Trending: the rise and uses of video marketing

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We tap into our extensive network of experts to share their skilful hacks and invaluable experiences that will help you jump start your business. Our first topic delves into the subject of video marketing. A valuable tool which, if done right, can be a great way for early-stage startups to generate engaging content, brand and product awareness, and to drive sales (through effective conversions). We speak with Marek Dawidowicz, the APAC Creator and Artist Marketing Lead at YouTube in Singapore. Marek shares with us his insider tips on how to best use video as an added content generation tool to reach a global audience.

Video content is on the rise, but how could startups leverage it?

Video is one of the strongest storytelling channels available for marketers. It's been proven to be significantly more engaging for viewers, and with platforms like YouTube, global reach is now possible in a matter of seconds. When you couple this with declining costs of production and the rise of mobile solutions, everyone can now become a video storyteller. If startups are serious about leveraging this new opportunity, they should be looking to build up their skills and capabilities in this area, or work with specialists that are able to specifically support them on this journey.  

When is video a good channel to use?

The results speak for themselves when brands can get this right. We have seen video-first companies build brands that not only deliver on a story but also deliver direct conversion to sales. It’s all about capturing attention and converting it into action & results, and YouTube also has great advertising products such as TrueView and bumpers that enable brands to supercharge this funnel. Our latest research with Ipsos found that people are three times more likely to pay attention to online video versus TV ads.

Once you've decided that video is something for your business, what's the best way to get started to grow your following on YouTube?

Brands build a following by telling engaging stories. The key is to ensure that their content is unique, that it resonates with a clearly defined target market, and that they build a regular cadence of programming and engagement. Content is vital to any YouTube channel's success, and YouTube's great analytical tools enable you to monitor your channel and videos to optimise performance. Comments are a great way to continue building engagement, and our new community tab enables you to share the news with your audience more frequently through social posts. The beauty of video storytelling is that it is now a science and an art, and when brands are able to balance the two they are able to create a magic that audiences gravitate to.

Do you have any examples of startups who successfully used video as a marketing channel in their early days?

One of my personal favourites has been Rapha, a premium UK/US cycling company. The team launched their brand with an excellent series of videos depicting the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of cycling. The long arduous journey, the loneliness of the open road, and the pain of the next uphill. They were able to brilliantly deliver stories that depict the lifestyle of cyclists, immerse you in their world, and ultimately build an aspirational and exclusive brand.

How do you create video content that people actually engage with/convert from? Any best practices to share?

We have many stories of successful practices. For one, Ford in India delivered a 15X lower cost-per-store visit compared to print by using simple inbuilt YouTube conversion tools coupled with their content ads. A well-known concert promoter drove a 4X increase in keyword searches for their concert tour and a 10X increase in searches on the featured musician, through content pieces. Many Chinese gaming companies are experiencing great success in using YouTube as a conversion tool across international markets.

What brands need to do, is offer an engaging library of content that earns them reach amongst their core audience, and then leverage paid conversion features available on YouTube to turbo-charge these conversions (like TrueView for action, customer affinity targeting, etc).

If you're interested in learning more about the field, is there a good resource you could point to?

I would strongly suggest that interested marketers review and subscribe to our Think With Google resources. It's a great place to start thinking about how your brand can shift successfully into this digital-first world of video storytelling, and take inspiration from others that have been successful in this area.