I’m seeing a horrible trend on YouTube these days. Too many business accounts are opting to “monetize” their videos. The quest to make a few bucks could actually be bad for business.
YouTube’s platform allows qualified accounts to make money off their original content by allowing advertisers to pay for placement of their own video advertisement before the requested video is viewed. While there are some key players out there making an actual living off YouTube’s ad program, the bulk of creators make next to nothing.
Yet, some business owners see any amount of earnings as “good”. And therein lies the problem.
The expectation that a user, such as myself, will sit patiently through an ad before seeing what you really have to offer is entirely flawed. In fact, it’s a good way to lose viewership when you’re trying to sell a product.
Whether they realize it or not, users are quite picky about when they’ll wait, and when they’ll just walk away. Even humorous, homegrown “web series” need to give viewers a reason to watch an ad. Typically users are more forgiving when they believe the content creator is not only providing real substance, but also that he deserves to get paid for what he does. The same goes for all the “game cheat” videos out there. For example, if you’re having trouble getting through a level on Candy Crush, you can visit YouTube, where you’ll find thousands of video walk-throughs. Some are prefaced by ads, and some are not.
When you’re goal is to sell, however, and reach new customers, the last thing you want to do is give them a reason to close the browser window. Sorry, but if you want me to see how your new toy works, don’t even try to get me to watch a car commercial first, because I won’t.
Partaking in YouTube’s monetization program isn’t much different than incorporating AdWords in an ecommerce site. It does, however, cost you potential customers, some of whom will see it as nothing but an act of desperation.