See the latest online video marketing campaigns, examples, and case studies with YouTubers & video creators. Learn how top brands & companies are marketing online by partnering with top YouTube content creators.
When we think of watching videos, the powerhouse portal Youtube may be first to come to mind. However there seems to be a new contender in town. Traditionally when we think of Facebook, we often think of status updates and funny cat memes. But with new updates, Facebook video may be rivaling Youtube video in a big way.
Company announcements are often yawn provoking. But in the case of Facebook’s announcement regarding their push into videos, it proved to be noteworthy. In their first update, Facebook decided to roll out autoplay on videos. So as users would scroll through their news feed, videos would automatically start playing (without sound).
The latest rollout was a change in the algorithm to start showing more videos to people who actually enjoyed watching them. Facebook determined this by measuring the amount of times someone would spend watching a video before scrolling on. As a result the videos were shown more commonly to those who actually wanted to watch them.
The best YouTubers and YouTube influencers are as good at captivating their audiences through branded content as they are with their standard channel content. A priority of all YouTube creators is to maintain and entertain their audience through authentic means. So, anything with the potential to obstruct or impede that relationship interferes with the YouTubers ability to connect with their audience and grow. Audiences are an exceptional litmus test for branded content. Anytime they sense content being overly branded or branded content done in a clumsy way, they are quick to dislike and comment on the video with their vitriol. The best branded YouTube videos come from an unequivocal match between the brand, the content, and the creator. If the creator is already a fan of the brand or a realistic potential user, branded videos will find more success with the creator's audience (see our post on three ways to create great sponsored content).
The best branded content comes from when the brand and advertiser relinquish control of the content, forgoing a script to allow the creator to captivates audiences in their own unique way. Scripts can leave a video feeling dry and out of place amongst countless other videos. Just a few "whistle blowers" can call a creator out on inorganic, or overly sponsored content, and create a major stir. When the influencer has control and a strong say, the content will feel more organic and accepted by their audience (all see our post on three things to remember when making branded content for YouTube). The goal is to create content the YouTuber's audience will enjoy and want to share. This drives shares, likes, views and comments and builds a wholly unencumbered connection with the brand.
Listed below are our picks of the top best branded content YouTube videos and brand sponsorships.
Andrea, behind AndreasChoice, is a DIY, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle YouTuber with over 3.1 million subscribers. For this branded YouTube video, she collaborated with her YouTube friend Blaire, behind JuicyStar07 (with over 1.7 million subscribers herself) to give fun tips on ways to accentuate your smile. This video is sponsored by Colgate to promote their optic white tooth paste and the fun teeth whitening tips, integrating Colgate, was the perfect way to organically bring the toothpaste to her audience.
Since 2009, Bethany Mota, a beauty and lifestyle YouTube ingenue and sensation, has been uploading videos to her channel MacBarbie07. Six years later, Bethany has amassed over 650 million video views and over 8 million subscribers, making her the most subscribed to beauty channel on YouTube. Now, with a presidential interview and countless conference talks on her resume, Bethany has invested an undisclosed stake in BeautyCon.
BeautyCon is a live conference and symposium where fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite YouTube beauty gurus and see them give talks and participate on panels. Bethany has partaken on panels at BeautyCon since it's inception in 2012, and has said she loves the comaraderie she finds in the BeautyCon space. “I’ve seen up close that the BeautyCon team puts the fans first and creates the sense of home for me, a place where I can feel comfortable to be myself and talk to the fans in a truly authentic way,” Mota said in a statement (also see our spotlight on Bethany Moto).
With 1 billion users and hundreds of millions of daily video views, YouTube is a content creating powerhouse filled with channels from the likes of music creators, to entertainers, to beauty gurus, to technology and gaming influencers and to every topic known to man in between from the commonplace to the esoteric (YouTube). YouTube is an absorbing social platform, bringing viewers together via all screens to create billions of video views every day. YouTube has become one of the leading social platforms for teens and millennials and is rapidly capturing every other demographic. YouTube has also become one of the most captivating ways to get your brand in front of millions of viewers (also see our post on top entertainment YouTubers of 2014). Below are 10 YouTube statistics you should know.
Since conception, YouTube has been the platform for brands to engage with ardent fans and market themselves. Although more than a million advertisers are using the Google ad platform to advertise their brands on YouTube through YouTube's TrueView ads, only a handful of brands have demonstrated mastery and prowess with their own brand channels. Brands are leveraging YouTube in new and creative ways. Recently it's become a platform to allow audiences to watch and view their ads. In 2014, people spent more than a billion minutes watching the top ten Super Bowl ads on YouTube (Social Bakers). But the best brands on YouTube, transcend the ad to producing salient content on their own brand channels.
Two of the key players in the YouTube space are Red Bull and GoPro. Both brands capitalize on fan's adoration for sports, extreme activities, captivating content, and user generated content (UGC) to drawn in audiences to their own and operated channels. More than 29 million subscribers tune into outdoor activities and adventure sports, resulting in an accumulation of 8 billion views; Red Bull and GoPro are able to absorb this popularity (Stream Daily). See how their YouTube channels compare and contrast below (also see our post on top YouTube channels you should be working with).
