YouTube for brands & businesses

If your brand or business isn’t on YouTube, find out why you should invest on video and what types of content you can produce.

YouTube for brands & businesses

Maybe you have read my previous articles – and you know the 5 common mistakes to avoid as a channel manager, understand what a successful YouTube channel needs and creating the perfect thumbnail or an optimised playlist is not secret for you, anymore – but you don’t see how YouTube can benefit your brand or business, or you don’t even know where to start making and upload videos that generate leads.

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, communication managers, CEOs, CMOs and any other made-up acronyms that was invented recently, this blog post is (specially) written for you!

There are a million reasons why your brand or business should be on YouTube. First of all, you must do it the right way, not simply upload a couple of videos on a basic channel, put a real effort and resources on how you position these videos on the platform. When done right, a YouTube channel will improve your organic positioning on search engines (SEO), help you connect with a potential audience, find better engagement for your brand and increase the return on investment (ROI) from your video assets.

“I’m not a youtuber”, are you?

These are common phrases that you probably have heard or expressed yourself before, they are holding you back from trying out to upload a video on YouTube. These are not valid excuses to me. For each one, I’m giving you specific solutions and reasons why you should give it ago:

“I don’t have the equipment or the skills to create good videos”
Maybe that was a good excuse last century but, in the recent years, equipment and software to create and edit videos is widely accessible at reasonable pricing. Lately, you can even record videos using the camera in your mobile device and edit them with applications like Kinemaster or FilmoraGo, that allow you to make videos that look professional and are easy to share online, simply using your mobile phone or tablet. Moreover, thanks to platforms like Wibbitz you can create videos optimised for social sharing, using templates and your own images or available stock footage.

“I don’t know what to say”
If you can explain your brand or business idea in a text, share your values, describe your services or answer questions on a blog post or a newsletter, it shouldn’t be that difficult to translate that into a video script, just make it more concise, keeping your unique voice & style. It’s a bit of extra work but, at the end, you just have to add a new platform in your content marketing strategy.

“My brand or business isn’t for YouTube”
If you made a big effort to build a responsive website or online store for your brand or business and rely on other social media platforms to connect with your potential customers and fans, building a new communication channel on YouTube may sound like a burden. However, keeping in mind its growing popularity and who is its parent company (Google), having a well-established channel on YouTube can be what sets you apart from the competition within your market.

Let’s discuss the misconception that YouTube is only for entertainment content targeted to young audiences: The main demographics are between 18 and 34 years old but, just like all over the Internet, there are all types of audiences, actually. YouTube is the place to find a niche audience that is loyal and engaged with your content. The numbers for this audience might not be as big as the amount of views and subscribers in popular channels but, let me tell you, you don’t need a lot of viewers, just need the right ones.

There’s an audience on YouTube for your content, you just have to work on the positioning (keywords, content strategy, etc.) to find it.

“A (moving) picture is worth a thousand words” or the power of video

If you are still hesitating to add YouTube on the digital marketing plan of your brand or business, these 55 video marketing statistics for 2019  may convince you of the current prevalence of video for online communication strategies.

For instance, according to Hubspot, 80% of users remember a video they watched during the last month, video is clearly more memorable than text-based content, and 83% of consumers worldwide prefer YouTube to watch video content, as well.

On every single guide for search engine optimization (SEO) you will find the recommendation to include video embedded in sections of a website or a blog post. Videos make the content more attractive, more likely to be shared on social media and, consequently, help it rank higher on Google search results. Adding videos to a a text post increases the total amount of time a users remain on your website or blog. Moreover, videos showed a conversion rate significantly higher than written content and are easier to consume on mobile devices, which use is in continuously rise.

If you want to find a video, you often look for it on YouTube, the most-used platform to watch video online. You can probably remember many instances when you wanted to include a video from YouTube on a text you were writing, you thought it was a good visual complement to what you wrote about. Did you consider you’re actually giving away watch time to a YouTube channel that you can’t control or monitor, maybe the video was made by a direct competitor? Why don’t you create your own video to retain the attention on your own YouTube channel?

Speaking of competitors, that’s a good starting point for your content strategy on YouTube: take a look at the YouTube channels from direct competitors to your brand or business, analyze what kind of content they upload, who is the audience, the average view and subscriptions rates, strengths that you could emulate and weaknesses you could avoid, etc. With all this information you have enough input to start defining a successful strategy on YouTube for your brand or business.

Your competitors are not on YouTube? That’s even better! Start planning and get ahead in the race for the attention of your potential audience on YouTube. Start by defining what kind of content you want to produce and who is it targeted to, who is your audience. The more niche, the better. Think about content that is easy to produce and effective on the delivery of the engaging desired message.

Types of videos to promote a brand or business on YouTube

There are many different types of video you can create to connect with your desired audience and I’m sure you could come up with many more ideas. If you need a safe start, follow these predefined formats that have proven to be successful at delivering a desired message and engaging the intended audience on YouTube:

Manifesto: A presentation of your brand or business in a visual and attractive video. It’s not a sales pitch, but a carefully edited video with a neatly crafted message that leaves a feeling of what the company is about: mission, goals, etc. Manifestos are often used as channel trailers on top of the channel homepage, to present the content offer of a channel to new viewers. As an example, I like this Ode to Creative Work that Behance created in 2012, a powerful and direct message that anyone working in creative industries can relate to, leaving the viewer wanting to find out more about what Behance is. Too bad they abandoned the channel shortly after uploading this video and became another clear example of misusing (or not using at all) video playlists to grow an engaged audience.

