In A Beginner’s Guide To YouTube Marketing, I explained YouTube marketing and provided examples of videos that produced the best content marketing results.
You’ve also learned the benefits of YouTube marketing and the types of marketing tools that should be in your toolkit.
It never hurts to learn some lessons from other brands and get tips to help your business reach new audiences on the social media platform.
So, I’ve included examples of successful YouTube marketing campaigns for businesses and brands below:
1. Define Your Target Audience
Start by understanding your audience’s needs, interests, and behaviors to create content that resonates with them and increases the chances of engagement.
YouTube Marketing Examples
According to Tubular Labs, the most-watched video on the Old Spice channel is “Taking Stock.” Uploaded on Feb. 4, 2019, it has 61.6 million views and 40,500 engagements.
The most engaged video on the Old Spice channel is “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Uploaded on Feb. 5, 2010, it has 61.1 million views and 277,000 engagements.
Both videos illustrate why consumer intent is more powerful than demographics. Even though 73% of the brand’s channel’s audience is male, and only 27% are female, women frequently purchase body wash for men – and often influence what men who shop for themselves buy.
By gaining a deep understanding of its target customer, their interests, and how they live and shop, Old Spice has been able to create engaging content tailored to its intended audience.
2. Build A Content Plan
Prioritize your brand’s objectives: awareness, consideration, online or offline sales, and loyalty.
Add video-related details to the audience persona for your target audience on YouTube. What do they watch? What do they like?
Research your competition: What opportunities are they missing on YouTube? Decide what success looks like: What do you want to achieve with this video campaign? Set the proper metrics for your efforts.
YouTube Marketing Example
Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign was a daring experiment based on a content plan to ensure that the company’s content both engaged its intended audience and met its brand’s goals: to build brand love and loyalty, and to turn beauty into a source of confidence – not anxiety – for women.
The film, created by Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, asked women to describe themselves to FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora (from behind a mysterious curtain), who then drew a portrait of them based on their description.
Random strangers were then asked to describe the same women to Gil to see how their descriptions would differ. The result?
The portraits based on the strangers’ portrayals were more beautiful, happier, and more accurate.
The initial video below got 70.3 million views and 195,000 engagements. The film was then uploaded in 25 languages to 46 Dove YouTube channels and quickly amassed a total of 170 million views and 503,000 engagements.
3. Create Engaging Video Content
Focus on creating video content that provides intrinsic value to your viewers. This value comes in four forms: Inspiration, Entertainment, Enlightenment, and Education.
YouTube Marketing Example
Many brands in India have mastered the art of video storytelling in longer forms.
To illustrate why you should focus on creating video content that provides intrinsic value to your viewers, have a look at this Samsung India video: “We’ll take care of you, wherever you are.”
This engaging video content shows and tells a story of how a young Samsung Engineer – undaunted by rough terrain – attends to a customer complaint in a remote, hilly area.
His efforts help bring smiles to the faces of a group of children, for whom their Samsung television is the medium to celebrate a special moment.
It has 212 million views and 213,000 engagements.
4. Schedule Your Content
Upload new video content on a regular basis.
Build your programming strategy around:
- Help content – Videos that answer the most popular search queries in your niche.
- Hub content – Scheduled content that provides a reason to subscribe to your channel and return on a regular basis.
- Hero content – The big, tent-pole events that are designed to provide a massive step-change to your audience growth.
YouTube Marketing Example
Developing a programming strategy requires brands to act like media and entertainment companies. And the best example of YouTube marketers who think like content strategists is the team at Red Bull.
In 365 days, the energy drink brand uploaded 4,676 videos to 45 YouTube channels in 14 countries. These videos had a total of 1.2 billion (with a “b”) views and 34.1 million engagements.
Help content: Red Bull uses Shorts as its 365-day-relevant, always-on content programming. The brand has uploaded 617 Shorts to 24 channels in 9 countries over the last 365 days, which have received a total of 250 million views and 5.4 million engagements.
