Is YouTube Worth It? 7.6 Million Views Later, Here’s What I Learned

Is YouTube Worth It? 7.6 Million Views Later, Here’s What I Learned

The topics of video content also vary from covering strategy to tactics to answering your questions to even sharing tidbits from my personal life. To give you some perspective, it would take you roughly 3.8 years to watch over 2 million minutes worth of video. No matter what kind of videos you create, you can always generate traffic from YouTube search, similar to how I am. As you can see, I only generated 91 views from people searching for my name in May 2017 (that’s when I uploaded my first video). Overall, YouTube search traffic is high-quality traffic, and it’s much easier to rank and generate those views than on traditional Google search. Keep people on YouTube – YouTube doesn’t want people to leave YouTube. But the one thing that I am certain about is that unless you have tons of views (like well into the millions), the ad income isn’t that great. Assuming you put out good video content, you’ll find that people will subscribe to your channel, follow you, engage with you, and get to know you better. It doesn’t help as much with corporate brands, but the investment is well worth it from a personal branding perspective. With B2C, you will generate more leads, but each one will be worth less.

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neil video

Everyone’s saying it… video is the future of content marketing!

But is it really?

Similar to you, I noticed that trend over a year ago, and I decided to listen to everyone who told me to focus on videos instead of just text-based content.

I even wrote a blog post about how I was shifting my content marketing budgets over to podcasting and videos.

But, as you know, opinions don’t really matter in marketing. If the data shows something is working you should do more of it. And if the data shows the opposite, then you need to reconsider what you are doing.

So, was YouTube really worth it for me?

Neil, you’re on YouTube?

If you haven’t already seen my YouTube videos, you can check them out here (they are the same videos I also put on my blog).

And if you have seen my videos, you’ll notice that I have a ton of them. I started posting on YouTube a bit more than a year and a half ago and have already uploaded 347 videos so far.

That’s a lot of content!

The videos all vary in length. I have videos that are as short as 2 minutes, and I have others that are over 30 minutes.

The topics of video content also vary from covering strategy to tactics to answering your questions to even sharing tidbits from my personal life.

I’ve even shared some of my speeches on YouTube as well.

So, is YouTube worth it? Well, before I get into that, let me share some of my stats.

My YouTube channel

Since inception, my YouTube channel has generated 7,627,060 views.

I know the above screenshot shows I’ve been a member of YouTube since August 18, 2011, but I uploaded my first real video on May 11, 2017… and it was about generating more Twitter traffic.

Before that period, I did upload 2 other videos, but they were uploaded for ad purposes. I was using them to drive registrations to a webinar (which didn’t work as well as I had hoped).

Although my total YouTube view count is at 7.6 million, on a monthly basis my view count ranges between 600,000 to 700,000 organic views.

Over the past 30 days, I have generated 724,464 views, which resulted in 2,003,272 minutes of watch time.

To give you some perspective, it would take you roughly 3.8 years to watch over 2 million minutes worth of video. And that’s assuming you’re watching for 24 hours each day and not taking breaks.

That’s a lot of watch time!

And here is an overview of how I generated those views.

As you can see, the majority of my YouTube views comes from “search.”

That means people are searching on YouTube. After that, the suggested and browse are driving a large portion of the views. And then it is external, which are the views I am driving from NeilPatel.com.

It’s kind of crazy how I am driving 101,683 views a month just from my own site.

If you are creating funny videos, news-oriented videos, lifestyle videos, or documentary style videos like Gary V., the majority of your YouTube traffic will come from “suggested” and “browse” in which your videos are going to be recommended a lot in the sidebar of YouTube.

On the other hand, if the majority of your content is educational, kind of like mine, you’ll get the majority of your traffic from YouTube search.

What’s YouTube search like?

No matter what kind of videos you create, you can always generate traffic from YouTube search, similar to how I am.

The amount of traffic just varies on the type of videos you create… educational videos tend to generate the most from YouTube search.

Let’s dive into my search traffic:

As you can see, I rank for terms like SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, etc.

But the second most popular term I’m generating traffic for is my name, Neil Patel.

And no, it’s not because I have built up a brand in the marketing space. It’s because I have so many videos on YouTube, I have organically started to build a brand on YouTube.

As you can see, I only generated 91 views from people searching for my name in May 2017 (that’s when I uploaded my first video). And now I can generate roughly 5,500 to 6,000 views per month just from that one search term alone.

All I did to grow my brand queries was to upload more content that I felt my target audience wanted to watch.

Overall, YouTube search traffic is high-quality traffic, and it’s much easier to rank and generate those views than on traditional Google search. Best of all, you can rank well on YouTube within a matter of days… even hours!

You heard me right, you can rank well on YouTube in a matter of days.

If you have a brand new profile and you are just starting to upload videos, you may not rank as high as you want right away, but you should see results fairly quickly and over time (like weeks and months, not years) you can easily climb to the top.

Remember, YouTube isn’t competitive like Google and their algorithm is different. If you want the most traffic, you just have to follow these 26 steps.

It sounds like a lot, but it isn’t. Most of them are short and easy to implement.

Whether you follow each of those 26 steps or not, make sure you at least follow the 6 principles below as they make the biggest impact:

  • Push hard in the first 24 hours – Unlike traditional SEO, videos that perform well in the first 24 hours tend to do well for the life of the video. If you have an email list or a push notification list, notify them of your YouTube video right when…

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