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YouTube Opinion Google's YouTube business vs your YouTube business


Professional cat wrangler
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I always find it important to understand a company's business model when you are looking to align yourself with them or leverage their services. As the saying goes, "there is no such thing as a free lunch", so YouTube must be getting something by hosting creator's videos for free. And the more you understand that "something" and help YouTube grow that "something", the more benefit you get from YouTube.

Last year Alphabet (YouTube's parent company) did something interesting. They broke out YouTube's advertising revenue. YouTube generated US$15B in advertising revenue for fiscal 2019. That puts them way above Twitch, but below Facebook, arguable their two biggest competitors. In their annual report, they noted a shift in the types of ads that advertisers want to buy and use. The old industry metric was "impressions" or the number of people that saw an ad. The current shift is towards "engagement" or the number of people who clicked on the ad. This is notable, because it impacts the way you have to drive and build an audience. Having an audience that will see an ad and deliver an impression is pretty simple. You just need a large number of raw views. But having an audience that engages with an ad requires you to deeply understand the audience and place that ad where it is most likely to get some form of engagement.

In the industry we think about two aspects when we want to develop an engaged advertising audience. The first is something called "stickiness". This is how long someone stays on your website or app. The second is "segmentation", or building small, specialized categories that allow advertisers to target a very specific audience - namely the audience most likely to engage with the ad. Remember, the vast majority of YouTube's revenue is about delivering an audience to an advertiser that will engage with that advertiser. So the better targeted they can make an ad, the better it performs.

That actually DOES inform how you should think about your YouTube business. In a perfect world, YouTube will prioritize content that drives stickiness. And as you develop a niche, you are helping them define a segment they can sell to advertisers.

So how does that relate to those of us here in the TubeBuddy forum? TubeBuddy is a great tool to help drive "stickiness" through engagement. It also help us understand what the audiences in our niche want in terms of content. And while it is easy to get fixated on keywords, CTR, tags and SEO in isolation, they are all interdependent parts of driving that engagement and driving that stickiness YouTube wants to reward us for "highly engaing content" by increasing your search rankings, recommending your content and ultimately monetizing your channel.

So think of it this way. Great keywords, great thumbnails, great tags and great SEO all work together to give your content a chance of getting viewed. It is up to you to produce content that people will engage with. Be careful of the "lipstick on a pig" problem. Great keywords, great thumbnails, great tags and great SEO can't overcome poor content that people don't watch all the way through, or watch at all. And YouTube learns in near real-time. So over time they won't be fooled by SEO tricks and they will deprioritize your content because you aren't helping them create a sticky audience. Similarly, if your channel content is all over the place, you aren't providing them with a niche audience to sell to niche advertisers.

DamoΓÇÖs Paintings

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Another great article, you know I follow Nick Nimmim, Video Creators, Roberto Blake, IΓÇÖll stick with these 3 for now, they, in their own way, teach everyone about making content that the viewers want, the viewers find value in, these days itΓÇÖs all about what can be learnt from our work, what the viewers will get for taking the time out to watch a video.

Yeah it may be tempting to create something in the lines of clickbait, but itΓÇÖs definitely damaging in the long run, IΓÇÖm heavily against clickbait anyways, especially if I plan on turning this whole painting gig into a business later on.