Everyone nowadays is obsessed with SEO (I should know, I work with it): if their page is on first position, if they appear first when someone types the brand’s name, if there’s link juice on the page, if the meta descriptions have all the keywords… I mean, I could go on forever.
But, when we talk about SEO, we’re really talking about how people look for information. It’s all about people. And YouTube content creators know all about this: all this time they’ve been doing SEO and we didn’t see it.
When YouTubers put a question in their video’s title, when they do a thumbnail with three words people search a lot, they do it based on one thing: the questions their subscribers ask them in the comments’ section. It’s that simple. It’s basically watching out for people’s thoughts and needs, and answering them.
That’s why influencers are such a big thing nowadays. Because they all do what advertisers forgot a long time ago: they really listen to people.
And it doesn’t matter if we put all of our money into an SEO strategy of if we use shady techniques to build our brand’s online reputation. It won’t work until we start to look at our audience, look at what they need, what they ask, what they want to know, and fulfill that void.
I think us, ad people, have lost ourselves among so many platforms, metrics and digital somethings that we’ve forgot what we’ve been doing for so long with a lot less tools: communicating and getting through to people in a special way.
That’s the lesson YouTubers and other content creators have come to teach us. That they survive because they are relevant to people. And maybe we should stop using their platforms so much and start facing the real challenge in this industry: making our brands relevant on their own.