We were excited to attend Dx3 Canada this year because of the access it provided to smart people doing big things. YouTube’s Dave Coleman is one such example, and his session about brand success on YouTube did not disappoint. In less than an hour, Dave laid out a video production content structure that any brand can use to find and engage with their customers.
Previously, I had written about Volvo’s ability to split its marketing objectives to create video content that effectively targeted each stage of its sales cycle. Volvo created a perfectly executed awareness campaign built around Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ability to do the splits that drove attention to targeted explainer video snippets designed to actually sell $100,000 trucks. It worked beautifully.
Coleman not only agreed with my take on Volvo during his session, but used the company as the perfect example of YouTube’s recommended content structure for brands. This structure contains three content buckets – Hero, Hub, and Hygiene – all of which should align directly with a brand’s content strategy (defined by what your brand stands for and what your customers are interested in). Here’s Coleman’s recommended content structure as exemplified by Volvo’s YouTube channel.
Coleman defined Hero content as large scale, ‘tent pole’ events designed for broad awareness. These might happen only once or twice a year, can be expensive to produce, and are tricky to properly land (http://simplestoryvideos.com/blog/funny-is-dangerous). Not all brands have the resources or positioning to produce hero content of this nature, but those that do can use hero content to get a large amount of eyeballs on what they truly care about: hub and hygiene content.
Volvo’s JCVD split video, now viewed 70 million times, is undoubtedly hero content. But it’s actually one video in a series of six “live test” videos that have driven 100 million viewers to Volvo’s YouTube channel. As I’ve noted before, Volvo’s hero content has proven to be highly successful at getting people interested in watching the video content that sells trucks.
Coleman identified Hub content as regularly scheduled push content designed for your prospective customer. This content typically has a lower video production value than Hero content, but is longer and more episodic in nature – the perfect format to dig deeper into your brand identity and core value propositions. Hub content is where you talk in detail about what your brand stands for and what your customers are interested in.
Volvo actually has multiple series of Hub content, each focused on a different aspect that would appeal to trucker enthusiasts. “Welcome to my Cab” highlights customized trucks and their owners, while “Brian’s Truck Report” spotlights different Volvo models. These video series have also proven highly effective for Volvo, netting approximately 500,000 view per episode from Volvo’s target customer.
The simplest but perhaps most important bucket in Coleman’s YouTube content structure for brands. Hygiene content is the short, ‘always on’ content designed to continuously engage your brands target audience to keep them informed and engaged. The focus of this content is usually on education, and the emphasis is placed more on the information value than production value (Coleman noted in his talk that in the right scenario, even a smartphone camera would suffice). Hygiene content does not actually have to be produced by the brand, but can be simply curated or even collaborated on with customers. Like good personal hygiene, the more you surface this content to your customers, the healthier your YouTube channel will be.
As I’ve noted in my JCVD post, Volvo has taken advantage of animated explainer videos to create educational content around specific product features of its truck line. But Volvo has also smartly collaborated with its customer base in a “What’s your story?” series of videos that highlights individual drivers and their tips on safety and productivity. The production value is higher than what is probably required, but you better believe that each driver featured will use Volvo trucks for the rest of their lives.
Volvo’s video production is impressive, but it can also seem daunting to small brands just starting out. Coleman’s recommendation at the end of his Dx3 session to not let a lack of professional content creation stand in the way of a great YouTube channel was powerful. Brands can curate great YouTube content right away that aligns with their brand and customer identity – they don’t have to wait. When they’re ready for professional video production to fill out the rest of Coleman’s YouTube content structure? We’ll be happy to help them out.