YouTube, a leading global website, has has reshaped the way we view content and opened up significant promotional opportunities for businesses.
But, what is the process behind YouTube advertising, and how beneficial is it?
In this overview of YouTube promotion, you’ll discover the most effective video types and how to maximize this premier online platform.
What is YouTube Marketing?
YouTube marketing means using videos on YouTube to show and tell about a business, product, or service. It’s about making videos that let people learn about a brand, draw in viewers, and help sales grow.
The key to this is making videos that viewers really enjoy. People who watch YouTube enjoy content that tells a story, matches their interests, broadens their thinking, and touches their emotions.
Types of YouTube Marketing
Following are the two main types of YouTube marketing:
- Organic YouTube Marketing
- Paid YouTube Marketing
1. Organic YouTube Marketing
Organic YouTube marketing refers to the strategies used to promote a channel or content on YouTube without paying for ads or sponsored placements.
Instead of using paid methods, organic marketing relies on creating high-quality, engaging videos that naturally attract viewers and subscribers.
The goal is to increase visibility and reach on the platform by optimizing video titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnails, as well as by actively engaging with the community and building a consistent posting schedule.
Essentially, it’s about growing a channel and its content’s popularity by using the platform’s built-in tools and features and delivering value to the audience.
Here’s a list of 10 types of organic videos that can be used by brands:
- Social media videos (e.g., YouTube Shorts, Stories, and Community posts).
- How-to videos and/or explainer videos.
- Branded stories (e.g., short films, series, and/or documentaries).
- Interviews with influencers and/or subject matter experts.
- Thought-leadership videos with company leaders.
- Stories about your organization.
- Customer testimonials, case studies, and/or success stories.
- Product demonstrations, either animated or actual.
- External training videos and/or formal education on topics.
- Livestreaming videos (e.g., YouTube Live and Premieres).
YouTube sees over 500 hours of new content added every minute, making it a highly competitive platform. This is why successful YouTube marketing involves more than just posting a video and waiting for organic discovery.
2. YouTube Paid Video Marketing
If you’re starting a new brand or channel on YouTube, you can achieve quicker outcomes by using a paid approach while steadily growing your subscriber count.
YouTube and Google Ads offer various solutions to cater to different business aims and marketing objectives. These include boosting brand recognition, encouraging interest, and prompting action.
In Google Ads, you can design effective video campaigns using different video ad styles to connect with customers on YouTube and various video partner sites within the Google network.
When it comes to paid advertising on YouTube, there are three primary methods to consider:
a. Ads For Increasing Brand Awareness
- Bumper Ads: These are short, unskippable ads that last up to six seconds. They emphasize your brand’s most memorable messages.
- Non-skippable In-Stream Ads: Ensure potential customers watch the entire ad by using non-skippable ads that play before, during, or after their video on YouTube and on websites and apps associated with Google’s video partners.
- Masthead Ads: To quickly reach a large audience, you can showcase your brand’s ad at the very top of the YouTube home feed on desktops, mobile devices, and TV screens.
b. Ads to Generate Interest
- Skippable In-Stream Ads: These ads are budget-friendly and enable you to reach a wide audience. Viewers have the option to skip the ad after five seconds. These ads can run before, during, or after a video.
- YouTube BrandConnect: This feature links creators in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. with brands to collaborate on branded content campaigns.
c. Ads to Encourage Purchases, Subscriptions, and Action
- In-Feed Video Ads: Utilize visuals to connect with people while they explore their YouTube Home, Watch Next feeds, Discover feed, and the Promotions and Social tabs on Gmail.
- Video Action Campaigns: These skippable ads are cost-effective and allow you to engage a broad audience. They can appear before, during, or after a video and are designed to prompt viewers to take action, such as making a purchase or subscribing.
How Can Marketers Use YouTube?
Businesses and brands have a range of strategies to leverage YouTube for their marketing objectives.
Among the 10 types of YouTube videos available, a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute identified 5 video types that consistently deliver the most effective content marketing outcomes.
a. Social Media Videos
Videos intended for social media on YouTube share a common trait: they offer value to their viewers. They also incorporate an emotional element that encourages sharing.
Here are some examples:
- Dove India initiated Project #ShowUS, a social video campaign with the aim of challenging commonly held beliefs about beauty standards.
