It’s no secret that video is one of the most consumed forms of media. It’s everywhere you look, from your phone and laptop screens, to digital billboards, to in-store displays. And with the seemingly endless hours of content available to the consumer, there’s never been a better time for brands to harness the marketing power of video, and more specifically, YouTube. Video is a powerful storytelling asset. A good video content strategy will have a significant impact on your marketing efforts.
Not just a video platform, YouTube offers something for both the viewer and businesses. For viewers it is a highly organised treasure trove of entertainment and education, with extremely detailed search functionality and a complex algorithm that uses your viewing preferences to build a custom selection from the millions upon millions of videos available. Videos range from ten seconds long right the way up to twelve hours, catering to anything from a five minute coffee break to an entire evening of content consumption (globally, 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched daily!)
For businesses, YouTube takes video marketing to a whole new level. YouTube Studio, the dashboard through which videos are uploaded, compiles and presents comprehensive data and analytics pertaining to videos. The number of views, clicks, drop-off times, and a host of other insights are displayed in an informative, practical way, allowing businesses to see exactly what is and isn’t resonating with their audience. Additionally, YouTube’s ultra-intelligent algorithm is there to help you. YouTube wants to serve its viewers with top quality content only, so when businesses create content that resonates with their target audience, YouTube’s algorithm pushes that content to the top so it can be easily found.
Table of Contents:
- Why Youtube is a Non-negotiable for Brands
- 5 Reasons Ads and Creative Youtube Videos Work for Brands
- Brands That Have Executed Their Youtube Ad Designs Perfectly
- Advertising on YouTube
- YouTube Analytics
- How YouTube Stacks Up Against Other Channels
Why Youtube is (Almost) a Non-negotiable for Brands
YouTube is simply too big to be ignored. For some people, YouTube replaces all existing streaming services. It is the second-largest social media platform, behind Facebook, and the second-largest search engine, beaten only by Google. Boasting 2 billion active users, YouTube enables brands to connect to potential customers on a scale matched by very few other channels.
And more and more consumers are turning to channels like YouTube as their primary way to interact with and consume brand content (as opposed to more traditional forms of video advertising like paid-TV services). Brands that incorporate this into their advertising strategy benefit from both the ROI and the opportunity to reach new customers.
5 Reasons Ads and Creative Youtube Videos Work for Brands
1. It Increases Brand Exposure
Regardless of the size of your business, it is a guarantee that there are people active on YouTube that haven’t heard of you. For that reason, every brand stands to gain exposure when posting content and ads to the channel.
Further, YouTube offers a tremendous tool in the form of their search. Because videos can live on the platform for years, search allows brand videos to remain relevant, increase views and continue to gain an audience over a prolonged period of time. Other social media channels see content flare up and die down in a very short timeframe comparatively, not allowing for the same traction that YouTube does.
If all of this wasn’t enough, YouTube has the added benefit of piggybacking off Google search results. Because Google owns YouTube, any video shared on the platform can be found using either search engine.
2. The Multi-Channel Marketing Opportunities
Advertising across various different channels and creating a harmonious, layered brand campaign is critical to landing your brand message with your customer. Omitting YouTube from your list of available channels is akin to leaving a digit off a phone number; much of your other advertising material may fail to show significant impact simply because you’re not showcasing your content at a time when they’re most receptive. In fact, so popular is video that making use of a video-first marketing strategy can show that video can act as the top of the funnel, not an optional extra.
The success of multi-channel marketing campaigns is well documented, indicating how customers’ response rates increase over repeat exposure (as opposed to seeing one single isolated advert). Because of YouTube’s wealth of data and analytics, it is capable of providing the required insights and information to allow brands to make the small tweaks necessary to see a big uptake and return on ad spend.
3. It Increases Customer Acquisition
YouTube is designed such that brands can market to both their existing customers and new audiences. The magic lies in the second group, with 90% of people saying they’ve discovered new brands or products on YouTube.
This is supplemented by the shareability of video. Content can be passed on in a few taps or clicks, putting a brand’s content out to people they never could have reached on their own. And because video allows for brand messaging to be consumed easily and relatively quickly, there is a much higher chance of this information being retained and acted upon.
4. It Boosts Brand Credibility and Personality
As with any social media presence, some form of YouTube content can do a lot for building brand credibility. Viewers can quickly ascertain the authenticity of a brand, both by the products or services provided as well as the content itself, and will engage with and thereby increase a brand’s credibility.
On a similar note, YouTube offers personalization past just the videos themselves. A brand’s YouTube channel and page can be personalized to varying degrees, and the generous character count allows brands to say more than just the title of the video. AI copywriting tools have made it easy to create high-quality videos for Youtube. They offer templates for video topic ideas, script outline, video titles, introduction and description. For brands with a growing audience, these little touches can add the shine to their content and increase brand love.
5. Brands Can Generate Leads
Lead generation is a cornerstone for any good brand marketing strategy, and YouTube provides a couple of excellent ways for brands to find new customers (and customers to find new brands, too). One effective tactic involves the platform’s search. By ensuring videos and descriptions are optimized using keywords and phrases, brand videos have a better chance of ranking higher for relevant searches.
