- Refereed Journals and Law Reviews
- CJC at Major Academic Conferences
- Research Symposium
- Ph.D. Dissertations
- Master’s Theses
- Master’s Projects
Media Industry and Consumers Social Media
Brand Content Marketing Strategies on YouTube
With more than 70% of U.S. brands and half of worldwide brands using content marketing strategies to reach consumers, the potential impact of video content for marketers is significant. And YouTube has become a major platform for video content marketing.
As YouTube content marketing is becoming more mainstream, there is a need to examine how market leaders adopt this platform for consumer engagement and branding campaigns. Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmsted , University of Florid College of Journalism and Communications director of Media Consumer Research, and doctoral student Rang Wang wanted to understand how some brands have used YouTube in their content marketing campaign, including engagement formats and content appeals.
The researchers selected fifty brands that had their own branded YouTube channels and are ranked among the highest on Forbes’ “The World’s Most Valuable Brands” list. Content of those brands was coded and analyzed to identify major patterns of branded content on these branded YouTube channels.
Specifically, brand strategies were examined from the perspectives of interactivity, attention, emotion, and cognitive message design. Interactivity examined the interactive nature of YouTube content to consumers. Attention was measured through use of celebrity endorsement. Emotion looked at what caused people to form attachments with brands or products leading to action as consumers. Finally, cognition addressed the message strategy of the videos.
Findings showed that half of the brands actively linked YouTube videos to other platforms and invited consumers to connect with them or explore more about them, and that such connectivity increased the brand’s reach to consumers. About a quarter of the brands used traditional or YouTube celebrity to some extent, also increasing brand reach and recognition.
More than three quarters of the brands used positive emotional engagement and emotional content.
Almost all of the brands used non-cognitive message strategy, such as user image or brand image, at least once in their videos, while two-thirds used cognitive strategy, such as hyperbole or generic information, at least once.
The following trends were also identified:
- Top brands focus on interacting through content rather than platform functions. Granted, YouTube was not designed for interactive communication, so it makes sense that users use it more for content consumption than for engagement.
- Top brands are trying to control user-generated content by disabling comments. This is likely because uncontrolled negative comments can harm brand equity. However, disabling comments may hamper consumers’ engagement level with the brand because their means of engagement is inhibited.
- Emotional content is widely employed, especially positive emotions. While negative emotions were occasionally featured, they all led to a positive ending.
- Non-cognitive emphasis dominates YouTube brand channels over cognitive appeals. In general, informational content alone is less likely to actively engage consumers on social media. Content with entertainment value tends to be more effective.
- Brands with a higher level of YouTube capability interact with consumers more, feature celebrities more, embed emotional content more, and adopt transformational messages more. Additionally, brands with more financial resources reply to comments more frequently, implying that financial support is essential in interaction and, ultimately, in success of the content marketing strategy.
Ultimately, findings support that consumer engagement with content marketing on YouTube is highly contextual and platform dependent. Engaging consumers on YouTube can be completely different from that of engagement on other social media platforms and is worth further study.
Future research should include study of variables such as type of content, layout of channel, and link to other social media platforms, and investigate brands of different sizes and valuations to consumers. Finally, this study focused solely on YouTube channels owned by brands. Future studies may wish to examine YouTube channels owned by influencers.
The original research paper, “ Content Marketing Strategy of Branded YouTube Channels ,” appeared in the Journal of Media Business Studies , June 25, 2020.
Authors: Rang Wang, Sylvia Chan-Olmsted
This summary was written by Marie Morganelli, Ph.D.
Posted: July 23, 2021 Tagged as: Content Marketing , Rang Wang , Sylvia Chan-Olmsted , YouTube
Influencers play a sizeable role on social media, connecting consumers with brands. In 2022, the influencer market was estimated at $16.5 billion. With this much...
Using social media influencers to help promote a brand has become an increasingly important marketing strategy. But questions remain about selecting an influencer to represent...
Connect with the College of Journalism and Communications
Keep up with the latest news about faculty, alumni, friends, and current students. follow us on social media..
Homepage H1 can go here
The complete guide to youtube marketing in 2023.
Follow this 10-step guide to create a winning YouTube marketing strategy and take your YouTube presence to new heights in 2023.
Everyone watches YouTube. Over 75% of Americans age 15 and up are on YouTube, part of over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular website in the world after Google.
The potential of a huge audience is a great reason to market your business on YouTube. But shouting from the rooftops about your products without a plan won’t get you anywhere.
