In today’s digital world, individuals are always connected to the things that they care about the most. The internet provides users the ability to instantaneously create and share unique aspects of their lives and interests to an audience size that reaches into the billions. No matter the platform, unique content is created every day, and through this, overnight sensations and stars have helped shape the way we live our daily lives. The phrase “YouTube Star” is now as common a title as “movie star,” and some of these stars are just as popular as their big-screen counterparts.
With the vast opportunity individuals have on a platform such as YouTube, there is the question of how companies and brands can capitalize on the shifting media landscape to digital. While spending the day at YouTube’s offices in New York City for a ‘Brand Day’ alongside clients of Elite SEM, I was reminded just how important it is for brands to not only have a presence on YouTube, but to have engaging content that resonates with their target audience.
Creating a Platform
Traditionally, brands needed to create commercials to advertise and connect with individuals. The truth is that in today’s digital world, people want to find something that engages them and resonates with their interests. Brands need to have content that engages with their audience, and they can achieve this by harnessing the power of YouTube. However, before brands create their content to will be shared across this channel, they need to build a platform. They can create a platform by identifying what their brand cares about, and what their audience cares about. An easy way to imagine this is by drawing a Venn Diagram and listing what the brand and users both care about. Whatever overlaps in the center of the diagram can be used for the foundation of content creation.
There are three primary principles of content on YouTube which are found in every video. These principles are the ability educate, entertain, and inspire. While at this Brand Day, we were shown 3-4 examples of how brands are capitalizing on these three principles to engage their audience. Below are some example of the different type of videos these brands used, and how it allowed users to interact with their brand.
ShopKeep is a POS software company that has a short & simple video overviewing the need for a POS system, and how easy it is for anyone to use it. This educates viewers & specifically business owners on what their company offers, and why business owners should use their product. Citrix, a business technology company, leverages a funny & engaging video which entertains and educates users on their virtual meeting software.
The final two videos we were shown were for IKEA and Volvo, and how they are able to inspire viewers with their content. IKEA inspires viewers to re-think their bedroom furniture after showing an original video of clothes ‘in the wild’ flying home to a bedroom wardrobe. The most famous of all of the videos we were shown was for Volvo. Their viral Jean-Claude Van Damme truck split video inspired users all over the world to not only think about the precision of Volvo trucks, but to engage with the video by sharing, creating hashtags, and commenting on the video. All of these videos, no matter how famous, provided their brand with engaging content that either inspired, entertained, or educated viewers on their brand to drive awareness and/or sales.
By creating these videos, each of the brands saw increases primarily in sales, but also overall engagement and interaction with their brand on a never before seen level. These videos arguably single-handedly help transform their business overnight, and positioned them as a dominant & memorable player in the digital space. After meeting with the YouTube team in New York City, each and every person left that office excited for the possibilities that await by advertising on YouTube. It is incredibly important in today’s digital world that brands capitalize on this shift to digital and create content that will engage users, so when they are ready to convert, they already know where to convert.