We all know we need to be creating videos for our brands.
What we don’t all know is where to start.
In this post, I’ll go over a few YouTube channel ideas to get you started, as well as examine the strategies of some of the brands who got it right.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why businesses should be using YouTube
- The kinds of content that work best for brands
- Examples of brands using YouTube most creatively and effectively (and what, specifically, they’re doing right)
Why Your Business Needs a YouTube Channel
You may have heard a thing or two about the rise of video in digital marketing.
You may have even dismissed it early on as a passing trend.
But as its popularity continues to rise, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the video isn’t going anywhere.
We know that video is what most users want. In fact, One-third of online activity is spent watching video.
And we know that it’s effective: 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, and 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
But just creating and producing videos – while a great place to start – won’t get you all the benefits that a full-blown YouTube channel will.
First of all, YouTube has over a billion users (almost one-third of all internet users!), and more than 500 million hours of video are watched on the platform each day.
Beyond that, YouTube videos live on their very own search engine.
That search engine, of course, is YouTube itself, and it happens to be the second largest in the world (second only to Google.) That means that by uploading videos to YouTube, you have a potentially larger reach than that of Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc.
As an added bonus, Google owns YouTube, which means that YouTube content tends to rank high in Google searches as well. Win/win.
On top of that, video tends to drive higher engagement rates than other content, with social video generating 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
YouTube Channel Ideas: What to Post
As Google notes, the sweet spot in your video strategy is where what your brand stands for intersects with what your audience cares about.
So essentially, you want all content to stay in-line with your brand identity while actually serving a purpose to your users.
Good news is, there’s a lot of ways to do that. Here are a few types of video content that work well for brands on YouTube.
These are the bread-and-butter of brand videos. If you have a product or a service that requires any kind of explanation, you can create a how-to video around how to use it or any special features.
And there’s good reason why brands take advantage of this video type: studies show there is a 70% increase in searches for how-to videos year after year.
Pro tip: separate your videos into different playlists. That way, you can incorporate several of the themes above and make it easier for your audience to find the content they’re looking for.
Product In-Action or Tutorials
You’ve heard of the whole “show don’t tell” in writing, right?
Same rule applies here.
Video is one of the most effective means to show off what your product can really do – whether it’s taking viewers on the road like BMW or extreme adventuring with GoPro.
Even if you don’t have a physical product to show off, you can still run explainer videos and virtual classes to teach more about the services you offer. (Hint: we do a lot of this on the Ignite Visibility channel!)
Another cool thing about videos?
You can use them to get personal.
Consumers like to see the people and faces behind the brand, so use your YouTube channel to introduce your team and take them behind the scenes.
You can even take a step further and do it like Google does. They encourage employees to devote 20% of their time to work on independent ideas. Two of those employees, Nat & Leo, use that time to create YouTube videos that take viewers behind the scenes of Google.
YouTube Channel Ideas: Examples
The few ideas above are good to get anyone started.
But there are a few brands that go above and beyond when it comes to YouTube content, and by evaluating what they’ve done right, you can gain a better understanding of how to make their successes work for your own brand.
Red Bull (Product’s Core Values)
Here’s a task for you: describe your product or service using adjectives. Pick 5-10.
Take Red Bull: energy, extreme, adventure, boost, thrill…and the list goes on. The point is that Red Bull is designed to give users a burst of energy to accomplish even the most insurmountable tasks.
Which means that Red Bull doesn’t just have to make videos about the product itself, but what the product represents.
And because it represents action and adventure, it makes videos that represent that by showcasing extreme sports on its YouTube channel.
What’s great about channels like these is that it doesn’t come off as advertising. Take this video: One Last Look At The Epic Surf Videos Of 2018.
It’s not really about Red Bull at all; it’s just an entertaining video that will appeal to the masses. It’s found something its target audience enjoys and has a connection to the core values of Red Bull.
One more thing: by expanding your channel beyond direct product or service demos, you’ll also be able to drive a lot more traffic to it.
Think about it – how many more people do you think are searching for “surf videos” as opposed to “red bull”?
Your brand represents a lot more than just the product or service it produces.
Make that list of brand descriptions, and focus on how you can make a video that capitalizes on each emotion.
This has been done by countless brands: Dove uses videos to help viewers embrace real beauty. FedEx does it to enforce the idea that they deliver more than just packages; they deliver happiness and peace of mind.
This is a good one to take to the group; ask your employees to brainstorm what brand qualities they feel you encompass that could be showcased via video.
BMW (Segment Your Audience)
If anyone knows their target audience, it’s BMW.
It uses its YouTube channel to appeal directly to the “car guy” in all of us – through extensive product tutorials, expert chats, and virtual road trips.
