Video is a highly effective form of content. For marketers, it is an easy way to communicate their value proposition and engage their audience. And as social media and social advertising has become more important in marketing, the need for video as part of a content strategy has only increased. According to a recent report by Smart Insights, 83% of marketers believe that video is becoming more important. This statistic is not surprising given that 93% of the brands surveyed say they have gotten a customer as a result of video efforts on social media. Video has the power to impact both product and service based businesses: over half of consumers report that they engage with a brand after viewing one of their videos on social media.
Creating videos is just the first step of making this powerful form of content work for you. It is also critically important to distribute the video on platforms where your target demographic is already spending time. Enter YouTube. The popular video sharing platform is the 2nd most visited website in the world. It is a key platform in reaching several demographics, from GenZ to Baby Boomers and nearly everyone in between. According to recent research from Statista, 96% of 18- to 24-year-olds and half of internet users over the age of 75 use YouTube. YouTube also reaches more Americans aged 18 to 34 than any TV network.
If you are planning to use YouTube in your marketing strategy in 2019, it’s not enough just to upload your videos. Marketers must develop a strong strategy to stand out and reach your audience: there are already more than 50 million content creators regularly sharing video on the platform and competition is fierce. Get inspired to take your YouTube strategy to the next level with a look at the 10 Best Brands on YouTube.
Top 10 Best Brands on YouTube
1. LEGO uses UGC to keep fans engaged
LEGO boasts more than 7.5 million subscribers, ranging from children to adult fans of LEGO. The brand uses a mix of original content and user-generated content (UGC) to keep fans engaged.
The brand regularly runs campaigns aimed at getting followers to share their content. For example, the ‘Build It Together’ campaign encouraged fans to build a Christmas present for someone using Legos. Fans could enter their videos or photos of their creations for a chance to be featured.
Rather than trying to control their video content on YouTube, LEGO also encourages its fan base to create channels of their own. By doing so, they capitalize on fans’ existing engagement levels. Some fan channels have hundreds of thousands of subscribers of their own.
TAKEAWAY: Think beyond your own content and encourage your followers to share videos of their own.
2. Disney modernizes its content to fit the platform
While Disney is known for its well-loved movies and animations, the brand doesn’t rely on this content for its YouTube channel. Instead, they create content that fits the platform – including the retelling of their favorite stories with emojis and tutorials on illustrations. The result is that this heritage brand feels very modern and in touch with what today’s YouTube user wants to see. Disney knows what their audience loves, and makes that type of content easily available on YouTube. They use interest specific sub-channels to make it easy for followers to find exactly what they are looking for.
TAKEAWAY: Create video content specifically for the platform.
3. BMW creates content tailored to the car enthusiast
BMW knows its customer. People who buy BMWs are car enthusiasts, so they create content where experts share historical and technological information about the brand’s various cars. BMW’s subscribers also get a first look at official launch films and web series. They use content as a type of funnel tactic to engage both current and potential customers.
BMW’s Head of Digital Marketing, Jorg Poggenpohl, says, “Based on data-driven insights we wanted to create relevant and snackable content in helpful and entertaining ways.” Their mobile-first, content-led approach has helped to increase mobile visitors by 27% in 2019.
TAKEAWAY: Know your customer to create videos that they will want to watch.
4. Google combines what they stand for with what their audience cares about
Google owns YouTube, so it’s not exactly surprising that they know how to use the platform. They created a documentary series Search On that taps into the bigger reasons that people are searching on Google. The series tells the stories of people around the world who are using Google technology to solve big problems, answer hard questions, and take action.
One of the key drivers of content creation for Google is identifying the sweet spot between
“what the brand stands for” and “what their audience cares about.” Search On is a great example of how engaging content can be created when you identify that intersection.
TAKEAWAY: Look for story opportunities that represent your brand AND engage your audience.
5. GoPro rewards fans with the GoPro Awards
GoPro’s key value proposition is that the camera makes it easy for their customers to capture video of their experiences. They harness the incredible amount of video created by fans through contests and rewards. GoPro shares the most engaging examples of user-generated content on the brand’s YouTube channel and their brand website. They also make it easy for their 5 million subscribers to submit a video and enter challenges online.
TAKEAWAY: Reward fans for using and sharing videos of your products.
6. Nike collaborates with YouTube influencers to expand reach
Nike has close to 1 million subscribers on YouTube, but influencers Dan and Lincoln Markham of the popular YouTube show, What’s Inside? have nearly 6 million followers. So Nike worked with Dan and Lincoln to create a series of sponsored videos for the show, including a trip to Nike headquarters and a video depicting Nike’s newest shoe, the Air Vapormax, getting cut in half.
TAKEAWAY: Think beyond your own audience.
7. Redbull creates customer-centric content
Redbull is targeting the younger, highly desirable 18-34 demographic, but they understand that customers in this range are extremely savvy when it comes to advertising. Instead of trying to market products to these customers, the brand instead focuses on sharing lifestyle content around activities the audience loves. The video above has over 2 million views, and while it’s technically a commercial, the product is secondary to the amazing things the athletes are able to achieve.
TAKEAWAY: Don’t focus too heavily on the product.
8. Victoria’s Secret takes their fashion show omnichannel
Victoria’s Secret was the first (in 2010) to televise their fashion show. At the time, this cutting edge move took the fashion show from an event for the few and made it a must-see show for the masses. The brand has evolved the show with the times, embracing social media (in particular YouTube) as a way to create more ways for fans to engage with the show. Rather than posting promotional content, Victoria’s Secret uses the appeal of their models and visual aesthetics to create compelling and informative content. Audiences can learn how to work out like the models and go behind the scenes at the latest fashion shows.
TAKEAWAY: Offer viewers more ways to interact with the content they already love.
9. Chanel focuses on beauty content
While Chanel is known as a luxury fashion brand, their YouTube strategy is based on the content that gets the most views. In 2018, beauty-related content generated more than 169 billion views. As a result, most of Chanel’s videos are make-up tutorials and features on new beauty products. This approach has helped the brand to grow their subscribers to almost double its nearest competitor, Dior.
TAKEAWAY: Let the data guide your strategy.
10. WWE goes behind the scenes with their original series
With more than 2.69 million subscribers, the WWE YouTube channel is one of the most-followed entertainment and sports brands on YouTube. The entertainment brand uses the channel to put a spotlight on their stars. Original series increase fan engagement by taking viewers outside of the ring and behind the scenes, making viewers feel like they know the WWE superstars.
TAKEAWAY: Take your audience behind the scenes.
It is helpful for marketers to assess the strategies of the best in class YouTube strategies as they look to build their own. These 10 brands are some of the best on YouTube, but they aren’t the only ones driving results with the video platform. Which companies do you think are the best brands on YouTube?