Online video and specifically YouTube are enormously important players in the way social media is reshaping the American consumer economy and marketing mindset. According to a recent article, the average YouTube viewer spends between 15-25 minutes per day on the site. More content is uploaded to YouTube every sixty days than the three major United States television networks produced in their first sixty years of existence. Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube every month.Youtube-logo

Credit unions are also entering the YouTube space. Some credit unions upload content and have their own YouTube channel. But are credit unions maximizing the YouTube medium?

“As with any new marketing activity, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do online video and YouTube,” says , James Robert Lay, President of PTP New Media. “While more credit unions than ever now take advantage of this medium, it’s not being used to it full potential. We’re really just scratching the surface.”

What matters more than the quality of the video camera and editing tools, however, is a simple marketing concept that far predates the advent of online video. “Most anybody can point a camera and shoot film,” Lay explains. “Where I see a pitfall is not in the actual process of filming and editing, but in the creative thinking process that goes into any marketing campaign. YouTube use is no different.”

Lay goes on to say that many credit unions have a “shoot first, think about the story later” process when it comes to YouTube. Just as any good marketer wouldn’t print postcards, air radio ads or buy billboard space without a larger plan, similar thought and planning must go into YouTube.

“The story must come first,” Lay says. “Before you shoot any film, ask yourself key questions that go into any marketing or advertising campaign. Questions like What is our message? What are we trying to promote? Who is our target audience? On what should we focus in order to successfully achieve the campaign’s goals? Do we have a strong call to action?

In a world where viewers watch over three billion videos every day on YouTube, credit unions are wise to jump into the fray and take advantage of this terrific tool. Knowing a few of the ins and out of YouTube use can help make the difference in a successful marketing campaign and help you stretch your marketing dollars to their fullest.

For more information about how credit unions can maximize the YouTube channel, read the January issue of my e-zine. The free e-zine gives more details about “The Do’s and Don’ts of YouTube for Credit Unions” along with a list of best practice advice for credit unions wanting to utilize YouTube better.

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