Video Strategy: Life Beyond YouTube

January 16, 2014

By Jen Sargent, MediaPost

Many marketers rely too heavily on YouTube to anchor their video strategy, focusing only on eyeballs and unified analytics. They are missing growing opportunities in the broader video marketplace.

Millions of video screens surround us in our daily lives. NDR estimates over 500 million Internet-connected devices in U.S. homes (5.7 per household, on average).  Outside the home, the number of screens is growing expansively.  From smartphones and Apple TV to waiting areas in airports and checkout lines at cafes or retailers, digital screens touch us in every part of our day.

Marketers need to be where the screens are. According to Nielsen, the average consumer spends 60 hours per week consuming content at home, of which only 1.5 hours is spent watching video on the Internet. These stats can be deceiving when presented in some reports as the total number of aggregate minutes in a month, but when boiled down to hours per person, the usage becomes clear. Research also shows that consumers spend up to 70% of their time out of home.  These facts combined showcase the huge opportunity beyond internet-based video and YouTube.

Marketers should embrace a multiplatform strategy for video in order to grab a consumer’s attention. Connected devices like Roku and Apple TV provide marketers a way to combat the dismantling of appointment viewing and reach viewers when they choose to watch content. Digital out-of-home screens let marketers engrain into the daily routine. Go back to the basics of advertising when you develop your video strategy – deliver the right message, in the right place, at the right time.

Why YouTube isn’t the be-all, end-all

YouTube was not created to support the needs of millions of publishers or to sustain full content creation. The reality is, viewers can skip video ads on YouTube after five seconds, which is all the time you have to get your brand message across.  If you are fighting a five-second time window, why not consider a six-second custom video on Vine or Instagram?  It’s just as compelling.

How to harness a new, multiplatform video frontier

Here are a few quick tips for growing your video strategy beyond YouTube:

  • Think multiplatform: In-home and out-of-home, passive and active, fixed and viral.  Think about all of the places your consumer is and where you can also be to maximize ROI.
  • Branding: Video is not just about awareness and engagement. When aligned properly with content or other brands, it can also build trust with your target audience.
  • Length: For content under 15 seconds, consider platforms such as Vine and Instagram. For 30 seconds to 3 minutes, consider online platforms such as Hulu, AOL’s ON or Digital OOH platforms such as National Cinemedia, IZON Media and Connectivision.
  • Social video advertising: With Facebook’s new video ad platform, Vine and Instagram, we will see this part of the market take shape quickly (if it hasn’t already) in 2014.

In the past, a unified multiplatform campaign translated to print, radio, TV and outdoor billboards. Today, a comprehensive video strategy should go beyond YouTube to accommodate Web, mobile, social, connected devices and digital out-of-home options.


"Video Strategy: Life Beyond YouTube." Jen Sargent. MediaPost, 01/16/14.

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comments (1)

Nick Koutsopoulos

January 27, 2014 6:37am ET

Good article.

I would add that once the industry figures out addressable television at scale you'll see more highly targeted ad plays and more integrated marketing plans featuring traditional broadcast with addressable as a complement.