EventsInfluencers

Moms are a core audience on YouTube. The platform solves almost all of their digital needs – from entertainment to crafts for the kids to problem-solving and advice. In fact, a recent Google study found that 83% of mothers search for answers to their questions online – and 60% of them turn to online videos in particular.

YouTube plays an important role in Mom’s life, and to better understand her interests ahead of Mother’s Day, we looked into what she’s watching on YouTube.

356 Million Total Views of Mother’s Day Content on YouTube

Much of the Mother’s Day content on YouTube is about love, heartfelt messages, and praise for Moms. People share Mother’s Day moments, gift ideas, and surprises that can help others think of ways to make their moms feel special. We found 365 million views on Mother’s Day content on YouTube, presenting an opportunity for brands to reach moms around the day that’s all about them.

Mother’s Day Topics and Trends

Inspirational / Happy Moments

Moms do so much for their families, but Mother’s Day is the day to give back to them. Kids young and old turn to YouTube to share their love for Mom, whether they’re reading a poem, giving mom praise, or simply saying, “I love you.” For example, “Moms Are Magic” is a heartwarming video featuring young children sharing their favorite things about their moms.

Entertainment

Not all Mother’s Day content is sentimental. Entertaining videos, like music and kids content, makes up a large portion of what’s being viewed around Mother’s Day. Many musicians have created songs especially for their moms and children’s programs, like this clip from Angry Birds, educate kids about the meaning of Mother’s Day.

DIY/How-To

Of moms who watch videos on YouTube, 81% watch how-to content. In fact, moms are significantly more likely to watch how-to content than the average viewer. How-to and DIY videos that feature Mother’s Day are also popular on YouTube – from DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas to how to put together the best surprise party for mom.

Comedy

Although practical, informational videos are popular amongst moms, that’s not all they’re watching. Moms also go to YouTube to watch funny content and have a good laugh!

 

Influencer Moms on YouTube

When families are searching for the perfect gift for mom on Mother’s Day, they turn to mom influencers on YouTube for ideas. 68% of consumers say recommendations influence their Mother’s Day gift purchases. Working with the right influencers can help a brand amplify its message to an audience that is seeking advice.

We used our technology to identify influencers creating content that resonates with moms on YouTube:

Five Fun Mom Influencers To Follow On YouTube

1. What’s Up Moms

2. Daily Bumps

3. Ellie and Jared

4. Rachel Talbott

5. Brittani Louise Taylor

Align with the Best Mother’s Day Content on YouTube

Mother’s Day videos on YouTube provide an opportunity for contextual alignment, allowing brands to reach consumers at a moment when their message is an extension of the content moms are watching.

Zefr provides brands with the opportunity to target the most relevant Mother’s Day topics and trends and amplify that messaging with custom influencer activations.

Sign up for a demo to find out how our technology can help you align your message where and when it matters most.

Register for a demo now!

Black History Month YouTube ZEFR Data top influencers
Influencers

To celebrate Black History Month, ZEFR Insights tracked and ranked five of the top black influencers on the rise across YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. As we’ve watched the digital influencer landscape continue to grow and evolve, what ties all these creators together is their ability to build highly engaged audiences by carefully maintaining authentic relationships with their biggest fans. By just being themselves and celebrating what makes them unique, they transcend expectations and deliver a singular voice that draws people into their world.

1. Marques Brownlee

Platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube
Total YouTube Reach: 3,223,615
Total Social Reach: 4,504,119
97.7th Percentile in Cross-Platform Social Engagement*

Brownlee, better known to his fans as MKBHD, has been a YouTube creator since 2009, honing his unique voice as a technology reviewer. In that time he has attracted over 3 million subscribers to place him third overall in the tech category on YouTube. Originally from New Jersey, Brownlee attended the Stevens Institute of Technology before becoming a full-time YouTuber in 2015. Brownlee’s most-watched clip—a review and “scratch-test” of the Apple iPhone 6 sapphire crystal display—catapulted him to YouTube stardom when the footage was featured on NBC News, TIME’s website, and numerous other tech outlets that Brownlee beat for the scoop.

