YouTube has more daily views of its video content than Facebook posts get likes, and a recent survey of teens indicated that YouTube was their preferred social network. So, clearly every video marketing campaign should include the site as part of its strategy. At ReelSummit 2014, Allison Stern, Co-Founder of Tubular, presented "five secrets to success on YouTube", highlighting common brand pitfalls. Allison also unveiled Tubular’s new Brand Intelligence Dashboard, at ReelSummit.
Tubular has the largest accessible database of YouTube data, which includes every like, comment and share across the site. It analyzes everything that happens on the platform, and understands what works for brands and creators. There are around 18,000 brands on YouTube, and around 2 Million influencers, but what separates the winners from the losers?
#1 Create Evergreen - NOT Viral Content
Video content is hard to make and you can't count on viral success. However, you can count on consistency, and building an engaged audience.
#2: Find Out Who Your Influencers Are
Many brands go for the big-name endorsements but for every YouTuber that has heard of Tina Fey, there are dozens more that are more familiar with Bethany Mota, meaning that she carries much more influence within her demographic. Allison demonstrated how much engagement Bethany Mota garnered for fashion brand Aeropostale, compared to the views, shares, and likes Tina Fey generated for American Express.
#3 Mobilize Your Community
YouTube is a two-way street, and you have to mobilize your community if you want your content to excel. Using software like Tubular Alerts can help you connect with those followers and subscribers that can really help, particularly with collaborations. Get to know your audience, and engage with them.
#4 Spend on Promotion - NOT Production
Allison urges brands to spend on promotion and not production. She used the following example to illustrate how it is possible to produce a low-production video that completely outshines a branded one. The Tresemme video has only attracted 3.5K views, despite using a celebrity model and a professional hair-stylist:
This second video was produced in a bedroom, with the main styling tool being a toothbrush. However, it has attracted 2.7 Million views.
What works on YouTube is authenticity, so it's possible that Tresemmes' very structured approach alienated many of the viewers they were hoping to attract. Instead of pouring money into this type of high-end production, brands should be encouraged to see out YouTube creators like Carli Bybel and spend their budgets on creating content with them as a form of paid promotion.
#5 Less Planning, More Iteration
Branded content is often more effective when it is just 'put out there' without a tightly defined structure around it. Iteration means repeating a process until you reach a particular goal, and if that goal is building a fan base or increasing engagement, then you need to experiment with what works. That's a risky strategy for a brand, but the more you can publish and distribute video content, the quicker you will find out what works.
AwesomenessTV, a teen-focused YouTube channel, grew its subscriber base by using iteration throughout the process. It changed the focus of its content (from boys and girls to just girls), and constantly experimented with titles and descriptions, they changed hosts and reached out to Vine creators for a different type of content. The channel had a plan, but was flexible enough to change with its audience, and that paid dividends.
We'd like to thank Allison for giving attendees of the ReelSummit a fantastic insight into what brands can do to be successful on YouTube. We'd also like to say thank you to Rebeca Zuñiga, director of New Media Department at Universidad Francisco Marroquín for her excellent notes on Allison's presentation: