Benefits of YouTubeYouTube released its first Brand Channel Leader board earlier this year, featuring channels that have had the most success attracting repeat viewership, shares, and engaged fan bases. But how well are brands actually doing on the video-sharing platform?

According to Touchstorm’s Video Index, only 74 of the top 5,000 channels on YouTube belong to brands. This is a mind-blowing statistic, given the video platform’s millions of daily users and the size of marketing budgets for international brands. These 74 brands are YouTube innovators, who enjoy one new view every two seconds, with their content being liked and shared by legions of loyal fans.

It begs the question – what are the other 4,926 brands doing wrong?

With the rise of viewership on YouTube, especially mobile, brands can’t afford to ignore it. They need strategies that fulfil creative and audience building goals unique to their brand. This week, we look at some success stories from YouTube and the brand’s secrets behind them.

Work with online influencers

Obama Barack brought attention to Obamacare by inviting a group of YouTube influencers to the White House. The young creators shared their opinions on healthcare, education, and economic issues, while the YouTube team indirectly harnessed each of their individual fan bases.

We’re at a point on the platform where YouTube stars and influencers understand their worth to their audiences and the marketplace. These stars have audiences in the tens, if not hundreds of millions, and for them to work with a brand, it really needs to be the right fit for them.

The key is to identify your audience, find crossover with YouTubers’ subscribers, and see if they’d be willing to collaborate. But make sure you have a solid pitch.

It’s not all about going viral

Instead of gambling on an attempt to go viral, be smart about using your resources to create original, serialized content that will keep your viewers coming back for more.

Red Bull is no stranger to virality, with its groundbreaking live stream of Felix Baumgartner’s space jump and action-packed Danny MacAskill videos, but what keeps their 3 million+ subscribers coming back for more are dozens of playlists of original, high-quality content.

Consistent Posting

Michelle Phan is a YouTube sensation. She uploads videos every week that receive over a million views, thanks to her 7,000,000 loyal fans that enjoy her trusty makeup tutorials. To tie in branding, she’s represented countless makeup brands over the years, and launched her own line in collaboration with L’Oreal last summer.

Michelle shows that consistency is crucial when turning viewers into subscribers, which is much more valuable. The YouTube Playbook notes that when subscribers view your content, they watch for twice as long as one-off viewers do. Subscribers are the ones who will buy your album year after year and stand in line for the concert. Viewers are the ones who’ll get the 99-cent single on iTunes and play it once.

Topics: Branded Entertainment, YouTube Advertising, Brand Advocate, YouTube

Eric Greener

Written by Eric Greener

Founding partner at ExactDrive and happily married father of four.