You need a strategy to succeed and that’s exactly what you’ll find here: the 10 steps to crush YouTube marketing in 2023.
Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube following fast , a daily workbook of challenges that will help you kickstart your Youtube channel growth and track your success. Get real results after one month.
What is YouTube marketing?
YouTube marketing is the practice of promoting a brand, product, or service on YouTube. It can involve a mix of tactics, including (but not limited to):
- Creating organic promotional videos
- Working with influencers
- Advertising on the platform
To market your business on YouTube — whether you’re an entrepreneur or an enterprise corporation — you need to produce what your target customers want. Sounds simple, right? It is, as long as you know what your customers really want and it’s not just what you think they want, which is a trap far too many businesses fall into.
Plus, you need to make sure the right people find your videos. YouTube is a search engine so you’ll need to optimize your content for the YouTube algorithm , just like you do for Google SEO.
Without further ado, here is your complete, step-by-step checklist for how to successfully promote your business on YouTube.
Your 10-step YouTube marketing strategy
Step 1: create a youtube channel for your business.
First things first, you have to set up a YouTube channel.
Since YouTube is part of Google, you’ll need to create a Google account first to sign up for a YouTube channel. You can use an existing account or create one especially for managing your business.
Here’s how to get up and running:
- Create a Google account.
- Use that to create your YouTube account .
- Log in to YouTube and create a Brand Account and channel.
Managing your YouTube channel with a Brand Account is a best practice, as opposed to running it with your personal Google account. For one thing, a Brand Account lets multiple people in your company manage and update your YouTube channel.
For another, no one at work needs to know your personal email is [email protected] . (Your secret’s safe with me.)
More importantly, it also allows you to expand your business later with additional YouTube channels.
OK, you’ve got the account. Next up: pretty it up.
- “About” information.
- Channel art (the “header” image and profile picture).
- Social media and website links.
Check out our step-by-step walkthrough to create a YouTube account for more details.
Now we’re ready to tackle your YouTube video marketing strategy.
Step 2: Learn about your audience
Alright, now for the tough stuff. What does your audience really want?
To figure this out, you need to answer two questions:
- Who are you making videos for?
- What are they already watching on YouTube?
To start, it’s helpful to know some basic YouTube demographics . YouTube has over 2 billion users and 72% of American internet users regularly browse YouTube. 77% of people aged 15-35 use YouTube and unlike other social platforms, there isn’t a large dropoff in that rate for older users.
YouTube isn’t only popular in the USA. There are over 100 localized versions of YouTube for countries around the world.
Spend some time researching who your target audience is already following on YouTube. What types of videos do they watch? (If you don’t have your target audience figured out yet, we have a free buyer persona template to help out.)
There are a couple ways to do this:
If you already have your YouTube channel set up, check out your Analytics tab .
This will give you valuable insights into your audience’s demographics and interests. You can see how many people are finding your videos through search, seeing it in their suggested feed or from other sources.
Use social listening to find your audience.
What’s the best way to form lasting connections with other people? By spying on them from a distance, of course.
No, seriously, social listening allows you to continuously search social platforms, including YouTube, for mentions of your brand or specific keywords.
By seeing what people are saying about you or your industry, you can find out what people want to know and use that for video content ideas.
Step 3: Research your competition
The fastest way to grow on YouTube is to figure out what’s working for your competition and then do that… but better.
You can start by looking up channels from the competitors you already know. Perform a competitor analysis for the following:
- Subscriber count
- Average views per video
- Frequency of posting
- Overall video quality
- What people are saying in the comments
- The main topics they post about
And then ask yourself:
- What are their most popular videos?
- How are they presenting themselves?
- What is their brand voice?
- How can I differentiate my company from them?
- What ideas can I get for new content from this channel?
Put all your notes into a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities and T hreats (and always makes me feel like a Secret Service agent when I casually mention I’m gonna go do a SWOT to my coworkers by the coffee machine).
We’ve got a free SWOT template to get you goin’ right away.
At first, your goal is probably to grow your subscribers and audience as fast as possible. So write down your competitors’ subscriber counts and views. Track your own progress against theirs monthly.
Plus, if you’re competitive like me, the desire to crush their numbers will motivate you to keep going with your channel, even if growth is slow at first.
Step 4: Learn from your favorite channels
Besides learning from your competitors, you should also be learning from your favorite YouTube channels. These don’t have to be channels related to your industry.
By consuming YouTube content, you will learn a lot about what’s working, especially since it’s always changing.
