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What Brands Need to Understand About YouTube Creators

The Content Council on March 29, 2017 - 12:11 pm in Brands, Digital, Strategy

Our 10th Annual Spring Conference took place on Monday, March 13th, with many attendees remaining through the final keynote despite Winter Storm Stella looming just hours away. The talk by Mary Healy, Global Lead of YouTube’s Brand Partner Program, was worth sticking around for. In case you missed it, here’s what you need to know about YouTube “creators” and how you can work with them to get your brand message across to sizable, engaged audiences.

First, here’s some YouTube trivia you may not have known:

  • YouTube is the #1 online video site, and it’s only 11 years old.
  • The site gets 1,000,000,000 monthly visitors and a billion hours of video is viewed each day. You read those stats right. A billion.
  • It’s the #2 search engine after Google.
  • 8 out of the 10 most influential people in America are YouTube creators such as KSI, Pewdie Pie, and Nigahiga, according to a survey conducted by Variety. Never heard of any of those people? Google, er, YouTube them.

As Healy noted, the fact is that more than anything else, people work, sleep, and watch videos. By 2019, just two years from now, 90% of internet traffic will be video streaming (that will include video on YouTube as well as streaming services such as Netflix). So how does your brand break through the 400 hours of video that’s uploaded each minute, to be sure what you’re creating to promote your brand is even being viewed?

First, Healy noted that it’s important to realize that it’s not just about the number of impressions you’re getting anymore. “Reach is cheap. Attention is gold,” she said. You have to understand what the user wants so you can engage them. They not only want to watch great content, they also want to feel a sense of community. And that’s what YouTube creators are providing: they create videos of things their viewers are passionate about—whether that passion is parkour, a beauty haul, or seeing “what’s inside” of things such as a wasp’s nest (again—YouTube it!). They also break through the fourth wall, talking directly to the user, giving them the sense that there’s a friendship between them. That’s the reason so many creators have such huge, loyal followings.

When you find a creator (or creators) that fit with your brand, the relationship can be invaluable, both to the brand and to the creator. (For every $1 YouTube makes from a brand, .55 goes to the creator—a very lucrative business for YouTube’s biggest stars. However, it’s not quite that easy: Creators are picky about which brands they’ll align with. They know their viewers trust them, so they’re not going to partner with every brand that approaches them. The message you want to send must be organic to the creator’s brand, so that their viewers will not only welcome it but truly be interested in it.

To get a deeper understanding how the world of the YouTube creator works, Healy recommends subscribing to ten YouTube channels based on your own passions. When you immerse yourself in the ecosystem, you’ll learn a lot about how creators work and how passion drives user engagement.

Healy made many more valuable points in her talk. But this post has exceeded the five seconds that you probably remained interested enough to read.

Posted by Susan Schulz

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