Happy Birthday YouTube

– By Steve Robins

YouTube and Solution Marketing

YouTube presents a great opportunity for solution marketers.  But what exactly is the solution marketing opportunity?  Viral videos?  Product pitches? Video marketing?  Read on for more.  

May marks YouTube’s fifth birthday and it’s been quite a ride.    YouTube has now exceeded 2 billion views each day.  As The Wall Street Journal says,

YouTube points out that its daily views are “nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. television networks combined” — although to be fair, the average YouTube user spends 15 minutes a day on the site, far less than the average TV viewer, who watches for several hours.

But the announcement underscores an important point: similar to that of network TV, YouTube’s business model is to aggregate a large audience for one purpose and one purpose only…


In other words, YouTube is just like any other (albeit huge) type of ad-supported media – TV networks, magazines, online and print publications like InformationWeek and many others.  You might think of YouTube as a massive user-driven entertainment network.  For more on this, check out The Wall Street Journal’s take on YouTube’s business model

It’s About the Audience

So YouTube’s main goal is to aggregate a large audience, segment that audience based on the content they view, and then deliver targeted ads within and around videos.  I.e., YouTube exists to sell ads, not to promote your products or solutions.

The Video Marketing Opportunity on YouTube

Obviously you can advertise on YouTube.  But what does YouTube’s business model mean for you as a content provider?  A primary tenet of solution marketing is that you need to be where your audience is (“Access” in the SIVA model)… so if they’re on social media like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, you need to be there too.

Provide Videos With Business Value

Sure, you could upload product pitches, webinars and other product-pushing videos, but that’s not what YouTube’s audience is really looking for*.  They’re looking to be entertained or informed – not sold.  So your video content should reflect that.  If you can entertain while being true to your corporate brand, go for it.  But on YouTube, your best opportunity is to deliver educational and informational content that provides business value for your audience.  Help them to solve their problems without pushing your specific products or solutions.  So your videos might include:

  • Interviews with industry leaders from outside your company
  • Case studies
  • How-to’s that address common issues in the industry and business functions that you serve
  • Discussions on industry standards
  • Weekly updates on news from your industry

Without overtly pushing your products, each of these has the potential to attract new viewers while increasing awareness and interest in your company.


A final note: when properly tagged, YouTube videos have excellent SEO or search engine optimization.  I.e., video is a powerful tool to get found, and if used properly, to drive increased traffic to your website or landing pages.

Win With Video Marketing

Make it interesting…  Make it entertaining…  Make it educational…  Make it short…  …and you too can cash in on the power of YouTube.

*…Although your competitors will enjoy and thank you for those videos.

Additional Resources:


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Filed under Access, Information, SIVA - Elements of Solution Marketing, Solution Marketing, Video Marketing

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