Captivating videos deliver new viewers to a brand's channel, entice them to explore further content and are instrumental in establishing a loyal following. With this in mind, these three fundamental principles provide guidance for brands hoping to initiate a successful creative strategy on YouTube.

August 2015

1. Making content worth sharing

Finding and nurturing an audience is easier thanks to social media, but whether or not a video goes viral comes down to people's inclination to share it. To ensure that content spreads far and wide, here are three key tactics to employ.

  • It's crucial to keep an eye on trending search terms and identify the words viewers might use to describe a specific video when they share it. Successful keywords connect what audiences are interested in with what a video is about.
  • The most shared videos are often the ones that elicit real emotion. Content should stimulate a viewer's feelings, from joy to passion to wistfulness or excitement.
  • Audiences often share content that they believe parallels or amplifies their own personal beliefs and values. Sharing an informative clip may help a user feel clever, while a witty one might make them appear funny among their peers.

2. Collaborating with YouTube Creators

There are audiences ready and waiting on YouTube; the trick for any brand is to find them. Collaborating with established YouTubers is one tried-and-tested approach. A YouTube creator comes complete with an existing fan base, as well as experience in what kind of content gets viewers commenting, subscribing and engaging. When their fan base matches the brand's target demographic, each party — and their audience — stands to benefit.

  • YouTube viewers know a product endorsement when they see one, so brands need to emphasise transparency in their collaborations. The nature of the relationship between brand and creator should be upfront.
  • It's not difficult to research YouTube creators whose target audience matches the brand's demographic. Just spending time on different channels will help narrow down the field to identify an ideal fit.
  • It's worth bearing in mind that YouTube creators are brands themselves. The platform's most popular personalities have invested heavily in building up their audiences. Any company needs to be respectful of that in order to get the most out of joint creative endeavours.

3. Always be authentic

As the world becomes increasingly digital, audiences yearn for personal connections. This is an opportunity for brands to open up about what makes them special. Authentic, inspired content makes it easier for individuals to feel connected with a brand, converting casual viewers into true fans.

  • Using industry experts and professionals lends credibility to content and messaging.
  • Stories from and about real people help audiences relate both to the video and the brand.
  • Showcasing the brand's background gives broader context, so a trailer recounting a company's humble beginnings can provide a great starting point for channel content.
  • Viewers can sense when they're watching someone whose passion is genuine and motivations are true. Every good video from a brand should emphasise authenticity.

For more YouTube content creation tips, check out the Creator PlayBook for Brands.