And if you’re going to do use Video in your Content Marketing then YouTube should be one of the primary channels you explore, as it’s the 800lb gorilla of Video Marketing.
But there’s a caveat that comes with YouTube:
You Don’t Own Your YouTube Channel
Effectively you rent your YouTube channel from Google (the owners of YouTube). And the lease fee is that you upload interesting content for users of YouTube – and that you don’t contravene the Terms Of Service.
So always have that in the back of your mind. The guys at Copyblogger call people who build their primary web presence on other platforms (e.g. Facebook, Tumblr, blogs hosted by WordPress or Blogger, etc) Digital Sharecroppers.
What’s The Big Deal With Being A ‘Digital Sharecropper?’
The big deal is this – because you don’t own your YouTube channel, you’ve no control over it.
Imagine this ‘worst case’ scenario: you spend a year adding a video a week to your channel and building up your following and then bang out of the blue you get an email from YouTube saying something like this:
“Dear User – Your account has been suspended for 6 months.”
And then you found that not only could you not log in to your YouTube account, but that there’s a message that says something like this:
“This Video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content. Sorry about that.”
Think that can’t happen to you – then go read this post by Darren Rowse of Problogger:
And yep, that’s the Darren Rowse and the Problogger. Now Darren’s story had a happy ending – because his fan base took to Twitter and caused enough of a bad PR he got his account reinstated within 12 hours. Almost certainly you WON’T be so lucky.
To stop this happening to YOU, you need Account Suspension Insurance!
So What ‘Account Suspension Insurance’ Can You Take Out?
Despite this potential headache, here’s a 4 Step Plan of simple things you can do now to mitigate this disaster if it ever happens:
- Don’t make videos that contravene YouTube’s terms of service. This especially means no copyrighted material (music and images), and nothing that’s too overtly commercial. YouTube is a social media website, not a place for you to store your videos for free and piggyback off their bandwidth. If you want to make some commercial videos as part of your marketing blend….self host them. If in doubt, don’t post to YouTube.
- If your videos are less than 100 mb in size and 10 minutes in length, then sign up for a free account at TubeMogul and upload your videos there first. Not only does this count as a back up, but you can also upload your videos to sites other than YouTube. Then if the worst ever happens, then it’s relatively simple to start over. (Remember I said relatively simple, it’s still a major PITA).
- Have back ups of every video you make. On your computer. And on external hard drives. And – for the ultra paranoid (like me) – on Amazon’s S3 server. (It’s cheap and easy to use).
- This is the most important tip – make sure you are posting calls to action on your channel page and in your videos to get people off YouTube, and to your website and subscribing to your list. Then if the worst happens…you’ve got a list of names and email addresses to market too.
You don’t own your YouTube channel. Never forget that. Make my 4 Step ‘Account Suspension Insurance Plan’ an integral part of your video marketing strategy.