- Gillette introduced We Believe: The Best Men Can Be, a social video campaign centered on redefining the concept of manhood for the modern era.
- BuzzFeed Video partnered with Purina Friskies to launch Dear Kitten, a social video campaign that showcases an older house cat imparting lessons on feline behavior to a young kitten.
b. How-to Videos
How-to videos serve as educational resources. Brands can employ them to foster trust and credibility among their audience and position themselves as experts in their respective industries.
Below are some recent instances of effective YouTube marketing campaigns that employed how-to or explainer videos:
- L’Oréal has crafted a series of how-to videos to assist consumers worldwide in achieving their beauty goals. For instance, their video titled “How To Apply Lash Idôle Mascara by Lancôme USA” has garnered 15.6 million views.
- Samsung India employed ‘how-to’ videos to showcase its latest Galaxy A73 5G, such as the video “How To Take Screenshots With A ‘Palm Swipe’ On Your Samsung Smartphone,” which has reached 60 million views. These videos offer in-depth demonstrations of the devices’ features, enabling consumers to grasp the value of these products.
- Google utilized explainer videos to educate consumers about its diverse array of products and services. For instance, the video titled “A (Home) Movie About How Google Search Works” has amassed 91 million views. These videos simplify intricate subjects, making them accessible to a broader audience.
c. Branded Stories
The key to success in using branded stories is to craft captivating and compelling content that strikes a chord with the intended audience while serving the brand’s broader marketing objectives.
Here are a few instances of effective YouTube marketing campaigns that employed branded videos in recent times:
- Clash of Clan’s “Lost & Crowned” unfolds the tale of Larry’s first day on the job, guarding the Red King’s crown with his older brother Peter during a late-night shift. It’s a short film that garnered 62.5 million views and 1.3 million interactions.
- Hyundai Worldwide’s “Hyundai x BTS I Hydrogen Documentary” is a brief documentary designed to increase Gen Z’s involvement in the world of hydrogen and make a positive impact through unity. The incorporation of infographics aids in enhancing people’s comprehension of hydrogen. This documentary achieved 12 million views and 124,000 engagements.
- Patagonia’s “The Fight For America’s Public Lands” is a full-length documentary that delves into America’s public lands system and the ongoing battle to preserve them. This film combines elements of an affectionate tribute and a political exposé, earning 2.8 million views and 18,200 interactions.
d. Customer Reviews and Stories
Brands can present positive customer experiences and stories in their YouTube videos, building trust and credibility with their audience.
Here are recent instances of effective YouTube marketing campaigns that used customer reviews, case studies, or success stories:
- AmeriSave Mortgage has crafted a set of customer testimonials. For instance, “Christine’s Refinance” narrates how AmeriSave’s loan originators assisted Christine, a single mother, in securing a low mortgage rate for her New Orleans home when she decided to refinance. This not only saved her hundreds of dollars each month but also enabled her to reduce her debt. This customer testimonial video reached 3.9 million views.
- Sell on Amazon has created a series of case studies, such as “New Republic,” which delves into the success story of a digitally-native footwear brand. This particular video garnered 8.5 million views.
- Shopify has produced a collection of success stories. For example, “Maye-Williams Active” recounts the journey of a 100% Black-owned activewear company, amassing 22 million views.
e. Interviews with Experts and Influencers
Brands can collaborate with influencers or specialists in a particular field to benefit from their knowledge, expand their reach to a new audience, and establish a meaningful connection with their target market.
Here are a few recent instances of effective YouTube marketing campaigns that featured interviews with these experts – or even candid chats with everyday people – to produce compelling and enlightening content on YouTube:
- Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign included a collection of interviews with a range of athletes and influential figures. These videos emphasized the perseverance and unwavering commitment of these individuals. They showcased how these athletes and influencers faced and conquered challenges, all while staying dedicated to their objectives despite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luxe Collective, a company that deals in buying and selling pre-owned luxury brands, has put together a series of on-the-street interviews. For instance, one video titled “Stopping People On The BUSIEST Street In Europe To Ask 1 Question” has gained 34.5 million views.
What Are the Advantages of YouTube Marketing?
YouTube marketing can benefit businesses in several ways, helping them expand their brand and connect with new audiences on this popular video-sharing platform.
