The 5 Greatest Challenges of YouTube Marketing

There is no denying that YouTube presents a huge opportunity to reach and engage with diverse audiences.

By Terry Tateossian

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

YouTube has become a source of entertainment and fun for people of all ages in just a decade. Some of the world's biggest brands already have their own YouTube channel, like Google, BMW, Disney and Lego. But big brands are not the only ones capitalizing on YouTube as a promotional venue. Companies of all sizes and types are embracing YouTube to deliver their messages and strengthen their sales pitch.

There is no denying that YouTube presents a huge opportunity to reach and engage with diverse audiences, but only when done right. Here are some of the biggest challenges that marketers face on the platform.

1. Targeting the wrong audience

    Many marketers make the mistake of targeting the wrong audience, resulting in visitors slipping away regardless of content quality. It is easy to believe that your video is going to appeal to all sorts of demographics, so you may end up choosing the wrong audience.

    To avoid this mistake, it is important to determine your customers' demographics. Unless life on Earth is threatened due to oxygen running out and you are the only one selling oxygen, not everyone needs whatever you are offering. So, who is your target customer? Women, men or both? Young or old? Married or single? Other demographic segments to focus on are cultural background, occupation, income, educational level and location. Basically, this is statistical data about your customers' identities. You also want to know what their lifestyle, interests, attitudes, values and pain points are — all of which offer insight into your audience's personality and purchase intent.

    It is also a good idea to look at various consumer touch-points that can help you define your audience. Ask your sales reps and consumer service teams what your clients' interests and pain points are. Use analytics tools to find out your audience's topics of interest, keywords and search terms as well.

    2. Not having an objective

      It is essential to define your marketing objectives so that you can create the right type of video content. Examples of marketing objectives are to increase leads and sales, decrease churn or grow brand awareness. You can use different types of video content based on your marketing objectives and your target audience. Examples are unboxings, interviews, events, behind-the-scenes glimpses, Q&A sessions and how-to guides.

      Think of the type of emotion that you want your potential customers to feel. Do you want them to feel inspired, excited or moved? Emotions that you want to avoid are feelings of frustration, stress, dissatisfaction and neglect. Evoking negative emotions will cost you lost opportunities and revenue. Focus on emotions that drive value for a business.

      Related: 5 Keys to Getting More Viewers and Making More Money on YouTube

      3. Sharing poor quality videos

        As video is swamping the internet, it would be a huge mistake to offer poor-quality videos to lower costs. Good videos appear professional and make your audience feel something. To make your video look professional, pay attention to details such as lighting, audio and camera work. Lighting is one aspect of video production that can make a difference. What you should do is separate background from foreground elements, remove shadows and emphasize key scene elements. Quality audio is also important for the success of your video and promotion efforts. Most viewers will leave your video and miss the message that you want to communicate if the sound quality is not good enough.

        A good video is also one that informs, engages, delights and entertains your target audience. A video that is relevant and interesting covers a topic your viewers are interested in, offers information in a way that is easy to digest and solves a problem your audience is having.

        Related: 6 Ways You Can Use YouTube to Reach Your Intended Audience

        4. Tracking the wrong metrics

          Businesses often fail to set the right metrics for their video marketing campaigns. While comments and shares are important and provide valuable insights, other metrics will help you to get a good idea of the performance of your promotion efforts. Metrics that you want to track include traffic source, view-to-subscribers ratio, average view duration, and conversion rate. Other metrics that matter and will help you measure success are average percentage viewed, watch time, re-watches and unique viewers.

          5. Failing to moderate content

            When users come across your video or visit your YouTube channel, they consume the entire experience, and this also includes your comments section. You want to hold potentially harmful and inappropriate comments for review, weed out spam and unwanted comments and approve and interact with inquisitive or positive ones. If you are overwhelmed or have a lot else to do, however, you can add a moderator to help you manage comments. Alternatively, you can use tools with moderation and community management features to approve, post and flag comments or hide content that contains specific words.

            While your YouTube channel can be a brand-building powerhouse, mistakes can drown even the most well-thought and carefully crafted marketing strategy. YouTube is a great platform for engaging with diverse audiences when done right. So, if you want to connect with new and engaged audiences, build brand awareness and authority and ultimately boost your sales, make sure you share content that offers something entertaining and useful. Avoid some costly mistakes like the ones above to claim success in YouTube marketing.

            Related: 6 More Ways You Can Use YouTube to Reach Your Intended Audience

            Terry Tateossian

            Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor


            Terry Tateossian is recognized by numerous business publications. She has been featured for outstanding leadership and career accomplishments as an engineer, thought leader and innovator in her field. But her favorite and toughest earned title is being “Mom” to her two children.

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