Not every brand has the means for video production, or the ability to develop content made specifically for the web. There are other ways for you to capitalize on YouTube’s vast reach without having to create new content in-house. Here are seven ways brands can begin using YouTube without creating content in-house.

1. Products for Consideration

Send your product to influential YouTubers who cover your brand’s industry. The goal is for YouTubers to review the product, or at least mention it in a video. Though there is no obligation for the YouTuber to mention your product, and while what they have to say may not always be favorable, an influencer choosing to talk about your product is more authentic and compelling than you talking about your product.

2. Brand Integration and Sponsorship

There are two effective ways to increase your involvement with a content creator beyond supplying them with your brand’s product for review. Why not work with them?

What is Brand Integration?

A Brand Integration deal is when a brand and a YouTuber arrange for a product to be featured in a video.

After identifying a content creator as an established fan of your brand, integration can naturally follow, as both parties work together to arrange product debuts and other exclusives that can benefit both your brand and the quality of the YouTube influencer’s channel.

What does it mean to sponsor a video?

Sponsorship differs from brand integration in that sponsored videos deviate from the traditional videos of a channel in style, content or publication timeline. Thus, the involvement of the brand is usually much more obvious.

Sponsorship and integration can look very similar and it is often difficult to tell the difference between “product for consideration” and integration. With “product for consideration,” the YouTuber has not been paid by the brand to stay “on message,” or even to guarantee coverage. On the other hand, a brand integration deal is more of an official partnership, often including compensation for the YouTuber’s participation.

Brand integration and sponsorship deals require you to put a fair amount of trust in the YouTuber. It is never easy to relinquish control, especially when someone else is being entrusted with the message. However, successful deals can open up a whole new audience of users eager to learn about your brand’s product. The key takeaway is to try and find the right YouTuber for the right message, and make sure the proper disclosures are made.

3. Licensing

If a brand is unable or unwilling to make original content in-house, one option might be to license original video uploaded from existing users. If a user has made high-quality content featuring your brand, why not use it across a wider spectrum by adding it to one of YouTube’s commercial slots?

4. Advertising

Brands are able to use services that pair them with targeted channels and keywords, set to display over specific time periods, resulting in a more effective overall ad campaign. A service such as TrueView can help track ad viewership, differentiating between those who skip after five seconds and those who watch for 30 seconds or more.

5. Content Creation Contests

Brands might choose to engage with fans even further, by organizing contests. The submission guidelines can be varied or refined in such a way as to direct fans to make the kind of ad the brand would otherwise make themselves.

A content creation contest, in other words, is a way to get content made within a certain timeframe, rather than waiting around for the right fan to make the right video that might fit your brand’s needs. While content creation contests can be great for encouraging fan engagement, they can be tricky to pull off because they require the same amount of time and attention as any other kind of campaign would.

6. Re-Uploading Existing Content

Historic brands, like Coca-Cola, are able to capitalize on nostalgia. If your brand has a vast archive of vintage television spots, these can be recycled as uploads to YouTube where they become “evergreen” content, garnering a new viewership long after the campaign ran during network programming.

Networks themselves are redirecting YouTubers back to television by offering show clips and highlights to encourage engagement with new shows or old favorites. Jimmy Kimmel, for example, has an entire audience on YouTube devoted to his “Mean Tweets” segment that allows the skit to live on long after the original episode has aired.

It is important however, to not treat YouTube as a dumping ground for content that isn’t primed or optimized for the platform. Fans want to engage with captivating content, and are not likely to respond well to a brand that isn’t selective with the content they choose to share.

7. Working with YouTubers Away from YouTube

Working with a YouTuber away from YouTube could mean sending them to an event to do coverage, or even including them in an official ad campaign.

While there are many things to consider when choosing to work with a YouTuber outside of YouTube, from how their message aligns to that of your brand, to how the final product of the deal will turn out, the major benefit of doing so is the potential for greater exposure. Vloggers, if given the chance to film their experiences with a brand out in the real world, will publicize it on all of their social platforms, including YouTube.

Concluding Thoughts

Fan engagement is a necessary part of any successful YouTube strategy. While the task may seem daunting, there are alternative options available beyond simply producing and creating content to upload to the platform. If utilized carefully and correctly, the above suggestions could help build fan engagement for your brand and put you in front of new users, also known as potential customers.

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