Speaking of playlists, this one has more examples of manifestos, to find the inspiration you need to create one for your brand or business.

Questions and answers (Q&A): Videos that are published regularly (monthly, weekly…), where questions submitted in the comments or other platforms are answered. This format is often used by content creators to engage with their audience. In the context of this blog post, the goal of this kind of videos is to position the channel as an expert source on the area of interest of the brand or business. For example, you may have noticed I’m a big fan of Star Wars – was it one of the examples in a previous post? The fact that I define myself as a ‘social media Jedi’? – and, besides the official YouTube channel, I love the work Alex and Mollie Damon put on the channel Star Wars Explained. One of the regular content formats on this channel is a weekly Q&A that started back in July 2016, answering questions from the movies, books and everything else from a galaxy far, far away… Notice how they use these videos to value loyal fans supporting the channel on the crowdfunding platform Patreon. For your Q&As, after showing your expertise and once your audience is engaged, you can use their attention to present a new product, make an announcement…

Tutorials or How-to’s: When was the last time you asked YouTube how to do something? It could be a food recipe, a software tutorial or, my personal favorite, how to tie a tie (so many options!). Data shows 75% of viewers admit they use YouTube to ask how to do something. From your brand or business, if you educate these users, you are showing yourself as an expert and useful source of information that will stand out and, if done of a regular basis, build a loyal audience. For example, on Later, this marketing platform for Instagram offers lectures on all the aspects and options of this platform: how to edit pictures, optimise profile, increase the amount of followers… These videos deliver useful information for the average Instagram users while presenting the more advanced functionalities of the platform that could be of interest for their potential customers. Moreover, Later carefully looks after the aesthetics of their videos to keep a cohesive brand identity and posts new videos regularly to continuously engage with the audience.

Demos: Video formats like the unboxing videos, where someone in front of a camera unleash what’s inside the box of something they bought or received as gift, are quite successful on YouTube. As a brand, unboxing your own products can encourage other creators to replicate the idea on their channels, raising general awareness about your brand. Additionally, a demonstration of the characteristics and features of a new product from your brand or business can be equally successful on YouTube. For instance, the hostel booking service Hostelworld showed all the functionalities and features of their new app for mobile devices in a video with the aesthetics and stock footage that appeal directly to their desired customer, young travellers on a budget.

Interviews: Receiving information from a third person could always help the viewers empathize with a message in a way that cannot be achieved by an scripted advert. Interviewing an expert in a particular area can help you your channel find a free spot in that particular area of interest and it can also give the channel a more personable touch. For example, Disney theme parks used the series Every Role a Starring Role! to present aspects of the daily operations in the theme parks to their customers, through the eyes of the staff. Ultimately, it helps attracting and recruiting new talent for the company.

Branded content: According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, branded content aims to connect with an audience through relevant, entertaining and interesting content that isn’t plain advertisement. Good branded content contains the values of a brand, hiding the brand itself in the background. For instance, in the series Discover Catalonia, the Catalan Tourist Board (Catalunya Experience) explores the possibilities of filmmaking and tourism collaborating with several filmmakers to showcase different points of interest in Catalonia. This was a successful series, with some of the videos, like this hyperlapse of Barcelona by Rob Witworth, getting enough traction to go viral.

Another good example is the beer brand Estrella Damm, whose summer videos indicate the start of the summer season for Spain exploring different genres, like music videos or short films, to convey the Mediterranean lifestyle the brand identifies itself with. Historically, these videos were primarily distributed in traditional mediums like television, but the relevance of YouTube as its main distribution platform has impacted the brand enormously over the past years. In the summer of 2015, their first short film Vale?, directed by Alejandro Amenábar, was the most popular YouTube video of the year in Spain.

Indeed fiction, in the form of web series like NIKE’s Margot Vs. Lily, is another format for branded content. In a study from 2016, Celine Roque from The Content Strategist concluded that in branded web series, even when they cannot afford the costs of mainstream productions, “the smallest shows can be considered successful as long as the right audience tunes in.”

You just have to choose the types of video content – any of the above or others – that are the best match to the communication style of your brand or business. Make sure they are feasible given the resources you have available. Keep in mind the other factors that make a YouTube channel successful, like posting content regularly rather than a single video, expecting it will go viral and easily achieve the desired goal.


DID YOU KNOW…

By associating your channel to your main website, you can link your videos to your official online outlet adding a button to, for instance, purchase products from an online store, ultimately, increasing the return on investment (ROI) from your videosContact me for help if you can’t find how to associate your channel to your website.


WHO AM I?

I optimize existing video content and devise tailored content strategies for YouTube channels to become sustainable long-term projects. Revising all the channel metadata, SEO, resolving copyright issues, enabling all the monetisation features available or setting up TrueView campaigns are just some of the actions I can focus on, either as an in-house channel manager or as a consultant, running an accurate audit of your channel. For two years, I worked with channels that have thousands of subscribers and millions of views. I have official certifications from YouTube on Channel Growth, Audience Growth, Digital Rights and Content Ownership.

If you need additional help with your channel, message me!

Author: Oriol Salvador

Journalist in the age of new media. Pop culture nerd and social media Jedi. Exploring the potential of technology and media to deliver information and entertainment to global audiences.

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