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Are big brands getting the most from YouTube?



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Do you have an interest in how your organisation uses video? This report investigates how major brands in the UK are using YouTube, compares different sectors, highlights best practices and draws conclusions on opportunities for the future. #UKYouTubeSurvey15

Are big brands getting the most from YouTube?

  1. 1. Are big brands getting the most from YouTube? A study of how major brands in the UK are using the video-based social network. #UKYouTubeSurvey15 January 2015
  2. 2. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Executive summary Why  should  I  read  this  report?   Do  you  have  an  interest  in  how  your  organisa1on  uses  video?  This  report  inves1gates  how  major  brands  in  the   UK   are   using   YouTube,   compares   different   sectors,   highlights   best   prac1ces   and   draws   conclusions   on   opportuni1es  for  the  future.                     What  we  found   Our  hypothesis  holds  true;  against  our  criteria  the  35  brands  we  studied  scored  an  average  of  20.4  points  out   of  a  possible  48.  We  found  the  majority  of  brands  have  a  significant  opportunity  to  improve  their  aLen1on  to   detail  and  level  of  consistency  to  significantly  improve  the  audience  experience.  We  iden1fied  three  core  areas   for   brands   to   focus   on:   housekeeping   of   meta-­‐data,   more   use   of   interac;ve   features   and   taking   a   more   programma;c  approach.       Vodafone,  Money  Supermarket  and  Peugeot  took  the  top  three  places  in  our  rankings,  whilst  from  a  sector   perspec1ve  it  was  the  telco’s  that  performed  best  (three  of  the  top  ten  spots)  and  the  finance  brands  who  did   less  well,  filling  three  of  the  boLom  eleven  posi1ons.   Page 2 Top  5  brands  in  our  2015  YouTube  Survey   The  hypothesis   Big  brands  aren’t  using  YouTube  to  its  full  poten1al.     The  approach   We   avoided   the   problem   that   many   “social   media   brand   surveys”   experience,  by  using  criteria  which  aren’t  influenced  by  media  spend.   Avoiding  metrics  such  as  video  views  enabled  us  to  focus  on  how  brands   are  using  YouTube  -­‐  for  example  how  are  channels  setup  and  are  the   available  features  being  used  effec1vely?     Vodafone Money Supermarket Peugeot Aldi O2 1 2 3 4 5
  3. 3. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Contents Where  video’s  at        Page  4   The  approach        Page  5   The  findings  -­‐  In  summary      Page  6   The  findings  -­‐  In  numbers      Page  7   The  findings  -­‐  How  the  sectors  compared    Page  8   The  findings  -­‐  Brand  rankings      Page  9   Best  prac1ce  in  ac1on        Page  11   Conclusions          Page  14   More  informa1on        Page  16   Appendix          Page  17   Page 3
  4. 4. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Where video’s at As   a   form   of   “branded   content”,   video   con1nues   to   grow   rapidly   in   the   UK   with   more   than   a   third   of   the   popula1on  watching  at  least  one  online  video  each  week1.  And  with  YouTube  running  a  major  through-­‐the-­‐line   marke1ng   campaign   in   October   2014   to   highlight   leading   content   creators   such   as   The   Slow   Mo   Guys   and   Zoella,  it’s  steadily  entered  the  mass  adop1on  stage.     Not  only  is  YouTube  an  effec1ve  way  of  hos1ng  and  syndica1ng  video,  but  its  integra1on  into  Google  search   means  its  importance  as  a  driver  of  website  traffic  has  never  been  greater.                       With  this  hypothesis  we  surveyed  35  major  brands  ac1ve  in  the  UK  to  find  out  how  they  were  performing  on   YouTube.   1  Guardian:  hLp://   2  YouTube:  hLps://­‐GB/sta1s1cs.html   100  hours  of   video  are   uploaded  to   YouTube…   …  every  minute   However,  while  more  than  one  billion  unique  users  are  visi1ng   the  plahorm  each  month  and  100  hours  of  video  are  uploaded   every  minute2,  we  no1ced  many  large  brands  struggling  to  get  to   grips  with  the  granddaddy  of  social  video  networks.       Whether   failing   to   structure   their   channel   effec1vely   or   delivering  a  disjointed  customer  experience,  we  wondered  was   this   limited   to   specific   sectors,   or   was   it   a   wider   problem   experienced  by  large  brands?   Page 4