For example, watch “How Far Can A Reverse Soapbox Make It?”
Hub content: Red Bull’s scheduled content is built around a series of worldwide events. Its calendar is packed with biking, motorsports, surfing, winter sports, and other events, like “Red Bull Flutag,” a flying contest which challenges amateur teams to fly their handmade airplanes and gliders as far as possible.
Hero content: Although Red Bull is known for big, tent-pole events like “Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall from 128k,” the energy drink brand doesn’t rely as heavily on these today.
Nevertheless, Red Bull did celebrate the 10 anniversary of Baumgartner’s historic space jump by uploading “I Jumped From Space (World Record Supersonic Freefall).”
5. Optimize Your Videos For Search
Optimize your YouTube videos with relevant keywords in your titles and video descriptions to increase the visibility of your videos in search results. Consider adding a call-to-action (CTA) in your videos to encourage engagement and conversions.
YouTube Marketing Example
Although people discover more videos on Home and in Suggested Videos, it’s important to optimize your videos for search. Why?
Because YouTube search still strives to surface the most relevant results according to keyword searches, and one of the ranking factors continues to be how well your title, description, and video content match a viewer’s query.
So, video SEO continues to work.
For example, SonoSite, the leader in portable ultrasound technology, engaged the Rutgers Center for Management Development (CMD) in January 2011 to teach a customized version of its Mini-MBA: Digital Marketing program.
In January 2011, SonoSite’s channel had 99,529 total views and 253 subscribers. Today, the Fujifilm SonoSite channel has 31,678,634 views and 108,000 subscribers.
The most watched and most engaged video on the channel is “How To: Ultrasound Guided Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection Scanning Technique.” This how-to video, which is optimized for niche terms that only physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals would use, has 5.4 million views and 13,500 engagements.
6. Engage With Your Audience
Respond to comments, answer questions, and interact with your audience to build a strong community.
This can help you build a strong relationship with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
YouTube Marketing Example
In the last 3 years, Sticky, an Australian, family-owned business that makes candy, has uploaded 598 videos to YouTube.
These videos have amassed a total of 2.3 billion (with a “b”) views and 112 million engagements. That’s an average of 3.8 million views and 112,000 engagements per video, which is an engagement rate of 4.9%.
The Australian brand’s most watched and most engaged video is “She was bragging until.. .” This short video has 210 million views and 9.0 million engagements!
What’s the secret of Sticky’s success?
Well, each and every day, Sticky brings you into the world of candy and lets you watch a group of dedicated candy artisans and sculptors make the most fantastic and delicious creations in both live and short-form formats.
This transforms the 10 types of organic video that most other organizations use into, dare I say it, “sticky content.”
And, if you read the video’s description, it says, “Don’t forget to hit the bell when you subscribe to be notified when we post, and when we go live. Never miss a Sticky second!”
Oh, maybe I should have mentioned earlier that the Sticky channel now has 2.8 million subscribers.
7. Utilize Influencer Marketing
Partner with popular YouTubers who align with your brand and have a large following in your target audience. This can help you reach new audiences and increase your visibility on the platform.
YouTube Marketing Example
The Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $21.1 Billion in 2023, according to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report.
According to Tubular’s DealMaker, 7,867 brand partners in 28 industries and 12,300 content partners in 21 genres have created 47,000 sponsored videos on YouTube in 102 countries over the last 365 days.
With so many examples to choose from, it seems arbitrary, whimsical, and capricious to pick just one.
But Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, partnered with PayPal Honey to create one of the top trending videos of 2022. In a “Willy Wonka” inspired warehouse, MrBeast challenges contestants to traverse a chocolate river, climb a candy wall, compete in confection-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest fantasies.
His sponsored video content, “I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!,” got 163 million views and 5.5 million engagements.
8. Invest In Paid Advertising
Consider using YouTube’s paid advertising options, such as video ads or sponsored content, to reach a specific audience and drive more views, subscribers, and engagement to your channel as well as drive traffic to your website.
