Back in July, YouTube announced a new initiative called “YouTube Learning.” It was created to support and provide grants to education-centered content creators, organizations, and learners.
Susan Wojcicki, the YouTube CEO, said at the time: “Our hope is to support those who use YouTube to share their knowledge with the world and the millions of users who come to our platform to learn.” YouTube-based content creators have been making how-to and educational videos for years, but this marks an increase in support from the company.
“Today I’m happy to announce we’re investing $20 million in YouTube Learning, an initiative to support education focused creators and expert organizations that create and curate high-quality learning content on YouTube.”
Not only will it include a fund to support YouTubers and marketers making learning-based content in the platform, but it will also provide them with more resources to monetize their videos.
YouTube has even launched a Learning channel that consists of “curated tutorials, DIY videos, skill-based playlists, and other high-quality educational content from a range of creators.”
If your brand play its cards right, you could be one of them!
Come from applicants that manage at least one YouTube channel with a minimum of 25,000 subscribers
Demonstrate a strategy to develop multi-session content - multiple videos that build on one another
Clearly depict the intent to teach in a factual, informative, and trustworthy manner, indicating expertise and/or a scrupulous approach to accuracy, including but not limited to research, fact checking, and objectivity
The applicants don’t have to have a degree, but they do have to prove they are experts in the content of their videos.
What Does This Mean for Marketers?
This is a great move overall for YouTube to try to keep its foothold on videos. It’s also one more way that they continue to go head-to-head with Facebook whose algorithms reward native uploads with better optimization versus a YouTube link.
As a marketer, if both channels are in your digital plan, your job is a little more difficult because you have to continue to upload natively within each platform to maximize your results. However, considering that video will be 80% of internet consumption by 2019, I’d say it’s worth the exposure.
If you’d like to take your chance at getting a piece of the $20 million, keep the criteria shared above in mind and start growing your following and adjusting your creation/publishing strategy.
The platform’s application and investment solidifies what IMPACT and inbound marketing have been preaching for a long time - education comes first.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s not about selling. You must take the time to teach your audience and build trust with your content.
YouTube is making investments in education-based video. Shouldn’t marketers be making that same investment?