The largest and most well-known online video platform; YouTube boasts over 1 billion users globally, of which 55% will watch videos daily. Commanding the majority share of reach for anybody aged 18 – 49, a total of 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube every month. With these numbers, it’s increasingly important for a brand to get amongst the YouTube community.

As video content is being adopted on most of the major social media platforms, further opportunities for brands to capture the attention of a global user-base begins to emerge. Global and nationally reaching companies have led the way in creative marketing campaigns through YouTube, this is no more apparent than companies such as Nike appearing in the most watched videos on YouTube in 2016.

Investing in content on social network such as YouTube has proven results. The platform can be counted as the second largest search engine online and brand video success can be as much about optimizing for SEO than the quality of the video produced.

In June 2016, YouTube launched a service available for small businesses in the US and Canada which provides access to professional video ads and tools. YouTube Director features an app that allows users to make use of a smartphone to create and advert. The service will also provide the opportunity for the small business to send clips to professional editors providing $150 is spent on YouTube ads

Despite the ad platform access being made more accessible to small businesses, a video marketing campaign generating targeted organic traffic and brand awareness is still the ultimate goal.

Here are the key take-aways from existing brand content.

Know your core demographic – create content for these first and foremost!

It seems like a no brainer – your content should be produced for your demographic. An SME should ask what the online habits and preferred video content for their target audience is and use this to feed into the strategy.

The question for Rokenbok – the US based toy company – is how to stand out from the crowd on social and in turn appeal successfully to their key demographic. To achieve this, Rokenbok produced a series of short videos with their products in role-playing scenes which appeal to their younger audience who are prevalent on social media.

Populating your YouTube channel with relevant content is key to building your viewer base and subscriber numbers. Video marketing success through YouTube is rarely achieved after one or two videos, but will take time for an SME to start being noticed online.

Rokenbok also utilize social media as a PR method to change consumer opinion. In their ‘Don’t try this with Lego’ series, Rokenbok aggressively targets their competitors’ products and points out benefits their products have over Lego.

Capturing the attention of their target market over their social channel helped to position the brand besides other brands within a competitive business environment.

Create content that is on brand and appealing to new audiences

A video that is creative in its simplicity, Lagavulin whisky enrolled the help of Nick Offerman to promote the brand on social media over the busy Christmas season.

Lagavulin gained popularity due to references in comedy show Parks & Recreation where the product is associated with the traditionally masculine character ‘Ron Swanson’. The promotional video with Nick Offerman serves as a prime example of jumping on the back of an opportunity to create shareable content for the brands PR efforts.

Customers will always want a brand that is on the same page and not faceless; whether with humor, social news, or popular opinions. This highly simple yet effective video produced for Lagavulin’s YouTube channel benefits from the use of a well-known comedy personality to create positive brand associations with their audience.

Use research to answer questions being asked by your audience

With YouTube being said to be the second most-used search platform, it makes sense to utilize similar tactics to optimize your video for search results. What are people that are potential customers searching for online?

For an SME to emulate this, finding the common questions that are being asked online can be as simple as using a free tool. Search engine research tool Answer the Public allows the user to find the core questions being asked by consumers and use this information to form the basis of their video content.

A great example of this being effective can be seen with small business Vetsure, who produced a series of videos answering the ‘How To…’ search market – one that is growing with Google moving to catering for the longer search queries with the rise of speech input.

The first video produced from Vetsure answered the question ‘How to apply drops to your dog’s ears’, a video that has generated nearly 50,000 views and ranks first for the question on Google being hosted on their website. This video, despite its simple production levels has seen success because of its high relevancy. It directly answers the key questions that users are looking for in a useful & easy to digest way.

If you have effective and entertaining user content – use it!

When it comes to creating original and engaging content, the YouTube channel for GoPro stands out as one of the best examples of a brand using YouTube. Boasting a following of over 2million, the GoPro channel was one of the original success stories of making use of user submitted content.

Due to the nature of the product, it makes replenishing the channel with fresh, regular content incredibly easy. As GoPro’s product naturally produces exciting or emotional material, it makes for prime material to engage and grab the attention of their audience.

An SME can look to this for inspiration – perhaps your product or service itself is the aspect that will prove to be the most effective use of a YouTube channel? The appeal of the simple is exemplified perfectly through the Hydraulic Press Channel on YouTube. Videos of a hydraulic press crushing everyday objects has managed to generate 1.6 million subscribers – simple, yet effective!