YouTube has been around for over 12 years and yet remains a pivotal platform that is often very much overlooked within the marketing mix. Sure you can upload trailers, populate a channel with video content and sometimes buy a masthead takeover. But the power of YouTube is so much more.
YouTube is the 2nd most visited website* and over 50% of all it’s views come through a mobile device**.
YouTube is the 2nd most visited website* and over 50% of all it’s views come through a mobile device**. It is the largest social network, and Facebook is a close 2nd*. 83% of the world population (excluding China) are visiting YouTube each month on multiple devices. Compared to Facebook (82%) Instagram (48%) Twitter (39%) and Snapchat (22%).***
As a natural place for video content, I feel it is sometimes just overlooked as a content hub. However, the analytics and tools available to some like me (a Digital Strategist) gets my data monkey brain hyped up. Something Snapchat just can’t do.
So here are five reasons why I am a YouTube fanboy. Hopefully, they will help you look at YouTube with fresh eyes and get super excited…
1. It’s not just flat video formats
YouTube has tonnes of options for you to play with. Yes, the easiest answer is to upload a trailer and watch the view count grow but remember that Gen Z now spends more time watching YouTube and on demand services than they do watching linear TV. They are looking for engaging content, and there are some amazing easy wins.
- Playlist generation – this helps to keep fans engaged in your content
- 360 videos – it’s not just for a VR helmet, on mobile they are engaging and really help fans have a stop and watch moment
- YouTube Live – It’s a robust live streamer, something that’s often overlooked – and currently offers a certain flexibility to the creator – something that Facebook Live is showing a lack of with it’s nixing of ‘live’ countdowns
- End cards – yes they are a functional tool, but used in a creative way could stitch a story together, especially if you need to establish multiple story arcs or characters
- True view – this is where media budget comes in but if you want to say your video has gone ‘viral’, boost it with some media spend. It could also help the customer life cycle when used correctly (which I will cover a little later)
2. Break bumpers
A relatively new format that is not being used to the best of its ability right now. These six-second non-skippable ads allow for you to tell a snippet of a story and gain large reach at a very reasonable cost. There are some simple guidelines to getting this spot on: Only make two or three bumpers and try to tell a story and give the audience a ‘moment’ they have not seen in your trailer. It could be a scare, a character tease or even an Easter egg montage. YouTube is full of trailer breakdown videos that fans take the time to cut down every moment of the video they have just watched. Use bumpers to play into this, and you’ll be speaking in users’ language – offering authenticity that will reflect positively on your brand or title.
3. Clever targeting
Most films are targeted to 18-34-year-olds but what works for an 18-year-old girl is not the same as a 34 bloke with a kid. The joy of YouTube means you can drill into amazing detail of who to actually target your campaign at. Maybe it’s Essex lads who work in the city and spend their weekends playing football, drinking and gaming. Or perhaps a Mum with loves baking, catching up on soaps and wants to find out what is the latest on John Cena whom she knows her kids adore.
Basically, think like the Raptors in Jurassic Park. Targeted your prey, plan well and you will feast… Clever Girl!
YouTubers don’t just watch your content, they are also vocal and share opinions
4. Read the comments and create social assets based on social chatter.
YouTubers don’t just watch your content, they are also vocal and share opinions about it. Sometimes their passion boils over and can be hurtful especially to other YouTubers. However, there are times where they can actually really help show you the moments that move your content from a passive watching experience to being part of the social chatter.
Warner Bros horror film It is a perfect example. At 2:16 Pennywise comes running towards the viewer. In the cinema, this would have been the perfect scare moment. However, on YouTube fans watch content over and over again. In this case, they turned the moment in the clip into a meme-able moment, extending the life of the content.
Content on the YouTube has the habit of becoming ‘owned’ by the users, regardless of the copyright and licensing issues. Some content owners still shy away from the platform for this reason – but it remains that this as an opportunity to have amazing content creators taking the time to generate free creative work for you and helping to promote the film.
5. It’s the complete customer journey tool
YouTube is part of the full Google Ad Network and can offer you the opportunity to track changes in a customer’s journey. For example, if you have used TrueView to promote your trailer, you will have built up a marketing list. This list can be applied to other Google Ad formats across the web to drive ticket sales, digital downloads or even push people to retailer partners when the title reaches the Home Entertainment window.
Google’s suite of analytic tools can tell you who, when, where and how they engaged. This means if you are working on a franchise or comparable title you have some learnings that can help you focus each campaign and help your agency partners continue to improve and offer the best solutions to support title releases.
Are you making the best of YouTube?
Feel free to reach out with thoughts, questions and your experiences.
Liam Spragley – Digital Strategist
*Source: Alexa top 500 on the web
**Source: YouTube press site
***Source: Global Web Index Q1 2017 (sites or apps visited in the past month via any device?)