Businesses that rely solely on YouTube as a content hosting and lead generation platform will find their video content marketing strategy woefully lacking. The truth is that YouTube was built to be great for a lot of things: quickly hosting and embedding videos, drawing new views through searches, boosting content visibility through suggested videos, and its general social-oriented feel.

What YouTube was not built for was helping brands effectively market to new customers. Some brands like Red Bull do it fairly well, but they also know better than to rely on YouTube by itself. Doing so creates critical gaps in your marketing funnel. Worse, the very attributes that make YouTube so accessible tend to work against brands vying for someone’s undivided attention.

So, if you currently use Youtube as your sole video content marketing channel or you intend to do so in the near future, listen up as to why that is not such a great idea.

1. YouTube Doesn’t Show Enough About Your Viewers

YouTube offers fairly robust viewer analytics, but they pale in comparison to a platform like Google search. While you can learn about things like peak view times, viewer country of origin, and even demographic specifics like age, you are still missing how those views connect to your marketing funnel at the bottom end. Did that viewer later visit your site? Did they spend money? How long did they spend on the site? What pages interested them most?

Instead of having answers to these questions that deliver a complete image of a customer lead, you have two discrete pieces and no way to connect them to each other. Being able to attribute end-purchases to initial leads is critical to deciding which video marketing efforts were most worth it.

Additionally, YouTube often attributes inbound views to “external” sites as a generic moniker. Without an idea of which sites brought you traffic, you are missing both the critical front and bottom ends of your funnel.

2. YouTube Is Designed to Distract

Do you ever get lost on YouTube or have a child, sibling, or friend who regularly does? There is a good reason for that: YouTube was designed as the perfect time sink. One second you are watching a video Granny shared on her Facebook page, the next you are looking up reviews of the new Ghostbusters movie in one tab and watching silly cat videos in another.

Therefore, while YouTube may be great for those trying to pitch an entertaining video solely as an end product, it can be horrible for brands that have a different goal. Perhaps a retailer trying to describe the amazing features of a new washer has someone hooked, only to lose them ten seconds later when they see a video about blowing up a washing machine with a grenade.

Distracting links are available beside the video and at its end screen. Even if you hosted an embedded video on your own site, these suggested videos pop at after the video is completed, daring users to navigate away from your domain. In addition, an easy way to get a better look at a video without going fullscreen is to click on the YouTube watermark and visit the actual site, once again pulling people from your site.

3. Solving These Shortcomings

There is no mistaking that YouTube can be an amazing platform for generating new views. It makes up the world’s second-biggest search engine, after all, and it can earn your brand engaging visual results in search. However, because of the extensive negatives outlined above, brands that want to harness these advantages without setting themselves back must create video content strategies that treat YouTube views as a distant second priority.

Instead, they should look to video hosting platforms like Wistia, Vidyard, SproutVideo, and more. Each can embed quite easily on web pages or social media while providing more robust attribution analytics and more direct marketing funnels that drive conversions instead of vanity metrics. For instance, Wistia can enable email capturing at any point in the video, allowing content creators to gate content or punctuate the video with an email capture at the perfect moment.

YouTube can support these efforts by directing viewers to a dedicated landing site through tactics like video annotations or through links in video descriptions. That way, you can enjoy the audience growing potential of YouTube while harnessing the power of more business-oriented platforms, which aim to make your job of generating and tracking leads easier.

Let Optimum Video Productions assess your video content marketing goals and help you develop a strategy that maximizes YouTube’s potential while giving you the 360° insights and distraction-free viewing experience your brand needs. Take a look at our video content marketing services to learn more.