Why YouTube is an Ideal Channel for Outdoor Sports Brands
Television is a social experience for me: I like to watch it with others. That may be why I’ve never spent much time watching online videos on my computer for entertainment. While I’ve often watched to fill a specific need (a how-to video, for example), casually surfing YouTube was never quite right for me.
But that’s all changed in just a few months. I’m now a near-daily YouTube viewer. I still don’t watch it on a computer. Tiny streaming media devices from the likes of Google, Roku, Amazon, and Apple, along with smart TVs and Internet-app-loaded Blu-Ray players have moved YouTube into the great room. In the process, these devices are redefining television, and how we consume web content. Now, I’m consuming what to me is a shocking amount of YouTube content… all on my living-room big screen.
I still watch how-to videos. But I find myself surfing popular trending videos with subjects ranging from science to music, from entertainment to politics. I’ve subscribed to channels that provide high-quality (ok, the quality varies, but much of it is high-quality) shows across all types of topics. These are things I just wouldn’t normally watch on a notebook computer.
And we often watch YouTube as a family. If I turn on a network TV show, my teen daughters leave the room. But the YouTube videos draw them in. I’m guessing it’s because the videos are perfect for today’s short attention span. In 20 minutes, we might watch a video about solar flares, a video review of the new Samsung Galaxy S5, a Disney World hotel tour, a news report, and laugh as we watch grade-school kids try to figure out how on earth to use an old rotary phone. Watching YouTube as a family even sparks conversation. Parents of teens know that qualifies as magic.
Attention marketers: If this sounds strange to you today, trust me: you need to get comfortable with the concept.
Our family isn’t alone. An August 2013 study by Parks Associates showed 14% of all broadband U.S. households had a streaming video device. Add smart TVs and Blu-Ray players (with built in browsers and YouTube apps), and that number nearly doubles. I’m saying this is the year that YouTube exits the computer and enters our non-computer lives.
Take in this breathtaking 2014 YouTube statistic: over 1 BILLION unique visitors view over 6 BILLION hours of video watched each month. That’s a lot of time spent with YouTube. What do you do with that information?
At Callis, we say you start by creating content. Create interesting content. If it’s brand-appropriate, create humorous content. But most of all, create valuable content; don’t offend your viewer by wasting their time.
YouTube is an ideal channel for brands to reach their outdoor sports customers. Their hobby/lifestyle is entertaining, absorbing, and engaging, which means they’re right there, just like my family: watching YouTube on their TV, seeking out interesting content that’s relevant to them and having discussions about it. If you’ve been on the sidelines to this point, it’s time to get involved!