The good news is they most likely won’t.
On Tuesday 16th January, YouTube announced changes to the qualifying criteria for its Partner Program.
To apply and be accepted for the Partner Program, instead of simply having a total of 10,000 views, your channel will need:
- 1,000 subscribers AND
- Minimum 4,000 hours watch time, in the last 12months
Any new Channel program applicants will need to adhere to the changes immediately, whilst existing channels will be reviewed on 20th February 2018 and remain in or be dropped from the program accordingly.
According to the announcement, “Though these changes will affect a significant number of channels, 99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month.”
As small business owners ourselves, my husband and I already have a monitised YouTube channel. Is it earning a fortune? No, but it does help pay a couple of monthly business expenses. Will these changes affect us? No, with over 5,700 subscribers and in excess of 17,000 hours watch time, we already meet the new criteria.
So Is It Still Worth Having A Youtube Channel For Your Business?
Afterall, YouTube is an excellent marketing channel. Our view is, any income you gain from it as a small business owner should be seen as a bonus! The reason we started our channel was not to earn an income from YouTube – far from it infact. The channel is part of a wider marketing strategy.
When you consider that typically 65% of your potential target audience are ‘visual learners’ (including me) and people are 4x more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it, tapping into the 900 million unique visitors YouTube has EVERY month is a no brainer.
Regardless of whether your market is B2B or B2C, video is a powerful way of communicating not only your brand and your story, but also helps to build a relationship with your prospects and customers.
Accordingly to a study conducted by Curata the most effective types of video are:
- Customer testimonials
- Demonstration videos
But products reviews, vlogs (video logs), ‘best of’, unboxing and Q&As are all examples of other types of video content that you can produce as a small business.
The majority of our channel videos are product reviews and tutorials. Every time we upload a new video, our 5700 subscribers are automatically notified. Each video description has a link back to our website. Each video usually has a corresponding article on our website, with more indepth written information. The article can then be shared across other social media channels boosting traffic to our website and to the video on Youtube. Within the article and the website sidebar, there will usually be a link or banner advertisement to one of our products / services along with the opportunity to join one of our mailing lists.Following recent partner program changes, is it still worth having a business YouTube channel? Click To Tweet
Still not convinced it’s worth the hassle?
Here are a few more statistics for you to mull over, taken from the Wyxowl* survey ‘The State of Video Marketing 2018’:
- Video has soared during the last 12 months, with a 17% leap in usage. This upward trend looks set to carry on into 2018
- The average person watches more than an hour and a half of online video content per day, with around 15% averaging more than three hours.
- 81% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video.
- Including a video on a sales / landing page can increase conversion rates by up to 80% (The video can easily be hosted for free on YouTube and embedded into your page)
- 76% of businesses said video has helped them increase traffic to their website. (Remember, YouTube is owned by Google, so will favour YouTube content in search engine results)
- 76% of businesses said video has helped them increase sales.
Finally, according to think with Google, “almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store”.
If you don’t use video as part of your marketing strategy, how much business could you be missing out on?