2. Tré Melvin

Platforms: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Vine
Total YouTube Reach: 3,028,686
Total Social Reach: 5,860,756
97.9th Percentile in Cross-Platform Social Engagement*


Originally from Cincinnati, Melvin has studied both theatre and business marketing, uniquely preparing him for his influencer role as both performer and entrepreneur. His LA-based YouTube channel, This is a Commentary, features new webisodes every Monday. The content draws from his performing arts background (comedy sketches, music, and parodies of vlog culture) and his newfound status as a bisexual role model. In less than five years, Melvin has grown his audience to 3 million subscribers and 272 million total views.

3. Teala Dunn

Platforms: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine
Total YouTube Reach: 1,239,337
Total Social Reach: 3,082,098
97th Percentile in Cross-Platform Social Engagement*


Known to her YouTube fans as Tealaxx2, the 19-year-old Dunn already has an impressive resume as an actress with appearances on the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? and in the feature film Expelled. Her on-screen experience is evident in her engaging YouTube uploads; among Dunn’s most-viewed videos are variations on the timeless “Truth or Dare” game and glimpses into her daily rituals (makeup tutorials, school lunch ideas, etc.)

4. Todrick Hall

Platforms: Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine.
Total YouTube Reach: 2,042,900
Total Social Reach: 3,057,103
89.9th Percentile in Cross-Platform Social Engagement*


Hall shot to YouTube fame when his carefully orchestrated (and choreographed) Target store flash mob (set to Beyoncé’s “End of Time”) went viral. Currently the third most-watched clip on his channel (hovering near the 14.5 million mark), the joyous stunt got the attention of Beyoncé herself (who filmed her own YouTube response) and laid the groundwork for an official partnership with the retail chain. With over 2 million subscribers and 300 million views, Hall keeps his fandom engaged with unpredictable content ranging from Disney tributes to prank calls.

5. Tianne King

Platforms: Facebook and YouTube
Total YouTube Reach: 683,428
Total Social Reach: 708,264
95th Percentile in Cross-Platform Social Engagement*


Tianne King, and her daughter Heaven, first caught the public’s attention when they appeared on The Ellen Show as a mother-daughter dancing duo. That video alone has pulled in more than 70 million views. Since their career-defining television appearance three years ago (when Heaven was just 3 years old), Tianne King’s YouTube channel is approaching 700,000 subscribers with over 250 million views across her videos. The family business has expanded into a full-on dance troupe and choreography studio, which provides fresh content for King’s YouTube channel in the form of dance tutorials and behind-the-scenes footage from the studio’s popular dance productions. The Kings’ audience appeal has been recognized by brands such as Cheerios and Gymboree.

* Percentile calculated based on 55K top-tier influencers tracked in ZEFR’s Influencer Management System (IMS)

Data Insight: Most Engaging Content Topics

ZEFR Insights also conducted an analysis of the most popular content topics from top black influncers, identified through ZEFR’s BrandID IMS data platform.


trending-black-influencers-digital-video-zefr



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devin supertramp zefr interview
Influencers

Recently, ZEFR Insights took a deep dive into the high flying world of YouTube superstar Devin Graham, better known as Devin Supertramp. With so many quality brand deals under his belt, we decided it was necessary to speak to the man himself, to find out exactly how he has managed to maintain authenticity with his fans, while amassing an enviable roster of integrations.

Graham recently sat down with ZEFR to speak about his process, offer advice for both brands and creators, and how he hopes to continually inspire his ever-growing fan base. Pay attention: His answers are practically a manual for how brands should work with creators in the native ad space and an invaluable insight into the mindset of creators on YouTube.

 

ZEFR Insights: Your ability to capture high energy, cinematic, family-friendly moments on film is a unique combination that has led some to call your work “ready-made for sponsorship.” Was your style and vision always clear to you when you first launched your channel? What kind of audience were you hoping to build from day one?

