What YouTube’s marketing strategy should be

YouTube is, simply put, a giant in video sharing and search. There is no alternative for it at the moment. How does a Giant then continue to stay relevant, despite the attacks from miniature niche players like Vimeo, Wistia, Dailymotion, and a few others.

YouTube (Overview) – YouTube is nothing without its content producers. It is only a website that has a search, subscribe and a recommendation facility. It’s recently invested heavily in a content production-house where it invites YouTube superstars to use their equipment and facilities in the US. This will follow suite in other countries as well in the coming years.

YouTube (Unique Selling Proposition) – “Your own personal television”, where you decide what shows you want (from women in bikinis to music videos and movie trailers). You can pick your superstars and watch them until sun-down. You can binge on your favourite videos and even upload your own for sharing with friends and family

YouTube (Consumer Behaviour) – There are by-and-large two consumer segments that visit YouTube.

One of them has an account with a few subscriptions (or none), the other has a lot of subscriptions and has commented on videos during his visits. There is a third category of content providers – who are people that upload videos on their own channel. But these guys don’t make up the vast majority.

YouTube (Business Model) – YouTube makes money through ads. And these ads are targeted to individuals with certain interests. Now, YouTube needs you to subscribe to a few channels, or segment you in groups based on what you’ve liked or commented on, and even on what videos you watch from the same account. Without this data, YouTube is helpless against Facebook, and Google, in terms of advertising. Hence, YouTube needs You to subscribe to channels and to watch more videos on their portal. If you simply watch and go away, YouTube makes nothing from that deal.

YouTube (Targeting Strategy) – YouTube has to please both segments (content providers and consumers), and continue to grow rapidly in developing nations that have growing internet speeds. YouTube thus needs to focus first on the acquisition of viewers, and then quickly shift focus on providing the right tools to content producers to showcase their work better. From a marketing stand-point, YouTube can gain a lot by acquiring new viewers to create and account and subscribe to a few channels.

YouTube (Marketing Strategy) – Finally, now that we’ve arrived to the meat of the matter, I want to establish the consumer-base again. YouTube wants to make people sign-up to other channels, and then come back to visit again. Retention builds data, and that data allows YouTube to categorize you and then serve you ads.

Its marketing strategy should solely be about the value that YouTube channels can bring to you as an individual, and should provide you with key take-aways about what you stand to lose if you don’t sign-up and subscribe.

Their previous ad focused on more on sharing videos with one another, with the focus on the deaf girl with the implant. This strategy works well when the intent is to create virality via social connections. However, it fails when that loop is not closed-up. If you share a video with me, and I dont subscribe to that channel – or even see anything worth-while on that channel, I lose interest and move on.

Their parent Google’s approach was a little different. They wanted to focus on how Google is a great tool to make your desires come alive. The old Indian and Pakistani friends wanted to meet after decades, and Google made it happen. I much prefer the angle that IDEA used with their “NoUllu Banaoing” campaign focusing on the empowerment of the internet. Google could have gone that route.

A new ad needs to be developed around YouTube channels, and how valuable they are to the average consumers. A Malayali coconut vendor could know about the various techniques of cutting coconut faster and better. His daughter can learn mathematics by watching YouTube videos online. His son can perform better in sports by taking cricket lessons online, and his wife can make better recipes with coconut after watching her favourite Manjula “the Indian chef”‘s channel.

See now when you have people subscribing to these channels, products and service providers can directly market to them with relevant ads. A cricket bat company can directly advertise to his son about cheap bats, a masala company can showcase their range of offerings to his wife, etc. You get the picture.

Now, onto the storyboard of the ad –

The Pitch – We show families across India from all different states. A family from the north, the south, the east and west. And we focus on how YouTube is helping them build a better life via the content on the site.

The Elements – A hip young family’s child watches nursery rhymes on his fav channel. A poor family (coconut vendor) uses YouTube to empower themselves. A young student learns IIT-level mathematics while going home from tutions. A single mother, learns how to make the perfect baby cereal. A painter gets inspired by watching his favourite French films. A tech-entrepreneur learns more about how-to find investors for his next big idea.

The hook – We would showcase people clicking on the subscribe button on their favourite channels.

The closer – A young boy, recording a video on soil conservation. His dad comes in and asks him what he’s doing. His son shows him his channel on soil conservation proudly. Cue – dad’s pride and tears.

Tag-line – YouTube, a place for everyone. A place for home.

Call-to-Action – Go to YouTube.com, and find your favourite.

 

photo credit: Diana Garcia BOG via photopin cc

 

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