For example, did you know it’s more important to have good audio quality than video quality? It’s true: Bad audio can turn people off from watching your video or subscribing.
A lot goes into making YouTube videos people want to watch. When you watch others, pay attention to things like:
- Video thumbnails
- Channel art
- How other creators are linking to posts or products
- How other creators edit their videos, including text popups and other special effects
There are even entire channels devoted to video editing and YouTube growth. You can track them, or keywords relating to YouTube growth, in your Hootsuite dashboard.
Step 5: Optimize your videos to get views
OK, let’s get specific about making you famous.
YouTube’s 2 billion users watch about 1 billion hours of video content every single day. So how do you rise above the noise and get YouTube’s algorithm to show your videos?
If you’re familiar with SEO and Google’s algorithm, YouTube works in a similar way with 1 key difference: Personalization.
When you search a phrase on Google, you’re served roughly the same website results as other people. I say “roughly,” because some results change based on location.
But if you and a buddy sat next to each other in the same room, on the same Wi-Fi and searched for the same keyword, you’d see the same results.
Not the case on YouTube.
When YouTube shows you search results, they take into account the keyword and similar things Google looks for: How popular a video already is, keywords in the title, etc. But YouTube also factors in your watch history and the types of videos it knows you like to watch.
That’s why no two users’ YouTube homepage or search results will be 100% alike.
Personalization plays a role, but it’s still important to do all those other YouTube SEO things to get your videos found in search.
Here are the 6 ways you need to optimize your videos to get more views :
Do keyword research
Before you can optimize your video, you need to know what you’re optimizing for. Keyword research gives you the phrases people are using to find content so you can add it to yours, too. (More on this in a sec.)
You can use Google Keyword Planner for keyword research . Additionally, type your topic into the YouTube search bar and see what comes up. These are all things real people have searched for. This can give you ideas for new keywords.
Add your keywords to your video
You should have one main keyword and a few additional ones for each video. Here’s where to add them:
- The video title (main keyword)
- Use the main keyword within the first 3 sentences
- According to YouTube, this has minimal impact, but use your keywords as tags anyway. It only takes a second.
YouTube timestamps are like breaking your video into chapters. It allows viewers to skip around to the sections they’re most interested in. This increases the chance they’ll watch more of your video.
Take a look at how the Hootsuite team uses timestamps to help their audience navigate longer videos.
Create a detailed video description
Each video’s description should have a unique section of a few sentences describing what it’s about. But, you can create default descriptions to save time for the parts you want in every video.
Here’s what you want to include in your description:
- Website link
- Links to your other social media accounts
- Links to your products or services mentioned in the video
- A call to action
Create an engaging video thumbnail
Custom thumbnails are so important for views. Besides your title, it’s the only other thing users have to decide if they want to watch your video or not.
What counts as a good YouTube thumbnail will vary depending on your audience. As a minimum, make sure it isn’t just a screenshot from your video. Use a photo or your brand elements and add some text to lure viewers in — like Hootsuite does on the Hootsuite Labs channel :
Current specs are a 16:9 format with a minimum size of 1280 x 720 pixels.
Respond to comments
YouTube is a social network, right? So act like it. Responding to viewer comments shows you’re there to build a community, not to push out self-promotional content.
It also boosts your video’s status to the algorithm because more comments = more popular-seeming video.
Step 6: Upload and schedule your videos
This is it, you’re ready to go.
You can upload your finished video directly into YouTube Studio and either publish it right away or schedule it for later. You can also schedule videos with Hootsuite the same way you schedule all your other social content.
For scheduling, a few things to keep in mind:
- How often are you going to post? Pick a schedule — daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc — and stick to it.
- Think about the best day to post on for your audience. When are they most likely to watch your content?
Step 7: Optimize your channel to attract followers
We’ve talked about optimizing individual videos but you also need to optimize your entire channel. Make sure your channel art and profile photo reflect your branding.
In addition to visual branding, YouTube has some built-in features that make it easier to get more subscribers :
- Group your videos into playlists organized by topic.
- Create a channel trailer, which is like a commercial representing what your channel is about.
You know when you’re watching a video and the creator always tells people to “like and subscribe?” There’s a reason: It works.
In your videos, be sure to:
- Ask people to subscribe to your channel and like, comment and/or share your video.
- Have a clear call to action.
- For example, mention how audience questions inspired the current video.
- Use a custom end screen to direct viewers to other videos of yours to keep them on your channel longer.
