Brands that create video content may want to take a look at The YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands, a new Google report that highlights best practices for content and video marketing. An update from Google’s 2011 report on the topic, the new version aims to help brands better engage their target audiences.
“In a world of shortening attention spans and increasing options, advertising is undergoing a sea change,” according to the Google press release. “More and more, ads are becoming content—something people choose to watch.”
According to the report, marketers must understand that video marketing and content marketing don’t exist independent of other strategies. Rather, all of these fit underneath the umbrella of a company’s brand strategy. It argues that content can’t be effective without a clear understanding of the brand’s target audience.
The report also seeks to dispel some myths about the factors that contribute to success on YouTube’s platform.
Standalone videos have the potential to go viral, but the Creator Playbook argues that recurring episodes of a video series offer much greater value to brands. Instead of a one-off commercial spot posted online, recurring episodes of a compelling video series can serve as hub content for a company. One video pushes consumers to watch other videos of the series, with the potential that they will ultimately subscribe to the brand’s channel, building a greater audience.
Other analysts have noted that a series approach can contribute to sharing on social media, further expanding a brand’s visibility.
“It’s made pretty clear that all of a YouTube creator’s positive efforts will help increase a channel’s ‘velocity,'” said Christopher Ratcliff of Econsultancy. “This rather nebulous term is what YouTube is hungry for. Velocity is achieved through sharing, engagement, and ultimately, subscribers.”
The Google report also argues that while some brands prefer to build a massive following on their own, most companies can always gain increased viewership by collaborating with other YouTube brands and creators. The best approach, it says, is to identify established video creators that have a similar target audience and that have demonstrated an interest in the brand. This allows both sides of the collaboration to gain exposure among new members of their shared target audience, elevating visibility while creating authentic content.
Some brands may be eager to constantly reinvent their approach to video marketing, but Google’s report suggests that this practice is unnecessary—and could even damage the brand. If a type of video content has proven successful with consumers, that viewership likely appreciates the consistency of the approach. Changing an overall approach or even small details—theme music, logos, format, etc.—could ruffle an audience’s feathers and push them away.
Online analytics used for other types of content marketing can be effectively applied to video marketing efforts. Online metrics and established key performance indicators can be used to figure out how content is engaging with consumers. As Google’s report points out, metrics let brands see whether they’re reaching viewers or if viewers simply aren’t interested in the content, allowing brands to figure out which parts of their strategy work and which parts need to be revised.
The full report is available for download from Google.