In just 10 years, YouTube became the online video giant we know today. How did it turn out this way and how can you benefit from it?
YouTube and pure player media
Created in 2005, the video-sharing platform is now gathering an impressive 8 billion views per day and an at least 400 hours of content are uploaded every minute. It is also a catalogue of 2,000 YouTube channels with more than 1 million subscribers. Nobody can ignore the outstanding influence of the first online media anymore. We consume YouTube videos just like the last generation watched TV. In 2016, YouTube is bigger that any cable network in the US and the 3rd network in France.
This exponential growth caught the attention of both private and public sectors. Brands and public figures, soon understood the new opportunities that video marketing offered in term of awareness, engagement and freedom of creation.
How YouTube changed everything about content creation
YouTube is at the origin of some of today’s hottest trends in communication: media brands, content marketing, co-creation, user generate content and of course influencer marketing. Before YouTube, brands and institutions were rather limited in their content, creation and distribution, by traditional media advertising rules. As it grew larger, it became a new communication space, where they could address their customers directly in a more customised way. On YouTube the tone of voice doesn’t necessarily have to be corporate. Creativity is the most important factor of success.
In 2016 most brands own a YouTube channel to showcase their corporate values and promote their products and services. But since online video became a thing, the pioneers in video marketing were the action sport and beauty/make-up industries – producing exceptionally entertaining content or video tutorials to help use their products. However, brands of any kind, institution, personalities find creative and engaging ways of engaging with theirs audiences in a format that became most natural to them.
Marketing and advertising professionals weren’t the only one taking an interest in the video platform. Individuals did too and they started using YouTube early on, to voice their opinions and demonstrate their expertise. Thanks to the audience growth and the unprecedented relationship linking them to the people watching, some YouTubers became celebrities at the scale of the YouTube generation. They are gradually taking over the brand ambassador business, by answering to the customer’s need for recognition.
“How to build a plane”: Airbus doing influencer video marketing right.
YouTube content should be the perfect combination of creativity and corporate message. The publisher’s main focus has to be customer-centric.
For instance, Airbus collaborated in 2014 with renowned YouTuber Henry Reich and creator of the YouTube Channels MinutePhysics and MinuteEarth. Reich specialises in teaching physics through simple, hand-drawn animated designs. He was invited by the European plane manufacturer to visit their facilities in France and in the UK to learn about the whole process of designing and building an aircraft. He chronicled his journey and the people he met with in a video – How airplanes are made – that recorded over 1,2M views on the site.
The success of this videos lies on; the brand gave the influencer means to create something that felt like something he would have produced, regardless. The production of this video genuinely was a co-creation between Airbus and Reich, blending together their corporate visuals with Reich light and simple voice over explanations. The result is an entertaining, educational video showcasing Airbus know-how, and un certain je ne sais quoi between the creator and his sponsor.
What’s next for Video Marketing
Video is an increasingly important part of the web traffic and will continue to eat up the other media. It will soon be consumed more on mobile that on any other device. (It’s already about 50% mobile for most content creators on YouTube.) With the boom of smartphones and tablets, the audience – millenials before anyone else – will consume videos on multiple screens and share them across social networks, anywhere, anytime.
This evolution implies that publishers – brands or media – will have to adapt the format and content of their videos. But the main challenge they face is the ever-growing number of publishers and videos available. In the next few months, we will see more ultra-specialised niche influencers with small but extremely loyal communities and they will be strategic spokespersons for brands. In terms of content, we are all looking for personalised, compelling videos. With time, we become more accustomed to online videos and therefore more demanding.
If you are interested in learning more about YouTube Marketing strategies, find the keys to successful YouTube storytelling in Damien Norcia’s new bookYouTube Marketing : online videos, content strategies: the new storytelling. A selected summary is available for download here.