YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands: What it Takes to Get it Right

YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands: What it Takes to Get it Right

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Every once in a while YouTube likes to sprinkle a little magic over creators and marketers and lead them, gently down the right road when it comes to marketing their product or service on the biggest video site in the world. YouTube’s Creator’s Playbook and Advertiser’s Playbook have offered invaluable tips on promotion, as well as crystal-clear advice on what YouTube and Google expect of a video, a channel and a campaign, if it’s to be successful. Now, the next in the series has been released, the YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands, and it’s a well-overdue addition to the family as far as we are concerned. It’s aimed directly at brands who up until now had little official guidance from YouTube other than “”create content that is unique, compelling, and entertaining or informative.” Because it’s that easy, right?

The new 100 page Creator Playbook for Brands contains the following sections, aimed at providing a structure for optimization and promotion on the platform:

  • Content Marketing
  • 10 Fundamentals to Create
  • Schedule Your Content
  • Optimize Your Content
  • Promote Your Content with Paid Media
  • Amplify Your Content with Social
  • Measurement

We will be covering the new Playbook in greater detail over the coming weeks but for now here is an overview of the main features.

Part #1: Content Marketing

First, define a strategically relevant and powerful content territory for your brand. This should lie at the intersection of your audience’s passion points and your brand value proposition. What unique content can your brand bring to your consumers to earn their loyalty?

The Playbook kicks off with the basics – define the role of your branded content and inspire, educate and then entertain your target audience to get them to engage. Identify your brand’s unique value proposition and then discover and understand your potential audience’s passions and key interests. Explore all avenues that may be available for content (brand creation, collaboration, or curation) and structure a framework around publication and delivery.

youtube creators playbook brands content strategy

For more information regarding suggestions for content strategy watch How To Create a Video Content Marketing Strategy for YouTube

Part #2: 10 Fundamentals to Create

A successful creative concept can have an enormous impact on a channel. Compelling videos can bring in new viewers, introduce them to the rest of your content, and build a loyal fanbase. While no strict rules govern content creation on YouTube, ten fundamental principles have emerged as the most important
guides to a successful creative strategy.

YouTube considers the 10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy to be:

  1. Shareable Content
  2. Collaboration
  3. Discoverable Topics
  4. Accessibility
  5. Consistency
  6. Targeting
  7. Sustainability
  8. Converse With Viewers
  9. Interactive Content
  10. Authenticity

Each one of these fundamentals is worth an entire post on its own (which we will be doing) but as a checklist, its an excellent place to start exploring what YouTube confirm has been the “creative approaches most commonly employed by YouTube’s top channels”. That’s a huge clue right there.

Take #3, Discoverability. YouTube is one of the most-used search engines in the world and it is far and away the biggest video portal. Billions of people visit the site on a regular basis to find information about a million different subjects. Some topics are evergreen, some are only popular for a short while, and both can be capitalized on. The Playbook advises creating “evergreen” videos that will be searched for consistently over a longer time period, and “trending” content that could help your video surface as people search for a particular hot topic. The Playbook cites Sesame Street’s “Share it Maybe” as a great example of content based on a trending topic (i.e. Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe).

For more information regarding the 10 fundamental elements of a creative YouTube strategy watch How to Create Videos That People Will Love and Share

Part #3: Schedule Your Content

Now it’s time to map out your overall channel strategy. How do you decide which video to release when? First you need to communicate what your channel stands for, and then you need to map out the different types of potential videos and the best times to release them.

We’ve talked, oooh, hundreds of times about maintaining a consistent posting schedule, and the new Playbook is singling that tactic out as a hugely important part of a best practice marketing strategy. If you have ever kept a blog, then you’ll know the importance of running an editorial calendar so you can plan out your posts and social media in advance. It shouldn’t be any different when it comes to video content. Alongside your publication agenda should run your programming strategy. Creating a cohesive experience for your viewers should mean that they keep coming back to hear what you have to say time and time again. The Playbook breaks down the structure in a handy little guide:

youtube creator playbook brands programming and schedule

For more information about creating a successful YouTube programming strategy please watch How To Develop a YouTube Programming Strategy  

Part #4: Optimize Your Content

Creating great content is essential to finding success on YouTube, but it’s only half the battle. YouTube is a big place with lots of content for viewers to choose from. A successful optimization strategy will help you take full benefit of the platform’s functionalities and avoid execution mistakes.

  • Metadata
  • Thumbnails
  • Annotations
  • Playlists
  • Channel Experience

If you have read the ReelSEO site for more than five minutes, or ever watched our YouTube channel, you’ll know that video optimization as part of a coherent marketing strategy has been our bread and butter for years. In recent times, SEO for Google has undergone a huge change (particularly since the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates) but optimizing your metadata and utilizing the options for annotations, thumbnails and playlists remains a must on YouTube. Of course, no amount of video SEO is going to make up for poorly conceived, or received, video content, but it really makes no sense at all to upload a video or launch a channel and not optimize.

youtube creators playbook brands optimization

Part #5: Promote Your Content with Paid Media

The key to success on YouTube is not only to produce great, relevant videos, but also to make sure your target audience sees them. In this section, we’ll guide you through cost-effective strategies to help you get the most out of paid and earned video views and ensure effective promotion of your content on YouTube.

Even the best video content needs a boost (how to you think many of the big-name video ads go viral…..) and paying to advertise on YouTube means that you will potentially reach a much wider audience, much quicker. The Playbook goes through the advantages of this option, including the different types of ad formats available, and how to optimize the advertising campaign.

youtube creator playbook brands video advertisingFor more information regarding suggestions for optimizing for advertising watch Best Practices for Promoting Your YouTube Videos with Paid Media

Part #6: Amplify Your Content with Social

Online video is an inherently social medium. People are drawn to online video and web series because they can interact with the creators in ways that they can’t on television. In this section, learn how to optimize the social amplification of your content

The last section of the Playbook for Brands reiterates the importance of a solid social media campaign strategy for your branded video content, with some special love and attention showered over Google+. The YouTube/Google+ integration may still leave a sour taste in many creator’s mouths but it absolutely isn’t changing anytime soon and YouTube are spelling this out here in black and white. Creators and marketers, take note.

youtube creator playbook brands social media

Part #7: Measurement

Measurement is key, both for defining success and optimizing towards it. In this section, we’ll present you with tools that will help you track metrics around all of your paid, owned and earned media on YouTube. We’ll also help you select KPIs that make sense for your objectives.

Last, but absolutely not least, the Playbook suggests selecting one metric that may be appropriate for your particular brand and measuring engagement against that. This KPI could be one of the following;

  • Audience. Are you reaching the right audience and how well in terms of views, demographics etc?
  • Expression. Is your target audience engaging with your content and how? Are you getting enough likes or perhaps too many negative comments?
  • Participation. Is your audience sharing your content on their social networks and circles? Just how much and where?

youtube creator playbook brands KPI

Brands who are serious about their video marketing (and they SHOULD BE) now have a guide book from YouTube that will point them in the direction they need to go to succeed. Stay tuned for much more insight into the YouTube Playbook for Brands.


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