YouTube‘s user experience is changing with its dramatic aesthetic overhaul that was rolled out recently. This, in turn, could mean big things for companies and brands.
As YouTube makes room to grow in the social media space — to become a place for more than just unbridled user commentary — brands can think about how to settle into the YouTube space more strategically.
And make no mistake about it, YouTube is a giant forum for video content — but also for advertising. YouTube streams 4 billion videos every single day. This is a 25 percent increase over the past eight months, largely due to Google making YouTube versions available on their Android phones and on Internet-enabled televisions. 3 billion videos a week are monetized. Display ads that play alongside or within streamed videos generates $5 billion a year.
YouTube Adds “Channels”
The biggest component of the new YouTube layout is the use of “channels.” The new homepage features a left-hand sidebar, dominated by channels. It makes it easier for users to subscribe to channels — once they subscribe to the channels and brands they like, they will see the latest activity on that channel in a stream view. Users can also “pin” 10 channels to their own YouTube home page.
What Brands Need to Do
1. Publish regularly.
With this constant barrage of content greeting YouTube users, brands will need to update their content regularly to stay in users’ minds. YouTube is emphasizing that there are more channel-based changes on the way. If YouTube is focusing on channels, brands need to focus on channels.
2. Tighten management of your brand’s YouTube channel.
Channels are making it easier for people to engage with the content, especially with newer content. This is great news for brands — but it also means brands need to keep a closer eye on what’s being said about them.
3. Be share-worthy.
The redesign is making it easier than ever for people to share their YouTube activity on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other social networks. At the same time, videos that are shared to these social media networks will be featured on YouTube’s homepage feed. With it being so easy, what’s left for brands to do is to give users something they want to share.
4. Stay active on Google+
YouTube is a Google revenue machine, after all. Video by brands on Google+ that get shared means more exposure to anyone using YouTube. And, with Google+ integrated seamlessly with YouTube, users can search, view, and share YouTube videos from Google+.
The Main Idea
Any redesign that seeks to increase users’ time on the site means one thing. There is an increase in advertising just around the corner.
YouTube has already announced 100 new original video programming deals with big names in media, including superstars like Madonna and Jay-Z. YouTube Insights have been replaced by YouTube Analytics, giving brands more control over their channels and more insight into what drives subscriptions and what retains audiences.
YouTube is going to become a busier place. This may amount to a bigger time commitment on the part of companies and brands.
If you don’t have the time, know-how, or passion, we do. Call us and/or come visit us in our awesome downtown Orlando office.