How YouTube Works For Brands

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Alison Hoad; chief strategy officer of BBH hosted a panel of last year’s judges of the YouTube Works awards. She was joined by Will Whalley; YouTube B2B Marketing for Google, Gaby Bell; CEO of Europe Hall & Partners for Omnicom and John Tippins; Strategy Director of Mindshare.

Organisations who combine TV and online marketing see a 20% increase in business results so mastering YouTube is vital for a successful campaign. YouTube has been pigeon-holed by many brands as purely a place for creators and influencers however if you can master YouTube you can engage an audience for much longer than average mobile platforms. Analytics has shown that consumers can spend around 23 minutes watching videos and engaging with content, which for a society that are supposed to be limited to a six second attention span, this is a gold mine for brands.

Brands who entered and won the YouTube Works awards embraced YouTube’s shift from a media platform to a platform that requires a content strategy. Tesco used YouTube to release stunt work for their ‘every little helps’ campaign and they then brought it to life by creating unique recipe ideas based off the stunts shared on YouTube. This showed how simple, shareable video content can be strategized and utilised for a long-term goal. Most of the winning campaigns used a similar technique; embracing the relationship consumers have with YouTube. This is vital for a YouTube campaign and the platform should be used as part of a solid social media strategy.

Whalley then went on to advise brands and agencies, who want to enter the awards, to avoid using media metrics and instead we should focus on effectiveness metrics. Bell then commented that you may have a great story and campaign but if the results are rubbish what was the point? Simply creating a moving and emotive story is not enough if you don’t back it up with a strategy and just expect shares and engagement to happen. The panel all agreed that YouTube is the perfect place to be experimental. Matthesons created their own culture by targeting online gamers and incorporating snack eating and gaming. They created snack releasing helmets and sent them out to influencers, the way they created their own culture essentially won them their award, it gave them a beautiful edge and relationship with the online gaming community.

YouTube is great for tapping into passion and culture points which is how Sarsson’s won their award. Trying to sell vinegar to a younger audience is a difficult task however when the research was done it was found there was a large group of people searching for videos of pickling. This gave them their audience. They could release content to that group and get shares across media platforms whilst still having a close relationship to the original target audience.

The panel also shared their top elements to creating an effective YouTube campaign. Bell emphasised the need to have a clear and simple goal which can then allow you to mine data and insights based on this simple goal. She also advised to keep a campaign fluid and flexible so that it can easily move from platform to platform or be taken in a different direction dependant on the engagement results. Whalley added that brands need to grab an audience’s attention and then hold it, agreeing with Bell, a clear goal is essential to making this happen. Tippins advised that brands should clearly understand why they want to use YouTube as a platform and it should have a clear role in the strategy to achieve the best results.

Overall the panel agreed that a YouTube campaign should be experimental, simple and stimulating for an audience who are actively seeking out content.

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