Devin Graham: The style and vision has grown and evolved as I have grown and evolved as a filmmaker and as our team has grown. Starting off, I just knew that I had a passion for filmmaking and wanted to do what I loved for a career. After stumbling into the YouTube scene and creating a few viral videos, I began to see the power of advertising on YouTube as people began to contact me about promoting their products in my videos. Then, I just continued to build my following and my voice voice all along the way and stayed true to my standards and morals. Now, when brands come to me, I let them know that we are a family-friendly channel and we’ll only promote wholesome, positive products. I have always had a vision for what I’m doing, but it has definitely grown and evolved over time as new opportunities present themselves.

ZEFR: When brands first approached you, what was your reaction? Did you have any concerns or hesitations? And, what led you to say yes to that first brand deal?

DG: The first brand that approached me was for the Flip camera, and I was excited at the prospect of getting paid to live my passion. I worked closely with Vooray, a start-up clothing company owned by friends, early on as well. I helped them get off the ground to run their business and they sponsored my videos to help me get off the ground.

There is always the concern of your audience being upset with product placement, but I realized that if I established early on that I work with brands that it wouldn’t be nearly as big an issue once my audience got bigger. To me, the right move early on was growth and progression, and working with brands helped me do both.

ZEFR: For brands that have never worked with a creator before, what message would you hope to get across to them upfront? What have you learned about managing expectations and establishing trust?

DG: The message we would hope to get across is that working with brands is a win-win for both us as a production company and for them as a sponsor. We get to fund our awesome ideas and continue doing what we love, and they get the amazing worldwide exposure to the right demographic. We have seen tremendous power in viral marketing and have been able to help a lot of businesses get off the ground through our worldwide YouTube audience. We love seeing others succeed and make a career out of doing what they love and through our videos we have been able to promote so many businesses, people, and talents to make that possible.

As for setting expectations, they can vary depending on the projects and brands that we are working with. But, I’ve learned that you need to voice everything up front from both ends so that everyone is on the same page before the deal even begins. Trust is established through execution. If both parties can execute on their expectations, trust will be gained.

ZEFR: While shooting your Assassin’s Creed Unity video for Ubisoft, you sprinted across rain-soaked rooftops in Paris carrying a 25-pound camera. In the behind-the scenes footage you admit that you are afraid of heights. We have to ask: Why build a career filming crazy, high-flying stunts? What is your relationship to fear?

DG: Taking on a career in filmmaking has pushed me to do things I would have never done otherwise in my life. Through our videos, we hope to inspire people to live life to the fullest. And so, how can I inspire people to do that if I’m not doing it myself? How can I tell people to go out and live a life full of faith and love and passion if I’m not willing to do it myself? Facing my fear of heights has pushed me to be involved in so much, such as filming crazy stunts, sometimes doing the stunts, even skydiving! All these things I would have never even considered if it weren’t for me wanting to push myself and live by my own motto of living life to the fullest rather than living by fear. And that concept of overcoming my fear of heights leaks over into every other aspect of my life. If I fear the unknown, I can never grow as a filmmaker and as a human being. It is that principle of living by faith, rather than fear, that helps me reach my highest potential.

ZEFR: What are some red flags that creators should watch out for when entering their first brand deals? Any regrets or things you would have done differently?

DG: Check all the fine print. Make sure everything is out on the table so there are no surprises. When a brand throws in a surprise in the middle of the deal because they pull it up in the fine print of a document, it makes a good shoot go sour real fast and relationships are hurt. Brands: Be honest, be upfront, discuss all expectations, and don’t hide something under-the-table to “trick” a creator into working with you. Creators: Once [the brand has] put everything on the table, live up to your word by coming through on their expectations. By doing those two things, a great relationship will be born.

ZEFR: What connection or impact can you deliver with your branded videos that traditional TV advertising can’t? How has YouTube evolved over the years, and what sort of challenges, as well as potential opportunities, do you see for the space going forward?

DG: The demographics that most advertisers want to hit all live online. They all live in the social media world. TV is not in that realm. Therefore, for the age groups that most brands want, they aren’t going to get them through TV. YouTube is only growing as well. In my opinion, the internet is the future of advertising because that is where everyone in the new generation is spending their time. And no, TV can’t touch that because they are TV. They are not on the internet. YouTube is evolving its way of making it a space for creators to make a living by incentivizing creators to continue releasing regular content. However, the market is becoming saturated and it is harder than ever to enter into the online creator space. I was lucky enough to get in early, so I am well established now, but for many new creators, it is much more difficult to find a niche that hasn’t already been taken and saturated. I see the space continuing to grow and evolve and I am excited for what the future brings.

“The demographics that most advertisers want to hit all live online. They all live in the social media world. TV is not in that realm. Therefore, for the age groups that most brands want, they aren’t going to get them through TV.”

ZEFR: It’s clear that maintaining a close, authentic relationship with your audience is paramount to your success. Across YouTube and other social platforms, how do you bring your audience into your process? What do you hope viewers walk away with after they watch one of your videos?

DG: People connect with people. YouTube is about personalities, so I try hard to share my life with people, let them know who I am, let them feel like a part of my life, bring them into the adventures I’m living, and make them feel like they are a part of the adventures themselves. Everything from the filming to the editing is all with the mindset of making the viewer feel like they are there. The way we film is very different than most as we try to connect with people by working with them like real human beings and capturing their authentic reactions rather than trying to direct them like actors. We hope that each viewer walks away thinking, “Wow!, Life is beautiful. There is so much good in life, in the world. So much to live for. So much to see and do. So many positive happy people in the world. I want to be positive and happy. I’m going to live a fuller life and not only be a part of all the good out there, but create and share the goodness in me with everyone else in the world.” Our goal ultimately is to inspire others to live life to the fullest and to see the good in life. There is enough negativity about how bad the world is. We are doing our little part to help the world focus on the good.

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devin-supertramp youtube brands
Influencers

This is the first post in a new series spotlighting the top influencers in social media. Stay tuned for much more, including exclusive interviews.

When we decided to start spotlighting some of the top influencers in video and how they work with brands, Devin Supertramp (real name Devin Graham) felt like an obvious starting point. Fellow YouTube stars Rhett and Link recently called his work “ready-made for sponsorship,” and it only takes one visit to his YouTube channel to see why so many brands want to align with gorgeous footage of young people having the time of their lives, performing insane stunts, all over the world. Each video is practically a guaranteed viral hit at this point, so instead of getting lost in the weeds of view counts, suffice it to say that Graham has amassed hundreds of millions of views in his career. And he’s just getting started.

Once we looked more closely at all of his videos, what surprised us was just how many brand integration deals Devin Graham has amassed. And yet, the key point here is that Graham’s success is only made possible thanks to his commitment to his fans. The brand deals listed below only work if the relationship between Graham and his audience is put first. And so, from the brand’s point of view, that requires putting a lot of trust in the creator.

Thus, as Devin has smartly shown through his work, two key principles emerge for any brand looking to develop a successful partnership with a creator:

  1. Maintaining authenticity with the audience
  2. Trusting the creator

And, if you listen closely to Graham in his interviews and the behind-the-scenes footage that accompanies practically everything he shoots, he explains how this is all meant to work. Here are a couple quotations from his most recent collaboration with Citibank:

“We just got done filming with Citibank on our next big video. They were so gracious to sponsor to make it happen, without them, without sponsorships, these epic things that we can think of in our minds we can’t do. In this case, Citibank, they trusted us to do a collaboration with them. So, we’re super thankful for them.”

“We did an awesome partnership with Citibank – they are the ones that made this video happen. Because you guys watch our videos and support our videos, we actually get the chance to work with sponsors that make our videos much bigger, and better, and alive. And this one was really exciting because we had you guys, our fans, take part in it and actually determine what we actually built.”

And, here’s what he said in a Behind the Brand interview at VidCon:

“These brands see what we’re doing, they see we have a huge audience, they see that we’re successful with that audience, so they’re basically like ‘We trust you, here’s the criteria… what do you want to do with that?’ So they give us complete creative license, for the most part… And I love it because they trust us and we get to work together in a collaboration – it’s still a collaboration, you want their feedback and stuff – but it is them trusting us because it’s our audience. So, we can do what we want to basically make anything happen.”

For more tips and strategies for brand integrations on YouTube, get our free eBook right here.

Now, without further ado, here are some of the best brand integrations from Graham and his Supertramp team, along with some insights into what made them special.

