There’s a bit of a contradiction going on, if you acknowledge that video is the only way people want to communicate, but you want to read a book about YouTube. Then again, you’re currently reading a blog about video so perhaps I should shut up. However, I’ve got to acknowledge the inappropriateness of the medium and the following quote, if you substitute ‘video‘ for ‘architecture‘ seems appropriate:
“Writing about painting is like dancing about architecture.”
So, what’s so inappropriate about a print copy of a book on the subject of YouTube? The most obvious thing is that, the net moves pretty fast; by the time a book on some interweb subject leaves the presses it is, most likely, already out of date. These books include features that have changed and restrictions that have being removed. Why read something that is wrong?
Then there’s the amount of fluff you have to wade through. All books include a description about what YouTube is and how to navigate your way around. If you’ve gone to the expense of buying a book on YouTube, then you probably already know what it is and how to navigate around it. And why do we need to read a long-winded history of YouTube when a paragraph would suffice? Or how to upload a video when YouTube’s own ‘help’ is a better resource? You just get the feeling that the authors are unthinkingly following a publishers template for technical books.
Putting the inappropriateness of the print medium aside (maybe you’re reading it on your Kindle or tablet), let’s take a look at a four examples:
YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business
The author of this example, is Michael Miller; a self-proclaimed prolific writer, with more than 100 non-fiction books to his name in the past two decades. I’m all for generalists but YouTube marketing is a subject that warrants a bona fide expert not someone who has written the Complete Idiots Guide to Conducting and Windows 8 PC for Seniors. Mr Miller is a nice guy, but shouldn’t this course be written and led by someone who lives and breathes video marketing, not someone just cutting another notch in their bookshelf?
A lot of the information in the book is very general and basic and not really about marketing at all. The whole of Part 2 of this book is about producing videos and Part 3 is about managing your YouTube videos – both are things you should know but the information is basic better described elsewhere, and this book is supposed to be about marketing. I could only really recommend this to someone just starting out using YouTube.
To call this a video is a little generous: it’s more like a PowerPoint deck with audio laid over the top for much of the time. Again, we’re talking about the power of video on YouTube and this doesn’t really hit the bar. It’s really a subset of the above book, read to you.
YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day
Marginally better than the above efforts but suffers from many of the same faults. One of your first daily hours is taken up by a “A short History of YouTube”. Month one is about video production again: there are better ways to spend a month learning video production. Chapter 4 has you watching popular YouTube videos for a month – few of which were created for marketing purposes.
Chapter 10 includes some case studies that are worth reading but apart from that I didn’t get much out of this book.
YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts
This book is getting a bit long in the tooth now as it was first published in 2008, but, at least it was written by two YouTubers who have had some success on YouTube and it wasn’t made to fit some technical-book template. It’s not written from a marketing perspective but, rather, from a perspective of people who have (or want to) ‘make it’ on YouTube. As such, it has a lot of useful information but you will have to pick and choose what you can use. There’s nothing very deep to this book, and you do have to get over the authors’ constant self-promotion, but it wasn’t such a chore to read, compared to the two previous books.
Beyond Viral: How to Attract Customers, Promote Your Brand, and Make Money with Online Video
The best of this bunch: still not perfect but at least the author is proven both as a YouTube personality and marketeer. Nalts recognizes that most businesses using YouTube think they want a video to go viral, but that there’s many people who successfully use YouTube to market their company without getting millions of views. There’s a bunch of useful case studies included and a lot specific information about implementing a practical, marketing strategy that incorporates YouTube. Working out how to apply this information to your own business is the tricky part but isn’t that usually the way?
The book is the most detailed, entertaining and thoughtful of this bunch and so it is my “Must Read” recommendation on the subject
… if you still want to read about YouTube marketing.