YouTube Marketing Example
To see examples of the top ads people watch each quarter, go to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard.
Topping both the U.S. and global lists in the 2022 year-end wrap-ups was “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader.” The creative agency for this ad was Lucky Generals, and the media agency was IPG – Rufus.
Or check out YouTube success stories to see how businesses of all sizes are reaching their goals with YouTube Ads. The examples highlight the goals of each business.
So, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then read about how video advertising helped the Missouri Star Quilt Company become the world’s largest precut quilting fabric retailer.
If your goal is to boost interest and consideration, then read about how Adidas uses sequencing to move customers from awareness to consideration.
If your goal is to help people to purchase, subscribe, and take action, then read about how United Airlines uses video to convert undecided customers.
And although the term, full-funnel marketing, is a misnomer, if your goal is to increase awareness, boost consideration, and drive action, then read about how Ebates used video and search to drive aided awareness, increase search levels, and decrease cost-per-acquisition when it rebranded to Rakuten.
9. Conduct YouTube CTV Experiments
According to YouTube internal data, viewers watch a daily average of over 700 million hours of YouTube content on TV devices.
To better understand the opportunity, you should run experiments to see how effective connected TV (CTV) could be for your audiences.
YouTube Marketing Examples
No model exists for the perfect CTV advertising strategy.
But you should read Christine Turner’s article, “What 3 brands learned from their YouTube CTV experiments,” to better understand what brands are learning.
In 2021, Frito-Lay North America wanted to find out how increases in watch time on CTV contributed to the brand and sales goals of its Ruffles brand. Its marketing team ran an A/B test with half the media budget delivered across the usual devices, and the other half with an increased allocation to CTV. The team then compared performance to delivery.
According to Amanda Corral, senior director of paid media strategy at Frito-Lay North America,
“The higher delivery to the increased CTV cells exceeded our expectations and benchmarks across view rates, ad recall, and sales lift.” She added. “And we achieved this without sacrificing CPM or reach. We were thrilled to deliver a strong impact while maintaining efficiency and delivering higher ROI.”
In 2021, L’Oreal USA wanted to see how their time-tested approach to creative and reach scaled with CTV. So, the company increased its YouTube investment by 102%, year over year.
Then, L’Oreal USA conducted a meta-analysis of almost 30 NCS sales lift studies and found that its YouTube activity delivered an average of 6% sales lift for its campaigns. The company also saw a 6 to 1 return on ad spend (ROAS) on YouTube CTV screens.
Shenan Reed, SVP, head of media at L’Oreal USA, explained,
“Our consumer is still in the living room, but they’re watching a wider variety of content – content that is more personal, that’s more of the moment. You can ignore that behavior, or you can choose to show up. And we chose to show up.”
DocuSign was initially apprehensive about CTV since users can’t click through and convert on the TV screen. However, the brand decided to experiment by running a CTV-dedicated advertising campaign alongside a regular cross-device campaign to isolate and quantify the impact CTV had on its campaigns.
The marketing team found the CTV ads drove a best-in-class 33% relative lift in ad recall. And despite worries about barriers to action, DocuSign saw a 126% relative conversion lift for its trial sign-ups.
Andy Tack, senior marketing manager at DocuSign, said,
“We can now clearly see the value CTV has in our campaigns.” and “Whether we’re growing brand awareness and recall, or improving consideration and purchase intent, CTV is a critical part of our approach.”
10. Measure Your Results
Utilize YouTube Analytics, lift metrics, and GA4 to track your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Analyze your data and make data-driven decisions for building awareness, influencing consideration, driving online or offline sales, and/or growing loyalty.
Here are three recent examples of how organizations have used YouTube marketing to generate measurable outcomes.
World’s Coolest Winter Campaign
On Dec. 13, 2021, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, launched the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign. IT showcased the exceptional tourist attractions in the UAE, as well as the human values associated with Emirati society.
