Add YouTube to your digital marketing strategy

Video content and social media influencers on YouTube can play a key role in the digital marketing strategy of your brand or business.

Add YouTube to your digital marketing strategy

User habits to consume content in the digital space vary continuously. In this ever-changing environment, video has the highest value, relevance and capacity to adapt to the flexibility users demand.

Consumption of video content represents a third of the total time users spend on the internet and, according to the forecasts and trends from a white paper issued by Cisco, projections say this trend will do nothing but increase in the near future.

Other reports confirm you must invest on video as part of your digital marketing strategy. According to data from Hubspot collected by Forbes on a piece about the relevance of video in the future of content marketing, adding a video to your marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300% and embedding videos in a landing page increase conversion rates by 80%. Most importantly, 90% of customers admit to use videos to decide on the purchase of a product and 64% is more likely to buy it after watching a video about it. Video marketing can be the key to get ahead from competitors, 87% of digital marketers use video on their strategy. In 2017, video ads represented 35% of the overall ad spending online. Among the decision makers in a company, 59% of them would rather watch a video than read a blog post.

If you take a look at the digital marketing campaigns going viral lately, most of them are video-based. It’s virtually impossible to define what makes a viral video but data shows 92% of video consumers using mobile devices share it and a video is 1,200% times more likely to be shared than both links and text combined. A different report indicates 60% of viewers connect with to a video better than to a text.

With all these figures, it’s clear that your digital marketing strategy cannot forget video. And when you look for an online host service to your videos, YouTube stands as the most popular video-sharing platform with over 1.9 billion users who spend, at least, one hour everyday watching videos on average.

Creating a YouTube channel is easy and free. After the uploading process, you can embed videos on your website, a blog post, share on social media or promote them with a video campaign on Google Adwords.

However, considering YouTube is just a free and popular video-sharing service would be a tremendous mistake. The social element of the platform is growing in features and popularity, plus YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and, according to internal reports, the consumption on mobile devices grows a 100% every year. Therefore, you need to:

  • Come up with entertaining and/or educational video content ideas: Focus your ideas on concepts that are timeless and help you on the SEO positioning within your key area(s) of interest.
  • Have a fully optimized YouTube channel to maximize your views, watch time and engagement.
  • Make the most of the social aspects on YouTube to engage with your audience.

Moreover, YouTube offers the highest referral traffic and lowest bounce rate. Connecting your channel to an associated website, you can transfer the views and watch time on your channel to measurable goals, like increasing visits to your website, increase sales, improve the conversion rate, etc.

Create an effective video to reach your marketing goals

What does a video need to succeed on YouTube? The videos on your channel can be anything from big productions with multiple cameras to basic explanatory videos filmed with a single mobile phone, or anything in between. The most important part is to plan the video and convey a clear message. For that, keep in mind:

  • Script writing and planning: Think about the message you want to communicate and how you’re going to present it. In this first phase, you also have to define what are your technical needs to produce the video, define a budget and, when needed, arrange who is going to appear in the videos, locations, if the video will have a voice over or not, etc. Most importantly, you need to come up with a call to action that links the video to specific commercial goals for your brand or business: visit a website, subscribe to the channel, purchase a product or service, participate in a contest, support a campaign, etc.

It’s crucial to plan what you want to say beforehand. Prepare a script where the words flow naturally and include all the key messages. In fact, make sure to mention the name of the company and your key message(s) in the first 5 seconds of the video to secure the attention of your audience.

  • Target audience or buyer persona: Besides having a clear message to deliver, you must have a clear definition of who are you delivering it to. Define a buyer persona – that’s a semi-fictional profile of the ideal customer for your brand or business – to guide and help you make the right decisions in every step of your strategy on YouTube.
  • Style: You must be consistent on applying a clear and unique style to your videos (intro, ending, colors, logos, text formats, voice over…) to create memorable videos that potential customers can easily identify as part of your brand or business.
  • Other social media channels: YouTube should be the main platform for your video strategy, where you can optimize and grow your video assets, but you should also keep in mind what other channels are you going to use, prepare little clips or teasers from a full video to attract the audience towards the full video on your channel, etc.

Keep in mind the technical specifications from each platform, like what video format are you going to use? vertical video? square video? For a multi-platform distribution strategy, square video format could be the best choice. As much as I dislike watching vertical videos, YouTube latest updates eased the path for vertical video into the platform, specially on the mobile app. If your target audience is young people living behind their phones and using other social video platforms like Snapchat, TikTok or Instagram (Instagram TV or IGTV) and you don’t have the resources to adapt your videos to multiple formats, you can use vertical videos on YouTube, too.

