YouTube is considered to be one of the most important online marketing platforms. Large and small brands like setting up their own channels and findings success, but there a few are killing it. Let’s take a look at five of the most remarkable marketing channels on YouTube to see how they became hits. Learn a few tricks for your own channel!
Best marketing channels on YouTube: PlayStation
The gaming console brand’s channel features a variety of gaming-related content. Most notably, it features exclusive previews of new titles coming out for their console, as well as gameplay footage. The channel also has videos promoting products related to the console itself, including the PlayStation VR.
While the videos posted on PlayStation’s YouTube channels are quite varied, they all share a common feature. The thumbnails used for each video all have the familiar “PS” logo , bordered by a blue rectangle, embedded in the upper left-hand corner of the thumbnail image.
This helps in branding it as part of the official content released by the channel.
Why the channel succeeds
Using its logo on the thumbnails for its videos is part of PlayStation’s overall branding strategy in YouTube. As mentioned above, the company also relies on unique content to enhance their fans’ viewing experience. One example was in 2013 when it launched its “Bid for Greatness” campaign. The campaign centered on an interactive video uploaded on the brand channel.
The video let viewers unlock hidden items within the scenes. These items ranged from new audio tracks, to easter eggs for the featured games. The video ran in conjunction with another video that let viewers bid for exclusive memorabilia from the console’s most popular game.
Playstation’s various branding strategies helped turn it into one of the best marketing channels on YouTube. In 2013, it was able to attract over 2 million subscribers. This made it the second most-subscribed-to brand on the platform, next only to Red Bull. Currently, the channel has more than 5.3 million subscribers.
Best marketing channels on YouTube: GoPro
From its modest beginnings as a startup venture back in 2002, GoPro has become a major brand that is synonymous with the term “action camera.” They can largely thank The YouTube channel day started in 2009 for this, posting demonstration videos of its early products. In 2013 the brand really started making it big with user-generated content. As part of a new marketing effort, GoPro called on its customers to upload their own videos and use the brand’s name in the title.
This initial call resulted in followers uploading more than two years’ worth of content, all with the word “GoPro” on them. While many of the uploads were related to sports and leisure, there was also plenty of unique content uploaded:
In some instances, the channel received videos that were just random collections of scenes. This is where GoPro’s editing team came in, repackaging these into more engaging content.
“Even if people have this footage and they don’t know what to do with it, we can still work with it and make it super awesome.”
GoPro Media Relations Director Kelly Baker remarked in an interview with the New York Daily News.
Why GoPro succeeded
Following GoPro’s initial call, the channel attracted more than 450 million views, with their subscribers’ number rising to 1.8 million. The submitted content also helped it increase its postings from just a few videos a week to several dozens. This gave rise to the GoPro network of related channels.
The company’s other social media accounts also benefited from the effort’s success:
- Its Facebook page scored 7.2 million likes.
- Its Twitter follower count increased to 950,000.
- Their Instagram account hit 2 million followers respectively.
More than that, though, GoPro also enjoyed a revenue of $234.2 million in 2013 – up by 200 percent from 2012.
Kevin Bobowski of marketing news website Fast Company says that one of the major reasons behind GoPro’s success was the decision to bring user-generated content to the forefront. This is contrary to the traditional way of getting videographers and actors to create promotional content. Instead, GoPro’s customers become its very own production and advertising team.
Best marketing channels on YouTube: LSTN headphones
Some of the best marketing channels on YouTube are born out of not just the need to increase sales, but also a desire to give back. This was the case with LSTN and their campaign to help the hearing-impaired. Part of the revenue generated from their sales is donated to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This foundation provides hearing aids to those in need all over the world.
Company founder Bridget Hilton says that they simply wanted to find a way to give back to the public. However, as co-founder Jeff Huff noted, they also needed to generate money in order to do that. That was the start of LSTN.
The message of being able to give back to the community has become one of the central themes for LSTN’s YouTube channel. This can be seen in their channel trailer:
It is also clear in their promotional videos for their products:
Why LSTN succeeded
Both Hilton and Huff freely admitted that YouTube served as an inspiration for them to start the company. It was of no surprise to them that the site would be an important part of their marketing strategy.
