What Do YouTube's Latest Changes Mean For Your Business.
YouTube recently announced a slew of new changes to how it supports (or no longer supports) those who share in the company's Partner Program (YPP). Now, in order to monetize your videos, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views every year. Previous standards instituted in 2017 required 10,000 views with no time restriction on how long that took to get.
The changes have ticked off a lot of people, or so called "creators" who regularly add content to the video-hosting site but who have a relatively modest number of subscribers and total views.
Creators aside (I feel ya), what does this mean for businesses that use YouTube to either host company videos and/or as an advertising tool? Is there any reason to be concerned with the direction YouTube is headed?
Maybe. But before we go there, let's back it up for a second.
YouTube claims the changes are to protect YouTube's creators. But few are actually buying that. Most arguments boil down to YouTube doing this to protecting YouTube advertisers, not creators. Whether a reaction to the Logan Paul controversy or a recent chunk of advertisers upset that their ads are running in cohesion with objectionable content (would you want your brand's ad running in front of a Neo-Nazi rant?), these changes are an effort to help advertisers position their ads in front of content that is more appealing to the masses. I.e., popular creators who have big followings and who make content that is seemingly acceptable for the mainstream.
So again, what's it mean for businesses that advertise on YouTube?
It's still to early to really know what effects these new standards will have on your business. But if we go with what YouTube is essentially saying, then advertisers will benefit because their ads will be seen by more people from more mainstream content creators who "positively contribute to the community". I.e., your ads will be less likely displayed alongside content that skirts the line of decency, or in front of eyeballs who probably would't be influenced buy your advertising. To protect advertisers even further, Google is hiring upwards of 10,000 people to monitor the hours of new content uploaded every second on YouTube. Yeah, okay.
I'm not sure if you feel at all reassured by that, but maybe it's a good thing for businesses who advertise on YouTube. Again, it's too early to tell.
What's it mean for businesses that use YouTube to host video?
As you probably well know, it costs nothing to have YouTube host your company's latest company overview, testimonials or live FAQs sessions, that you can then embed on your company's website.
Question is, will we see a day where it costs money to have YouTube host your content? It could happen but I doubt it.
Right now, YouTube is the second most used search tool behind Google. And unlike Facebook, which magically fills your content pipeline (your newsfeed) with content from friends and from businesses Facebook thinks you want to see (more on this below), with YouTube you generally have to seek to find what your looking for.
The more videos there are out in the public domain, the more businesses will pay to improve their positioning in YouTube searches (it's basically the same formula as Google, folks. In fact, it's one and the same). To charge businesses for hosting video seems like a hindrance to the company's already impressive revenue model. I.e., YouTube won't be messing with that. At least, not until the next big thing comes along.
So, I recommend you keep posting your business videos to YouTube, and keep embedding them on your website and social media channels. They still greatly help with your Google and YouTube search rankings, and video will continue its rise in importance as the web becomes more and more attuned to video consumption as the dominant way we interact with new and prospective clients or customers.
What did you mean by "more on this below" regarding Facebook?
Coincidentally, Facebook recently made it clear that brands are going to have to consider paid campaigns to be more visible in people's Facebook newsfeeds. In other words, organic reach on Facebook, as far as brands are considered, is about to get a whole lot trickier as Facebook algorithms prioritize Newsfeeds to display content from friends first.
So what? So, it means that businesses are going to have work harder at their social media posting, and in most cases, they're going to have to pay to reach more customers on that platform. Ouch!
Ryan Noll is owner of Pacific Coast Content, a boutique content/video company based in Oregon and California. www.pacificcoastcontent.com