For every minute of every day, approximately 24 hours worth of YouTube videos are being uploaded to the Internet. That’s an incredible amount of video. More importantly, that’s an incredible amount of hopes and dreams to go viral.
After all, that’s the intent of a YouTube video: to create something so interesting or hilarious that the average browser has no choice but to share it with 800 of his or her friends. Thanks to the recent Old Spice campaign – that darling of the social media stratosphere – YouTube is burning hot. Bosses everywhere want their creative teams to create the next Old Spice campaign.
But before you jump down the YouTube rabbit hole, here are some truths about the world of web videos:
1. YouTube is time consuming.
It doesn’t matter if you’re video is 20 seconds or 20 minutes (which would actually just be ridiculous for a YouTube video), it takes time to create. That includes scripting, planning, acquiring space and materials, editing and posting. And once a video is posted it takes time to seed that video in the appropriate networks so that the right people are watching. Then, unless the video is just made from magic, it usually takes time for it to marinate in the social ecosystem and go viral. It can literally take a video years to collect substantial views.
2. YouTube can be expensive.
With so many videos floating around on YouTube it’s safe to say that only the best will achieve Internet fame. Sometimes “the best” means the most hilarious clip or a video that features the cutest animal, but lately “the best” equates to “the most polished.” Creating a high-quality video with bells and whistles takes money. There is also the option to promote videos through YouTube’s Promoted Videos tool. It can be a very effective tool but campaigns may get costly. And here’s the other bad news: views don’t equal dollars. I think the fine folks at Old Spice would attest that pouring money into awesome YouTube videos doesn’t ensure awesome profits.
3. YouTube is brutal.
Most people fear judgment. It never feels good to create something and then have it ripped apart in public. Every group of strangers can be scary, but the strangers on YouTube actually ARE scary. If you don’t believe me, peruse the comments on any popular YouTube video. People are animals. If you’re prone to sweating, stay out of that kitchen.
YouTube can be a wonderful tool for brands that have the time, money, patience, creativity and resources to make successful videos. What other qualities do companies need to be successful on YouTube? What are some of the best prolonged YouTube campaigns that you’ve seen?