YouTube Marketing Key Takeaways from DGS4

Watch a replay of the YouTube Marketing Panelists at Digital Growth Summit:

Jennifer Aden, Moderator, NeoReach – Sean Weigold, Maker Studios – Lauren Francesca, YouTube Personality – Adam Hendle, FameBit – Jacquelle Amankonah, Google – Alex Hluch, DEFY Media


One thing to remember is that YouTube is a search engine, it’s Google. – @LaurenFrancesca

YouTube best practices for creators

What do you think are some best practices for creators and businesses when they’re growing their YouTube audience?

One thing to remember is that YouTube is a search engine, it’s Google. Whatever people are searching for, that’s what is going to get the views. You should be making topical content. That’s how you’re going to get your traffic and really grow your audience. – Lauren Francesca

It’s important to have a YouTube content calendar. – @SeanWF

I think it’s important to have a content calendar. To have something from you that shows, these are the events that we know, over the next three months, are going to drive a lot of viewership on YouTube. For instance, we just recently had Halloween. Creators can include tags like “Halloween,” even if their video is just tangentially related to Halloween. You can also do things like, movie releases, video game releases, and big social events like the Ice Bucket Challenge. This will draw viewers to your videos. – Sean Weigold

Consistency is great, but if you’re consistently doing something that’s not working, then you need to change it up. You need to come up with fresh ideas. One of our creators, Anthony Deluca, was doing a music channel and a lot of his comments were about what he was wearing. So he decided to start doing men’s fashion and tripled his content in a few months. Make sure that what you are doing is working and if it’s not, try something new. – Adam Hendle

Listen to your YouTube audience, they will let you know if something is not working. – @Jacquelle

Let people know when you’re posting videos so they can expect it. They love that and they will rely on it, so be true to it. That’s a very reliable way to keep your audience engaged. Also, for the type of content, be focused. Imagine a water hose, you don’t want it just spraying everywhere, you want a straight stream so that people know what to expect from you. If you’re a “Jack of All Trades” then they won’t know what to expect, but if you are very good at one thing, then focus on that one thing. Try something new and listen to your audience, they will let you know if something is not working. – Jacquelle Amankonah

YouTube also has free panels and seminars that you can watch in order to learn how to create better content. They have everything from how to produce good content, STOs, how to market yourself to brands, and they’re really thorough. – Alex Hluch

It’s also a good idea to work with other influencers, tagging each other, playing off each other in your videos and this has proven really useful. – Jennifer Aden


YouTube tips for brands

How would you recommend that a brand incorporate these best practices into their videos?

Have a goal in mind when creating YouTube content. Know what you want to accomplish. – @AdamHendle

First, you need to figure out what you want to accomplish. We want to help YouTubers grow so we go to YouTubers who have done it and we interview them. This helps our business and it really helps them. You really have to have a goal in mind-otherwise you’re just going to be creating content for the sake of doing something. – Adam Hendle

I’d also add authenticity. Either partner with somebody that’s authentic or make sure that your brand is authentic. Maybe have one person represent your brand on YouTube. – Jacquelle Amankonah

Transparency is very important. Don’t try too hard to hide the fact that this is a brand or that you sponsor this artist. People know what sponsorships are so make sure you are transparent in your branding, don’t just try to sneak a Sprite onto a screen, that’s how you get backlash. Just say, “today we’re sponsored by XYZ.” People understand that. – Alex Hluch


YouTube reach vs. engagement

Engagement is much more important than the actual reach of the YouTube post. – @LaurenFrancesca

How do you quantify reach versus engagement?

I think engagement is much more important than the actual reach of the post because when you engage people then they are going to be sharing your post. You want to have a very engaged audience. – Lauren Francesca

About a year and a half after we launched, I noticed all brands looked at was subscriber count. Really, that number is unimportant. What really matters is average views, how many comments, and how many likes. That’s engagement and that’s what you should care about. – Adam Hendle

Use “Watch Time” to measure YouTube engagement. – @Jacquelle

For YouTube, what we look at is “Watch Time.” This is how long people watch your content. That’s how we gauge success at YouTube for a creator. Use your “Watch Time” to measure engagement. – Jacquelle Amankonah

A “like” could mean many different things to many different people. A comment is a little easier to measure, but still not great. We focus on the data science side of things. We take surveys of people who have seen our videos and we figure out what worked for them. – Sean Weigold


When you are signing a brand new creator, in general, what are some of the best things that you can do to get them to grow an audience quickly?

