There are a number of ways that brands can gain visibility on YouTube, not least of all by creating and uploading the kind of branded videos that resonate with their target audiences. That's easily done if you have an unlimited budget, and access to the most creative minds in the industry of course. And many brands can get away with less than that, just because they have built up so much goodwill over the years and their fans will follow them, wherever they are on the Internet.
But what about smaller brands who want to take advantage of the power of video, but need to balance the budget when it comes to digital marketing? Luckily, there are a few ways that companies can still actively participate in the YouTube eco-system without spending millions of dollars, or busting their chops to create that elusive viral hit. We take a look at three very effective ways that brands can leverage independent YouTube creators to promote their products and services, and to help build an audience base that they may struggle to do on their own.
#1 Brand and Independent Creator Collaborations
Even if a brand has a solid following on YouTube, there are always opportunities to reach out to new audiences across different locations, and demographics. Creating content with this approach also opens up different possibilities for promotion. For instance, many of the most successful collaborations have worked because they haven't been a straight sales-pitch. The brand and the creator have had to work out a way of bringing their message to market without alienating either of their fan-bases, which has led to some incredibly innovative content.
The other huge advantage of collaborating is the opportunity to take into that creator's social networks and leverage those for extra marketing value. Successful independent YouTubers tend to be very active on social media, and will post and tweet about each video they upload. Ensure that this kind of invaluable promotion is part of the collaboration package. Friskies knew that they could command an enormous amount of interest by partnering up with Buzzfeed on this online commercial:
#2 Endorsement Deals with Independent YouTubers
You don't have to appear in front of the camera when working with other YouTubers. In fact, this may often even be a hindrance if it disrupts the creator's voice and usual natural approach. Instead, leverage the power that review, and unboxing videos have, and the kind of engagement that video content creates for the independent YouTube channel. 62% of YouTube viewers use unboxing videos as part of their research into a product, and with the vast majority of these types of videos created by fans and non-branded channels, it makes perfect sense to look for ways to promote using this approach.
The real beauty of this strategy is that is really doesn't have to cost the earth in terms of marketing budgets. Securing an endorsement deal with the Fine Bros, Zoella, or EvanTubeHD would be hitting the jackpot, but there are literally hundreds of thousands of YouTubers across different verticals who can introduce you and your products to an engaged and enthusiastic audience. Virtual marketplaces like FameBit bring brands and creators together to work on video content that will promote the brand to that creator's audience. It's a great way to find people to work with, and who will be authentic, and enthusiastic about endorsing your brand.
LoveWithFood are a brand that has really leveraged YouTube as a marketing platform, and many creators have produced videos around the service they provide. LoveWithFood will deliver a goody box full of natural, organic snacks to your door, and donate a meal to a U.S child in need every month for every box delivered. A YouTube search for the keyword 'LoveWithFood' returns 36K+ results, with many of the front page results being positive review videos for the brand.
#3 Become an Active Participant in the YouTube Community
The third way of leveraging YouTubers is to become an active part of your community, and communities around, or outside of, your own channel. Answer comments on your own videos, and comment positively on others. Encourage your subscribers and followers to share your video content on social media - and then engage with them there too.
To be successful on YouTube, you have to be active on YouTube, so don't be afraid to get involved and interact with users and viewers. Building an audience takes time, but the rewards are enormous.
Disclosure: FameBit is an advertising partner of ReelSEO.com. This article was independently written by ReelSEO staff. As always, despite any compensation, we only recommend products and services that we truly believe are beneficial to the community.