  5. 5. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   Third  party  studies  into  brands’  use  of  social  networks  are  limited  to  the  data  that’s  publically  available.  This   presents  a  challenge,  because  this  data  is  oien  skewed  by  the  amount  of  media  budget  available  -­‐  for  example   when  a  brand  purchases  video  views.  Plus,  the  data  which  reveals  really  juicy  insights  (e.g.  video  comple1on   rates)  can  only  be  seen  by  the  channel  administrator.     Therefore  we  looked  at  factors  which  aren’t  affected  by  media  spend,  but  demonstrate  how  widely  a  brand  is   using  the  features  and  environment  of  YouTube.  To  minimise  subjec1ve  bias,  we  excluded  the  quality  of  video   produc1on  in  our  assessment,  so  a  truly  awful  presenter  or  tedious  soundtrack  wouldn’t  count  against  them!   The  study  was  conducted  in  the  first  week  of  December  2014,  more  detail  on  the  approach  is  contained  in  the   Appendix.     Our  analysis  was  broken  down  into  three  areas:               #The approach 1.  Channel  setup   Were  basic  channel   features  being  used   effec1vely?   2.  In-­‐video  approach   Were  in-­‐video  op1ons   used  to  enhance  the   viewer  experience?   3.  Delivery   Was  the  channel   treated  as  more  than   just  a  video  repository?   Page 5
  6. 6. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #The findings - In summary Each  of  the  brands  in  the  study  had  established  a  YouTube  channel  and  were  regularly  crea1ng  content;  in  fact   most  channels  had  hundreds  of  videos  uploaded  to  them.     However,  in  general  we  found  a  lack  of  aLen1on  to  detail  and  a  failure  to  maximise  the  opportuni1es  that   online  video  presents  -­‐  valida1ng  our  hypothesis.  With  an  average  score  of  just  20.4  from  a  poten1al  48  points   available,  there’s  significant  opportunity  for  brands  to  grow  engagement,  increase  subscribers  and  enhance   search  performance.     The  other  key  theme  we  iden1fied  was  a  need  for  greater  consistency.  Even  those  brands  towards  the  top  of   the  rankings  (see  page  9)  could  have  applied  best-­‐prac1ces  much  more  frequently  to  their  content.     We  iden1fied  three  key  areas  for  brands  to  focus  on  improving:               Vodafone,  Money  Supermarket  and  Peugeot  took  the  top  three  places  in  our  list,  reflec1ng  their  ability  to   effec1vely  create  and  op1mise  content  that  u1lises  YouTube’s  features.       From  a  sector  perspec1ve  it  was  the  telco’s  that  performed  best,  taking  three  of  the  top  ten  posi1ons  while   finance  brands  filled  three  of  the  boNom  eleven  spots.       META  DATA  HOUSE-­‐KEEPING   Such  as  the  descrip1on   accompanying  a  video.   Such  as  using  clickable  annota1ons   in  videos.   Such  as  consistently  publishing   content  using  regular  formats.   USING  INTERACTIVE  FEATURES   PROGRAMMATIC  APPROACH   Page 6
  7. 7. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   used by WERE PLAYLISTS O F B R A N D S T O O R G A N I S E T H E I R Y O U T U B E C H A N N E L S OF BRANDS CHOSE TO CUSTOMISE video-thumbnails of brands were 2 3/ of brands didn’t direct VIEWERS TO MORE CONTENT AT THE END OF 0:29/1:00 O N L Y of brands had a dedicated of brands regularly #The findings - In numbers Page 7 1  Where  content  is  published  on  a  regular  basis,  e.g.  the  same  1me  each  week,  around  a  regular  theme.   2  Where  a  specific  image  is  used  as  the  “cover  image”  for  the  video,  rather  than  being  auto-­‐selected  by  YouTube.   2   1  
  8. 8. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #The findings - How the sectors compared Telco  &  u;lity  brands  topped  the  list  taking  first,  fourth,  ninth  and  tenth  spot;  the  areas  they  performed  best  in   were  using  in-­‐video  features  and  having  consistency  across  their  videos.     Meanwhile   finance   brands   filled   three   of   the   boLom   eleven   posi1ons.   It   was   notable   that   71%   of   finance   brands  chose  not  to  enable  comments  on  their  videos.     The  automo;ve  sector  performed  rela1vely  well  across  the  board,  whilst  retail  was  the  most  varied  in  terms  of   distribu1on  across  the  final  list.                         It’s   important   to   caveat   that   the   sample   size   in   some   cases   was   rela=vely   small;   for   example   only   three   automo=ve  brands  were  in  the  list.       Rank% Sector% Channel%setup%% (17)% In3video%approach%% (21)% Delivery% (10)% TOTAL% (48)) 1" Telco"&"Utilities% 11% 11% 5% 26% 2" Automotive" 12" 8" 4" 25" 3" Retail" 12" 6" 3" 21" 4" Finance" 8" 7" 4" 19" 5" FMCG" 10" 5" 4" 19" 6" Service" 7" 5" 3" 15" "  Sector performance, ranked by average total score   Page 8 The  maximum  score  a  brand  could  achieve  in  each  area  is  shown  in  brackets,  with  a  total   maximum  score  of  48.  
  9. 9. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #The findings - Brand rankings Rank% Brand! Channel%setup%% In2video%approach%% Delivery% TOTAL% 1% Vodafone% 16% 15% 5% 36% 2" Money"Supermarket" 12" 16" 5" 33" 3" Peugeot" 12" 13" 6" 31" 4" Aldi" 11" 12" 5" 28" 5" O2" 11" 12" 5" 28" 6" Sainsbury's" 16" 8" 4" 28" 7" Argos" 12" 12" 3" 27" 8" Heineken" 13" 9" 4" 26" 9" British"Gas" 7" 12" 7" 26" 10" EE" 10" 9" 5" 24" 11" Boots" 12" 8" 3" 23" 12" Marks"&"Spencer" 12" 8" 3" 23" 13" Volkswagen" 14" 6" 3" 23" 14" Barclays" 11" 6" 4" 21" 15" TalkTalk" 11" 7" 3" 21" 16" Direct"Line" 11" 4" 5" 20" 17" Microsoft" 10" 5" 5" 20" 18" Sky" 7" 7" 5" 19" 19" Asda" 11" 6" 1" 18" 20" Barclaycard" 7" 8" 3" 18" " Page 9 Con=nued…  
  10. 10. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #The findings - Brand rankings Page 10
  11. 11. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Best practice in action We  picked  out  some  of  the  best  examples  we  found  to  illustrate  the  three  areas  of  our  survey;  channel  setup,   in-­‐video  approach  and  delivery.   Channel  setup   Vodafone’s   introductory   video   gives   clarity   of   what   to   expect   and   why   to   subscribe   to   the   channel.   TalkTalk’s  playlists  provide  clear  naviga1on,  with   full   descrip1ons   and   tailored   thumbnails   as   a   visual  prompt.   Page 11
  12. 12. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Best practice in action In-­‐video  approach   Money  Supermarket’s  end-­‐frames  offer  a  choice   of   relevant   op1ons   to   encourage   the   viewer   to   con1nue  engaging  with  the  brand.   Page 12 Bri;sh   Gas   use   their   presenters   to   explicitly   encourage  viewers  to  watch  other  videos,  which   are  shown  on  screen  and  can  be  clicked  on.;shgas  
  13. 13. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Best practice in action Delivery   Peugeot’s  use  of  episodic  content  builds  a  story   around   a   theme   and   a   consistent   format   the   viewer  can  establish  a  rapport  with.   Aldi   deliver   videos   with   a   consistent   look   and   structure,   helping   the   viewer   become   familiar   with  the  content.   Page 13
  14. 14. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Conclusions Our   findings   strongly   supported   the   original   hypothesis   that   many   large   brands   aren’t   using   YouTube   as   effec1vely  as  they  could,  which  means  there’s  plenty  of  opportunity  for  improvement  and  growth.   The  other  major  conclusion  is  that  in  many  cases  just   a   few   changes   are   required   in   how   channels   are   structured  and  how  videos  are  op1mised  to  improve   maLers.   In   fact   in-­‐video   op;misa;on   is   one   of   biggest  areas  of  opportunity  and  one  of  the  quickest   and  easiest  to  address.     There’s  really  no  excuse  for  brands  failing  to  setup   some  of  the  basic  features  on  their  channels,  such  as   including   links   to   their   website   and   other   social   networks.   Page 14 For   finance   brands,   it   will   be   interes1ng   to   see   if   they   start   opening   up   their   use   of   YouTube   by   enabling   comments,   as   they   already   do   on   other   social   networks   like   Facebook,   turning   the   dial   from   “broadcast”   to   “interact”.     Con=nued…  
  15. 15. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Conclusions Looking  at  delivery,  this  is  the  area  which  undoubtedly  requires  the  biggest  change.  A  different  mind-­‐set  for   planning  and  crea1ng  video  content  is  needed  by  brands  to  truly  get  the  most  from  YouTube.     Publishing   content   consistency   (e.g.   at   the   same   1me   each   week),   being   setup   to   incorporate   user   feedback   and   managing   video   distribu;on   across   mul;ple   social   networks   requires   planning   and   commitment.    This  can  be  par1cularly  challenging  for   large   organisa1ons   where   video   content   is   being   commissioned  and  produced  by  mul1ple  teams.     However,  mirroring  the  mindset  of  successful  na1ve   YouTube   creators,   like   Fleur   de   Force   and   Vsauce,   will   help   brands   build   dedicated,   engaged   and   trus1ng  audiences.     Page 15 Whilst  this  study  focused  on  YouTube,  the  video  landscape  is  fast  evolving  with  Facebook  and  TwiLer’s  na1ve   video  players  quickly  maturing.  However,  regardless  of  the  social  network  being  used,  brands  must  ensure  they   take   an   audience-­‐focused   approach   to   crea1ng   video   which   draws   upon   the   unique   features   each   plahorm   provides.  