YouTube also provides lead generation tools in the form of end cards (a pop-up encouraging the viewer to visit your channel or go to an off-site landing page) and redirect links to other brand-owned videos. Giving viewers the opportunity to interact with the brands they like is not only empowering for that viewer, but it also means the brand is acquiring a relevant, interested customer.
Brands That Have Executed Their YouTube Ad Designs Perfectly
With millions of subscribers (14.4 million, to be exact) and billions of views, LEGO is the brand channel on YouTube. LEGO uses their channel to post original content as well as leveraging user-generated content from its subscriber base, and it’s the user-generated material that sets LEGO apart.
By taking advantage of the existing engagement levels of its fans, LEGO is able to give its audience exactly what they want – their LEGO content alongside original LEGO content.
What LEGO did right: utilized user-generated content to maximum effect alongside their own.
While Disney is renowned for their movies and animation, the brand doesn’t post this to YouTube. Instead they share tutorials and behind-the-scenes stories. They also post retellings of classic Disney stories in distinctly un-Disney artwork, rather using emoji-style designs for their YouTube videos.
This is because Disney knows exactly what their audience wants. They’ve tracked trends and ensured the content they offer is fresh and exciting while still being on brand. Moving away from the more traditional Disney look and feel to remain relevant sets their YouTube channel apart from their other video content.
What Disney did right: created content specific to YouTube.
There’s something about product reviews that can make them either very entertaining or very dull. Vat19, an online shop specializing in novelty gifts, uses their YouTube channel to tip the scales very much in favor of entertaining.
With outrageous commercials and wild product demos, Vat19 have created sort of a mad-professor laboratory, inviting the viewer to enjoy their over-the-top product interactions with the end result of eliciting sales. This works not just because of the entertainment value of their content, but because they’re able to showcase the high quality of the products themselves in a different and fun way.
What Vat19 did right: focused on fun-first content, knowing this would attract customers to their products.
Advertising on YouTube
Over and above videos of an entertaining and educational nature, YouTube creates the space to allow brands to run more hard-sell adverts. This is mainly done in the form of bumper and unskippable YouTube ads, designed to promote a product or service to viewers either before or during their pre-selected YouTube video. Even though their run time ranges from five to fifteen seconds, running these types of ads can build significant brand awareness and, indirectly, revenue.
They can also act as a powerful tool to remarket to an audience of prospective customers. By targeting this specific audience only, brands can tailor their message or offer a discount or incentive to help convert interested individuals into loyal customers. Understanding and harnessing the benefits of creative YouTube ads can help brands both reach and nurture an audience to which they otherwise would not have had access.
Referenced a couple of times already, YouTube Analytics is a dream for ensuring a brand’s YouTube ads are working as hard as possible. The engine room where creativity meets data, YouTube Analytics gives brands digestible, data-driven insights into which of their adverts are and aren’t working and why. Tweaking future messaging based on current data gives brands the ability to design YouTube ads with the right content for the right audience.
Some of the easier and more immediate takeaways of YouTube Analytics include monitoring audience engagement and watch behavior. Audience engagement is simply keeping tabs on your channel’s subscriber numbers as well as reviewing likes, dislikes, comments and shares on any particular video. Watch behavior goes slightly more in-depth than active audience engagement, providing insights into the video view completion rate and highlighting exactly where any potential drop-off is happening.
YouTube Analytics can be further aided by Google Analytics, giving brands the capability to see where site visitors are coming from prior to landing on their site.
How YouTube Stacks Up Against Other Channels
It’s no surprise that given the sheer volume of users, long shelf-life of content, and ease of use for brands that YouTube ranks as one of the more important advertising channels. Alongside other social media channels like Facebook and TikTok, YouTube’s gargantuan reach is counterbalanced with hyper-detailed data feedback.
It’s that large scale potential and microscopic insight combo that makes YouTube so alluring to brands. Budgets can be monitored to the cent with spend easily tracked (something that simply isn’t possible with advertising channels like print and radio). Clickable content and CTAs can be adjusted on the fly based on the insights provided by live data. Audiences can be built and targeted with content specifically relevant to them. When backed by the correct ad material, the results speak for themselves.
A note: other advertising channels will always have their place. Things like flyers, billboards, audio ads and skywriting all serve the same purpose of advertising but each in their own unique and successful way. The best ad campaigns are ones that make use of multiple channels.
Brands that aren’t currently posting and advertising on YouTube certainly aren’t too late to take advantage, but they are missing out. It is a platform that enables marketers and businesses to get as much out as they put in, with the flexibility to accommodate the products and services of almost any industry.
Getting set up and started is as simple as following the prompts provided by YouTube, though a pre-planned strategy and content structure does help. It is common practice to give yourself a buffer of a few week’s worth of content with which to begin, as this helps build up data without going too far down the road that this data becomes unusable.
Finally, YouTube is a channel that is exciting! Brands should look to play to this excitement, giving audiences content that is new, fun and fresh and using data and trends to ensure the corresponding uptake.