How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

Pixability just released a study called, "The Top 100 Global Brands: Key Lessons for Success on YouTube," which showed how these companies (based on Interbrands' top 100) have been using the platform.  From these findings, Pixability was able to derive some lessons that all marketers can use.  And they studied everything: what are brands doing with multiple channels, how they used social media, were they properly targeting the ads, did they post consistently, do some brands have channels that are basically dormant, and so on.  What are the best brands doing on YouTube?  Read on.

Top 100 Brands & YouTube: Key Takeaways

Here's something that has probably been said on this site more than any other thing:

1. Post content consistently.

The most successful brands publish 50 percent more videos per channel than the least successful ones.  They do it on a regular schedule.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

2. Take YouTube SEO seriously.

Citing its place as the 2nd-largest search engine in the world, behind only its parent company Google, Pixability says discoverability is key.  YouTube SEO is very different from traditional SEO, and Google favors web pages with YouTube embeds.  The best 25 percent of brands optimize their videos properly, utilizing more playlists and tags than the bottom 25 percent.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

3. No need for overproduction.

The best brands produce a variety of content.  This goes back to what Baljeet Singh said when referring to one of the biggest myths on YouTube.

4. Always On

The top brands integrate their video strategy with their offline strategy.  17 of the top 100 brands use less than 50 percent of their channels.  Brands should not be afraid to create web series for limited, but highly engaged audiences.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

5. Put your brand on everything where it makes sense.

The top brands put the logo in the video and in the metadata.  Why is putting it in the video important?  Because people aren't always watching your content on your channel.  The regular watch page on YouTube and any embed isn't likely to have your branding anywhere, so use it where you can.  But don't go overboard and start sticking it in so many places that you create brand fatigue.

6. Content is more important than Channels.

Uploading consistent content is way more important than creating multiple specialized channels.  37 percent of all channels were not updated with new content in 120 days.  The best channels focus on their target audience and deliver video to them regularly.  The study cites Kleenex, Johnny Walker, and Yahoo (although with Yahoo's focus on their own video, that makes sense) as the worst offenders with 80 percent of their channels remaining inactive for more than 120 days.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

7. Use that social media thing.

The top 25 percent of brands used social media way more effectively than the bottom 25.  Pixability also found that across different industries, home and luxury segments have the highest sentiment, while financial services and consumer goods are the lowest.  The top brands had 89 times more Tweets and 330 times more Facebook activity:

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

Points on Video Marketing

  • Pixability found that brands focus entirely too much on video production and not enough on video marketing. Over 50 percent of the entire library of videos produced by the top brands have less than 1,000 views.
  • Of the 100 brands, only 1 (Morgan Stanley) doesn't have a YouTube channel.
  • 56 of those brands have 10 channels or more.
  • Since YouTube's launch, these brands have produced: 258,000 videos and over 1,378 channels with 9.5+ billion views total.
  • Publishing has increased an average of 73 percent annually since 2009.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

Here are the most active industries on YouTube:

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

The top video producers also tend to get the most views (Thomson Reuters could use some help), publishing 78 videos per month.  Media companies are publishing 500 a month:

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

Pixability also espoused one of video's top advantages: long tail.  The first three weeks of a video's launch will account for 40 percent of the total views, but 30 percent will take place over 4-12 weeks and 30 percent will take place in the 12-52 week time period.

How the Top 100 Brands Use YouTube for Marketing

You can read the full report, "The Top 100 Global Brands: Key Lessons for Success on YouTube," here.

We'd like to thank Pixability for providing us the data!  They also provided a supporting 1-hour webinar on YouTube, if you're so inclined:

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Stella J.

    Great article thanks for sharing it. You don't need a Hollywood budget to include video marketing in your plan. Video production is a sound investment of your marketing dollars if you use the video properly and in all the mediums available to you. Include DOOH as well as online video marketing and you'll really see a boost in brand awareness and sales. I work with small businesses who have monthly marketing budgets starting at $100 up to $10,000 or more. As Rob mentioned - big or small there are video marketing solutions for out there for just about any business.

  • videopush

    These emphases are true. But leading brands have a budget that allows them to operate at full power on YouTube. Brands can recruit the best pros in the field. Thus they ensure themselves a better presence.

    • robciampa

      On the contrary. Most of the brands are blowing their video budgets on production and not doing enough video marketing. The 7 take-aways from our research prove that any company - regardless of size and budget - can perform on par or better than many larger brands. We didn't cover it in the paper, but Build Direct showed that it could go head-to-head on YouTube with the big home improvement stores.
      Rob Ciampa, study co-author