At SES San Jose 2009 last month, we had a chance to chat with our friend Greg Jarobe, co-founder of SEO-PR and author of “YouTube Marketing – An Hour a Day.” Greg talks about YouTube and why internet marketers and search marketing professionals would be mistaken to ignore the power of YouTube Marketing.

“I think one of the most important trends in search, is YouTube.  It is the second most popular search engine on the planet”  “…You need to understand search and you need to understand video and you need to understand the interaction between the two of them…”

“YouTube is Too Crowded”

Greg’s initial comments are largely aimed at companies and brands that stubbornly insist that YouTube is too crowded.  If you work in the search space—or in online marketing in general—you’ve no doubt heard this complaint before.  A client isn’t sure YouTube is a direction they want to go because, “There are so many videos there that ours will never stand out and be noticed.”  The obvious comeback to that is, “Well, sure, you’re welcome to go to the video sharing site that’s used by no one, and your video will be able to stand out there… to no one.”  Greg puts it a little more tactfully than that, suggesting that being a hermit “might be a legitimate business model” for some. YouTube gets 107 Million unique visitors a month, according to Greg, and racks up an average of 65 views per visitor each month.  Each minute of the day, there are 20 hours of new video content being uploaded.  Those numbers are pretty staggering and there is clearly plenty of competition.

Greg suggests a two-pronged approach:

  1. Optimize your video so that it can be found in searches
  2. Involve yourself in the community, which helps breed the sharing aspects of YouTube.

YouTube Marketing as a Direct-Response Solution

He then tells a story about Monty Python—he interviewed Monty Python’s producer about their YouTube efforts.  The producer originally just went looking for a way to help keep pirated copies of Monty Python’s work from being uploaded all over the place.  So they created their own channel and began posting their work themselves—in a higher quality.  As an afterthought, they put a direct-to-buy link at the bottom of the video so that users could click and be taken straight to Amazon to purchase DVDs.  A funny thing happened when they did that:  sales went up a staggering 23,000%.  The point of the story, obviously, is that although YouTube is not thought of as a direct-response marketing platform, as it continues to evolve, it’s turning into a direct-response marketing solution faster than people may realize.

YouTube is the World’s 2nd Largest Search Engine

Finally, Greg closes with some comments about YouTube and search, and how inseparable they really are now.  With YouTube logging 3.6 Billion searches last month, we simply can’t keep them out of the search discussion any longer.  They are effectively the world’s second largest search engine (owned, naturally, by the largest).  Any robust search strategy moving forward simply has to accommodate for YouTube.  Anything else is just denial at this point.

As we mentioned above, Greg recently published a book on YouTube Marketing, titled “YouTube Marketing – An Hour a Day.” I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn about everything you could ever want to know about YouTube.  Greg’s book provides a history and background of YouTube, best practices for publishing to YouTube and several important case studies highlighting companies, brands, and marketers who have realized financial success using YouTube.

Good stuff, Greg, and thanks again for speaking with us!