- Uploading your own captions will ensure accuracy and is something you can easily outsource.
- YouTube also offers free, automatic captioning but it often gets words wrong.
- You can even add translated versions of your captions to better serve a multilingual audience or earn more international views.
Step 8: Try YouTube advertising
Not growing fast enough? Try YouTube ads .
Most YouTube ads are videos but you can also place banner ads, either in videos or on the website. You can also make your video ads either skippable after 5 seconds, or unskippable.
As a Google company, YouTube ads operate through the Google Ads platform. Running successful ads requires a strategy of its own, which we detail in our guide to Google Ads .
Besides the campaign strategy, before you try out paid ads, make sure you have:
- A rock-solid understanding of who your audience is.
- Optimized your YouTube channel’s visual branding and description.
- Uploaded at least 5-10 videos so your new visitors can get a sense for what you’re all about.
Step 9: Try influencer marketing
YouTube influencers — called “creators” — are growing every year. YouTube reported a 50% year over year growth in the number of creators earning over $10,000 per year, and a 40% increase in those earning over $100,000.
While new social platforms pop up all the time and become the “hot” place to advertise, like TikTok in 2021, YouTube is a high-performing channel for brands. Almost half of all brands who plan to use influencer marketing will use YouTube.
YouTube is a classic sponsorship channel for a reason: 70% of viewers have bought a product they saw featured on YouTube.
As with any form of paid advertising or marketing campaign, you can’t jump straight into an influencer partnership without some prep work:
- Know your audience, know your goals … you know this part already.
- Play by the rules — and not just YouTube’s rules. Follow FTC rules for disclosing paid or sponsored content. Ensure your creator partner uses the hashtags #ad or #sponsored, as a minimum.
- Choose an influencer who aligns with your brand and who you trust to produce high-quality content.
- Analyze your results after the campaign and learn what to do differently next time.
Nike’s campaign with “What’s Inside?” shows what’s possible when you let your creator take the lead. Famous for cutting everyday items in half to see what’s inside, the aptly-named channel created a series of videos for Nike to promote a new shoe.
The most popular video of the series is where they cut the new shoe in half, which earned over 7.1 million views.
Step 10: Analyze and adapt
As with all marketing, you need to track your YouTube analytics at least monthly. Use YouTube’s built-in reports to see what your audience is watching, what they like the most, where your traffic is coming from and more.
Use analytics to track your channel growth, too. Write down your numbers monthly for:
- View duration
- Your click-through rate (CTR)
This becomes your benchmark to measure your channel by each month. Not growing? Then it’s time to adjust your YouTube marketing strategy.
4 YouTube marketing tools for business
Boost your YouTube marketing results with these useful tools:
Mentionlytics for social listening
With Mentionlytics , you can monitor all your social platforms for mentions of your company name or specific keywords. You can track positive and negative mentions so you can swoop in with responsive replies to both situations, and the app also gives you an overall Sentiment Analysis based on what people are saying.
Hootsuite for everything
You can schedule videos in YouTube Studio, but why step out of your (work)flow? Hootsuite can schedule all your social media posts, including YouTube videos.
More than a scheduler, Hootsuite’s dashboard allows you to monitor brand and keyword mentions across all your channels. You can do everything you need to for social media directly from Hootsuite. That includes post creation, advertising, analytics reporting and you can save a ton of time by responding to comments directly from your dashboard.
Your entire team can have access to collaboration tools that allow you to effectively manage social accounts at scale, all in one place.
The only thing Hootsuite can’t do is call your mom on her birthday. But it can be used to set up a birthday Tweet in advance. Just sayin’.
Channelview Insights for in-depth analytics
YouTube has built-in analytics but if you’re looking for a truly in-depth look at your stats, Channelview Insights is for you.
Channelview brings a Google Analytics-ish vibe to YouTube with its familiar layout for tracking everything from demographic data to traffic sources and subscriptions. It supports multiple YouTube channels and can export reports as PDFs or CSVs for the ultimate Excel party experience.
TubeRanker for keyword research
This free website is a good starting point for basic keyword research. You enter a keyword on TubeRanker and it tells you the YouTube search volume for that keyword, plus ideas for other keywords.
Let Hootsuite make growing your YouTube channel easier. Get scheduling, promotion and marketing tools all in one place for your entire team. Sign up free today.
Grow your YouTube channel faster with Hootsuite . Easily moderate comments, schedule video, and publish to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
How the youtube algorithm works in 2023: the complete guide.
