Growth in video ad spend outpaces growth in spending on television and other digital formats, and given changing media habits, particularly amongst those under 25, YouTube is one of the most important marketing opportunities in a marketer’s arsenal currently.
According to data released at an IAPI/Google event a few weeks ago, YouTube Ireland has seen a 10%, 28% and 61% growth in H1 usage in the past three years and shows signs of growing again in 2016. It also reaches 67% of Irish people across each three month period, and is an important vehicle for information searching for Irish consumers.
In this country along in the past year, digital video adspend grew by 63% and globally is expected to be the biggest driver of digital for the next 5 years
As someone from Rothco speaking at the IAPI event put it:
TV isn’t dead, but it’s certainly no longer king.
And yet, on the other side of things, the majority of the best branded video content is being created by a relatively small cohort of publishers who just ‘get it’.
With a deluge of branded content upon us, how are the smarter video brands standing apart?
What are they doing differently to get organic views? In the creative spirit of ‘stealing with pride’ and learning from industry leaders, what can us marketers learn from the best YouTube content brands?
Here’s five interesting takeaways from five great examples…
Brand Takeaway – Tap into passion points and be very regular with your output
One of the best sports content brands on YouTube, Copa 90 has grown from an amateur documentary channel to a fully fledged content creator. This is the type of stuff that you’ll see moving across to TV in the next few years. It’s raw, earthy and visceral video that gets huge view counts and is magnetic for media brands looking to share great video.
For brands in a ‘passion point’ sector like fashion, beauty, sport, food, music, this type of content is perfect. It’s relatively inexpensive to make and does a lot more in terms of brand effects than trying to shoehorn an ad. or overtly commercial message into a piece of video. You’re essentially supporting people’s passion.
It’s also long form.
Where else on the web would people seek out a piece of video that’s 15 minutes long and branded, and watch all of it intently?
Secondly, Copa 90, like all great video brands, are very regular with their content. According to YouTube, the brands that see success are constantly active, always creating and uploading. That’s a precursor for success that brands often forget when coming up with a YouTube strategy.
Brand Takeaway – It doesn’t have to be polished to be viral!
Buzzfeed is successful across Facebook, Vine and Instagram, and uses a panel of employed comedians and videographers to create hilarious videos that tap into the truths of modern life. These are simple to make, don’t require a huge budget or an extended editing process, and yet still regularly flame up on the web with viral success.
Sure, it’s not easy for brands to have creators on call, but it does show that everything doesn’t have to be manicured. YouTubers have been brought up on grainy vertical video, and as long as the content is genuine, emotive, funny, unique and timely, they don’t mind if it’s a little pixelated or the camera angle isn’t bang on. Brands need to relinquish some control and realise this.
Brand Takeaway – Use influencers/ambassadors to tell your story…
The growth of vlogging and using brand ambassadors for video has been noticeable in the past few years. Munchies takes that to the next level. The brand partners with ‘in the know’ locals and food loving celebs like rapper Action Bronson to bring a unique voice to the US food scene.
Given the fact that most YouTubers are innately cynical and value amateur ambassador content over branded content from paid ‘experts’, this requires an interesting shift in thinking for brands.
Using relevant influencers to tell your story also allows you to tap into their community. Why not let the people who are native to this platform do their thing and embed your brand creatively and authentically into what they already do?
Brand Takeaway – Stories are still king and brands can be great storytellers too
We’ve heard a lot about native advertising editorial recently as a way to overcome the rise in adblocking and consumer ambivalence towards online ads.
But what about native video content?
Vice partnered with Netflix series Narcos to create an enthralling three part series telling the story of Pablo Escobar’s legacy in Colombia and Peru, thus whetting the viewer’s appetite for the series.
Humans have a narrative bias, and studies have shown time and time again that we engage more with a story than with the cold hard facts. For more on this theory, check this book out.
It’s an evolutionary thing – we make sense of our world through stories, just like we did when they were being told around a campfire. To process the great amount of information coming our way, our brain creates a narrative to link the different inputs together, and drops the other facts that do not fit in the story.
Brands should be cognisant of this, because video provides a rich canvas for telling enthralling, immersive brand stories.
Vice is fast becoming a master at this type of ‘gonzo’ video journalism that does so well online, and brands can learn a lot from the company.
Brand Takeaway – Create ‘how to’ video content that takes advantage of Youtube’s search behaviour.
Food prep and cooking is one of the most fertile sectors for video content, and the ‘naked chef’ Jamie is well aware of this.
Google are constantly pushing brands to create more ‘help’ content, and it’s an area that’s ripe with opportunity given the sheer volume of ‘search’ traffic that YouTube gets on a daily basis.
According to Eoghan Phipps of YouTube Ireland, the top reason Irish consumers go on YouTube (61%) is to ‘find out how to do something’.
This behaviour will only grow in the next few months too. Google is actively trialling placement of paid for video content at the top of search results and it might be ‘auto-play’ according to reports.
For example, just this weekend I searched YouTube for ‘how to program my oven’, and ‘how to make guacamole’. (Sure, I’m not the best cook, but that’s not the point I’m making!)
This is also why beauty vlogging and tech reviews have become such big industries. Google see these search opportunities as ‘micro moments‘ and have heavily advised brands to offer utility through video, particularly mobile video, in recent times.
Jamie’s YouTube is set up to gather this ‘low hanging fruit’ traffic, and contains tons of great explainer videos for how to create the perfect dishes or prepare tricky foodstuffs.
It’s of course beautifully shot, but it’s also very helpful and well optimised.
So there you have it. 5 different lessons from 5 of the best YouTube content brands.
Marketers need to change their thinking slightly about how to create rich video experiences, because it’s eminently achievable, and it’s easy to see why some channels are so successful.
If you want to know more, or for any queries on video strategy, contact me on email@example.com