Vine doesn't have the user reach of Instagram and YouTube, but as of 2014, it reached a milestone of 40 million users and is creating buzz within the advertising and entertainment industry(dexmedia). Over 1 billion Vine loops are played daily and 12 million videos are uploaded to Twitter daily. Vine stars are creating content snips 6 seconds at a time and in the course, attracting the attention of audiences and advertisers alike. Brands have started playing in the Vine game (see our post on how brands are using Vine) with their own channels, but the leaders are still the Vine stars.
Top Vine stars and influencers share their comedy, music, acting, and more. These Vine stars are creative and innovative in ways of using this unique 5 second format. They've created a plethora of content and still continue to innovate with the format in ways that no studio or brand could have imagined or anticipated. Here are 5 of the top breakout Vine stars.
Us The Duo
Michael and Carissa Alvarado are the incredibly talented husband and wife behind Us the Duo, a folk-pop band that rose to prominence through Vine. When they first met, they were just two emerging solo artists. They gained traction on YouTube, but Vine is where they found their place in the spotlight and became some of the top Vine stars. Their #Us6SecondCovers of everyone from Destiny's Child to Taylor Swift caught the attention of Buzzfeed and other publications. In March of 2014 they signed with Republic Records, becoming the first Vine stars to sign with a record label. They've since gone on to release a full length album and headline a tour with sold out dates. Us the Duo has over 4.5 million followers on Vine and over 600 million loops played. Read More>>
Vessel, a video platform subscription-based site started by Jason Kilar formerly of Hulu, is looking to position itself as YouTube's first real competitor by signing over a dozen premium YouTube stars as launch partners. Vessel's strategy also includes other premium content such as Project Runway and traditional publishers including "Time Inc. and A&E for such brands as Sports Illustrated and the History Channel. It's also gotten Warner Music and other labels on board, representing a total of 3,000 musicians" (cnbc.com). Vessel videos officially launched its beta to an invite-only preview on January 21 of this year. For $2.99 a month, Vessel subscribers get exclusive access to new videos from dozens of content providers including some of YouTube's stars like the Fine Bros, Miss Glamorazzi, Shane Dawson, Good Mythical Morning and more (also see our post on Vessel vs. YouTube).
Vessel's hope is that the loyal and devoted fans of current YouTube stars will follow them to the new video platform, paying for exclusive early access to their content. It's a big bet (worth $75M in their Series A venture capital funding) that audiences, who are used to not paying to view their favorite content, will now subscribe to Vessel videos at $2.99/month. Vessel's contract would require YouTube influencers to publish first to Vessel's video platform for three days of exclusivity before publishing to their YouTube channel.
Vessel's founder, Jason Kilar, believes video and channel enthusiasts will pay for early access to premium content. “That’s the kind of person we’re going after, someone who cares deeply about a creator or a brand,” the Vessel founder said. "We believe that they’re passionate about just good content, and it’s our job to deliver it to them early.” (Tubefilter)
With a saturated entrainment market, it makes sense that performers would turn to YouTube to achieve their own audiences and stardom. From break dancers to comedians to musicians, entertainment YouTubers have a considerable opportunity to find their own fame within the confines of YouTube's 1 billion user strong platform. With the freedom to post what they want, unlike restrictions performers find in other avenues, entertainment YouTubers have the luxury to control their art form. Below are some of the top breakout entertainment YouTubers of 2014.
Marquese Scott, aka YouTube’s Whzgud2, is an American pop and lock dancer who has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres show as well as advertisements and music videos. His 2011 video to Pumped Up Kicks is what pushed him to stardom. This year he's done collaborations with UNIQLO, amongst other brands. In his most recent video (above) he collaborates with Kikky for a dance video. His channel has over 1.5 million subscribers and over 276 million views.
With the extraordinary ascent of YouTube users, hundreds of millions of hours of video are consumed by users daily, advertisers and brands are catalyzing branded content with the most popular YouTube influencers in the space. The number of viewers watching YouTube is increasing 40% year after year, and watch time of YouTube content is increasing 50% year after year (YouTube stats). Below are YouTubers that have worked with large brands like Coca Cola, HP, and Audible to generate branded content that engages their audiences well beyond your average commercial.
Connor Franta is a YouTube vlogger who talks to his camera and posts the final product every Monday. With over 4.2 million subscribers and almost 200 million video views, his audience is engaged and enthralled by his latest videos. Connor recently worked with Nature Box (above) to create a healthy branded content video for his subscribers. His ability to flawlessly integrate a brand into a video without giving off commercial vibes is a talent surmounted by few (see our post on three ways to create great sponsored content).
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Top 5 Breakout Tech YouTube Channels & YouTubers of 2014
With over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute (according to YouTube statistics), every category from Tech to Cooking to Beauty is saturated with countless videos on a myriad of topics. In short, it's getting harder and harder to stand out as a remarkable channel and build an audience. YouTubers have their work cut out for them and use an assortment of techniques to distinguish themselves from the crowd. There are still rising stars among the stalwarts who are equally equipped with consistency, production quality, personality, charisma and an ability to connect with the audience. The best channels also tend to create the best branded and sponsored content. These online influencers know how to build a brand into their voice. As a result, they are able to protect the coherence and integrity of their channel and prevent audience alienation as a byproduct of disingenuous material. (Check out our posts on How to Make Branded Content and Picking the Right Influencers.)
But most consistently, the best channels and YouTubers engage their audiences. They capture and create trends, shoot creative and novel content. They educate their audiences, share their world with their loyal fans and most importantly connect with their fans. Here's our list of top 5 breakout Tech YouTubers of 2014.