In spite of the rise of Facebook video, Youtube is still the juggernaut of the digital video world. Home to the most viewed videos on the planet, Youtube is officially the world’s second biggest search engine, so it’s kinda a big deal and no wonder one of the most effective tools in any business’s digital marketing weaponry as more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos, the power is there for you to harness.
Trouble is, although there are success stories for small to midsize businesses (Wine Library & Crunch Accounting are good examples of this), they are few and far between and that’s because most businesses don’t consider Youtube being anything other than somewhere to boast about how great they are.
So to avoid being one of those people, whether it’s a campaign you’re looking to launch or a channel you want to build, here’s what you need to think about:
1. The big question to ask: Why do people want to watch our videos?
First things first, just like with your general content marketing strategy, the reason you should create a Youtube campaign or channel is principally because you want to teach something or entertain people. That’s because ultimately, people actively choose what they watch on Youtube, so if you want these people to actually watch what you’ve made and better yet watch more, then you need to figure out why they should...and that my friends comes through providing genuine value.
Take Kellogg’s for example. They recently launched a creative series of Youtube videos that was easy, fun and helped boost their audience’s everyday life by offering recipes for snacks involving their products. Something really simple but useful:
2. Creative strategy
Once you’ve figured out WHY you are producing the content, you now need to figure out WHAT it’s actually going to be about and that comes through nothing other than research. Much of this uses the same principles you learnt in our general content marketing strategy e-book, but the questions you should be able to answer include:
Who is my audience?
What do they watch already?
What are the most popular channels / videos in my category?
What are my competitors doing wrong? What are they doing right?
What would be my main point of difference to others out there?
3. Think beyond creating a viral
Now you’ve figured out the why and the what, it’s time to figure out the “how”...i.e. How are you going get people hooked? This is because the average buyer now consults about 12 different sources before cementing a purchase decision...so if your end goal is to get these people subscribing to your channel, onto your website or better yet buying your product, simply creating a viral hit won’t be enough...you need a fully fledged strategy.
Youtube call this the “hero, hub, hygiene” strategy and having helped people create their own channels and campaigns based on this strategy (look at “The Miles Mogul”), we can tell you it really works.
Now, the full details of this probably deserve totally separate blog, but in summary a successful video marketing strategy entails the following parts:
2. “Hero” content- this is your once or twice a year piece that you blow your budget and creative juices on because this is the film that’s going to grab the headliners and make people aware of your brand. It’s basically your version of the Volvo Truck VS Jean Claude Van Dam film, Red Bull’s Stratos skydive or Lexus’s Hoverboard campaign.
2. “Hygiene” content- just because you’ve grabbed people's attention, you shouldn’t stop there. Hygiene content is for the inquisitive viewers who saw your hero film and now want to learn more about you. So taking the Hoverboard campaign for example, this would be the films they made which go into the science behind the experiment...basically the stuff to geek out on. The advantage of this content is it doesn’t really have a sell-by date so even when your campaign is over, it will still be something people will want to watch.
3. “Hub” content- just because you’ve got someone’s attention and they’ve geeked out on your more educational content, there needs to be a reason why they are going to come back for more. That’s where hub content comes in. Episodic and released consistently, this is the stuff people learn to expect to come from you every week. So with Lexus, they released weekly vlogs giving updates of how the experiment was going.
4. Consistency is key
This applies to both campaigns and channel building, but basically people like routine so you need to ensure your content is fixed in their brains by recently it frequently and consistently. Not only will the Youtube algorithm favour your content if you do this, but your viewers will stay hooked, simply because they know when they should expect your next episode to be released.
Now this can seem quite daunting for smaller brand or businesses, but we suggest you do an evaluation of your resources: time, staff, budget - really look what’s feasible but make sure once you commit to a schedule, you stick to it.
Check out our blog next week that tells you how to optimise your content on the Youtube!