  16. 16. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #More information slp  consul;ng  was  founded  by  Simon  Preece  to  help  organisa1ons  navigate  the  risks  and  opportuni1es  that   social  media  presents  in  a  hyper-­‐connected  world.                           And  for  our  most  recent  thinking,  follow  the  blog  at:   We  run  audits  and  training  workshops  to  help   brands  extract  the  most  value  from  the  1me   and  resources  they  allocate  to  social  media.     If  you  would  like  more  informa1on  about  this   survey,   or   are   interested   in   talking   to   us,   please  get  in  touch:     E:   M:  07970  890468   W:   Page 16
  17. 17. Appendix
  18. 18. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Methodology detail Weigh;ng  criteria   We  selected  twelve  criteria  across  our  three  areas  of  research,  and  added  a  weigh1ng  to  each  based  on  its   importance  in  the  overall  context  of  YouTube.  So  for  example,  enabling  comments  on  videos  scored  five  points,   whilst  two  points  were  awarded  if  presenters/narrators  encouraged  viewers  to  engage.  The  criteria  used  were:                 Brand  selec;on   We  picked  35  of  the  biggest  brands  ac1ve  in  the  UK,  with  an  addi1onal  criteria  that  they  must  be  “consumer   facing”.  For  that  reason  the  likes  of  Unilever  are  not  included.  Our  research  was  grouped  into  six  sector  areas;   telco  &  u1li1es,  FMCG,  finance,  service  &  entertainment,  automo1ve  and  retail.     Timing   We   reviewed   how   brands   were   using   their   main   YouTube   channel   up   to   December   2014,   with   the   main   emphasis  on  videos  from  the  previous  12  months.  We  assessed  mul1ple  videos  and  playlists  to  avoid  a  single   video/playlist  giving  an  unfair  representa1on.     Channel  selec;on     In  each  case  the  brand’s  UK-­‐specific  channel,  where  applicable,  was  assessed.  In  those  instances  where  a  brand   has  mul1ple  channels,  we  selected  the  core  channel,  for  example  O2UKOffical  was  used  instead  of  O2  Guru  TV.   Page 18
  19. 19. #UKYouTubeSurvey15   #Extensions One  aspect  not  factored  into  the  survey  was  the  brands’  use  of  other  social  networks  for  the  delivery  of  video.   If   a   brand   decided   to   focus   all   of   its   video   content   on   Facebook   for   example,   it   would   not   be   reflected.   However,  from  our  wider  observa1ons  this  was  not  the  case.  Furthermore  this  should  not  be  a  reason  for   failing  to  follow  best  prac1ce.     By  only  assessing  core  channels  we  weren’t  able  to  account  for  brands’  other  channels  that  might  be  shining   examples  of  YouTube  best  prac1ce.  However,  our  perspec1ve  is  that  brands  should  be  applying  these  best   prac1ces  to  all  video  output.           An  addi1onal  area  for  inves1ga1on,  out  of  scope  for  this  report,  would  be  to  understand  more  about  how   brands  are  using  all  of  their  digital  touch-­‐points  to  distribute  video  content.  How  are  other  social  plahorms,   email  and  websites  for  example  being  used  collec1vely  as  part  of  the  video  distribu1on  mix?   Page 19