5 ingredients of great YouTube content [with examples] | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

In a recent survey by Heart Internet, 36% of our customers said that they wanted to expand their online presence. 

From launching a new website to becoming more active on social media, there are many ways to do this. 

However, in this article we focus on YouTube and what it takes to make content that captures both the hearts and minds of viewers.  

After all, it’s been reported that 120 million people in the US now watch YouTube on their television screens – and the UK is catching up. 

In order to inspire you to create your own compelling video content for your customers, we’ve looked at the 2021 winners of the YouTube Works Awards.  

These awards celebrate innovation and brilliance in YouTube content and here’s what we can learn from the winners’ successes… 

1. Great YouTube content taps into trends and topical events 

Match.com’s Match Made In Hell campaign was named the overall winner in the YouTube Works Awards.  

Telling the story of when Satan met 2020, the video campaign gained 4 million views in the first 24 hours and a 40% increase in consideration and favourability compared to previous YouTube campaigns. Match.com also saw a 71% increase in branded search terms after the ad dropped. 

This video resonated so well with audiences because it tapped into the most relevant topic of the year in a fresh way.  

While many brands over the last year have used the Covid-19 pandemic as a backdrop to their campaigns, Match.com’s effort was the one to really strike a chord with its tongue-in-cheek humour and alternative perspective on the previous ‘hellish’ year. 

2. The best YouTube content is authentically supportive 

Winner of the YouTube Works ‘Breaking Barriers’ award, GoDaddy’s ‘What It Means to be Made In America’ series showcased how the company had supported its core audience of small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Providing novel ways to adapt and overcome the challenges of operating a small business in 2020, GoDaddy’s YouTube videos delivered a mix of informative and tutorial content, as well as inspirational small-business stories. 

The campaign earned 25 million impressions across measurable outlets, leading to a whopping 254% increase in organic traffic watch time. GoDaddy also saw a 97% YOY increase in user-initiated positive responses, and a 309% increase in YouTube subscribers. 

 3. Creating personal relevance will help you connect with customers 

How does a simple chocolate product created in 1941 stay relevant in 2021? By offering personal relevance to popular events, common daily grievances and relatable social encounters, boosting appeal and shareability. 

Faced with a plateau and decline in sales of key products over recent years, M&Ms took inspiration from the most-shared meme categories across the internet to create over 50 unique bags with relatable ‘M&Ms Messages’. 

The campaign launched on YouTube during one of the most talked-about events of the entertainment year, the Oscars. By tying in the messages on the M&M bags to the event, they were able to align with the content their audience was already seeking.  

And it was effective – the M&Ms Messages led to more retailer orders than any M&Ms promotion in the brand’s history, plus a 22-30% sales growth in stand-up pouch formats – the kind that lend themselves to gifting and sharing.  

4. You can involve your existing customers in your content 

Filmmakers in 2020 felt the limitations of trying to create during a pandemic – and Adobe knew this.  

They challenged 13 filmmakers to create short films using only Adobe Stock video, both tapping into the current issues faced by their audience and showcasing their product in a new way. 

Adobe wanted to challenge the idea that stock footage was a last resort, a boring back-up option for when you can’t get out to get that perfect shot. Positioning their footage as a rich resource for storytelling, they orchestrated the first ever digital Adobe Stock Film Fest in July 2020. 

The digital film fest earned 1.5 million video views and a 50% increase in brand awareness, as well as 3,000 new subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud. 

The content also won the Brands as Creators category in the YouTube Works Awards.  

5. You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new

Comedy Central made a bold move with the first episode of its new cable TV show ‘Awkwafina is Nora from Queens’ – they put the entire thing on YouTube. 

Knowing that their target audience consumes a lot of content digitally, the brand understood the importance of building awareness of the show with non-cable subscribers. Not to mention that the show’s star is a breakout YouTube star, making it the perfect platform to target her fans. 

The show became Comedy Central’s most watched series premier since 2016, with 3.5 million viewers tuning in. The promotion also brought 3.2k new subscribers to Comedy Central’s YouTube channel, giving them further opportunities to promote. 

 Summary

Personalisation and relatability were key factors in a lot of the YouTube Works award-winning content for 2020. Whether it was solving problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic or simply poking fun at it, many advertisers saw the current shared social as a chance to relate better to their customers. 

Targeting your customers with personal, relevant advertising in the places where they are most likely to consume media can lead to big gains, even for established brands searching for relevance in 2021. What’s worked for these brands could work for you. 

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