YouTube: A Deep Dive
A Brief History of YouTube
YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. What began as a dating site (Yes, a dating site) quickly pivoted to a user-generated video platform. In a little over a year, it grew so rapidly that Google acquired the platform in November 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock.
The platform underwent rapid evolution, introducing monetization for creators with the Partner Program, expanding into mobile streaming, and eventually becoming the go-to destination for video content of all kinds: from DIY tutorials to news, music videos, and even full-length movies.
Today, YouTube boasts over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, with videos in more than 80 languages, making it a truly global platform.
YouTube for Business: Unlocking Potential
1. Second Largest Search Engine:
It’s not just a video platform. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine after Google. This means businesses have a prime opportunity to ensure their content is discoverable to billions, just by optimizing their video descriptions, titles, and tags.
2. Telling Your Brand’s Story:
There’s no medium quite as compelling as video to convey a story. It’s visceral, it’s emotive, and it’s immersive. Businesses can utilize YouTube to craft and share their brand narratives, be it their company history, customer testimonials, product showcases, or behind-the-scenes looks.
3. Challenges – Camera Shyness:
One common hurdle many face is the discomfort or apprehension of appearing on camera. It’s a genuine concern, especially if you’re representing your brand. Here are some strategies to consider:
Animated Videos: Use animated videos or explainer videos to convey information without needing to appear on camera.
Slideshows: Combine images and voiceovers to produce content. This can be particularly useful for informational or tutorial-style content.
Hire Presenters or Influencers: There are many YouTubers or presenters who can represent your brand on your behalf.
Practice Makes Perfect: The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become. Start by making unlisted videos or practicing live streams to gain confidence.
4. Optimization Tips:
Keyword Research: Just like SEO for websites, YouTube videos thrive on good keyword research. Use tools like TubeBuddy or vidIQ to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and have a good search volume.
Engaging Thumbnails: A captivating thumbnail can be the difference between a click and a miss.
Consistent Posting: Like any platform, consistency is key. Regular uploads can boost your channel’s visibility and subscriber base.
Engage with Your Community: Respond to comments, engage with other creators, and be an active participant in your niche. This fosters a sense of community and can amplify your reach.
If you ever need a heartwarming testament to the unpredictable charm of YouTube, I have a personal story for you.
About a decade ago, armed with nothing but my smartphone and a heartfelt intention to preserve my family’s oral traditions, I began recording my mother. She’s an exceptional cook and a passionate gardener, having her roots (pun intended!) in the countryside of Arkansas. With the sheer amount of wisdom she possesses about the natural world and the kitchen, I thought, “Why not immortalize it?”
One particular day, her garden was bursting with okra – a rich harvest that was too bountiful to consume immediately. As she started preparing the okra for freezing, a method she used to preserve their freshness, I instinctively began recording the process. Once done, I uploaded the footage to her dedicated YouTube account and, admittedly, it slipped my mind soon after.
Imagine my astonishment when, months later, I stumbled upon that very video and found it had garnered over 30,000 views! The comments section was a heartening mix of nostalgia and gratitude. Many mentioned how her technique mirrored their own grandmothers’, while others playfully remarked they’d love to be guests at her Sunday dinners. To date, that video stands proudly with over 50,000 views.
But the story doesn’t end there. At the vibrant age of 86, my mom continues to be the star of her own little corner of YouTube. This year, she’s been caught in a playful battle of wits with backyard squirrels who have a penchant for her tomato plants. Her strategy to pick the tomatoes before the cheeky critters get to them has resonated with many, and it’s one of our popular uploads this year. (Note the upgraded kitchen)
The moral of this tale? In the words of a certain sneaker brand and slightly modified by the essence of our experience: Just do it. You never know whose life you might touch, or how the simple acts we take for granted can resonate deeply with others.