Despite YouTube becoming one of the most popular video marketing platforms, many brands still haven't mastered it, according to a new report.
The report “The Top 100 Global Brands: Key Lessons for Success on YouTube” was compiled by Pixability, a YouTube-certified marketing and advertising software company. These brands were taken from Interbrand's “Top Global Brands of 2012”, a list that includes Coca-Cola, Disney, Cisco, 3M, Facebook and Yahoo. The Pixability report looks at the brand's presence and strategies on YouTube, the best marketing practices and how YouTube is an important part of content marketing.
Brand Presence and Strategy
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube rose to become a video phenomenon with over 1 billion viewers each month and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute. Companies have produced a vast amount of content over the past eight years to engage with viewers. For the top 100 brands this includes 1,378 channels and 258,000 videos that have had a collective 9.5 billion views.
The report notes that over the next few years the amount of videos posted on these channels will increase, as companies invest more in visual content, along with the marketing and distribution of these videos.
While the amount of YouTube content grows, the amount of videos produced doesn’t always equal how many views a channel has. For example, MTV and Thompson-Reuters were ahead of Google and Disney in the amount of video on their channels, but the latter two companies were at the top of "total views" list. MTV was seventh and Thompson-Reuters’ didn’t even rank because of the kind of content it posted.
Companies in the technology and automotive industries recognize that video is a perfect medium to introduce and explain complex products and services to their prospective audiences,” says the report.
The report found a great deal of similarities in ideas and techniques among brand's marketing strategies due to competition. The results then, are often the same.
There are a few things brands should note about YouTube. The first is that YouTube videos tends to have a longer shelf life than other types of content. In the first three weeks of being posted, an average video has about 40 percent of its views, with the next 30 percent coming in between four and 12 weeks of being posts and another third coming between week 12 and 52. Overall, a video has between 12 and 52 weeks of total shelf life, compared with the 22 hours of a typical Facebook post.
The second note is that video usually equals a good ROI for many businesses as the videos that have the most viewers also tend to have the most social shares. According to the report, the most popular brands tended to have 89 times more tweets and 330 times more Facebook shares than those that weren’t as popular.
Some Marketing Practices are Better than Others
As with any marketing channel, there are certain practices a brand should used or avoid.
To gain more followers, a marketer shouldn’t try to create a bunch of different channels for one brand. Fifty six of the 100 top brands had 10 or more channels, but it’s often hard to produce content for these channels as 17 percent had channels that were inactive. So, a business has to limit how many channels they create, but still make sure they are able to create good, consumer-focused content.
While industry, budget and number of audiences served dictates the number of YouTube channels a brand needs to maintain, excess channels are problematic, leading to audience confusion and marketing challenges,” says the report. “Brands must ensure that the channel strategy is driven by audience needs.”
The report also highlights seven practices that can help brands develop a better strategy. The first two practices are to create a lot of quality video content and practice good video SEO. As more quality content is produced, more viewers will interact with a channel and its videos. An example of a successful video channel is Disney, with 1.8 billion views from about 15,000 videos in 41 different channels. As for SEO, the report says that businesses should be creating high quality metadata or having a video title with the brand's name in it. In doing this, a video is more likely to show up when someone uses the YouTube or Google search function.
The second two practices include using different videos on multiple touch points and linking videos to marketing incentives. Trying to have the most popular or "viral" video isn’t a realistic goal for a company, according the report. Marketers should be making sure that they have different kinds or "grades" of video at their disposal, as users like a mixture of short videos, long videos, user generated content, as well as professional quality videos.
Marketers should also be making YouTube part of their overall marketing campaign, instead of a separate marketing platform. The cross-channel experience is expected by consumers today, so being available on any channel to answer questions and take comments is key.
The last three practices are video branding, content investment and community engagement. A company should brand their video with subtle, but noticeable logos as sometimes these videos are shared and watched outside of a company context. As was mentioned, many businesses create more than one channel and this isn't needed. If a company produces more than one product it should be okay to have more than one channel, but often all a brand needs is one. Also, while YouTube is a video platform, it shouldn't be treated that way. Brands should try to create a community within their social channels, as this will help video shares and a brand’s social presence.
As can be seen video, and with it, YouTube is becoming a key part of content marketing. Marketers should take note of these practices, potential pitfalls and success stories of other brands so they won’t left out in the coming years.