s most successful blogs with over 350,000 subscribers and more than 7 million monthly visitors. Where HubSpot led, many others followed, leading to a crowded market for blog content and intense competition. Video opened up a new content opportunity and one where there was less competition. HubSpot has invested heavily in video content, publishing 200 videos in the last year, which gained almost 2 million views, an average of just under 10,000 views a video. From this we can see that their video strategy is not about creating blockbuster viral videos but a range of content designed to meet the differing needs of their audience. These include practical videos for HubSpot customers which by their nature will not be million view viral hits but they will provide practical support for customers. The HubSpot channel currently has 87,000 subscribers and added 6,000 of these in the last three months, a growth rate of 7% a quarter.
In 2018 HubSpot explained, in a video, how their strategy for video was changing, explaining that business videos should be more personal than polished and focus on creating helpful content not feature films. HubSpot also produced a guide to marketing with YouTube videos where they noted the strong growth in searches related to “how to” on YouTube. When people are asking how to do something this represents a clear business need and HubSpot views YouTube as an opportunity to build an authentic platform for engaging and building your audience around these needs.
HubSpot understands how YouTube is leveraged by their audience to keep up with industry trends, best practices and practical tips to save time and be more effective. Thus while HubSpot uses YouTube to publish and distribute video adverts, the majority of their YouTube content is focused on education. The HubSpot YouTube channel has become a major source of resources for marketers; salespeople; and customer support, service, and success reps. Few people arrive at a YouTube channel to browse, they normally come for a specific purpose which may be related to a business challenge or a practical challenge they are facing. HubSpot recognises this and has organised their content into playlists. For example their playlists are organised into:
These channels try to balance strengthening the relationship with their existing audience and meeting their needs, while seeking to attract a new audience with wider content and grow the subscriber base. This is not an easy task. Let’s have a look at some of the HubSpot playlists and how they manage this balancing act.
This channel is primarily for people new to HubSpot, including those considering purchasing HubSpot products. It provides content about the company and short overviews of their key products.
This playlist is designed for HubSpot customers. It was originally a separate Youtube channel but HubSpot found that combining their channels into a single channel increased the chances of their videos being found in the YouTube algorithm, not least because one factor in the algorithm was the number of videos watched by users in your channel. HubSpot explained this change in a YouTube Video. While no longer in a separate channel these videos do have a distinct HubSpot Academy branding and tone.
As you would expect the videos in this channel have a narrower appeal than the industry trends videos, particularly those specifically focused on HubSpot itself. This playlist is primarily focused on meeting the needs of their existing audience and delivering practical, valuable content. However, some of these videos such as their Learn SEO tutorials do have a more general appeal and can receive many tens of thousands of views.
HubSpot’s primary audiences are marketing and sales staff. It is therefore no surprise to see playlists designed for these audiences.
HubSpot understands that marketers can’t ignore the big social media platforms and have created an extensive playlist of videos focusing on getting the most from Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
This playlist is not about HubSpot, it is about emerging technology trends and is valuable for anyone interested in what is happening in the marketing industry. The biggest threat to any business is not keeping pace with industry trends as we can see from classic case studies such as Xerox or Nokia, and which we are witnessing in the car industry. The videos in this channel reach a wider audience and often attract the largest number of views.
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