Ever-Evolving Digital Marketing: YouTube

I’m Ginny – a digital marketing specialist here at Traackr. I’m new to the team, and since my background is in social media strategy for digital agencies, this will be my first in a series on the subject of ever-evolving marketing. Today, I present YouTube…

YouTubers – YouTube stardom – a concept still baffling to my parents and the slow-adopters, perhaps also those generations who didn’t grow up or work in the dawning of the Internet, AIM, chat rooms, those who didn’t ride the first wave of university-email-exclusive Facebook account creations… those who never quite caught on to the digital culture of online communities.

Even for someone like myself, a digital marketer specializing in social media strategies, to hear the kids I babysit say their lifelong dream is to become not a movie star, but a YouTuber, is a huge realization of the ever evolving digitally immersive world we live in today. Not that I reject this, as the constant evolution keeps my career full of interesting opportunities after all; but my point being many brands and advertisers are striving to catch up to YouTube. What Susan Wojcicki, SVP, and team is cooking up fits the digital world much better than some traditionalists are ready to accept. But it’s only a matter of time…

Evolve or get left behind seems to be the theme from my experience in the digital advertising world, and YouTube is doing its part to make the evolution that much more necessary. One digital aspect that YouTube understands well and is starting to utilize more is the power of influencers – in their case influential YouTubers – especially apparent with their new Beacon initiative, outlined thoroughly in this recent Fast Company article (worth the time for a full read).

The company has previously worked on initiatives with traditional celebrity influencers, yielding fairly mediocre results. However, the idea to use influencers from their own platform to increase engagement and advertising revenue on their own platform seems like a no brainer. The thought is that investing more in their YouTubers’ success will put a positive light on the company in general, encouraging brands not just to pay higher rates for ad space on desirable channels, but to create their own branded channels with engaging series and a big subscriber base.

Some super traditional advertisers grasping onto traditional tactics recognize the need to (reluctantly) embrace digital mediums including YouTube, but they don’t fully understand, like Wojcicki points out, how to take advantage of these new and different mediums. When you work at a digital agency, these are the clients demanding “viral campaigns” – the irony of which is a topic for another blog post!

Brands and advertisers doing something right are those succeeding in turning themselves into media companies of sorts, engaging with the right communities, talking about the right topics, and utilizing influencers to become influential themselves. Those who build their YouTube channel into content marketing and media plans successfully create not just branded videos, but also digestible content that audiences want to watch. They possess one of the best traits we all look for in a good relationship – they listen!

Some examples of brands doing this well on YouTube are GoPro, who has been doing some really smart influencer outreach for a while now; Allstate, where useful DIY home tips mingle with TV commercials, providing audiences with everything they could possibly love about insurance; and Southwest, whose channel is obviously as entertaining as we already know the brand to be.

When it comes to actually creating strong, influential content on YouTube channels, lots of brands are probably thinking, “I don’t want to get left behind, but I don’t know where to start.” What I like so much about being a part of Traackr is I get to work with a team of professionals who just get this stuff, and are really able to help brands better understand how to fit into new and relevant digital mediums.

So, your first step to creating great content (on YouTube or any social medium) is listening to your audience, finding out who they listen to and why, and identifying their content preferences, needs and problems. And you can do that with Traackr! It’s really easy to take a tour and find out how the tool can best serve your strategy development and plans. Or check out our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and Influencer Strategy for more information.

Stay tuned for more updates on what’s changing and trending in digital marketing!