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(WIZARD) A New Way To Look At YouTube


I was teaching the third day of a three-day class. A hand went up in the second row.


Whats the next big thing?

The answer leapt from my mouth before he had even finished the question.


Everyone laughed. This confused me until I realized the class thought I was trying to be funny. Yes, of course, YouTube was already big.

But not in the way I meant.

Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim founded YouTube in February 2005. Google purchased it the following year for $1.65 billion.

YouTube was an idea whose time had come.

During the 365 calendar days of 2011, YouTube delivered more than 1 trillion views. Viewership in 2012 was up by more than 40 percent: 1.46 trillion views.

One million seconds is about 12 days.

One billion seconds is nearly 32 years.

One trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

A trillion is a lot.

The statistics page at YouTube currently says the number of views delivered in 2013 was 50 percent more than last year. This means theyve jumped from 1 trillion views per year to over 2 trillion views per year in just 24 months. It would appear that you and I and the rest of the world are watching a lot of online video.

Sometimes a prospective client calls your station to ask you a question. You answer. Occasionally they walk through your door. You greet them. But as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak wryly observed in 2010, We used to ask a smart person a question. Now who do we ask? It starts with G-O, and its not God.

Prospective clients are gathering information about marketing through Google and YouTube. This means your station website and your online, informational videos are vital new half-steps that fall between prospecting and faceto- face selling.

Are your prospects finding the information they need online?

Im not talking about search engine optimization. Im not talking about responding to customer queries made by e-mail. Im talking about crafting an informative answer to the question you believe your prospect will ask and then posting that answer in a video on YouTube. You can also embed that video on a special website designed to teach advertisers about radio: how it works, what to expect, how long it takes, the importance of a strong message, the importance of frequency.

How many questions can you answer intelligently? Thats exactly how many YouTube videos you should create.

Yes, Im being serious.

YouTube is often called social media. This is unfortunate because we tend to see social media as cotton candy that offers little real nutrition. Entertainment value is measured by the number of views a video receives. I am not suggesting that you should entertain the public, but rather that you should inform them. Information value is measured by how well you anticipate and answer your customers not-yet-asked question.

YouTube delivers entertainment when we want to be distracted, but it also delivers information when we are seeking answers.

Google and YouTube offer your prospective clients unprecedented access to information, 24/7. This is changing the nature of selling. As Steve Wozniak pointed out, were no longer seeking the opinions of experts face to-face, were seeking them face-to-computer-screen.

This is not how the world functioned a short decade ago. Welcome to 2014.

Good video doesnt require a lot of money. But it does require a lot of thought, a lot of time, and a lot of followthrough.

Youre full of valuable information, insight, and experience and you can tell amazing stories. Online video allows you to be everywhere at once, 24/7. The perfect explanation, delivered perfectly, every time.

Youll find online video to be an amazing time-saver. Youll find it to be the ultimate sales aid. Youll also find it to be the best quality-control insurance money can buy because you no longer have to say the same things over and over, one client at a time. You just e-mail your clients the link to your latest video. Be the person on the screen.

Your prospects are gathering more and more information from online video. Why not let them gather it from you?

The most common mistake is making videos too long. Break complex ideas into bite-size chunks. Shoot for 60-second videos. These are devoured like potato chips: Just one more. One more. One more. OK, one more. One more.

Make a 90-second video only when it cant be avoided.

Yes, this means youre going to have to script your videos and read them from a prompter, just like a network newscaster. The outcome will be you happy you looking directly into the eyes of the viewer. Screen text and graphics are easily added.

So what are you waiting for?

Roy H. Williams is president of Wizard of Ads Inc. E-mail:

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