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YouTube: When Ads Become Content

W4 | W4 / April 19, 2018
Every day, it seems, the world has new things to offer. As the options for spending the day increase, attentions spans shorten. The next best thing is always just around the corner. In order to engage (potential) customers in a meaningful way, ads have to stop being just ads: they have to become content in order to resonate with 21st century consumers. This means they have to inform, entertain and to be useful. YouTube can be looked at as the embodiment of these new circumstances. 

These Are the Facts

When talking about YouTube, the facts speak for themselves: Launched in 2005, the video streaming platform reached a milestone of one billion views per day only four years later. By January 2012, this number increased to four billion daily video views. Today, there are more than 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. YouTube also has 800 million monthly unique visitors. Moreover, it has become the second most popular search engine (number one being Google, which bought YouTube in 2006).

What do these facts tell us? Most importantly, a well thought-out YouTube campaign can do wonders for your brand's reach! Second – and this is the downside – the sheer number of videos uploaded on YouTube presents a rather tricky challenge: How to stand out from the crowd? Well, there are many things to consider and it begins with developing a strategy and creating a video.

From Planning to Producing

First of all, you have to define who you want to reach with your video content. Then you have to decide what effect your video needs to achieve. Do you want inform customers about the specifics of a product? Or would you rather expand your reach? These questions are essential as they determine the type of video content you want to produce. Either way, a well-balanced campaign achieves both goals. YouTube differentiates here between hygiene (a weekly 'How to'-series), hub (a regular highlight video) and hero (a video with event character) content. Regardless of content, creating a video involves the following components:

  • strategic planning (targeted audience, programming schedule)
  • developing a creative concept
  • pre-production (storyboard, equipment, casting, location, production schedule)
  • production (filming on location or animation in a studio)
  • post-production (editing, animations, audio engineering, formatting, marketing)

The Work Isn't Done Yet

Once the video is produced, the work is not done yet. But before we go on detailing what happens next, let's consider a few things. Living in an increasingly digital world means that new devices like smartphones give marketers the opportunity to engage with customers wherever and whenever. The television set is less and less the chosen medium for the consumption of audio-visual content. Thanks to mobile online access, you can be available to your customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – YouTube never sleeps! The content you provide there can be accessed anywhere and anytime (40% of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices nowadays). This offers tremendous potential for providing interesting content to your customers. However, simply uploading a video will not suffice. It is of paramount importance that you approach YouTube with a plan in order to be successful. This includes:

  • YouTube channel (name, icon, description, art, association of channel and website)
  • content plan (identify audience & competition, what defines your brand?)
  • content strategy (territory, core messages, hygiene, hub and/or hero content, storage & distribution)
  • programming strategy (like a TV channel, your YouTube channel should have a programming strategy to create a cohesive viewing experience)
  • be conversational (encourage viewers to interact with you by sharing your video, liking it or commenting on it)
  • promote your channel (linking social media accounts to YouTube channel, paid media such as a SkipAd, TrueView in-stream or TrueView in-display)
  • optimized metadata (title, meta description, tags, thumbnails)
  • measure success with AdWords and YouTube Analytics

Our Services

W4 has the creative capital and the technical expertise to make your YouTube campaign a success. As full-service agency, we can create video content suited to your needs as well as develop, plan and carry-out a YouTube campaign for you. Get in touch!

Read more about Social Media Marketing.

Tags: Content Marketing

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Sarah Wilhelm
Sarah Wilhelm
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