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How can brands get results from marketing on YouTube?
Did you know that YouTube turned ten years old recently? Yes, that’s one whole decade. It’s staggering to think that during this time, the video sharing platform has become such a big part of so many people’s lives. In fact, it’s hard to imagine life without it these days. Perhaps one of the main standout features of YouTube in its early days was the fact it allowed anyone and everyone to broadcast their own content to a wider audience – from funny clips of their pets to original songs written and recorded at home.As more and more people gravitated towards the site, it was perhaps inevitable that it would attract the attention of leading brands, as they love to get themselves seen on new and emerging platforms. But YouTube can no longer be classed as either any more – it’s an established promotional tool for large and small businesses alike and looks set to remain so for many years to come. New start-ups and one man bands in particular can be encouraged by the fact that just about anyone is capable of producing a clip that’s capable of going viral, while the popularity of vloggers is another reminder that you don’t need a huge marketing budget behind you to get your message across to the right audience.

So now that online video marketing is a well-established promotional method, what can you do to make the best use of YouTube to boost your brand?

Know your audience
Understanding your audience’s hopes, fears, motivations, tastes and wider thought processes is critical to developing engaging and targeted marketing content on any platform. But this is particularly true of YouTube. Perhaps the best recent example of this was Sport England’s recent video to promote its #ThisGirlCan campaign, which aimed to inspire women to exercise by showing ordinary women doing just that – not supermodels or airbrushed, wrinkle-free ladies, but girls of all shapes and sizes. The YouTube video went viral, but Sport England didn’t achieve this success by accident – the clip was based on it finding out that three-quarters of women would like to engage in more exercise, but are afraid of being judged by others. Director of the video Kim Gehrig said: “As a female director, you never get campaigns like this. They just don’t exist. Women are usually spoken to through beauty or fashion – it’s very rare that they are spoken to as human beings.”

Convey your brand message authentically
Organisations are increasingly going beyond overtly plugging products, services and special offers these days and moving towards conveying their personality, USPs and brand values. It goes without saying, this should be consistent across all platforms, from social media to print publications to promotional merchandise. Promotional products such as phone stands and stylus accessories can be printed with Twitter #s or Facebook details relating to online activity. At trade shows, hand out items that reflect your products and services; or for example if you’re promoting a ‘green’ solution giving recycled pens and notebooks in biodegradable carrier bags will be appreciated by your audience. Without consistency, audiences might start to doubt the messages they are receiving and a brand will risk losing that sense of authenticity and trust. So make sure that any YouTube videos are designed with your ethos, values and personality in mind and communicate in a tone of voice that accurately reflects your brand.

Know what you want to achieve
If you start out with a clear target in mind, you’ll know what metrics to keep an eye on after your new video has been launched. You’ll therefore be able to demonstrate whether or not you achieved a good return on investment and if this approach is working for you and your brand. YouTube clips are particularly great as it’s very easy to gauge their popularity, as stats showing you how many likes and shares they have received – as well as the places where they are being watched – are easy to find and interpret. These insights could then be invaluable in informing your future marketing activities – on both YouTube and other platforms.

With ten years under its belt, it’s clear that YouTube isn’t going anywhere. The challenge for marketers in the future is therefore to ensure they’re making the best possible use of this platform – or risk losing out to those who are already!


Further Reading / Sources
Five ways brands can better use video Marketing Week.
#ThisGirlCan is sweeping the nation: are you on board yet? The Telegraph.