The Youtube Social Network: Updating Your Marketing Plans

By on January 10, 2012

Youtube has always been the dominant video sharing site on the internet, but what is it now that Google has made all of these new changes? The simple answer, is that Google has transformed Youtube into more of a social network, than a video viewing site. This has far reaching consequences for the social video marketer, and we’re going to explore those today.

The New Social Network

When you click over to the new Youtube, the first thing that strikes you is the new design and layout. On the homepage, Youtube now uses most of that space to house your subscription videos. More than that – it encourages you to subscribe to more feeds. Before this radical change, you could be an avid Youtube viewer, and never have subscribed to a feed in your life.

Now, you are prompted to fill your homepage with videos you enjoy – from Youtube, and your surrounding social networks – like Google+ and Facebook. This means getting subscribers is going to be easier, but it places a firm emphasis on video SEO, and properly promoting your video channel. Suddenly the appropriate use of annotations and the frequency of publication matters more than ever.

Like Facebook or Twitter, your Youtube community will be closer, and you’ll need to foster those relationships. Gone are the days of single commenters and one click viewers. You’ll have to learn to target subscribers, and keep them watching – with your own dedicated Youtube channel of entertainment.

Your Youtube Network Channel

Youtube’s most beneficial change, has been the update of their analytics program. You can actually run your channel like a television station now, collecting and analyzing data on a day to day basis. You’ll be able to see which videos do well and why, and how you can replicate that viewing success.

Your focus should be on creating video series that are unique to your channel. Once off videos won’t sustain a viewership for long. Each of these needs to be branded, and highly engaging. Focus on quality, consistency and interaction – just like you do on Facebook. The new Youtube will demand more from video marketers, as fans spend more time on specific channels, instead of on Youtube as a whole.

It also means that building a large Youtube community has become more beneficial. Fans will return to your videos again and again, as they display on their homepages. This is exceptional for product launches, or new video releases. It essentially diminishes the concept of viral video, and instead replaces it with a controlled, interactive community to tap into.

And at the end of the day, that’s exactly what Google wants. It’s nice that a cute cat playing the piano gets millions of views – but it doesn’t support their underlying business model. Average videos will become more popular, as video marketers build up their subscriber lists. In 2012, this is a great way to expand your influence online, and make more sales!

Do you like the new Youtube? What do you like/not like about it? Share with the SMM community.

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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