Published October 16, 2014
Feeling inspired from last week’s annual YouTube #Brandcast, I’m happy to share my key take-outs from the event and the latest news on how marketers can harness the undoubtedly huge (and still growing!) power of YouTube.
1) Understand that it’s huge!
It’s official: YouTube confirmed they now have more viewers than TV. And this isn’t on demand ‘playback’ TV, but TV in general. With more than a billion unique users visitors each month and over 6 billion hours of video watched every month (almost an hour for every person on Earth!), we’ll just have to wake up and admit that the world has changed forever.
2) Know what helped it get so big…
YouTube put their popularity down to being built by fans, and believe their success comes from the creativity and authenticity of their creators. They used Brandcast and their latest ad campaigns to celebrate creators (YouTube Heroes) like Zoella. Zoella – Zoe Sugg – started vlogging aged 11, years before YouTube even existed. Today, she has an enviable 8 million fans, her own beauty line and published a best-selling book. Other creators to celebrate include The Slow Mo Guys and Sorted Food.
3) Think about what’s next…
From a volume point of view I’m sure we’re only looking at even more growth. Just how much is scary to contemplate, but in terms of what’s next there’s an interesting takeaway. YouTube says their aim is to “inform, entertain and inspire” and they themselves have noticed a change in their channel over the past year. They claim that this was the year that You Tube started to mature, where more serious content started to give cute cats a run for their money. One example is the emergence of Vice News. Not the next CNN, they say – more like ten times the next CNN. It was obvious really: YouTube bringing us the news from the heart of the action, in ‘real time’, as it happens. And sorry, news channels – you should have acted more quickly.
4) Understand how brands can harness this power
Most importantly? Let’s embrace rather than ignore it. A great example of someone taking on the challenge is Jamie Oliver, clearly a successful celebrity, brand and business in his own right (built up offline). When the young team of Sorted Food came along, he had two choices: roll over and let the next generation take the limelight, or give them a run for their money. With Food Tube, Jamie’s done just that. Building on the lack of foodie talent coming through he created his own channel to nurture and bring on the next generation, putting himself and the brand at the heart of the action. Well done, Jamie!
Pepsi is another great example of a brand actively using the channel. Facing a decline in the cola sector as water sales grow, and accepting that a traditional, polished ad will simply miss their target audience who aren’t watching TV, they embraced YouTube. But better still they embraced the fact that what fans really want is human authenticity – not something a giant like Pepsi can easily provide. So they went to the most creative content creators and celebrated them through their Unbelievable campaign.
5) And know what’s coming next!
At the event, Google launched their new marketing tool Google Preferred. In essence, Google Preferred allows advertisers to choose the top 1% and 5% channels to give them a laser-targeted route to placing advertising. The new filter will be based on a Preference Score that rates content with a unique algorithm that ranks content by popularity and engagement using metrics like watch time, comments, shares and social embeds. Do you see where they’re going with this? It’s feeling very Google-like! So if you want to stand out, provide great content and get your fans to engage with it.
So that wraps up the evening, apart from to say I scored about a zillion ‘cool’ points with my kids for being treated to live performances from even more YouTube heroes, specifically Clean Bandit and Rudimental!
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