Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

Last updated on August 7, 2020

YouTube is the largest online dedicated video sharing platform.

It currently has 1.9 billion active monthly users.

And 79% of internet users say that they have a YouTube account.

That’s a lot of people! 

But it’s popularity is also the reason why many marketers and business owners doubt YouTube’s effectiveness.

More than 500 hours of video content is uploaded to this platform every minute.

In such a vast space, will video marketing on YouTube be similar to yelling into the void?

Can you find your target audience there?

More importantly, will they be willing to listen to your message? 

In this article, we’ll be answering those questions. 

However, we can answer the most important one now.

Yes, YouTube is effective for video marketing.

In Wyzowl’s 2019 video marketing report, we learn that: 

  • 87% of video marketers have used YouTube as a channel. 
  • Out of those, 80% say it’s been successful for them.
  • 88% plan to continue using YouTube in 2019.

That use-to-success ratio (80% out of 87%) is very positive.

Not many platforms have similar slim margins for marketing success.

According to Google, 90% of users find new brands and products through YouTube.

Business owners and marketers who use YouTube enjoy some benefits that are unique to the platform.

Here are some of the reasons why marketers choose YouTube.

Why Marketers Include YouTube in Video Marketing 

YouTube is rich in attention 

The platform has a broad and diverse audience that is specifically interested in video content.

The only social platform that has more active users than YouTube is Facebook.

At 1.9 billion monthly active users, it is safe to say that every marketer can find their target audience on this platform. 

It improves traditional SEO rankings

Since Google acquired Youtube in 2006, the platform has become integrated into search results.

For specific searches, YouTube results are prioritized over website pages.

Here’s the top of the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) when I search for “coffee making recipes”. 

Google is continually being optimized to place consumers’ interests first.

And since more people are consuming videos more (making it responsible for 74% of online traffic), we’re only going to see more priority given to YouTube videos.

When optimizing for search engines, especially Google, Youtube videos could be your winning card. 

Better ROI 

YouTube ads offer brands a higher ROI than traditional tv ads.

But we already knew that.

What most of us do not know, is that YouTube ads have been proven, by marketers, to bring in better or competitive ROI with Facebook ads.

Here’s an experiment by AgoraPulse showing how they gained better conversion with YouTube ads while spending less than their Facebook ads.

In this one by Moz, the Facebook ad gained more watch time, while the Youtube ad had a cheaper cost per quality minute watched. 

Of course, not every video advert campaign will produce the same results.

However, we can use reports and personal experience to conclude that Youtube ads could be a better spend than Facebook. 

Videos ads automatically play with sound

95% of YouTube ads are audible.

This may seem like a small detail, but it could determine the effectiveness of your advertising.

To put this in context, only 15% of Facebook video ads play with sound.

This is because ads play non-audibly by default. 

Users are often not bothered to turn on the sound option because they are watching an ad.

If the most compelling aspect of your message is in the audio, your ad becomes less effective.

However, on YouTube, when a user has their sound on, ads will also be played at the same volume. 

Global audience 

Like most popular social networks, YouTube has a global reach.

The service is available in 70+ countries with over 60+ languages.

This makes it an active channel for brands that offer virtual services, e-commerce companies that ship globally, and so on.

YouTube provides strategic exposure that companies often need.

For example, if your brand is expanding into a new country, you can create and launch ad campaigns targeted at the new audience from anywhere.

This is made possible using the targeting tools provided. 

Beyond paid ads, you can also reach a new audience using location-based keywords, local influencers, and audience-specific content.

All of these methods can be integrated into YouTube effectively. 

Search performance similar to Google 

YouTube offers several features that other video hosting services and social media platforms do not provide.

One of these features is its robust search engine.

On Instagram, you can’t type a keyword into the search bar and find all related videos. 

Some other social media sites (Twitter and Facebook) will show you relevant results, but there’s no central database for videos only.

YouTube is really the only popular platform where users can access only videos with no hassle.

YouTube’s search engine works similarly to Google’s.

If the user is specific with their keywords, e.g., typing in your brand name, they should find the videos they want with the first search.

It’s also entirely possible for new users to connect with your brand solely through search.

YouTube promotes content to its front search pages based on niche, topic, video engagement, and a few other factors. 

Viral content is achievable 

We often advise brands to avoid chasing a viral video as their golden ticket.

Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

Instead, they should be creating consistent, top-quality content.

But there’s always that possibility that any of your videos could go viral.

YouTube is one of the platforms with the visibility and sharing power to make viral videos.

Many brands, such as PS4 and Hubspot, have enjoyed the viral potential of YouTube. 

With social media sites, a video has to go viral within the first few hours of posting, or it will be lost in the feed.

This does not apply to YouTube.

The platform uses an evergreen approach because top results are not determined by the date posted.

One of your old videos could go viral at any time.

Instead of pushing out new videos for visibility, marketers can work to promote what is already available. 

Why Your Target Users Love YouTube 

We’ve looked at some of the reasons why marketers use YouTube in their video marketing.

Now, let’s consider why the platform has so many users, and what this could mean for a brand.

Here are the top reasons why users love YouTube. 


YouTube is an entertainment platform before anything else.

Children-focused content, gaming videos, and music videos are among the most-viewed video genres.

