Bob Garfield

The biggest mistake brands are making on YouTube

YouTube is perhaps the biggest untapped platform for brands. Here's where they are deeply screwing up.

Treating YouTube like a dumping ground, not a social network

In terms of users, YouTube is bigger than Facebook and Twitter. In fact, it is the biggest social network in the world, and with the integration with Google+, the potential to reach millions of people is staggering. So why do brands keep treating it as a dumping ground for video content?

One of the main reasons is because many brands don't see themselves as media companies. However, the truth is that every brand is a content creator these days, and consumers see it that way. Consumers don't look at a brand's YouTube channel and give it a pass because they know the brand isn't focused on video. They look at it and judge the existing content, much like on Facebook and Twitter. Brands are missing out.

Brands need to take control of YouTube and treat it with respect. They need to craft specific strategies for navigating the video landscape and respond to comments, feedback, and videos with their own video content. Video is as social as Facebook posts and tweets. The biggest mistake brands are making is that they treat YouTube as an afterthought.

Few know the video landscape better that Dylan Conroy, VP of sales at Channel Factory. iMedia's David Zaleski speaks with Conroy at SXSW 2014 about why brands need to change tactics when addressing the YouTube community.

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Article written by Senior Media Producer David Zaleski.

Video edited by Associate Media Producer Brian Waters.

"Expressive young woman touching her head" and "Epic fail grunge rubber stamp on white, vector illustration" images via Shutterstock.