Eight Years of YouTube and What it Means to Brands [Infographic]

playbook-home-primaryillustrationToday is the day when we cherish the greatest thing known to mankind – love! Happy Valentine’s Day! However, in the world of social media, 14th of February is not only about candy, chocolate and flowers. It’s also YouTube’s birthday. Officially founded 8 years ago by the brilliant minds of Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, our love today goes out to you guys! The world, as we know it today, wouldn’t be the same without you!

Home made videos with funny babies, campaign video content to promote a product launch, a live broadcast of a unique event, etc. etc.  We’ve witnessed so many stories that got enormously popular incredibly quickly thanks to a brilliant platform that allows every user to share their video with the rest of the world: YouTube.

 

Brands on YouTube

From a brand perspective, YouTube is still one of the bigger platforms whose potential has not yet been fully explored. Yes, we’ve seen some great examples from e.g.  TippEx and Old Spice. However, in comparison to the other “big three” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), it feels like a majority of brands are a bit more hesitant when it comes to putting in a solid effort in building customized YouTube channels (and communities), keeping them updated (and engaged with) and actually profiting fully from the great potential YouTube holds. Instead, many brands simply associate YouTube with an ads cinema: “If it’s the second largest search engine in the world, it must be an enormous traffic generator, then let’s upload our TV-campaigns and see if it goes viral“. Wrong!

YouTube holds the same potential for helping you build, engage with and sustain a community around your brand, as any other social platform you are already used to engaging with as a brand. If over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month, imagine the massive amount of people you can reach out to, engage with and transform into your brands’ message recipients.

 

Engage with your community

In addition, more than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community: Regular users are used to and willing to engage with content that appeals to them. You just need to take your time to acknowledge the community and to engage actively with them. As long as you just keep in mind, that content is the key and relevance is the door handle.

Furthermore, YouTube is a great social network for using storytelling about your brand behind the scenes. You can share videos about your employees, a tour around the office, a behind-the-scenes of your coming TV-commercials etc. By giving your viewers a peek behind the curtain and thereby giving a piece of yourself, you can turn viewers into fans. Videos that include human element are a great way to present yourself as more open and authentic than, for example, your competitors.

 

You can get the whole package

Finally, since numbers sometimes speak louder than words: Every day,  500 years worth of time are spent on Facebook every day watching YouTube videos. More than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute. YouTube is not only the platform which, if being used strategically, allows you to freely advertise your products; It’s also an incredibly suitable place to expand your brand’s awareness on other social networks.

Check out Shorty Media’s brief infographic on the incredible adventure of YouTube:

 

a-brief-history-of-youtube-infographic-shortymedia
Infographic Created by ShortyMedia

 

 

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.