1. Reaching a Global Audience
YouTube boasts more than 2 billion logged-in users every month, making it the largest social video platform worldwide. These users collectively watch over a billion hours of video on YouTube each month.
Additionally, YouTube has versions tailored for over 100 countries, accommodating 80 languages. This means that brands can engage a vast global audience through localized marketing campaigns.
2. Reaching Your Potential Customers
YouTube ranks as the second most visited website globally, following Google.com. This makes the video-sharing site the world’s largest social media platform.
Regardless of the industry, YouTube provides a platform for virtually any business to connect with potential customers while they are searching, browsing, or enjoying video content.
3. Integration with TV Viewing
While YouTube originated as a website and transformed into a mobile app, an increasing number of Americans are now watching it on connected TVs (CTVs).
According to Insider Intelligence, in 2023, 38.1% of daily time spent on YouTube occurs on connected devices like smart TVs and game consoles, 48.5% on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and only 13.4% on desktops and laptops.
10 YouTube Marketing Strategies & Tips [With Examples]
It’s always beneficial to learn from other brands and acquire tips to expand your business’s presence on the social media platform. Here, we’ve provided examples of successful YouTube marketing campaigns for businesses and brands:
1. Understand Your Target Audience
To begin, gain a deep understanding of your audience’s needs, interests, and behaviors. This knowledge will help you create content that resonates with them and increases the likelihood of engagement.
- As per Tubular Labs, the most-watched video on the Old Spice channel is “Taking Stock.” This video was uploaded on February 4, 2019, and it has accumulated an impressive 61.6 million views with 40,500 engagements.
The video that garnered the most viewer engagement on the Old Spice channel is titled “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” This video was posted on February 5, 2010, and it has accumulated an impressive 61.1 million views and received 277,000 interactions.
Both videos demonstrate the strength of consumer intent over demographics. Even though 73% of the viewers on the brand’s channel are men, and only 27% are women, it’s important to note that women often buy body wash for men and frequently influence the choices of men who shop for themselves.
Old Spice’s success is rooted in their ability to truly understand their target customers, including their interests, lifestyles, and shopping habits. This insight has enabled them to produce captivating content that specifically appeals to their intended audience.
2. Create a Content Strategy
Start by setting clear goals for your brand: whether it’s to increase awareness, encourage consideration, boost online or offline sales, or enhance customer loyalty.
When developing your content plan, it’s crucial to include video-related information in your audience profile. Understand what kind of content your target audience watches and what they enjoy.
Conduct competitor research. Identify gaps or opportunities in your competition’s YouTube presence. Define what success means for your campaign: What are your objectives? Establish the right metrics to measure your progress.
- Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign was an audacious experiment guided by a well-thought-out content strategy. The campaign aimed to engage its intended audience while aligning with the brand’s broader goals: fostering brand affection and loyalty, and redefining beauty as a source of confidence rather than anxiety for women.
3. Develop Compelling Video Content
Concentrate on crafting video content that offers inherent value to your audience. This value can take the form of Inspiration, Entertainment, Enlightenment, or Education.
Numerous Indian brands have excelled in the art of long-form video storytelling. To understand why creating content with intrinsic value is crucial, consider Samsung India’s video titled “We’ll take care of you, wherever you are.” This video serves as an excellent illustration of the concept. This compelling video content narrates the story of a young Samsung Engineer who, unfazed by challenging terrain, responds to a customer complaint in a remote, hilly area.
4. Plan Your Content Schedule
Consistently upload new video content to maintain audience engagement.
Design your programming strategy around three main categories:
- Help content – Videos that address the most common search queries in your field.
- Hub content – Scheduled content that gives viewers a reason to subscribe to your channel and return regularly.
- Hero content – Major, flagship events designed to significantly boost your audience growth.
Developing a programming strategy entails brands adopting a mindset akin to that of media and entertainment companies. The team at Red Bull is an excellent illustration of YouTube marketers who think like content strategists.
Over the course of a year, the energy drink brand posted 4,676 videos across 45 YouTube channels in 14 countries. These videos amassed a staggering 1.2 billion views and engaged 34.1 million viewers.
For their help content, Red Bull adopts Shorts, which serves as their ever-relevant, year-round content strategy. In the last 365 days, they’ve shared 617 Shorts on 24 channels spanning 9 countries, accumulating 250 million views and sparking 5.4 million interactions.