The campaign concluded on Feb. 13, 2022. It had increased:
- Hotel revenues to AED1.5 billion, an 50% upsurge over AED1 billion the previous year.
- The number of tourists to 1.3 million, a 36% jump over the campaign’s first season.
- Hotel occupancy rates to 73% in 2022, a 7% gain over 66% in 2021.
The Warm Winter Campaign
As part of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign, Hassan Suleiman (aka AboFlah), a YouTube content creator who focuses on entertainment and gaming, launched the Warm Winter livestream on his YouTube channel with the goal of raising US$10 million to bring warmth to 100,000 refugee families in Africa and the Middle East that winter.
AboFlah locked himself up in a glass box near the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and recorded 268 hours, 14 minutes, and 20 seconds of live streaming over 12 days.
He also received the most viewers watching a livestream humanitarian campaign on YouTube, around 698 thousand viewers at the same time, and reached a total number of 163 million views through YouTube.
And the Warm Winter campaign surpassed its target, collecting more than US$11 million in donations from over 155,000 donors from 120 countries.
One Billion Meals Campaign
On March 10, 2022, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) launched the ”One Billion Meals” campaign, the largest food drive to battle hunger in 50 countries around the globe.
On April 27, 2022, Sheikh Mohammed said, “Today we conclude the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative by collecting 600 million meals in less than one month. Thanks to institutions, companies, businessmen, and 320,000 individuals who contributed. Today, we announce a personal support of 400 million meals for the initiative to complete the 1 billion meals during this holy month of Ramadan.”
YouTube Is The Future Home Of NFL Sunday Ticket
If you watched Super Bowl 2023, then you probably saw “Football Cat.” The video announced that the premium out-of-market sports package that broadcasts all NFL regional Sunday afternoon games not available on your local CBS or Fox affiliate will be available exclusively on YouTube and YouTube TV starting Sept. 7, 2023.
This is a game-changer. It means that YouTube marketing will soon be able to help businesses grow their brand and reach new audiences on “the best live TV streaming service overall,” according to CNET.
Now, most marketers know the Super Bowl drew 113 million viewers in 2023. And according to David Leonhardt’s article, “A National Holiday,” which The New York Times published on Feb. 12, 2023, 82 of the top 100 most-watched U.S. TV broadcasts in 2022 were NFL games.
You should rewatch several of this year’s Super Bowl commercials on YouTube AdBlitz, which includes playlists for the most sentimental, inspirational, informative, action-packed, comedic, and dramatic ads of 2023.
Why? Because 72% of sports fans rewatch at least some football commercials before or after the game, according to a survey by Kantar.
So, AdBlitz extends the life of Super Bowl campaigns for brands like Hyundai USA, which uploaded “Kevin Bacon goes full dad mode” two weeks before the Big Game. Two days after the Super Bowl, the ad had 106 million views.
Next, rewatch “Melissa McCarthy in “Somewhere, Anywhere.” It was uploaded to AdBlitz 6 days before the Super Bowl – and 2 days after the tentpole event, the ad had 105 million views.
Finally, rewatch “New year. New neighbor.” It was uploaded to AdBlitz three days before the Super Bowl. And 2 days after the Big Game, it had 52 million views.
And according to Pixability, AdBlitz brands get more YouTube views and engagements (including likes, dislikes, and comments) on their video content than those who ran their commercial only on TV.
After reading these 10 strategies and tips, and watching the 16 examples of successful YouTube marketing above, you will definitely be ready to stop storyboarding and start shooting something.
But take a moment to think about why YouTube spent millions of dollars to air the “Football Cat” during the Super Bowl.
Yes, things are changing.
So, it always helps to learn lots of lots lessons from what’s worked in the past, but it never hurts to imagine what new opportunities will be out there in the future.
Disclaimer: All statistics not linked are from a gated Tubular Labs report.
Featured Image: Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock