When if are still not certain that video is the fastest growing medium in digital, then you don’t need to look much further than YouTube. YouTube is happy to share that they have “…over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.” That’s a lot of eyeballs. So many, in fact, that YouTube themselves decided to get into the video production business with their own company called appropriately YouTube Spaces. They have production facilities around the globe which have created more than 10,000 videos. This confirms that stories capture audiences.
The only question is:
What video content should you create to engage your audience and stay true to your brand?
Long before you consider calls-to-action, SEO and viral sharing you need to get real. Take a look at your target audience and align their interests with topics that relate to your brand. This is where you can expand a little beyond the confines of traditional applications and advertising, but stay true to the needs of your audience. If you manufacture pasta sauce, your audience might want to know as much about cooking different recipes as they would the ingredients in your sauce. That’s why Ragu fills their YouTube Channel with stories where parent and their children work together to make chicken parmesan, deep dish pizza, lasagna and fettuccine carbonara… recipes included.
On their YouTube “home page” auto manufacturer Ford shares personal stories about people who take their family on travel adventures using their vehicles. The adventure is interesting to a larger audience than would be interested in say a Ford F150. Of course there is a need to explain benefits and features of specific vehicles, and they do that by creating a series of different YouTube Channels. Click on the Ford Tough Channel and you can access hundreds of videos about different truck models.
Sony manufactures hundreds of consumer and professional products. It’s no surprise that they also have hundreds of videos. To help people find what they want, Sony created eleven different YouTube Channels. If you are a video professional who shoots in 4K, jump into the Sony 4K Creators Channel which Sony explains: ” This channel is dedicated to building a community of Sony 4K Creators. Watch How To Videos, see what the pros are up to, or have your video added to one of our epic 4K playlists.”
If you have multiple brands, products or audiences you may need one umbrella YouTube Channel with several different sub-channels. That said, audiences hate it when there is not sufficient content for them to rapidly find what they want or have interest in. It’s like going to a library that only has three books.
A successful YouTube strategy involves the following steps and elements:
1. Identify the topics of interest to your audience that relate to your brand, products, services.
2. Develop easy-to-create stories around these topics. A story could be an adventure, a tutorial, a comparison… something that adds value for the time commitment of the audience.
3. Map out a plan to produce these videos. Unless the video is an in-depth tutorial, try to keep the time to between three to five minutes.
4. Create a YouTube Channel and ensure that your Channel uses all of the image headers, logos, social sharing, playlists and other tools that YouTube provides.
5. Grab the personalized URL with your company name (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/Ford)
5. Build an initial channel with related videos. When you reach a minimum of 12 videos you can consider branching out to a second Channel.
6. Make sure that each video has a headline, description with links to web, keyword tags and embedded links for appropriate calls-to-action.
7. Start loading videos that are less than 3 minutes long to your channel.