I’m a little biased, but I would say, partner with a MCN (Multi-Channel Network) because it is just a great way to get started and get started quickly. I think networks provide a lot of value to creators like one-on-one support, tools and software. – Sean Weigold


YouTube audience growth tips

When you are signing a brand new creator, in general, what are some of the best things that you can do to get them to grow an audience quickly?

Collaborate with other YouTube creators and do it in a genuine way. – @Jacquelle

I’m a little biased, but I would say, partner with a MCN (Multi-Channel Network) because it is just a great way to get started and get started quickly. I think networks provide a lot of value to creators like one-on-one support, tools and software. – Sean Weigold

I wish there was a formula for success that we could just say: “Do this, this, and this and you will be successful.” Unfortunately, there’s not. There are best practices. I would say one of the best things you can do is to collaborate with other people and do it in a genuine way. Say, “I really relate to your content and I see that you do X, Y, and Z and I would like to do something similar. Can we collaborate?” – Jacquelle Amankonah


YouTube space for creators

I know YouTube has space for creators, can you tell us a little more about that?

Yes, we have production studios where people can come in and create videos. There is no charge for the camera. We have sets, editing bays, people who can help you, everything you need to get started. For the LA space, you do need 10,000 subscribers, but please don’t be discouraged by this. You can still go to the space and go to all of the workshops and events. I would go to the space before I even started working at YouTube. They are welcoming. At other locations, there are lower thresholds. In New York, I think it’s 5,000 and in London it’s 1,000. – Jacquelle Amankonah


Tools to grow a YouTube audience

As a creator or a brand, have you ever used social media like seeding it on YouTube or through TrueView to grow your audience? Do you recommend that?

I’ve heard people who’ve used TrueView and it has worked really well for them. It really depends how much money you’re willing to spend on it. If you have a lot of money to spend, then it will work great for you, but I would rather collaborate. – Lauren Francesca

It depends on your budget and what kind of content you’re going to put through. It works really well for some people and for others it doesn’t. There are much more authentic ways to grow an audience. – Jacquelle Amankonah


Successful YouTube campaigns

What are some good examples of a creator and a brand that are doing a good job of growing their audience?

Giving YouTubers a script is never a good idea. Brands succeed if they let creators be themselves. – @AdamHendle

I love McDonald’s. Their social media is very authentic and very cute. They just did their “All Day Breakfast” campaign and they had a trending hashtag and that’s something everyone wants to get. – Lauren Francesca

A brand that I really used to follow is Scope. Mouthwash isn’t very sexy, but their marketing is interesting and very creative. In a more general sense, any brand that works with creators and allows creators to be themselves is going to do well. Giving YouTubers a script is never a good idea. You aren’t paying them to follow a script, you are paying them to talk to their audience and be themselves. – Adam Hendle

What I pay attention to is, what do brands say before the “skip ad?” – @Jacquelle

Have the person that you are partnering with use the product and let them love it and then they can genuinely endorse it. What I pay attention to is, what do brands say before the “skip ad?” Say something thought-provoking in those first few seconds. – Jacquelle Amankonah

One YouTube star that I love is Miranda Sings. I personally love the way that she creates content. It is very genuine and original. I think a lot of brands can learn from her and adapt those strategies to their own work. Look at content on YouTube and figure out what you can use as a brand. You don’t have to deviate too far from what is already successful on YouTube. – Jacquelle Amankonah

Old Spice commercials became so popular that people would search for them on Google. – @TheAlexHluch

A brand I love is Old Spice. Those Old Spice commercials became so popular that people would search for them on Google and post them on Facebook independently. Old Spice built an audience of people to watch their ads without having to pay for the advertising. They did that by taking a chance. They went after a very small audience and they were very weird and in the process they captured the entire Internet. Think outside the box and be creative. – Alex Hluch

About two years ago, Maker Studios was purchased by the Walt Disney Company and one of the things that came out of that was the WDW Best Day Ever Channel. WDW stands for Walt Disney World. This channel is super fun. It’s YouTube creators whose audiences align with the Disney values, expressing themselves at Walt Disney World. It’s one of the best examples of a good brand. – Sean Weigold


YouTube vs. Facebook video

Many creators have had issues with using Facebook. How do you think the industry will evolve to deal with these issues?

