As a leader in the Greek telecommunications industry, Cosmote aims to be a leader across their digital assets as well. To get Cosmote brand messages and values across online, the team developed a marketing strategy using branded content to connect with audiences through storytelling and creativity.
“We aimed for a channel that would help us not only increase awareness, but also create a bond with our customers; a channel that would provide us with the space and tools to promote our messages in a subtle way without disrupting or frustrating our audience,” explains Vasiliki Margelou, head of OTE Group’s media and budgeting team.
Cosmote turned to YouTube and set out a set of challenges: to grow their channel subscriber base from 18,000 to 70,000 within nine months, become the leading YouTube channel in the telecommunications vertical, and gain a top five ranking among all branded channels in Greece.
Long form content and storytelling is one sure way to get people to notice you and – if you do it right – love you.
To kick off the project, the team optimised the brand’s YouTube channel (including playlists, tags, and end screens) and launched a series of competitions for subscribers within the YouTube environment.
In producing branded content, Cosmote took a step-by-step approach. They moved from sponsoring content on popular YouTube creators’ accounts to collaborating with creators to produce original content for Cosmote’s own channel. Finally, the Cosmote team produced their own fully branded content – a YouTube movie related to educational robotics for kids.
Cosmote also revived one of the most iconic Greek TV series of all time, converting it into a web series format and giving it a technology related twist. When the show aired for the first time after 17 years, Cosmote’s YouTube channel became a hot destination for the audience.
The activity was supported by extensive marketing activity on Google Search, the Google Display Network, and YouTube, where formats such as masthead, pre-roll, and bumper ads were used.
As a result, Cosmote went from 12th to 2nd place across all Greek branded channels on YouTube in less than a year’s time. Year over year, the brand recorded impressive increases:
415% more subscribers
139% greater watch time
943% greater organic watch time
55% higher views
138% higher organic views
720% more likes
463% more comments
Comcast also cited a number of qualitative results as evidence of their success. “Better audience reach gave us a better chance of word-of-mouth marketing and brand advocacy,” Vasiliki says. “Branded content helped us connect better with audiences and strengthen our relationship with our consumers while driving brand authenticity and trust.” Finally, the team reported an increase in positive sentiment, demonstrated through users’ comments.
“It’s not only about advertising formats, metrics, and media investment,” he observes . “A successful marketing campaign can and must have more than that. It’s a matter of embracing exciting content rather than just promoting products and services to people. Long form content and storytelling is one sure way to get people to notice you and – if you do it right – love you.”
Cosmote is already planning to produce more original content, focusing on the production of engaging, enjoyable, and simple to understand video materials to maintain a leading position in both the telecommunications industry and on YouTube. The team intends to reach a broad audience through messaging that centres on the benefits technology can produce in their everyday lives and how technology can create a better world for all.