Connect with millennials on YouTube

The audience figures for traditional broadcast television are declining. Nowadays, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and centennials (born after 1996) watch video content – from movies, series to TV shows to content that was originally created for the Internet – in their TV, computer or mobile phones, using services of video on demand. For this age range, YouTube remains as the most popular of these services.

In Spain, the comeback of Operación Triunfo in 2017, a popular music talent show, was a groundbreaking case study on how traditional television should define a digital strategy to use all the tools available on YouTube to raise awareness about a show and retain an engaged audience through social media.

Furthermore, in the dichotomy between traditional and new media, YouTube can be the perfect platform to test and analyze video ad campaigns before they are distributed through traditional media: verify who are the most effective audiences to target, review the audience retention rate, etc.

If millennials and centennials are not your target audience, keep in mind that YouTube is a huge platform, with billions of users, where you can find your desired audience. Besides, never forget that uploading and optimizing your video assets on YouTube can benefit the overall position of your brand or business online organically.

In case you missed it, last week I wrote an entire blog post to share how beneficial YouTube can be for your brand or business.

Influencer marketing on YouTube

I couldn’t talk about digital marketing and video without exploring the universe of YouTube influencers. You love or you hate them, but the concept of ‘youtubers’ is now part of our everyday vocabulary. Give them some credit, these video content creators earned legions of loyal fans by uploading video content regularly on one or several topics, in which they become relevant and influential voices.

Brands and businesses have rarely considered that they can become influencers themselves, through their YouTube channel, have you? If you own a brand or business, you are probably (hopefully) well-versed on your business area and, with the right approach and video strategy, you can present yourself as an influential and relevant voice to your potential community of viewers that become fans. That way, if you’re not depending on the influence of a third-party (the ‘youtuber’) you are keeping full control on the message and how your brand or business is presented to, ultimately, use all that influence and attention towards your goals: increase sales, reach new markets, etc.

When you choose to work with influencers on YouTube, understand what kind of content they create and who is watching (not just numbers), to evaluate if they are the right partner for your campaign.

For a bad example, BetterHelp is an online counseling service that run a influencer marketing campaign last year. They partnered with some of the most popular ‘youtubers’ who discuss mental health issues on their videos regularly. The company didn’t take into account the intricacies of the relationships these creators have with their fans and detractors, facing an unexpected controversy that resulted in a severe corporate crisis of delegitimization for the service, to the point that the CEO Alon Matas had to intervene with a Medium article admitting some licit criticism for the service but acknowledging the so-called ‘YouTube drama’ was beyond their control or knowledge. Final conclusion? “Ironically, we’ve had a record number of new members who signed up. It seems that these events ended up creating more awareness for the service, and most people were perfectly capable of distinguishing between reality and fiction.” A happy ending, after all?

In order to classify social media influencers by the amount of followers, there are:

  • celebrities (more than 1 million of followers)
  • mega-influencers (between 100,000 and 1 million of followers)
  • macro-influencers (between 50,000 and 100,000 followers)
  • micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 50,000 followers)

The potential reach of celebrities is tempting but, if your budget is low, you’ll be pleased to know that often micro-influencers have a smaller but more engaged audience that can be truly influenced towards a final purchase decision.

How? These are types of content an influencer can produce on YouTube:

  • Videos with explicit placements of a product or service.
  • Videos presenting the product or service as a sponsorship.
  • Branded video content with the service or product presented implicitly.

Brands and businesses usually work with social media influencers to attract their audience as potential customers, they do that by sharing a link that, for instance, offers a discount in a product or service using the reference from the influencer.

As a brand or business, is tremendously important to use personalized links with unique urchin tracking module codes (or UTM) for each influencer you are working with, in order to track the conversion rate from each one of them and evaluate their effectiveness individually.


content, attention metrics and influence have no value?

(oops… sorry!)

I couldn’t end this blog post about strategy without sharing the insightful perspectives of the great Tara Hunt.

If you don’t trust me, at least trust her…

You can also listen to her podcast Anatomy of a Strategy on Spotify.


I’m a journalist specialized in web, social media and online video. As for YouTube, I optimize existing video content and devise tailored content strategies for 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 many actions I can focus on, either as an in-house channel manager or as a consultant, running an accurate audit of your channel. I have official certifications from YouTube on Channel Growth, Audience Growth, Digital Rights and Content Ownership. For two years, I worked with channels that have thousands of subscribers and millions of views.

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

Author: Oriol Salvador

Journalist in the age of new media. Pop culture nerd and social media Jedi. Over ten years of experience producing, managing and distributing digital content on online platforms and social media channels.

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