This article was written by our friends at rankingCoach. Enjoy the read!
There's nothing like YouTube
In the US YouTube reaches a larger audience between the ages of 18-49 than all cable TV networks combined, and 94% of 20-29-year-olds in Germany watch the platform every month. YouTube is the #1 entertainment platform in the United Kingdom. Every month, 2 Billion people watch videos on the site. YouTube's reach is truly unprecedented.
It should come as no surprise that finding the right strategy for YouTube ranks highly on the lists of digital marketers.
The dreaded, annoying ads!
Businesses, especially those that are smaller, looking to get the right YouTube marketing strategy need to push past outdated ways of thinking about marketing.
An example of a more traditional approach to YouTube marketing that we are all aware of, but try our hardest to ignore, are the in-stream paid ads shown before and in the middle of videos.
Larger corporations, especially those promoting luxury brands or media content such as a film or TV series, can use YouTube in this way to increase awareness. Yet this will only go so far, because this is a continuation of marketing values from the TV age.
These tactics are built around the idea that viewers are willing to watch adverts as a necessary evil. This was fine in the 90s when viewers accepted that they had to catch the last few TV ads in order to see the season finale of Friends or Survivor.
This is no longer the case. People may still watch Friends but now do so on Netflix, advert free, and they aren't likely to start tolerating ad distractions anytime soon. So, if you do want to interrupt videos with your ads, you better have something pretty incredible to say. Fortunately for marketers, there are less pressured ways of marketing through YouTube that provide all kinds of other advantages.
Video content based on audience's interests
The Coca-Cola Company has some of the most iconic adverts from the dominant era of television. You might see their holidays are coming ads on YouTube in December, but head over to their YouTube channel and you will find many examples of content that has more in common with a reality television series than those adverts of old.
These kinds of adverts are the antithesis of the hard sell. They are focused on appealing to the target audience's interests and building a connection. This is also a great way for a brand to create an engaging narrative.
ONE LAST SUMMER is Coca Cola's love letter to one of its hardcore demographics — teenagers. The aim: to create something this audience actually wants to watch.
To show you just how perfectly targeted the concept of ONE LAST SUMMER is for this audience, we just have to look at the name of a recent Netflix original for teens: “The Last Summer”.
By using YouTube as their content channel of choice, the company takes full advantage of its legions of followers. Coca Cola has over 3 million subscribers. This is another useful aspect of YouTube marketing that is a big advantage. By growing a subscriber base, each marketing video becomes more and more effective. Followers are automatically informed when new content is released. These followers have identified themselves as open to brand messages and they are only too happy to share its content. This is marketer’s dream.
TrueView Discovery Ads
The focused appeal of this content has a second utility. It's similarity to teen TV makes it an ideal candidate for another type of advertising that YouTube offers: TrueView Discovery Ads. These are paid ads that appear in the user's search results. The consumer chooses to watch these videos because they want to.
Imagine a member of our target teenage demographic searches for clips from their favourite reality TV show or watches the trailer for the Netflix film “The Last Summer” and then ONE LAST SUMMER appears in the search results or auto plays at the end of the videos they are watching. Because this video uses the same visual language as the types of videos that its audience enjoys, it's likely that they will click on it or let it play through.
Creating videos with similar content or keywords to those that target audiences enjoy is great way of increasing the likelihood of discovery. This is a completely different marketing approach to the TV ads of the old days which often involved forcing a message down audiences' throats.
Making videos for content that customers want
Perhaps a company doesn't have the budget to create a YouTube series mimicking a target audience's favourite TV formats. There is another effective approach that works.
YouTube is owned by Google and beneath its surface is a search engine. This means that many of the approaches from SEO can be adapted to create effective marketing content for YouTube.
SEO is about getting a website found on search engines for the best possible value keywords. A key part of this process is creating website content that contains these keywords.
These same keywords can also be used to find ideas for content on YouTube.
A marketer can take keywords and use rankingCoach and Google trends to find questions or problems related to these terms that target customers want answers to.
They can then create content that solves these problems.
By helping audiences with their connected problems, the marketer builds good connections with their target audience. To get the most out of this strategy it is vital that videos include an easy to see link to the content owner's website. On videos with millions of views, it only takes a small proportion of viewers to get curious and click on this link to really boost a site's traffic.
T.M. Lewin have used this approach really effectively. They know that How To videos are one of the most popular types of videos on YouTube. They are a men's clothing retailer who specialises in formal wear, including men's shirts, and they have done their keyword research to find a connected problem:
According to the rankingCoach keywords tool, every month 3600 people in the UK and 8100 people in the US Google 'how to iron a shirt?' T.M. Lewin have created a simple but well produced tutorial video answering this question. The video currently has over 3 million views. No doubt, this will have attracted them more customers.
Ready to make your own content?
I hope this tour around YouTube has given you some great ideas for making your own video content for YouTube. One last tip: whatever you're making, from a 12-part miniseries to a quick tutorial, sound quality is really important. People won't watch a video for more than a second that has bad sound quality. Invest in a good microphone — the difference in sound quality between a $100 condenser microphone and the one found on most laptops is huge. You won't regret it. Good luck!