One important aspect of LSTN’s YouTube campaign is its ability to deliver its brand message as clearly as possible. The line “For every headphone we sell, we help restore hearing to a person in need” is prominently featured in every video. This phrase clearly spells out LSTN’s business purpose. Most of the company’s videos also feature the people that it has helped. This gives the content a more humanistic angle and helps reinforce the brand’s message.
LSTN’s unique marketing strategy has helped it achieve its goal. They have so far been able to provide hearing aids to more than 22,000 individuals in nine different countries, including:
- Dominican Republic
- Sri Lanka
Each donation drives LSTN does in these countries is chronicled for the audience, making them feel part of the effort.
Best marketing channels on YouTube: Rokenbok Toys
Rokenbok Toys started out in the 1990’s as a small toy company, with their main product line being children’s construction toys. According to Rokenbok founder Paul Eichen, specialty toys stores were the main means of promoting their products in their early days. Parents and children went to those specialty toy stores not only to watch demonstrations of their products, but also to play with them. Eichen said that it was the best way for customers to understand how their fairly complex toys worked.
With the decline of brick and mortar specialty toy stores, Eichen said they needed a new venue to demonstrate their toys. He noted that static images were not enough, as these would not adequately describe the intricate workings of the products. The answer was starting their YouTube channel in 2006 with stop-motion animation videos:
Why Rokenbok’s channel succeeds
Eichen says that they have learned a considerable amount of information during their initial forays on the platform. He explains that, as they have observed, children who are most likely to play with their toys are also fond of watching videos of construction equipment. With this in mind, they use keywords that refer to such activities in their videos. This allows them to better target their desired audiences.
Rokenbok also relies a lot on Promoted Videos to boost their ads. TrueView in-stream ads figure heavily in their campaign. This allows them to better-target their customers. Rokenbok currently gets 50 percent of its customers from this platform alone.
But, Eichen says, this alone is not enough to get parents to buy the sets for their kids. Instead, their goal is to gradually build a relationship with their audience. They do this by leveraging content made by their fans to promote their products:
Eichen says such videos are more effective in convincing both parents and kids of the high entertainment value of their toys.
Best marketing channels on YouTube: Blendtec
Blendtec is considered to be one of the first success stories in YouTube marketing. Blendtec is well known on the Internet for its “Will it Blend?” series. The purpose of the series is simple; will a featured item be crushed to bits by a Blendtec blender? The items range from the rather mundane, such as marbles in the very first video:
To more expensive items like an Apple iPhone 7:
Blendtec founder Tom Dickson, who is also the host, says that their first videos were initially just for product demonstrations. After the first few videos gained a massive six million views on YouTube, the company decided to turn their videos into comedic sketches.
Since its start in 2006, the “Will It Blend?” channel has attracted over 281 million views. Aside from random blends, there are also specials commemorating events and holidays, such as Dickson’s own hand (or not) for Halloween (or not):
Why Blendtec succeeds
Marketing consultant Susan Gunelius says that Blendtec’s success goes back to its having a simple strategy of creating entertaining videos about its products. While the videos themselves follow a specific format, the sheer variety and ridiculousness of the items involved add to the entertainment factor. On the other hand, the references to pop culture elements, such as Pokemon, increases recall.
Humor also plays a large role in the success of the channel. Aside from the silliness of some of the items featured, Dickson also provides much of the humor, portraying himself as a mad scientist complete with a lab coat. The move to be the face of the brand himself has helped increase brand recognition.
Ever since the initial “Will it Blend?” videos, Blendtec has reportedly increased sales by around 700%. Despite this, Blendtec says that the YouTube campaign itself is not always enough. To better target the people who are most likely to buy their products, the company says that it also needs to tap into the power of influencers.
Owing to the company’s established popularity, Blendtec director for digital marketing Rick Galan says that it has been relatively easy for them to attract influencers. He adds that their representatives also regularly attend blog conferences and other diverse events to connect with them to bring them on board.
What these brands can tell you about a successful YouTube channel
The first point is about viewing behavior. Having a good understanding of your audience’s viewing behavior helps in delivering the right content. Know what your audience needs and goals are when they look for videos like yours. In the case of Blendtec, the company understood that people are watching the “Will It Blend?” series purely for entertainment reasons. The show stays silly while subtly pushing their products:
Rokenbok Toys understood that kids and their parents would want to learn about their complex construction sets before buying them. Their demonstration videos provide as much detail as possible. The company even notes that being on YouTube allows them the same level of audience engagement as would physically being in one of their stores.
