Mind Bending Results: The Psychology Behind YouTube Marketing
Most marketers know that psychology plays an integral role in the consumer purchasing cycle. People choose what to buy based on certain influential factors. All successful sales techniques focus on understanding this decision making process and how to appeal to the masses. To get the most out of a YouTube marketing strategy, you need to understand the basics of why creating powerful content is the key to moving your audience.
Exactly how compelling is YouTube marketing? Current marketing studies rank YouTube as the most heavily visited website in the United States and third worldwide.
Unique visitor counts range between 60 and 75 million people each month. Although the site was not created as an advertising medium, it has nevertheless propelled both businesses and people into stardom.
However, there are also many epic failures. Some small businesses will upload a video only to have it sit in internet oblivion. With little or no traffic, it is a useless marketing tool. The difference between what works and what doesn’t is strategy and basic psychological principles.
Real Life Examples
Consider the example of Blendtek, a company that makes and sells blenders. Using a smart YouTube strategy, they managed to boost sales by 700 percent. Each new video installment garners around three million viewers monthly. How did they accomplish this?
You must begin by understanding that people flock to YouTube because they want to be entertained. What they emphatically do not want is to watch a 5 minute sales presentation about a new product or service. Blendtek created a concept called “Will it Blend”. The videos feature a lab geek who tries to destroy various objects, such as hockey pucks and skulls, with the patented “Total Blender.”
Of course, this is a spin off on David Letterman’s “Will it Float” spoof, but it works. Blendtek has generated countless fans across the social media and world wide web platform. The content is viral in the truest sense of the word. By understanding the audience and applying a few basic principles, this business is a YouTube marketing success story.
The Principles of Consumer Motivation
It is no secret that humans are complex creatures, thus it follows that their motivations are also complex. Abraham Massow was an early researcher who set out to classify exactly what motivates people. What he came up with is the Hierarchy of Needs Theory. In essence, this theory states that people will act on something in order to satisfy the need for fulfillment in five major life topics. Massow theorized that if you can determine which need an individual is seeking to fulfill, you can effectively motivate them.
- Physical needs include the basic human elements required for survival, such as food, water, shelter, and sex.
- Safety needs address the desire to feel safe from emotional or physical harm.
Social needs are the desire for affection, acceptance, friendship, and the need to belong among a group.
- Esteem refers to how people feel about themselves. Self respect, confidence, achievement, and recognition are a few of the Esteem Factors.
- Self- Actualization is the final need. It is the human drive to improve, grow, and recognize self fulfillment.
While some may argue that entertainment is a physical need, it probably actually falls more realistically into the social needs realm. When you take a look at market research, the Generation Y group- those born after 1980- are the largest consumers of social related digital products. Hence, it should be no surprise that this group also comprises the majority of YouTube viewers.
This should be the driving force behind creating a YouTube marketing strategy. Regardless of the product being sold, it must be present in a way that will engage the Generation Y audience if it is going to succeed.
Profiling the Viewer
The millennial generation is tech savvy. It has also been speculated that this generation is most focused on social and self actualization needs. Studies produced b the University of Michigan and University of California report that 75 percent of this group report wealth and comfort as being the most important to them. Environmental clean up was the least relevant, only accumulating 21 percent of the popularity.
Falling in the middle were 35 percent rating political views as important and 45 percent voting for “philosophy of life.” This is a shift from previous generations. It is also noted that positive attributes assigned to this group include confidence and tolerance. Regardless, this generation is poised to be the largest purchaser of products and goods worldwide.
To see how this influences YouTube marketing, ComScore undertook a study to identify the most popular content. The data that is presented is slightly flawed because it ignores the mobile segment of the population. However, 40 percent of YouTube viewers watch music videos. This is followed closely by gaming, humor and how to videos.
Getting back to the psychology principle, if a small business can create a video concept that will captivate this audience, then it will sell products. Granted, the process is not effortless. It does take a considerable amount of brainstorming. Some traits that successful videos share include:
- Short duration- If your video is more than three minutes long, you will lose viewers. Consider breaking anything longer up into segments.
- Entertaining- If your broadcast is a sales video, it is doomed.
- Memorable- The more unique and off beat the YouTube strategy is, the more likely it is to be remembered.
- Labeled- A relevant channel name should be tagged with keywords to make it easy to find.
In summary, you don’t have to be a Jedi Master in order to make YouTube marketing work. You do need to create a strategy that incorporates basic psychology and human nature into the plan. Look to other wildly popular themes to come up with something that can be tailored to your individual needs. It is possible for a business to become a viral phenomenon and send massive amounts of YouTube traffic to your website. The secret is giving the people exactly what they want.
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Filed under: YouTube Marketing
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