So why is it so brilliant? Because it covers so much.
Yes, it has its new model introductions and a range of how-to’s covering everything from How to Use the Parking Assitant to How to Connect your iPhone.
But it also has channel playlists dedicated to a range of subjects, such as BMW History which features videos dedicated to classic models and BMW Culture, which features insight into hot topics like the place of AI in cars.
It even has videos like “The Most Expensive BMW Paint” thrown in there. Why? Because car enthusiasts are interested in the top of the line, and BMW delivers on all fronts.
Think about your product from every angle.
Much like you would segment and personalize an email list by interests and demographics, do something similar with your YouTube audience.
Then, create channels with content geared towards each interest group.
YouTube Channel Ideas: Disney and LEGO (Creative Storytelling)
These are two of my absolute favorites (and it’s really not that hard to see why).
As a surprise to no one, the two brands above take creativity and storytelling to the next level in their respective YouTube channels.
Let’s look at Disney. Naturally, they have videos dedicated to their various movies and new releases (and even related subjects like drawing tutorials for anyone interested in the art of animation).
But one of their most innovative Playlists is called “As Told By Emoji.” In it, Disney takes classic movies and retells them in Emoji form.
Similarly, LEGO has a playlist on their channel dedicated to Animation Cartoons for Kids, where it puts together stories featuring LEGO characters. Additionally, it features famous movie retellings using all your favorite LEGOs.
What’s really cool about both of these channel ideas – besides the obvious art it takes to create both – is that they’re putting new spins on classic tales.
These brands are using storytelling at its finest, but more importantly, they’re finding ways to infuse their brand and its well-known attributes of creativity and fun into those stories.
YouTube is a channel that embraces creativity. So don’t be afraid to show a little.
Granted, you likely won’t have the resources of Disney and LEGO, but that doesn’t have to be a barrier to entry.
Think about something in your industry that’s iconic or well-known. Then, think about how you can showcase it in story form.
For example, if you’re in the fashion or retail industry, consider telling the story of 60’s fashion or recreating iconic looks or trends.
Here at Ignite, we took the history of SEO and turned it into a full movie production.
Sarson’s Vinegar (Audience Targeting)
I’ll be honest, there’s nothing all that interesting about vinegar.
And to many, it may appear that a vinegar company would be hard-pressed to find success on a creative platform like YouTube.
But here’s the things. While campaigns like Disneys, LEGO’s, and even Red Bulls’s are designed to appeal to the masses, Sarson’s Vinegar’s is aimed at its much smaller, vinegar-loving niche.
As eConsultancy reports, they reached that niche using the power of content marketing.
First, they identified their goal: reach a younger audience and re-introduce them to all the things that vinegar can do.
Then, they did a little research to uncover what topics that demographic was searching for, discovering that home cooking, recipes, and pickling were some of the top contenders.
They created a video series based on those subjects – how to make sauerkraut, how can vinegar can be used in cocktails, etc. – and used demographic and keyword targeting to find their audience.
The result? The campaign generated 4m views in 2016, and a growth of 541% on inbound website traffic compared to 2015.
Traditional digital marketing rules apply.
At its core, a YouTube video is just another piece of content. Which means it needs to be approached as you would a post for your blog or image for Instagram.
Where does that content start? With solid audience and keyword research.
Once you’ve discovered what topics and keywords are being searched for the most in your target demographic, you can work to produce content around each subject.
The same strategy should be applied to your YouTube channel.
Ben & Jerry’s (Play on Customer Pain Points)
I’ve talked before about the importance of addressing customer pain points in marketing.
One great place to address them? In video.
Case in point: Ben & Jerry’s.
In its video “Leena the Lactose-Intolerant Employee Eats Non-dairy,” the company uses the character Leena to showcase the struggles of a lactose-intolerant employee at an ice cream factory.
Of course, that story is used to relate and appeal to the much larger group non-dairy eaters, and reveal the silver lining at the end: Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream.
The story was used to advertise a new product and reach anyone searching for lactose or dairy free products, and uses humor and little relatability to appeal.
Pain points – and how your brand can solve them – can be an excellent source of video inspiration.
Think about what problem your product or service can solve, and find a way to bring that benefit to life via video.
Wrapping Up YouTube Channel Ideas
YouTube isn’t exactly new on the digital marketing scene. Which means that for those just getting started, you have plenty of examples to show you what (and what not) to do.
So spend some time looking through the channels listed above. Scroll through their playlists and watch their videos, and try to pick up on any specific strategies you see at work.
Then, think about how you can apply them to your own brand and YouTube channel.
Have any more questions about YouTube channel ideas or inspiration? Ask away in the comments!