Understanding how the audience looks for, and finds, your video is also important. This is where keywords come into play. All five company channels rely heavily on using the right keywords to get their content to the top of their respective audiences’ searches. In the case of Rokenbok, the company uses keywords that not only directly refer to their toys, but also to the machines the toys represent. This helped in increasing their searchability and took advantage of audience interest on those keywords.
Reinforce your brand the right way
Brand recognition is important for the success of a marketing channel on YouTube. Examples from the channels above include:
- Sony putting the famous PS logo on the videos for its PlayStation channel helps reinforce the fact that the content is created by the channel. This is particularly helpful if you are trying to attract attention to exclusive marketing content.
- GoPro demonstrates this point well by getting their brand name on all content submitted by fans. This not only helped boost brand recognition, but also increased their prominence in search results.
- LSTN branded themselves as a social enterprise that helps people with disabilities set them apart from other headphone manufacturers.
Using YouTube to reinforce what your friend is all about, and focusing on one aspect that people can remember, is an important aspect of using YouTube for video marketing.
Look for new ways to present your products
Many companies, when they first come onto YouTube, think of the site as an extension of traditional advertising. The best channels take advantage of YouTube’s unique features:
- It has no time constraints: Brands can upload contents with different lengths.
- Direct audience interaction: Viewers can comment on your marketing materials at any time. This gives you real-time feedback.
- Open access to all: Because of the relatively low costs of marketing on YouTube, even small businesses can take advantage of it.
Rokenbok Toys used YouTube as a whole new way to present their products, and expanded their audience beyond brick and mortar stores. Using stop motion animation for their videos proved to be a novel idea for showcasing the features of their toys. The company also made the most out of YouTube’s TrueView ads to better target their audience.
Blendtec goes in an entirely different direction with how it presents its blenders. While its “Will It Blend?” series are still a set of product demonstrations at core, the introduction of the elements of ridiculousness and humor make them stand out from other blender ads. This, in turn, paved the way for increased brand recall.
Let other YouTube creators make content for you
The open nature of YouTube means that anyone can create their own content. For businesses, this presents an opportunity for more audience engagement and the creation of fresh content. You should encourage your fans to create their own content to show their love for your brand.
This was the driving force behind GoPro’s marketing success:
By tapping into a vast network of popular celebrity influencers, GoPro furthered that recognition.
Give back to the community
For the most part, companies set up their own marketing channels on YouTube to attract customers and increase profits. Using your channel to give back to your audience and to thank them for their support can do a lot of wonders for your branding. You can do this further by providing your brand with a social enterprise component.
This was at the very core of LSTN’s YouTube campaign. Its message was clear, not only in what it wants to do, but in how the audience themselves can help in accomplishing the goal. This clear call-to-action helps bring in people to support the cause and make purchases.
Build your YouTube channel the right way and make your brand a hit
As you have learned from these five marketing channels on YouTube, the platform can be effectively harnessed to boost your brand. Carefully consider these points when building your channel:
- Know what your audience wants: Understanding audience preferences involves not only knowing the type of content they will most respond to, but also how they find them. All five brands knew this well and have created and promoted content that their respective audiences will readily consume.
- Reinforce your branding: By prominently displaying your brand on all of your content, people will recognize it better and will more likely respond to your calls. Sony does this effectively by simply including the PlayStation logo on their content of their channel.
- Find new ways to present your products: Both Blendtec and Rokenbok Toys went beyond the traditional ways of marketing products to deliver something new on YouTube. This has resulted in their performing considerably better than was the norm.
- Get other YouTube creators on board: By tapping into a large amount of user-generated content from its fans, GoPro was able to establish its brand and create a lot of user engagement.
- Give something back to your community: By bringing your audience to support a worthy cause, you also foster brand loyalty from them. This is how LSTN leveraged a lot for its campaign.
All of the best marketing channels on YouTube start from a great idea. Costs are minimal, while the potential for profits are high. Clearly outline your idea, get your channel started, use our YouTube Subscribers Service for a boost, and let’s see how successful you can become!