Using YouTube as a marketing channel

We’ve all had a lot of fun on YouTube looking up videos of ‘epic fails’ and ‘Star Wars kid’, but YouTube has been evolving into a powerful marketing channel over the last few years. Adverts for new products receive their premiere on YouTube, new music videos are uploaded daily and brands promote themselves in the hope of going viral. Marketing on YouTube is becoming big business – just check out Google’s shopping results for ‘YouTube’, 10 of the top 20 products are books based around understanding YouTube and how to harness its marketing powers. I decided to take a look at this new approach to marketing using SimilarWeb PRO.



Web traffic statistics for YouTube between Dec ’13 – May ’14 by SimilarWeb PRO

For a website to be considered a good marketing opportunity, it needs to have a decent stream of traffic connecting to it. The more visits, the better the chance of engagement and conversion of the visitor. Does YouTube satisfy this need for marketeers? Is the Pope catholic? It’s plain to see that with 100 billion desktop visits between Dec ‘ 13 – May ’14 YouTube is a potential goldmine for getting your message in front of people. In fact, as the 3rd most popular site in the world, it’s a no-brainer to concentrate marketing efforts on it.


One recent development on YouTube is the option of adding a playlists tab to a brand’s channel. This encourages users to subscribe to the channel, so that they can keep up to date with their favorite content creators. Nike has found this very important in moving the consumer down the conversion funnel.

With almost 20% of their social traffic coming from social, it’s clear this traffic channel is a fruitful one.


Nike’s social traffic distribution – By SimilarWeb PRO

Nike’s strategy revolves around uploading sports videos, branding their YouTube channel as the go to place for sporting footage, including extreme sports and current sporting events. Here are some examples for their top Youtube pages:

A recent study by Pixability confirmed that the 25% highest performing of the top 100 global brands maintained double the number of playlists that the bottom 25%; this is an important area for marketeers to work on.


The world famous Guinness brand is a good example of how a YouTube channel can help market a product. Using a mixture of informative videos e.g. ‘How to pour a perfect pint of Guinness’ and latest TV adverts for the brand, Guinness manage to weave a rich tapestry which integrates their product into their marketing ethos. In turn, this creates awareness of the brand and drives sales.


Guinness’ venture into brand marketing on YouTube has been very successful, with it being their number one social traffic source as SimilarWeb PRO shows – 97% of 85,000 referring social visits all originate from YouTube.


Social referrals to Guinness between Dec ’13 – May -14 by SimilarWeb PRO


Sony’s Playstation brand is just perfect for being marketed on YouTube. The importance of showcasing the graphic capability of their products is paramount in guiding customers through the conversion funnel. Fans can also keep up to date with the latest technological developments through interviews posted by Playstation – this unique content is what helps to fulfill the conversion goal of getting people to subscribe to their channel.


SimilarWeb PRO shows that YouTube makes up only 13% of social referrals to Playstation, but this is out of 12.3 million total social referrals. Generating close to a million social referrals in 6 months highlights how important YouTube can be for a brand.


Social referrals to Playstation between Dec ’13 – May -14 by SimilarWeb PRO

Marketing in the video age

YouTube is proving to be an exciting new area for brands to market their products. Through a combination of playlists and content rich videos, customers can get one step closer to the brand and their products. This is very useful to marketeers as it allows for a narrowing of the conversion funnel. Due to the sheer number of visits that YouTube receives, it’s a no-brainer that beginning to understand how to exploit it is essential for brand’s revenues.

About the Author -

A newcomer to the world of internet marketing, but gaining fresh insight at a rapid pace. A fan of changing technologies, writing to entertain and, most importantly, retro trainers. Based in the UK.

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