To see an illustration of their approach, check out “How Far Can A Reverse Soapbox Make It?”
As for their hub content, Red Bull’s structured content plan revolves around a series of global events. Their calendar is filled with various sports and recreational activities, such as biking, motorsports, surfing, winter sports, and unique events like “Red Bull Flutag.” This particular event is a flying contest that dares amateur teams to fly their homemade airplanes and gliders as far as they can.
While Red Bull has gained fame for its significant tent-pole events like “Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k,” the energy drink brand currently places less emphasis on these.
However, Red Bull did mark the 10th anniversary of Baumgartner’s historic space jump by sharing “I Jumped From Space (World Record Supersonic Freefall).”
5. Optimize Your Videos
To boost your video’s visibility in search results, optimize your YouTube content by including relevant keywords in your titles and video descriptions. Additionally, consider incorporating a call-to-action (CTA) within your videos to stimulate viewer engagement and conversions.
While many people discover videos through the Home and Suggested Videos sections, it’s still essential to optimize your videos for search. Why is this crucial?
Because YouTube search strives to deliver the most pertinent results based on keyword searches, and the effectiveness of your title, description, and video content in matching a viewer’s query remains a ranking factor. So, video SEO remains effective.
For instance, SonoSite, a leader in portable ultrasound technology, partnered with the Rutgers Center for Management Development (CMD) in January 2011 to provide a customized version of its Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing program.
At the beginning of 2011, SonoSite’s channel had 99,529 total views and 253 subscribers. Today, the Fujifilm SonoSite channel has accumulated 31,678,634 views and boasts 108,000 subscribers.
The most viewed and highly engaged video on the channel is titled “How To: Ultrasound Guided Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection Scanning Technique.” This instructional video is specifically tailored for niche terminology typically used by physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. It has accumulated 5.4 million views and garnered 13,500 interactions.
6. Engage with Your Viewers
Make it a habit to respond to comments, address inquiries, and actively engage with your audience to foster a strong online community.
This interaction is key to building a solid relationship with your viewers and ensuring they return for more.
Over the past three years, Sticky, an Australian family-owned candy-making business, has shared 598 videos on YouTube. These videos have collectively garnered a remarkable 2.3 billion views and an impressive 112 million engagements.
This averages out to about 3.8 million views and 112,000 engagements per video, resulting in an engagement rate of 4.9%.
The brand’s most-watched and highly engaged video is titled “She was bragging until…,” a brief video that has amassed 210 million views and 9.0 million engagements!
7. Leverage Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with well-known YouTubers who share common interests with your brand and have a substantial following within your target audience. This partnership can extend your reach to new audiences and enhance your visibility on the platform.
The Influencer Marketing Industry is projected to reach approximately $21.1 Billion in 2023, according to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report.
As per Tubular’s DealMaker, in the last 365 days, 7,867 brand partners across 28 industries and 12,300 content partners spanning 21 genres have jointly produced 47,000 sponsored videos on YouTube, encompassing 102 countries.
With a multitude of examples available, it can be somewhat arbitrary to select just one.
Nevertheless, Jimmy Donaldson, renowned as MrBeast, teamed up with PayPal Honey to create one of the most popular videos of 2022. In a warehouse inspired by “Willy Wonka,” MrBeast challenges participants to navigate a chocolate river, scale a candy wall, compete in confection-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest dreams.
His sponsored video titled “I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!” achieved 163 million views and 5.5 million engagements.
4. Allocate Budget for Paid Advertising
Explore YouTube’s paid advertising tools, like video ads or sponsored content, to target a particular audience and increase views, subscribers, channel engagement, and website traffic.
For a glimpse of the most-watched ads each quarter, you can visit the YouTube Ads Leaderboard.
In the 2022 year-end rankings, “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader” secured the top spots in both the U.S. and global lists. The creative agency behind this ad was Lucky Generals, with IPG – Rufus handling the media aspect.
So, if your primary objective is to heighten brand awareness, you can delve into the success story of the Missouri Star Quilt Company, which employed video advertising to become the world’s leading supplier of precut quilting fabric.
If your focus is on stimulating interest and consideration, explore how Adidas effectively uses sequencing to guide potential customers from awareness to serious consideration.
If your aim is to encourage people to make purchases, subscribe, or take concrete actions, take a look at how United Airlines harnessed the power of video to convert indecisive customers.
