ytuIn the last ten years, YouTube brought us TED Talks, Khan Academy classes,Common Craft explainer videos, bunches of bite-sized science, and tons of other educational videos that inspired us to learn even more.

Yet YouTube’s best features remain mostly a mystery to Learning & Development professionals. In fact, many still regard the world’s largest video platform with fear…even while leveraging its learning content for personal use.

This fear of YouTube is not entirely unfounded. Mistakes may have global reach, and this has real impacts beyond what Training Departments could normally achieve. Yet the positive impacts can be just as profound!

What great opportunities are you and your organization missing out on right now?

Learning Departments are typically viewed as mere cost centers. Properly leverage learning videos, however, and you can train beyond the firewall — reaching partners, clients, and converting viewers to customers. It is absolutely possible to create opportunities that generate revenue, the holy grail for L&D everywhere.

And what about video content that you just want to continue to make available internally? Utilizing a free, multi-platform, adaptive bitrate streaming, robust tool backed by Google is cool and all, but do you really have to share that content with the whole entire world? Well, no, you don’t. There are ways to secure and control access to videos, and potentially even integrate this with your LMS.

While any quick search on “how to YouTube” will reveal many of the ins and outs of setting up your YouTube channel and managing videos, unfortunately there’s not yet a quick and easy video to provide you with a comprehensive YouTube strategy appropriate for your particular organization. It’s hard to make something that specific when every business has such unique needs and widely varied approaches to learning.

  • What are the target viewer behaviors?
  • What are the most important video and channel metrics to track?
  • Who will approve the content?
  • Who will manage the content and monitor the community interactions?

There are plenty of right answers here, but probably only one answer that’s reallyright — for you. How do you know which one that is?

For now, you probably need someone to hold your hand. At least at first.

How about an expert like someone who helped put the YouTube Certified Online training together? Yes, that would be me. I wrote, directed, produced, and did the instructional design for most of the first iteration of that training. I’m also keeping current and consulting with new clients often about how to leverage YouTube for education or marketing or both.

This is not to say that you need me, or even that you need to hire a consultant at all. I teach this stuff at Learning & Development conferences, and I’m not the only one to do so. As word gets out and demand increases, there will be plenty of other talented folks who rise to fill the need in a variety of ways.

If you want more, check out “YouTube U: Leveraging the World’s Biggest Video Platform” day-long pre-conference workshop at the FocusOn Learning Conference tomorrow in Austin (short notice, I know). I’ll also be doing a 2hr lite-version of this workshop at Learning DevCamp in Salt Lake City on June 21st, and likely at more domestic L&D conferences in the Fall.

What you can do right now without any help at all is start asking questions.

What would your video elearning look like if it could reach beyond the walls of your organization? It can, and soon others may be asking you why it hasn’t yet…