Post on Facebook a shortened version of your YouTube video and add a link to the full version. – @LaurenFrancesca

One of the things that I don’t like about Facebook is that when you post a YouTube link on there it won’t get as many views as if you uploaded the video directly. So what I’ve done is cut it down before I post it and encourage people to go to my YouTube channel if they want to watch the full video. I’ve had Facebook accounts rip off my videos and post them. One time, one of my videos that someone ripped off went viral and it ended up on the front page of MSNBC and I had to ask them to take it down. Hopefully things will be changing soon so people can’t rip off content. – Lauren Francesca

Just adapt, don’t be afraid of something new. For finding new followers Facebook is the best, but it is also the most evil. It is very easy to get ripped off and it’s impossible to tell how much you’re reaching people. It’s a mess. You have to be careful with Facebook because there is no organic reach. The only way to combat it is to put a link at the end that sends people back to your channel because people don’t like to jump platforms. But now, more advertisers are interested in Facebook so we might see a change soon. – Alex Hluch


YouTube live streaming

Being able to interact with your audience while live streaming is very important for a successful broadcast. – @SeanWF

I’d like to hear your thoughts on live streaming on YouTube. Are any of you doing that?

Live stream is very important and really helps you engage your audience. – Lauren Francesca

I think live streaming is really promising as a concept. I think really successful live streams take advantage of the medium and take advantage of interacting with the audience. If you are thinking about live streaming, you should ask yourself if you will be able to interact with your audience when you live stream. – Sean Weigold

Live streaming of course works really well for the gamers out there, but we really want to improve the experience for all creators. I would be very curious to hear how brands might be thinking about using live stream. – Jacquelle Amankonah

Let people know that a live stream is happening and encourage them to engage with the content. – @Jen_Aden

I was able to use live stream to triple a brand’s following. In order to get people to watch this live stream, we did a video a few days before the event, informing people that this live stream was happening and that we were going to be doing a giveaway during the live stream. That was huge. We had about 8,000 people on average watching the live stream and many people were leaving comments and engaging with it. It was really successful for us. Just make sure to let people know that a live stream is happening and encourage them to engage with the content. – Jennifer Aden


Future of YouTube

Where do you see YouTube in three years?

I’m looking forward to brands beginning to recognize that smaller creators have a lot of power. – @AdamHendle

The next three years we are going to see creators producing content for many different platforms, like Vine for instance. It will be really interesting to see how advertisers adapt to these six second videos and how creators adapt to it. I really think that creators are going to lead the way and I am interested to see how storytelling evolves in this medium. – Sean Weigold

I’ve been with YouTube so many years and I love now going to the VidCons and seeing how many people are there. More and more YouTube has become this third type of television. I think that YouTube will just continue to grow and evolve and I’m really excited. – Lauren Francesca

I’m most excited about how the space will change in general. I want to see how brands continue to work with creators and how they learn from the creators. I’ve seen brands change their content based on the feedback they receive from creators. I’m really looking forward to brands beginning to recognize that smaller creators have a lot of power. – Adam Hendle

Network television is becoming streaming television. – @TheAlexHluch

I love the entrepreneurial spirit that lives in YouTube and I’m so glad that that can happen to anybody. I would hope that, in a few years, brands recognize that social media is the place to be. This is where people are looking and this is where they should be advertising. – Jacquelle Amankonah

Everything is looking that way. I mean Star Trek in 2017 is going to be on CBS’s streaming service. Because they see what’s coming. It’s going to be very exciting when all of these giant corporations begin to synthesize with the smaller brands. Network television is becoming streaming television. – Alex Hluch


YouTube demographics

Do you feel that there are specific types of brands that work best on YouTube?

I think YouTube is a place where everything exists and you can find content for any age. – Adam Hendle


Adapting to social platform changes

People spend a lot of time building audiences on different platforms, but many of these platforms keep changing how they do business. How can businesses continue to adapt if YouTube changes their model?

Your audience will likely follow you between platforms because they are already loyal to you. – @Jen_Aden

You have to continue to influence your audience on every platform. You have to be able to jump successfully between platforms and continue to move people. – Alex Hluch

Very few people only have one channel where they are popular because if they have an audience on one platform then they have an audience on many different platforms. Your audience will likely follow you between platforms because they are already loyal to you. – Jennifer Aden


YouTube Marketing Panel Digital Growth Summit

YouTube Marketing Panel Digital Growth Summit

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