When companies look to execute an online marketing plan, Facebook and /or Twitter are usually the first places marketers consider. But depending on the nature of the business, YouTube can provide excellent ROI and build a fan base among several audiences. Several well-known brands today are using YouTube to produce videos that entertain and educate and are reaping the results.
For instance, Disney generated over 1.8 billion collective video views across over 15,000 video assets on its 41 YouTube stations, according to a Pixability study entitled “The Massive YouTube Eco-System.”
Perhaps you are skeptical – after all, doesn’t YouTube lend itself more for the entertainment companies like Disney? The answer is no. The top brands currently “crushing it on YouTube” vary in industry and scope and include Adidas, Sony, Volkswagen, Starbucks, Toyota, Yahoo, Avon, and more. No matter the type of industry – if the YouTube engagement is consistent and meaningful, chances are it will do well. Disney didn’t join YouTube until 2009.
The Pixability study iterates that in recent years, more of the world’s top brands are using YouTube as a critical part of their marketing strategy. In fact, YouTube is much more than simply posting a bunch of videos but rather has become a platform to engage multiple channels from partners, customers to prospects. In addition, YouTube videos tend to have a longer shelf life than a post on Facebook for instance. A post on Facebook might last 22 hours where a YouTube video is much longer.
The YouTube of 2005 is gone – replacing it is a sophisticated forum to target multiple demographics. “…video marketing on YouTube is becoming an integral part of today’s global digital marketing mix,” according to Pixability. “YouTube is helping global brands reach and engage audiences of all sizes and interests,” Pixiablity notes that as more top-level brands engage YouTube, literally billions of dollars are being invested in video marketing – a true shift from the digital marketing days of nine years ago. As a matter of fact, YouTube’s top brands have published 258,000 videos across more than 1300 YouTube Channels.
So how does one engage YouTube strategically? Pixability points to several insights that their top brands have conveyed as the gold standard for YouTube engagement:
– Linking social media and YouTube is critical for success – use Facebook and other platforms to cross-promote your videos.
– Using different videos based on your audience (partners versus customers for instance) – tailor each video to your viewing public.
– Use video marketing to get more eyeballs – this can be both internal and external means.
– Utilize YouTube advertising on an ongoing basis to attract more YouTube traffic
Pixability has also pointed out 7 online marketing tips for youtube:
1. Be a well-oiled and consistent video content machine – any successful YouTube engage must have a consistent product to post on a regular basis.
2. Take Video Optimization Seriously – as YouTube is the second largest social media platform – getting discovered takes work. The best performing videos were ones that were optimized for video tags and meta-data, according to Pixability. In addition, those with multiple channels and playlists tended to perform better.
3. Don’t Get into the Over-production trap: Turns out videos with lower quality video can do just as well as those ready for primetime. What is important is the message and how you engage your audience. For example, Pixability noted that Intel does some high-quality video but also allows its users to create their own video and post it on the Intel YouTube – and these videos often have a homemade look. While the high video quality is nice – the “homemade” look can work just as well.
4. Apply an “Always On” Strategy: Pixability reports that the top brands “…integrate their online video strategies with their traditional strategies.” In addition, the top producers on YouTube were continuously promoting their videos via advertising and other promotions. An example is Passat’s The Force video which depicted a pint-sized Darth Vader trying to use his parents’ car – and that video brought in more than 62,000 likes.
5. Brand Intelligently – There are multiple ways to promote your brand on YouTube and Pixability points to “One Channel” which allows for a wide colorful cover image at the top of every brand page. Utilizing these options will brand your company as you add more videos.
6. Continue to Add more Channels and Content – The top brands on YouTube take advantage of the multiple YouTube channels to reach different audiences. This will help your company to tailor your video depending on demographic, region, and more. In addition, adding custom gadgets – which are dedicated tabs on the channel page can contain an interactive application to further engage your audience with sweepstakes, contest,s and more.
7. Engage Community with Social Media – If you want a video to get more than a few hundred comments or likes, cross-promoting the video (or series) with Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks is a good practice. Pixability says, “The best performers on YouTube is maintaining an engaged audience and keeping channels active.”