YouTube – Does Your Business Have An Audience?

Billions of users watch its video content daily but is YouTube really an effective way for your business to find its target audience and put your brand in front of them?

With 7.66 million monthly users, a ranking as the second largest search engine in the world and the fourth most visited website in Australia (Neilsen Netview for March 2011) YouTube’s profile and reach with consumers is undisputedly growing but how can you be sure that your business actually has a lucrative YouTube audience?

Head of display and media solutions for YouTube Karen Stocks believes that the past 18 months have shown a significant shift in how advertisers are using YouTube. A trend can be seen emerging in the creation of own branded channels and content.

“We are seeing more of our advertisers getting creative and using the benefits of video and the internet and bringing these together”, says Stocks.

There has been a shift in the way audiences are interacting with the site too, with a recent user profiling study reporting that people are heading to the site to find information, and not only for entertainment.

YouTube’s potential as an advertising platform is apparent in its performance with the site boasting high click through rates and levels of user engagement, but before they jump onto the rolling bandwagon businesses need first ensure that their target audience is actually engaging with the site. Fish where the fish are; but first make sure your fish are using YouTube.

Should you recognise your target audience in the YouTube pond however, then a world of flexible advertising and display options exist. If your audience can be found downloading, viewing and accessing content then you can use everything from buying a simple graphic and text advertisement that appears over a video, to a placing a banner on the homepage to reach them.

Unlike television where an advertiser buys a slot and then hopes that the audience is greater than predicted by the seller, with YouTube advertisers get only the number of views they pay for. Broadcast can be a difficult medium for advertisers to measure whereas another key attraction of YouTube is that it provides an accurate measure of reach.

YouTube can offer small businesses flexibility and cost-effectiveness in comparison to buying TV time, however when using YouTube be sure to keep your content short, flexible and interesting. Not all businesses have the right content, or miss using it in a way that is engaging to their audience. It is paramount for you to have a clear understanding of your brand message and strategy before committing dollars to advertising spend.

Source: B&T Magazine – July 2011

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