Looking to increase your YouTube video views in 2023? Step one: find out what’s new with the YouTube algorithm and how it ranks your content.
How to Get Free YouTube Subscribers (the Real Way)
Getting more free YouTube subscribers is the best way to maximize your organic reach on the second-largest website in the world.
How to Make Money on YouTube: 7 Effective Strategies
If you're wondering how to make money on YouTube, look no further than these 7 strategies for monetizing your channel and your creative work.
How to Promote Your YouTube Channel: 30 Tactics That Work
We’ve rounded up the most effective ways to promote your YouTube channel. Follow these tips to increase your views and improve the ROI of your YouTube strategy.
Well this is awkward.
We could have SWORN you were someone who wanted to grow on social media and beat your competitors. Our bad. We’ll just leave this 60-day free trial here for someone else then…
Free 30-Day Trial
Journal of Media Business Studies
Content marketing strategy of branded youtube channels.
- Download citation
- Full Article
- Figures & data
- Reprints & Permissions
- Get access /doi/full/10.1080/16522354.2020.1783130?needAccess=true
As content marketing becomes a viable approach to build brands and connect with consumers, this study assessed top brands’ content marketing strategy on branded YouTube channels via content analysis. Using a consumer engagement conceptual framework, the study examined brands’ strategies addressing the interactivity, attention, emotion, and cognition aspects of engagement and explored the role of YouTube capabilities, financial resources, and product category in strategy differentiation. Results indicated that engagement through social media content marketing is highly contextual and platform dependent. YouTube capabilities, financial resources, and product category play an important role in strategy differentiation.
- Content marketing
- branded content
- consumer engagement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Notes on contributors, sylvia chan-olmsted, log in via your institution, log in to taylor & francis online, restore content access.
- 48 hours access to article PDF & online version
- Article PDF can be downloaded
- Article PDF can be printed
- 30 days online access to complete issue
- Article PDFs can be downloaded
- Article PDFs can be printed
- More Share Options
People also read lists articles that other readers of this article have read.
Recommended articles lists articles that we recommend and is powered by our AI driven recommendation engine.
Cited by lists all citing articles based on Crossref citations. Articles with the Crossref icon will open in a new tab.
- People also read
- Recommended articles
Your download is now in progress and you may close this window
- Choose new content alerts to be informed about new research of interest to you
- Easy remote access to your institution's subscriptions on any device, from any location
- Save your searches and schedule alerts to send you new results
- Export your search results into a .csv file to support your research
Login or register to access this feature
Register now or learn more
This study, drawing on existing research of advertisements on social media and guided by the media richness theory, investigates how YouTube users, when exposed to advertisements, respond to feedback and multiple cues embedded in the video. Studies (Calder, Malhouse, & Schaedel, 2009; Coursaris, Osch, & Balogh, 2016; Li & Lo, 2014)
Future studies may wish to examine YouTube channels owned by influencers. The original research paper, “ Content Marketing Strategy of Branded YouTube Channels ,” appeared in the Journal of Media Business Studies, June 25, 2020. Authors: Rang Wang, Sylvia Chan-Olmsted. This summary was written by Marie Morganelli, Ph.D.
This study looks at the role of YouTube marketing communication (YMC) on brand awareness, brand image, and purchase intention. This study aims to find the attitudes and behavior of YouTube users towards advertising. As a form of information that is avoided, advertisements provide the possibility to be watched or ignored.
Using a consumer engagement conceptual framework, the study examined brands’ strategies addressing the interactivity, attention, emotion, and cognition aspects of engagement and explored the role...
The results of this study divulge a favorable association between affective responses of use factors and brand preference as a result of YouTube usage and marketing communication, making a...
In fact, Social Media Examiner's 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report found that 65% of the 5,000+ respondents who have been in the industry for more than three years report they're still interested in utilizing YouTube in their social media marketing plans. 44% of respondents say they plan on either increasing their YouTube ad spend or …
Everyone watches YouTube. Over 75% of Americans age 15 and up are on YouTube, part of over 2 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular website in the world after Google.
Intro How to Do Market Research! Two Cents 648K subscribers Subscribe 15K 395K views 3 years ago SUPPORT us on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/twocentspbsds SUBSCRIBE to Two Cents!...
Her research expertise includes digital/mobile media consumption, branding, and strategic competition in emerging media/communications industries. She has conducted consumer research and consulted for Google, Nielsen, National Association of Broadcasters, the Cable Center, and the Center for International Business Education and Research.