Citibank

As part of their #incredouble campaign for the new Double Cash Card, Citibank enlisted the Supertramp team to come up with an “epic combo,” in this case combining a giant rope swing with hot air balloons.

Citi then asked the fans to submit their own ideas for an epic combo stunt, and the winner was a “Wrecking Ball Piñata.” Pay special attention to the #incredouble T-shirts on display.

Something Graham excels at is how he brings the audience behind the scenes to make them feel like a part of the process, while building and maintaining authenticity. Here is a behind-the-scenes video uploaded to Citi’s official YouTube channel.

Ubisoft

With video games looking more realistic every day, what’s truly impressive is the ability to recreate these games in real life. And that’s exactly what Graham pulled off for Ubisoft, reenacting games such as Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Watch Dogs.

As Graham explained in his Behind the Brand interview, this partnership was made possible because Graham was already a fan of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed, and so, he went ahead, without talks of any deal, and made this epic video in his hometown of Salt Lake City:

By proving to Ubisoft what he was actually capable of before any deal negotiations had even begun, it made everything that much easier once it came time to create officially sponsored, custom content like this:

Speed Stick Gear

After using some of Graham’s footage for their own, more traditional TV commercial, Speed Stick took the next step and signed up for a piece of branded content, creating the world’s largest urban zipline.

Something to notice is how the brands are featured in the “end card” of the videos. What’s important is that the audience is given something much more useful than a blunt “buy now!” link. Instead, they can continue to engage with the content by watching supplemental videos. This builds authenticity, and it’s important for brands to understand why. On YouTube especially, the audience can tell when something doesn’t feel true to the creator’s style, so it’s essential to trust the creator as much as possible.

youtube brand deals devin supertramp

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew enlisted the Supertramp team for their #DEWroadtrip campaign, which involved asking fans to submit ideas for stunts – “On September 1st, we’re jumping into an RV full of Mountain Dew and all the equipment we need to pull off some seriously amazing stunts. And the best part is, YOU will be planning the locations and the stunts themselves right along with us!” Here is the most viewed of the six different videos from this campaign:

Bear Naked Granola

A common theme for these videos is clearly, “Don’t try this at home.” And so, we’d like to take this moment to thank Devin Supertramp for letting us live vicariously through his epic videos. Though, what makes these videos so great is how just about anyone – not just stunt professionals – is welcome to “play at their own risk”:

Turkish Airlines

This video came about as part of a larger YouTuber collaboration campaign from Turkish Airlines called #FortuneTraveller, which followed 10 different YouTubers around Istanbul. Be sure to check out the entire campaign to see how other YouTube stars are working with brands.

(A somewhat related side note – Graham smartly offers up some of his beautiful, 4k and 6k footage to license as “stock footage.”)

Champion

Honestly, we don’t have much commentary to add here, other than THIS LOOKS AWESOME CAN WE PLAY!?

Ford

When compared to the bike-riding skills on display here, driving a car has never been made to look easier, more convenient, or safer. Well done, Ford.

Intel

Finally, we have this collaboration with Intel, which is perhaps the least “branded” video of them all, proving that simply being able to align with incredible content like this can be highly valuable to brands.

How to work with influencers

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of authenticity and trust when it comes to creating custom, branded content with influencers. If you didn’t take the time to watch all the videos above, you may have missed just how careful Devin Supertramp is when it comes to respecting the relationship with his audience, along with the high level of trust that all of these brands have in Devin and his team. If you keep those two core principles in mind, you’ll be on your way to creating amazing, engaging content that connects with audiences unlike anything else.

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brendan gahan youtube marketing
InfluencersInterviews

ZEFR’s Erik Weber and Meredith Levine recently sat down with YouTube expert Brendan Gahan to chat about the current state of video marketing, particularly with respect to the rise of influencers and how brands have yet to fully take advantage of the opportunities that the platform provides. Brendan was named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Marketing & Advertising, and was named one of the 25 Top YouTube Business Power Players for 2013.

Erik Weber: What do you think about the state of influencer marketing in 2014 when you look at YouTube?

