Creating for YouTube: what marketers need to know

by Alexandra Reed


As time spent on YouTube continues to rise, the video platform is fast becoming Australia’s number one online video viewing destination.

YouTube’s current statistics reveal that 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute.  That would take you 4.1 days of continuous watching and it’s an increase of 38% from the end of 2012 when the upload rate was 72 hours every minute.  This is matched by a unique audience of over ten million Australians who are spending an average of 3 hours 48 minutes each month streaming content on YouTube, according to Nielsen’s Online Landscape Report.

This rise of YouTube shows that users are choosing to spend their time on the platform more than ever before and has inevitably led to higher prominence within the media mix, as marketers and their agencies see the value of engaging viewers with good video content.

However it seems to be that the branded video content on YouTube is mainly appearing as pre-roll media, so this begs the question, why are we ignoring the content itself?

A recent survey published by Exact Target Marketing Cloud shows that both content management and social media marketing are in line for a 57% increase in spending in 2014, so with this in mind it would seem timely to look at YouTube from a social and content creation standpoint rather than simply a TVC destination.

Whilst standard media placements will always be valuable to ensure your brand is seen, there is a need to engage with your audience rather than solely push messages at them.

This is where bespoke YouTube content creation comes to centre stage.  Here are the top three reasons why marketers should consider creating content specifically for YouTube:

1. It can help you gain fans  

As part of a strategy to create social video content for YouTube, brands should partner with established YouTube content creators to give themselves a boost into the YouTube mainstream.

There is already a vibrant community of YouTube content creators – they are the next generation of celebrities making their fame and fortune online. The content they create every week gets watched, liked, commented on and shared.  They are constantly connected to their fans and have built their own super-social communities from the ground up, from zero to tens of thousands even millions with no marketing dollars in sight.

The benefit for brands that join forces with these influencers is that as well as increasing awareness by featuring as a guest star in a YouTube influencers’ content, you can then increase your fan base by migrating the audience over to your brand’s YouTube channel.

2. It enables you to be original and authentic

When partnering with YouTube celebrities it is possible to create content that is true to both brand and YouTube creator, contrary to some concerns about brands forcing a fit and appearing un-naturally in content.  The simple path to that is collaboration.  A vital part of the process is talking to and including the YouTube creator all the way from the ideation phase to the implementation.  This may require the brand to let go a little but it will produce an original piece of branded content that is enjoyed by the audience and it allows the YouTube creator to be transparent about the brand’s involvement in their content; another must to make this a success.

3. The content is available on all devices

Currently around 40% of views on YouTube come from a mobile device and heading into 2014 there is no sign that this figure will do anything but increase.  The freedom this gives audiences to interact with content wherever and whenever they want, adds another challenge for brands that are trying to understand how they can add value on mobile devices.  With your brand ingrained into the content however it can be viewed across all devices, a clear advantage for investing in this area.

There are local brands exploring these partnerships but it’s when we look over to the US that you see more brands embracing YouTube influencer partnerships and creating some brilliant content.  From Ford and Devin SuperTramp creating a series of stunts that had to be completed on one tank of gas to Sun Drop Soda creating content with Smosh, the second largest creator channel globally with over 15 million subscribers and an average of over four million views per video. Now which brand wouldn’t want an average of four million views per video?

 The original version of the article was posted to the Boom Video blog and has been republished with permission by the Boom Video team.

by Alexandra Reed

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