And even though the term “full-funnel marketing” may be a bit misleading, if your goal encompasses increasing awareness, fostering consideration, and prompting action, you may want to read about how Ebates harnessed the potential of video and search to heighten aided awareness, amplify search engagement, and lower the cost-per-acquisition during its rebranding as Rakuten.
9. Explore YouTube CTV Testing
Based on YouTube’s internal data, viewers collectively spend more than 700 million hours each day watching YouTube content on TV devices.
To fully grasp this opportunity, it’s advisable to conduct experiments to gauge the potential effectiveness of connected TV (CTV) for your target audiences.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model for an ideal CTV advertising strategy.
To gain insights into what brands are discovering, you can read Christine Turner’s article titled “What 3 brands learned from their YouTube CTV experiments.”
For instance, in 2021, Frito-Lay North America embarked on an investigation to understand how increased watch time on CTV impacted the brand and sales objectives of its Ruffles brand. Their marketing team conducted an A/B test, allocating half of the media budget to the usual devices and the other half to an elevated CTV allocation. Subsequently, they assessed the performance against the delivery.
As Amanda Corral, the Senior Director of Paid Media Strategy at Frito-Lay North America, noted, “The enhanced delivery to the increased CTV cells surpassed our expectations and benchmarks in terms of view rates, ad recall, and sales lift.” She further emphasized, “We accomplished this without compromising CPM or reach. We were delighted to achieve a substantial impact while upholding efficiency and attaining a higher ROI.”
1Evaluate Your Achievements
Harness YouTube Analytics, lift metrics, and GA4 to closely monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Thoroughly assess your data and make informed decisions based on the information you gather, whether it’s about increasing awareness, influencing consideration, driving online or offline sales, or fostering customer loyalty.
Here are three recent instances of how organizations have effectively employed YouTube marketing to achieve quantifiable results.
On December 13, 2021, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign. This campaign highlighted the remarkable tourist attractions in the UAE, in addition to the values ingrained in Emirati society.
The campaign concluded on February 13, 2022, and it yielded the following outcomes:
- Hotel revenues reached AED1.5 billion, marking a substantial 50% increase compared to the previous year’s AED1 billion.
- The number of tourists surged to 1.3 million, a notable 36% rise compared to the campaign’s first season.
- Hotel occupancy rates in 2022 reached 73%, reflecting a commendable 7% increase over the 66% occupancy rate in 2021.
YouTube Marketing Tools
Here are some of the most effective tools to support your YouTube marketing efforts:
1. Audience Research Tools
Tools like Find My Audience and SparkToro help you identify your most valuable YouTube customers and understand their online engagement, such as the YouTube channels they follow, social accounts, websites, press publications, and podcasts they interact with. This information helps you target your video marketing more effectively.
2. Keyword Research Tools
Tools such as YouTube Analytics, Google Trends, and YouTube Search Predictions aid in finding relevant keywords and popular topics in your industry. These tools assist in optimizing your YouTube videos for better search visibility.
3. Video Editing Software
Given the 135% growth in short-form content on YouTube, video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, or iMovie allows you to edit and enhance your videos. You can add music, sound effects, and special effects to stay competitive.
4. YouTube Thumbnail Makers
Verified accounts can create custom video thumbnails. Tools like Canva, Placeit, and Adobe Express help you design eye-catching YouTube thumbnail images, even if you lack design skills or expensive graphic design software.
5. Social Media Management Tools
Tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, or Later assist in scheduling and monitoring your YouTube videos and engaging with comments. They also allow you to share your videos on other social media platforms to reach a broader audience and drive more traffic to your YouTube channel.
6. YouTube Directories
The YouTube Creative Directory offers collaborative partners for every production stage, and the YouTube Services Directory connects content creators with service providers to support their businesses.
7. Digital Analytics
Utilize YouTube Analytics to understand your video and channel performance with key metrics. Google Ads and Google’s lift measurement tools provide actionable insights throughout the consumer journey. Additionally, Google Analytics collects data from your websites and apps, offering valuable business insights.
In summary, you’ve learned about the benefits of YouTube marketing, a two-step model for effective YouTube marketing, and the essential marketing tools to have in your toolkit. With these resources, you’re well-equipped to plan and execute your YouTube marketing strategies effectively.