Going Global: Taking a Page from YouTube’s Playbook


By Sarah McDonough

After working with enough brands – and very different brands at that – I don’t feel like I’m going out on a limb by proposing that it’s safe to say most every brand has a common goal of world domination …but you know, in like a fun and positive sort of way.

After reading David Pierce’s recent piece in WIRED, “How YouTube Reinvented Itself for the Next Billion Users,” which details the strategy behind the launch of YouTube Go, a new app designed by ‘The House Cat Videos Built’ for offline video viewing and sharing, the team here at Double Forte found ourselves thinking critically about how we can help our clients not just dream big, but plan practically so the dream becomes reality.

For quick context, YouTube currently averages just shy of one billion unique visits each month. YouTube Go, at its core, is an attempt to double the number of users the company reaches via a method that isn’t an exact copy of how it’s reaching its current user base, but instead factors in both the lifestyle and locations of these potential new users.

Pierce’s point, that big brands looking to acquire users around the globe need to critically consider the very real truth: “the users they want are nothing like the users they have,” is an important consideration for brands of all sizes – from burgeoning to booming – to fold into expansion strategies.

With 2017 creeping up all too quickly and new year/new strategy sessions getting penciled into our schedules, the companies we work with need to consider that while the Facebooks, Ubers and Googles of the world are undeniably successful, they have also come across some real challenges in attempts to engage users in other parts of the world. Perhaps that’s because the chief strategists behind those companies have been using a one size fits all approach to the engagement programs they develop.

Time will tell if YouTube’s approach to engaging its next billion users with YouTube Go will be a success – but it can’t be denied that a new approach is a breath of fresh air in the current “me too” climate for mainstream tech companies.

We encourage our clients to recognize that long-term customer success is rarely the result of a one size fits all plan and factor that into all current and upcoming marketing strategies.