Many people view YouTube as the place where you go to see the video of a cat that plays the piano. Oh come on, don’t deny it; you’ve looked! Well, someone’s looking because 2 billion YouTube videos are viewed each day.
More than 157 million of you have seen the Evolution of Dance and more than 254 million have now watched the incredibly cute video known as “Charlie Bit My Finger”.
My current favorite is a video of a trick football play.
YouTube can be endlessly entertaining, but it can also be an immensely powerful tool for delivering a message to your desired or intended audience.
I was struck by a recent piece in the New York Times Magazine that revealed how New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is using YouTube. Here are the key passages:
While his fellow governors tend to use their official YouTube channels to show ribbon-cuttings and speeches, Christie, a former federal prosecutor who relishes the thrust and parry of political debate, has turned his into a video library of gubernatorial smackdowns — which, after just ten months in office, are already so numerous that his admirers are able to rank their favorites.
Almost everywhere Christie goes, he is filmed by an aide whose job is to capture these “moments,” as the governor’s staff has come to call them. When one occurs, Christie’s press shop splices the video and uploads it to YouTube; from there, conservatives throughout the country share Christie clips the way tween girls circulate Justin Bieber videos.
One video on Christie’s YouTube channel — a drubbing he delivered to another aggrieved public-school teacher at a town hall in September — has racked up over 750,000 views.
Clearly, Governor Christie has found a way to use YouTube in a way that works for him. It’s not the path I would recommend for everyone, but there are many, many ways you can use this powerful tool to your advantage.
If YouTube is not a part of your communications strategy, you’re missing a sure bet. It’s a cheap and easy way to inform and educate your audience.
One other thought: A YouTube video does not need to go viral to have real impact. What matters is that the RIGHT people see your video. So don’t despair if your video is not keeping up with the latest Lady Gaga clip.
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