Throughout the year, we jump on video success that amounts to how many times they are seen. We’ve covered all the videos from around the world that had the most views, and some that didn’t make those lists, and we get the idea that if the video doesn’t meet some certain criteria that we can immediately measure through YouTube Analytics, the video hasn’t connected. Recently, YouTube’s group product manager Baljeet Singh wrote a piece for NBC Chicago claiming a lot of videos are successful that don’t have high view counts, and small businesses need to know where to find success through metrics other than views.
Five Myths Of YouTube Success
Myth 1: Your Video Must Be Viral Or It’s Nothing
Singh mentions the Rokenbok Toy Company, which Greg Jarboe covered in this article. None of Rokenbok’s videos meet the definition of “viral,” but in a time when specialty toy stores were closing down, Rokenbok started a YouTube channel showing entertaining and informative videos. These videos, along with participation in YouTube Promoted Videos and True View In-Stream Ads, have led to the store flourishing when they otherwise would be out of business.
In other words, you don’t need to find millions of people to watch your video, just the right people. You have a target audience, and if you can make videos with great content showing what you’re about to the right people, you don’t need a viral video. You only need the amount that makes your business profitable.
Myth 2: People Only Want To See Funny Videos
Singh zeroes in on Ceilume, which produces ceiling tile videos. And while it bored me to death writing that sentence, the Ceilume channel has collected over a million views and the company has seen a 15% boost in sales. This is all from instructional videos about quality and price of ceiling tiles.
Instead of focusing on being clever, focus on being relevant. Videos that engage your audience by showcasing product features or explaining a difficult concept can be much more impactful.
There’s that word again, “relevant,” which is one of the most often-used words in The YouTube Creator Playbook. With 800 million people watching YouTube, there are millions who are just looking for instructions, information, solid advice. Not everything has to be jokes.
In fact, take a look at Jarboe’s “My Business Story” article featuring small businesses that use YouTube and have only a handful of views, but are tremendously successful using the site to attract customers.
Myth 3: YouTube Is Only For The Young
I like this one a lot because I covered two kinds of older-skewing programming this year and got a lot of feedback. The first was the unfortunate news that favorite soap operas would not be continued on the web, which upset a lot of people. The other was an article on Live From Daryl’s House, where I wrote about the misconception about older people and was then greeted with comments galore from older women who were passionate about seeing Daryl Hall’s show on YouTube.
Number 3 on the list is a lot like Number 1. You are looking for a target audience, and believe it or not, there are a lot of older people on YouTube. Singh uses a rather broad metric to prove this, saying “55% of all women 18-54 use YouTube.” I like this better stat that can be found from the link that is provided in that statement:
Did you know that YouTube reaches 20 million Females aged 35-54? That’s more 19 million more than Oprah’s website.
Here’s a video of “what women watch” on YouTube:
And that’s just one demographic. You know there are a lot of older men watching YouTube videos as well. You just have to target them if you’re a business catering to that demographic.
Myth 4: People Go To YouTube For Entertainment Only
OK, so this one is a lot like Number 2. We just covered ceiling tiles, for goodness sakes. But Singh says that “How-To” videos are searched three times more than “Music Videos.” Of course, I’d like to know what goes into that data since most people won’t be searching for “music videos” on YouTube, they’ll be searching particular artists and their names.
Still, that’s something to chew on. How-To videos are in total demand. It’s like we’ve got that old Time-Life book series with Bob Vila all on YouTube now. If you need to know how to improve your home, or cook a special recipe, or change a flat tire, YouTube has a video for it. Singh mentions BBQGuys for grilling tips as an example:
These guys use Jack Daniels almost more than the guys from Epic Meal Time.
Myth 5: Videos Need Professional Polish
I’ll go back to the Rokenbok story here, because of this interesting quote:
Production value depends on the series. For quick product videos, sometimes Eichen will quickly shoot, edit and post a product video all from his iPad. Check out the”X2 Elevators” video, which was completely produced and posted via iPad.
In fact, Eichen and his team have found that some of the “lower production value” videos that are shot while just playing around actually perform as well as the scripted “higher production value” videos.
Here’s the X2 Elevators video:
Singh mentions Orabrush, which has been covered on this site a couple of times and everywhere else that discusses video, so everyone pretty much knows that story. So yeah, you don’t need to look slick if you have good content.
This is good information from a man on the inside of YouTube, who gets to see success from angles other than views. Check out his article.