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Why YouTube is Becoming The Most Powerful Tool for Personal Branding

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

If you’re thinking about social media tools you can use to augment LinkedIn while helping you put the spotlight on your brilliance and stand out from your peers, it’s time to set your sights on YouTube.

When you consider using social media platforms to build your personal brand, you instantly think about LinkedIn. After all, it’s the place where you’ll find people who are serious about their career. Plus, LinkedIn membership is approaching a billion. And LinkedIn was built specifically to help you showcase your accomplishments and credentials in support of your career. So let’s assume LinkedIn is a given—an absolute must for introducing yourself to others and building your brand. It provides a baseline, a foundation, and table stakes. What other tool should you consider to give yourself a competitive edge? The answer is definitely YouTube. Here’s why:

It’s popular.

The world's largest social media platforms continue to grow enormously this year, and although Facebook still dominates in social media with over 2.1 billion active users, YouTube hit 34.6 billion visits in May 2021. That’s more than Facebook and Twitter combined, according to data presented by video sharing platform Unsurprisingly, YouTube ranked as the second-most visited website that month. Compared to other social media platforms, data show that YouTube had five times more monthly visits than Twitter and five and a half times more than Instagram.

It allows you to connect deeply.

One of the reasons YouTube is popular is because its primary medium is video. Video is the richest form of communication we have—next to being there, of course. We all saw how live video platforms like Zoom exploded during the pandemic. It happened because we needed something that resembled real interactions with real people—and email and phone messages just don’t cut it. Video allows you to combine words with tone of voice and body language to deliver a richer, more compelling communication. And when it comes to personal branding, that’s powerful.

It's differentiating.

Despite video’s availability and the ease with which we can create, edit, share and store video, many people have just not jumped in. That’s great news for you. It means this rich communication medium will help you stand simply because fewer of your peers are using it. But don’t wait too long. Everyone became a little more comfortable being on video during the pandemic, so I predict that even more professionals will make the leap to asynchronous video.

It’s visible.

According to SEO Inc, a Forrester Research study revealed that videos are 50 times more likely to appear on page one Google results than similar text-based content. Back in 2007, Google launched universal search, which displays video, images and real-time content alongside traditional text-based content. When it launched, they said “With universal search, we're attempting to break down the walls that traditionally separated our various search properties and integrate the vast amounts of information available into one simple set of search results.” And YouTube is owned by Google, so it’s no surprise that YouTube videos feature prominently among search results. When you publish your thought leadership via video, you’re increasing the likelihood that it will be seen by those who are looking for it.

It’s pervasive.

Although people are using YouTube as a search engine to find what they’re looking for (Statista data indicated the number of people using YouTube is set to jump to 2.24 billion in 2021), videos posted to YouTube can be visible way beyond the walls of the platform. It’s extremely easy to share YouTube videos on other social media platforms. So if your audience lives on Facebook, sharing a video you posted to YouTube will get you in front of those Facebook viewers in addition to the ones who are using YouTube. When it comes to LinkedIn, YouTube plays a prominent role. You can, of course, share your videos with your connections and followers and with the groups you belong to. But you can also add YouTube videos to your Featured section, which is the zone where you get to showcase your personal brand and thought leadership. Adding rich media to this chunk of valuable real estate in your profile will help you influence decision makers who are checking you out.

It's innovative.

YouTube continues to innovate and raise the bar for video communications. One such innovation is their new video format called #shorts. According to YouTube, “Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.” (Yes, that does sound similar to a wildly popular competing video platform.) It’s quick to produce so it’s great for those things you want to say that capture the moment, in an environment that is different from TikTok’s. Now you have an additional great format when you have something witty or pithy to express.

If you’re thinking about social media tools you can use to augment LinkedIn while helping you put the spotlight on your brilliance and stand out from your peers, it’s time to set your sights on YouTube.


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