In 2016, it’s important for brands to leverage social media channels to effectively drive organic traffic to their website or to generate brand awareness. As the popularity of online video services continues to increase, low-cost opportunities for brands to capture the attention of a global user-base begins to emerge.
With over 1 billion users, YouTube continues to reach more 18-49-year-olds than any of the major global TV Networks, and 55% of YouTube’s highly engaged user base watch videos daily. However, users spend around 40m – 1h20m once they have landed on YouTube and over 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month.
Investing in content on social network such as YouTube has proven results. Social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk says that due to the advancements in competition on social media every successful company must now also be a media company which means that companies are now spending more time and money to put out great content in their feeds.
Global and nationally reaching companies have led the way in creative marketing campaigns through YouTube, this is no more apparent than companies such as Nike appearing in the most watched videos on YouTube in 2016.
With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, it can be harder for smaller brands and SME’s to stand out, however some of these smaller brands are also putting out effective & well-targeted content at lower budgets.
In this post, we look at 4 examples of brands, each with a different position in the market and end-goal, and dissect what SME businesses can learn from them for their own YouTube strategy.
Appeal to your core demographic – Rokenbok Education
Rokenbok Education are a US based company which competes within the largely competitive toy market that has been saturated by large players such as Lego, Hasbro & others. The question for the company is how to stand out from the crowd on social and in turn appeal successfully to their key demographic. To achieve this, Rokenbok produced a series of short videos with their products in role-playing scenes which appeal to their younger audience who are prevalent on social media.
Rokenbok also utilize social media as a PR method to change consumer opinion. In their ‘Don’t try this with Lego’ series, Rokenbok aggressively targets their competitors’ products and points out benefits their products have over Lego.
Populating your YouTube channel with content is key to building your viewer base and subscriber numbers. Video marketing success through YouTube is rarely achieved after one or two videos, but will take time for an SME to start being noticed online.
Create a branded experience – Lagavulin Whisky
A video that is creative in its simplicity, Lagavulin whisky enrolled the help of Nick Offerman to promote the brand on social media over the busy Christmas season.
This highly simple yet effective video produced for Lagavulin’s YouTube channel benefits from the use of a well-known comedy personality to create positive brand associations with their audience.
Lagavulin gained some popularity due to references in comedy show Parks & Recreation where the product is associated with the traditionally masculine character ‘Ron Swanson.’ The promotional video with Nick Offerman serves as a prime example of jumping on the back of an opportunity to create sharable content for the brands PR efforts.
Interestingly, Lagavulin have no website of their own, therefore their content activities on YouTube serve purely to drive awareness of brand rather than a campaign which would focus on generating website traffic. SMEs can take note of the simple feel of this video and utilize celebrity or local personality endorsements to further enhance their brand awareness.
Proactively answer customer questions and capture search results – Vape Club
As a relatively new product that has garnered a lot of media attention, there is growing curiosity from consumers regarding e-liquids and vaporizer as well as an ever-growing list of questions from new starters.
With their YouTube channel as the medium, Vape Club set out to answer these questions and be the natural expert in their area of business. For an SME to emulate this, finding the common questions that are being asked online can be as simple as using a free tool. Search engine research tool Answer the Public allows the user to find the core questions being asked by consumers and use this information to form the basis of their video content.
Vape Club reacted fast, and after finalizing their consumer research they went on to create the first video guide on YouTube for e-liquid users, titled ‘A Beginners Guide to Vaping.’ This video, despite its simple production levels has seen success because of its high relevancy. It directly answers the key questions that users are looking for in a useful & easy to digest way.
At time of writing, this video alone has had over one million views and has directed over 2,200 customers directly to the VapeClub.co.uk webstore according to Ahref data. This goes to show that by doing a little research and by acting fast a small business can get noticed.
Create content that demonstrates what your product can do – GoPro
When it comes to creating original and engaging content, the YouTube channel for GoPro stands out as one of the best examples of a brand using YouTube. Boasting a following of over 2 million, the GoPro channel was one of the original success stories of making use of user submitted content.
Due to the nature of the product, it makes replenishing the channel with fresh, regular content incredibly easy. As GoPro’s product naturally produces exciting or emotional material, it makes for prime material to engage and grab the attention of their audience.
An SME can look to this for inspiration – perhaps your product or service itself is the aspect that will prove to be the most effective use of a YouTube channel? The appeal of the simple is exemplified perfectly through the Hydraulic Press Channel on YouTube. Videos of a hydraulic press crushing everyday objects has managed to generate 1.6 million subscribers – simple, yet effective!
The lessons we’ve learnt
- Rokenbok shows us that it is important to capture the attention of your target market directly in order to help deliver positioning messaging against other brands within a competitive business environment.
- Lagavulin demonstrates the importance of providing exceptional branded experiences with their simple, yet effective videos that help their channel to stand out.
- Vape Club establishes their audience with a strategy that involves firstly using SEO researching tools to gather information on what people are looking for, and then creating compelling content to capture these search results to direct traffic back to their website
- GoPro reveals the importance of creating engaging & evocative content at a consistent pace.
It is important to be aware of current trends, popular public figures and upcoming events that are being discussed online, as trending topics often create the perfect opportunity to generate buzz and attention for your brand using YouTube.
The way to market for an SME brand looking to build and capitalize on YouTube presence will depend on where their market and demographic for their product or service lies. As demonstrated, research into the questions being asked online is a great way to pinpoint topics to take the first steps towards great content for your SME.
Author: Matt Foster is Content Strategist at UK based digital marketing agency Distinctly, and works for several local and national business. He regularly writes about digital marketing, PR, SEO, and digital strategies for business.