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There’s no such thing as a free lunch

The most important fact to remember about YouTube is that it’s a channel, not a platform. A platform stores, organises and deploys your online video whereas a channel is an environment in which video is exposed to your key audience.

What YouTube’s great for
YouTube is a fantastic channel for getting new viewers for your content. It’s the biggest social video network in the world and the second largest search engine in the world. This is why Buto has features to help you choose what content to publish to YouTube, and specifically optimise those videos for YouTube search.

What YouTube want Viewers to Do vs What you want
YouTube is a fantastic innovation in online video but it was acquired by Google in 2006 to ensure they owned the world’s largest video advertising platform. And that’s their primary commercial interest – encouraging people to click on pop-up ads or watch more YouTube videos so they see more ads – meaning it’s much harder to encourage your viewers to take a related action if they’re watching your content on or using YouTube than it is when they’re watching on your site using a platform you can control.

Why not use YouTube as a Platform?
But because it’s free, many brands use YouTube as a platform too – to host videos on their websites. The problem here is the same: YouTube’s goal is to get people to watch more YouTube videos, click on YouTube ads or even leave your site altogether and go over to YouTube. Unless you want to pay for ad-free YouTube channels or a deeper commercial relationship with YouTube which will cost upwards of $100,000 a year, your content could be overlaid with third party ads from any of Google‘s AdWords customers – even your competitors. There’s no control over choice of ‘recommended’ content viewers are presented with at the end of each clip either. And naturally, a good deal of the data that Google collects from viewing behaviour is not made available to you, the content owner.

Did you know this?
You can sum up much of the above by taking a look at the following, slightly scary clause in YouTube’s T&Cs:

“By submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.”

Solving the problem
We’re a video platform so we’re bound to say “use our video platform instead”! But the main point is about your content goals. Regardless of whether you choose Buto or not, the best advice is to make driving traffic to your website the goal of your YouTube content, and then use a platform you have more control over to drive your strategic goals, which could be product sales, enquiries, signups or downloads. As well as giving you the control over your content and better tools to analyse its performance, Buto can help you with all the other things people mistakenly think they can only do with YouTube, like video on other social networks and making your content finable in Google and other search engines.

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