The Content Imperative
The latest on content marketing strategy, insights and trends

Alex Barfield
Senior Planner

Alex is Senior Planner at Headstream. He ensures that all work takes a long-term view and is optimised based on business and client requirements. His work comprises research and insight, content strategy, data analytics and paid social.

Alex works across all Headstream clients on national and global accounts including BBC, GSK, National Trust, FatFace and Schuh.

Before joining, Alex worked at Universal Music.

Other posts by Alex


7 tips to make YouTube work for your brand.

| 25 September 2014

1. Upload Regularly

When setting up a channel for your brand, be sure to schedule regular content. Stick to a plan and schedule on the same days at the same time, so that viewers know when to tune in. Adapting a routine from the beginning makes it harder to stray from, and will keep subscribers coming back for more. Like with most platforms, posting regular content is a way to drive subscribers and views. 

2. Think Outside Of The Box

It may be tempting to just create a channel and plonk on content, but sometimes thinking outside of the box is more successful on a platform such as YouTube.  For example this is something that supermarket Asda learnt after their channel saw less than impressive views on their videos. In a revamp to bring more life to their channel, they created Mums Eye View, a channel targeted at young mothers who are their target customer as well as a huge part of the audience watching YouTube.  Rather than force feeding viewers with videos which feature Asda, they have given the reigns to popular YouTube creators such as British beauty sensation Zoella and up and coming Mummy vlogger Hannah Maggs. Creating a mixture of baking, lifestyle and beauty content, which do feature Asda products, the videos are created by the vloggers themselves, making them more personal and relatable for the viewers.

Asda have seen a surge in views, with almost two million views under the channel’s belt, not bad for a channel which is only six months old. When speaking at The Drum live earlier this year, Asda's head of social Dominic Burch spoke how working with vloggers to create content for them has been really positive for the brand, and “you miss out the medium of TV, newspapers and go straight to your audience with really targeted content.” Following a different approach for Asda really paid off, and something that can be achieved for other brands too. 

3. Create Unique Content

Although it might be easy to create videos that are based around your products, think about creating unique content that will intrigue people and want them coming back for more. Red Bull are one of the most successful brands on YouTube but if you look at their content, the majority has nothing to do with their actual product; an energy drink. Instead it’s about sport, and experiences that have been fuelled by the drink, using their product in an innovative way to create engaging content. 

4. Short But Sweet

For brand videos, try to keep the content less than ten minutes. This will hold your audience’s attention; as if a video is longer they may switch off and lose interest. 

5. Remember SEO 

Don’t forget to think of catchy titles and basic SEO practice. When naming your video, think of what people would search for in the search bar to find your video. As well as having a catchy title also upload an interesting thumbnail that will make people want to click on your video. Use logos, colours, and make it appealing for the viewers. 

6. Shout Out About Your Videos

Don’t just upload your videos on to YouTube and expect them to bring in lots of views. Post the videos to your other social pages, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Shout out about them and let people know to come over to your channel from your social pages. It will help to bring your loyal fans over who will increase views and engagement on your videos. 

7. Involve Your Audience

Ask on social platforms what content they’d like to see from your brand on your YouTube channel. Perhaps you are a beauty brand and your fans want to see a tutorial using your latest product, by asking for their involvement means that you will be creating content (within reason) that appeals to your target audience. By engaging with the community you will also create brand advocacy and build a stronger bond between your brand and its fans. 

Although YouTube can be a tricky place for brands to master, it’s a great platform to host content and doesn’t seem to be getting any less popular. As long as you deliver regular, engaging content you soon see the subscriber numbers rise.