Pixability has just released a comprehensive industry study, The Top 100 Global Brands: Key Lessons for Success on YouTube, which details how global brands are successfully driving video and digital marketing success.
Revealing a 99 percent YouTube adoption rate and 73 percent year-over-year growth, the brands driving the best business results are moving beyond television-style brand awareness to much more socially-engaged, longer-form, content-rich channels.
Starting with the list of companies identified in Interbrand's Best Global Brands report, Pixability collected data from YouTube channels owned and managed by these Top 100 Global Brands. Pixability software collected a list of 2,214 candidate channels. A group of analysts then verified each channel according to the criteria listed above and reduced the list to 1,378 verified channels.
All individual metrics per video were added by channel and then by brand to get to the total values used in the study. The raw data was used as an input into Pixability's Online Video Grader software.
The data presented in the study represents full and exact counts of the metrics described above. No sampling, estimates, regressionsor projections were used.
"We knew that the data collection for such a large set of videos was a monumental task, but our software quickly delivered audience, usage, and performance data in every dimension," said Andreas Goeldi, study co-author, CTO, Pixability. "We found significant disparities between the top and bottom performers in this elite group, showing that some brands get YouTube and others just don't."
Top Brands Embrace YouTube, But Challenges Remain
Over the past five years, the top brands have gone from just a few dozen YouTube uploads in 2005 to more than 10,000 cumulative video uploads in a single month last year. These 100 brands alone now account for 9.5 billion collective YouTube views and more than 2,200 channels containing 258,000+ videos.
Pixability anticipates that by 2015, they will likely invest in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 1 million new YouTube videos.
But brand marketers have work to do: the study uncovers that more than 50 percent of their videos get fewer than 1,000 views.
"The best brands and marketers understand YouTube and treat it differently to get stellar results," said Rob Ciampa, study co-author, EVP Marketing, Pixability. "The ones who don't? They end up back in the legacy marketing world wondering why their customers are somewhere else, such as a competitor's YouTube channel."
Key Lessons for Marketers
Understanding that video marketing is just as important as video production, these brands offer valuable lessons. The report pinpoints seven core best practices for brand marketers.
1. Be a well-oiled, consistent, video content machine
- The most successful brands have 50 percent more videos per channel compared to the least successful ones.
- The best-performing brands publish high volumes of content on a regular schedule.
- Top aggregate brands publish approximately 78 videos per month. Leading media brands produce even more: close to 500 videos per month.
2. Take video optimization and YouTube channel architecture seriously
- YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, so discoverability is key.
- YouTube SEO follows very different rules than traditional SEO.
- Within traditional SEO—Google prioritizes web pages with YouTube video embeds.
- The best performing 25 percent of Top 100 Global Brands took more care in optimizing their videos and channels, maintaining twice the number of playlists and video tags than the bottom 25 percent.
3. Don't get caught in the overproduction trap; lesser quality video works well, too
- The best YouTube marketers produce a broader range of video content.
- Videos do not need to be prime-time quality because those with lower production value can be just as effective.
4. Apply an "Always On" strategy to video marketing
- The most successful brand marketers on YouTube integrate their online video strategies with their traditional, offline marketing strategies.
- Successful video marketers don't hesitate to produce video series for very limited, but highly engaged audiences, such as event participants.
- 17 of the Top 100 Global Brands use less than 50 percent of their channels.
- Continued advertising results in sustainable channel growth and subscribers.
5. Apply branding consistently, intelligently, and methodically
- The top performers consistently brand their videos in both the video content itself as well as in metadata, which includes titles, tags, and descriptions.
- An appropriate level of branding within videos is essential because successful YouTube videos are often used outside of the context of a branded YouTube channel, such as website embedding.
- Over-branding may limit sharing within independent communities of interest.
6. Adding more content is more important than adding more channels
- 37 percent of all channels have not been updated with fresh content for over 120 days.
- Successful marketers have YouTube channels that clearly focus on specific target audiences.
7. Engage your community with social media
- Facebook and Twitter are among the most important sources of traffic on YouTube within the Top 100 Global Brands.
- Users frequently share videos on social networks, and video content is attractive for sharing.
- The top 25 percent of brands had significantly higher social sharing of video than the bottom 25 percent.
- Viewer sentiment is starting to show distinct trends by industry. Home and luxury segments have the highest sentiment, while financial services and consumer goods have the lowest.
You can download the report here.