Brendan Gahan: I still think, as a whole, it’s largely untapped. Certainly, there is a lot of excitement about the space, and more and more brands are participating. But, if you verticalized all of the influencer categories, like beauty, videos games, and so on, it’s still at this point where the people who have gotten that first bit of cross-over press are taking up a disproportionate amount of the influencer marketing budgets within each category.

I think its worth it for us in the ad industry to be asking ourselves how we’re selecting who to work with. A handful of influencers have garnered recognition among their business side of their verticals, and as a result are appearing in a lot of campaigns or pitches. In those scenarios, is that innovative anymore? As a marketer, are you moving the needle if you’re working with, or trying to work with, the same creators as everyone else?

There are so many different creators out there to collaborate with – in fact, there are over 10,000 creators that have at least 50K subscribers. And so, it’s like we are still dipping our toes in the water.

EW: It’s interesting because anyone can be a creator, so anyone could become the next Michelle Phan, for example, so if you are looking only at the top, you’re missing the next big thing.

Meredith Levine: And, I think it’s also missing the point if you’re going after the same people. Michelle Phan might have 26 million subscribers, and she might be able to get people to show up to a convention, but you’re not going to get the same kind of trust levels as a result of her size. The bigger somebody is, the less you’re going to trust them as a spokesperson. The smaller channels, say, if you have 100K subscribers, it’s going to feel more intimate, the community is going to feel like they matter more, and they are valued more. And so, I think for brands that are only going after the very top, they are missing a lot of the point of YouTube as a social network.

BG: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a big opportunity to tap into these communities of lesser known creators. It’s almost like this counter-intuitive sort of thing, where people get caught up in the numbers, and it’s so easy to be like, “well that’s a bigger number, so I’m gonna go that way.” But, to your point, 9 times out of 10, engagement is going to be higher with the niche people, and they are so untapped, and often times are hungrier and more willing to collaborate. The smaller channels will have more community driven channels, and they are also less expensive to work with.

Consider Pareto’s law – how can you get the most for the least. I think big numbers or the well known name can be seductive. Advertisers and press put a disproportionate emphasis on the top tier people, who are still great, but demand is higher for them, or they’re over saturated with brand deals, versus going for the right communities for your audience and tapping into niches which typically drive more engagement.

EW: When it comes to convincing clients to spend on YouTube, how much has changed from when you first started pitching ideas to now?

BG: That’s a great question. I feel like it was two years ago it started to like really gain a level of credibility that it didn’t necessarily have before.

EW: Why didn’t it have that credibility before when you started out? What were the brands saying? Why were they hesitant?

BG: I think there were a few things. For a long time, there was this question, “what’s the difference between doing this and working with bloggers?” Because to a certain extent, influencer marketing had just been about blogging, and that was the big hot thing for so long. And yes, while it’s totally relevant, and just like anything else it’s all in the execution, 99 times out of a 100 if you put a YouTuber up against a blogger, the YouTuber is gonna blow ‘em out of the water in terms of overall engagement. Now, as time has gone on, more advertisers are beginning to understand the nuances of the platform and explore new ways to collaborate with creators.

I think the other thing was often times not knowing who had ownership over it. Was it the media agency, or PR, or the creative agency? I think that’s still a battle, but now people know they need to place it somewhere, so at least brands are making decisions, whereas before it was pretty nebulous. There were so many obstacles to making it happen that I imagine a lot of the brands just didn’t want to make that decision.

And so, each year there were incrementally bigger budgets. And then, obviously, with the Disney Maker deal, everybody talks about it now. What’s that one saying… success has many fathers? Suddenly, everybody’s been doing it forever. And, a lot of people have, but, now that it’s got this stamp of credibility, I think there is a lot more momentum than there was even just 6 months ago.

EW: How are brands dealing with the shift from traditional TV advertising to the video and social media landscape? How are they shifting their dollars?

BG: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s interesting though… we talked about this idea of influencer marketing, and how blogging almost dominated that narrative. I think for a long time when looking at social media, Twitter and Facebook dominated that narrative, while YouTube was just a place to house content that you distributed across these other platforms. And, I think now there’s the understanding that there is a community here on YouTube as well, and so advertisers are starting to explore the nuances of the platform.