However, they just represent a section of the audience’s interests.

Because anyone can become a creator, every user can find relatable content that appeals to them.

There’s entertainment for everyone. 

The average user spends about 40 minutes on YouTube daily.

Most of the platform’s content is free and globally accessible.

This means that both people (or brands) looking to create and users looking to be entertained can easily connect. 

Easy learning 

More people are turning to YouTube for learning help.

Many even believe that you can learn anything on YouTube, seeing the network as a challenge to (paid) online learning platforms.

Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

How-to videos are in the top four categories of most-watched YouTube content.

This is because learning materials are presented in easy-to-digest formats.

Creators use visual elements to represent ideas as they explain a concept.

For tutorials, a user can watch the instructor go through each step and mimic their actions. 

Interest in communities 

There’s a reason why YouTube influencers are present in Forbes lists with millions in estimated net worth.

These influencers build a loyal following of people who pride themselves on knowing the little details of the influencers’ lives.

Then they sell the attention of their audience to brands, or they sell their own products to the audience.  

Many of them have been able to identify that viewers love to watch people go through the motions.

For example, viewers want to see a student YouTuber study for a test and announce that they passed.

If you’re going on a road trip, the viewers expect you to take them along.

If you’re moving to a new home, viewers want to be a part of everything from the showing to move-in day. 

As a business, your team would most likely not take its YouTube audience on such personal journeys.

However, there’s still a lot more than you can share.

Red Bull, for example, uses influencers and sportspeople to take their viewers on a journey.

They’ve done everything from free-running across the world, to doing ‘crazy’ things with an F1 car, and trying to outrun an elevator.

So far, the Red Bull channel has over 9 million subscribers and 2 billion views.

How to Effectively Use YouTube for Video Marketing 

Marketers who use YouTube in their video strategy mostly report success (80% out of 87%).

Several steps should be included in your YouTube strategy to gain the results you need.

Of course, every brand has a different approach to how they communicate with their audiences.

These basic but essential steps will serve as building blocks.

Once you have them in place, you can begin to expand on your brand style, content ideas, and all other brand-specific aspects. 

Define your goal 

Every marketing effort has a purpose.

It could be to build brand awareness, convert leads, improve SEO, improve conversions, and so on.

A defined goal will serve as a guide when brainstorming content ideas.

Your goal can also be used to provide a benchmark to measure the success of your video marketing efforts. 

Like every other platform, YouTube allows creators to insert conversion goals into their content.

You can link to videos within other videos, and you can leave links in the description box. 

Create for your audience, not your brand 

YouTube videos should not be about checking all the boxes for your brand.

These videos should provide value to the audience.

They should take away something from your video, either knowledge or a good laugh.

Before you start working on a video idea, ask yourself if the video:

  • is entertaining 
  • is engaging
  • is relevant
  • provides solutions or answers to your audience
  • could encourage a viewer to click through your channel. 

Use high-quality equipment 

Unlike other social media, you can get away with ‘non-pro’ quality YouTube videos.

Your team does not need a studio set up to shoot videos.

Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

Any one of the latest premium smartphone cameras can shoot in HD and 4K.

However, ensure you have good lighting to avoid poor visuals and shadows.

If you can’t afford proper lighting equipment yet, shoot outside or in front of a window during peak sun hours. 

Design a content calendar 

Coming up with good video ideas is hard work.

A content calendar is essential to track your ideas and keep production timelines organized.

You can design a calendar to show which plans are being developed, which videos need additional work, and which videos are ready to be published.

At all times, you/your team is informed of how much useful content is available.

Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

You can also schedule publishing dates to keep track of all events. 

If you can’t hire a team, use professional freelancers 

There are different skill sets required to maintain a high-quality YouTube channel.

They include content research, filming, video editing, SEO, and ad campaign management.

Of course, a solopreneur or small marketing team can learn these skills.

However, it may take time away from your primary duties. 

If the need arises, hire professional freelancers to take up some or all of these tasks.

You can find experienced people willing to work for a reasonable price on Upwork and Fiverr

Engage with your audience in the comments 

The most successful YouTube channels are those that build a community from their audiences.

Don’t overlook the comments section of your videos.

Respond to as many as you can. Likes hold more weight on YouTube than other social platforms.

Giving a viewer a ‘like’ indicates that you read their comments and appreciated it. 

Monitor analytics 

The YouTube Analytics dashboard is a robust section that shows all the need-to-know data for marketers.

Is YouTube Effective for Video Marketing?

Users can track views, watch time, audience reports, audience demographics, traffic sources, viewing devices, number of shares, and so much more.

Use this information to learn more about your audience.

Take note of the videos that receive more attention and engagement.

Then work to improve your efforts in those directions. 


YouTube is free, easy to consume, uses visual elements, has an emotional impact on the audience, and provides viral power.

These are all the makings of an effective marketing channel.

Both short and long video content perform exceptionally well on this platform.

It’s up to your brand to do what it can with this access.

Adding YouTube to your video marketing strategy could significantly improve your campaign’s success. 

YouTube is currently responsible for one-third of all mobile internet traffic.

Analysts predict that 82% of online traffic will be video by 2022.

There is no better time than now to start exploring the potential benefits of YouTube for your marketing efforts.

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