And, I think YouTube has probably done a good job pushing that as well. You know that hub, hero, hygiene strategy they always talk about. The tweaks they made, to things such as the subscribe button a year and a half ago, I think they kind of adopted a lot of the strategies that were working for other social networks to get brands to continue to invest money. They kinda drafted off those lessons learned to a certain extent, and tried to apply them to YouTube.

Now, with Google preferred, they are doing everything they can to package everything in a way that says, “ok, you wanna be in YouTube – we’re gonna make it so it’s very turnkey to work within your existing process.”

ML: So, you’ve mentioned to us before about how hard it is to get an end card on a branded video. And, that’s something that seems obvious to people who work in the space everyday, but, I’m wondering if you could speak to why it’s so difficult, and how we might be able to move it forward? 

BG: Yeah, it kinda goes back to how brands have got their PR agency, their media agency, and their creative agency, and defining where things go is often times half the battle. And so, with something like end cards, as an example, I think it’s introducing a new idea into this pre-existing framework. And, it’s not a clearly defined bucket. Who owns it? Is it the company that is doing the production? Is is the responsibility of the creative agency? Is it the social media agency? Now, more and more companies have the social media agency over here, and then there’s also a YouTube agency over here.

So, this is a new framework, and there’s a lot of other groups that could technically be handling it. So yeah, it’s tough. And, you realize in a massive organization that communicating all that and keeping everyone on board can be an uphill battle for sure.

I think it’s also a matter of priorities. Within a lot of companies, this is new to them. They’re still feeling it out. Where do they want to dedicate time and resources? For Facebook and Twitter, there are established processes and infrastructure in place for those. YouTube is next to be sorted out.

EW: How do you see the infrastructure for YouTube marketing being formed? What should it look like?

BG: I think with YouTube, and with most things really, hard work can beat out intelligence over time, especially within digital. lf you work hard enough at something and are passionate about it, you will figure it out. It’s a given. And I think, with YouTube, it’s very easy, because it’s video, to tap it into your existing TV based infrastructure. But, the mediums are very different. TV is not YouTube. Yes, they are both video, but beyond that, there’s not an overlap in terms of expertise. It’s a very different skill set. On YouTube, you don’t really even have to edit to be successful at it.

ML: To a certain extent, YouTube is where TV was 50 years ago, with single sponsor episodes, like Texaco Star Theater, where you watch the episode, and at the end it just says “brought to you by…”.

BG: Yeah, and to that point, its like adopting the infrastructure, but not necessarily what works for TV right now. Carrying it over to YouTube doesn’t necessarily translate. If you look at the more successful brands on YouTube, they definitely have dedicated teams and resources specifically for the platform, and I think to be great at anything you need that level of focus.

And, if you think about the evolution in terms of a successful brand channel, you can start with “what does our brand stand for,” and obviously to a certain extent they should understand that already, and then begin to create content, singular content. Find a piece of content that represents that brand narrative, and iterate on that, instead of trying to do 20 different things over the course of the year. If you look at a lot of the successful channels, they started with a basic idea, this is what we represent. Then, to grow the channel, they basically iterated on that basic idea and tested different variables to see what people responded to.

So, if you look at Epic Meal Time’s first video compared to now, you can kinda see how they almost optimized the production of their content, ya know, by how much bacon to include, because everybody loves bacon. Certain elements, you gotta throttle up and down over time. So, it’s understanding what your brand is, creating a singular voice, but optimizing the specific execution of that.

EW: What advice can you give to brands who are just starting out?

When starting out, at least, it’s understanding where you are in the lifecycle of a community. When you are starting out, you need to have a singular voice, because you don’t have the equity or the mindshare for people to hold more than one thought as it relates to you. But, once you begin to get massive, then you can start to come up with sub-brands. I think that’s a big mistake that a lot of brands make, or that anybody makes, online. The best piece of advice I ever got was to zero in on that thing that nobody else is doing, find that niche that is at least relatively unexplored and start there. Because, if you’re saying stuff that other people are already saying, the difference is they’ve got an audience and they’ve got credibility, and you don’t. So, right off the bat you lose.

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