YouTube Marketing Mistakes

With 2 billion users worldwide, YouTube is a great channel for increasing outreach and spreading brand awareness. As a video sharing platform, you can connect with your audience in a unique, creative and innovative way. But your strategy must be on point. A catalogue of errors can damage the reputation of your brand. Here are some of the biggest YouTube Marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

YouTube is So 2020 – Here’s Why

Before we get into what not to do, here’s why you should be on the platform in the first place. With 80% of the world’s internet traffic set to be video by 2021, this platform’s more relevant than ever. So don’t make the mistake of thinking it shouldn’t be part of your strategy. Let’s delve into some YouTube marketing facts.

  • 75% millennials prefer watching YouTube to television
  • 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched daily. That’s more than Netflix which achieved 164.8 million hours of daily video watching time.
  • In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49-year-olds watch YouTube, while 90% of American 18-24-year olds use it.
  • The platform has launched in over 91 countries and can be accessed in 80 different languages. This reportedly covers 95% of the internet population.
  • 70% of viewers use YouTube to solve a problem
  • 55% consumers use online videos for shopping research
  • 64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded videos on social platforms
  • 74% of YouTube users will watch brand channels weekly
  • YouTube is the second most visited site in the world behind Google

FUN FACT: The first ever video posted to YouTube was uploaded on 23 April 2005 with the title Me at the Zoo. It features a man standing in front of an elephant enclosure discussing elephant trunks in detail and how cool they are. As of January 29, 2020, the video has a whopping 83 million views and counting.

YouTube Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

With such a large audience and people using the channel to make purchasing decisions, YouTube is the place to be to spread the world about all the awesome things you do. But what YouTube marketing mistakes should you avoid?

#1 Not Giving Your Channel a Strong Identity

When using YouTube for business, it’s essential to set up a brand account as this will allow you to customise the channel for your brand and give access to other team members. If you open a personal account, it will have the same name as your Google account which is not what you want. With a brand account you’ll also have access to YouTube analytics which will give you access to who is viewing your posts and allow you to adapt your strategy. In order to add to your brand identity, you should:

  • Add channel artwork relevant to your brand. While the profile image could be your company logo, the banner image should also reflect the ethos of your company. Perhaps feature key company members to give your brand a personal feel. Check out Revolut, for instance. Their channel is instantly recognisable as their marketing and branding is consistent across their social channels.





  • Add links to your YouTube Channel banner. If you add links to social media channels, they will be indicated with icons. This is ideal for brand consistency and integration allowing people to check out your company while firmly including YouTube as part of your strategy.

  • Focus on your About section. This is the perfect time to explain to potential subscribers what you do and why they should follow your channel. The most important thing to do is call out to your target audience and make them feel that the content you will share is relevant to their needs. Pitch your channel’s values making sure the first few sentences really stand out as this is what will feature in the snippet text of Google and YouTube. Use keywords that reflect your brand in normal conversational English without cramming them in so they look spammy.

Take a look at the below example from fashion brand ASOS.

This About section is great because:

  • It explains what subscribers can expect from the channel
  • It sticks with the brand’s light-hearted, witty and fun tone of voice
  • There’s a clear call to action and strong brand mentions
  • Lead your channel with a strong branded video. While organising your slice of YouTube, it’s well worth creating a featured video or default video which plays automatically. This should be the content that you want your viewers to see first before browsing through other videos and playlists. This video could be your most recent video which contains the latest updates, or it could be a more general welcome message. Airbnb have nailed this on their channel.

  • Highlight your USPs. Featured videos can also be used to explain why you stand out from the crowd, helping to attract more subscribers to your channel. Hotel Chocolat, for instance, sells many different products but they choose to focus on the Cocoa Bar-Cafes which offer an original and innovative experience.

#2 Not Creating Timely and Relevant Content

When it comes to using YouTube as a marketing channel, you must have a YouTube marketing strategy. Therefore, your posts should not be random. One of best ways to stay relevant is to look at the annual calendar and plan for popular events as well as anything specific for your industry. This will allow you to get creative and attract viewers throughout the year.

There are many brands doing this well, from Lush Cosmetics with their sensual Come Together This Valentine’s campaign…

To Nike, who recently embraced Chinese New Year…

Producing timely content helps to:

  • Generate buzz and excitement
  • Get people talking about your brand
  • Form a closer bond with a particular target audience and community
  • Confirm your reputation as thought-leaders

Creating timely and relevant content also means looking at your own brand growth. Do you have a product launch in the pipelines? If so, think about when you want to make the big reveal. Manny Mua showed how to do this seamlessly with the release of his Moon Spell collection which hit YouTube just in time for Halloween. The reveal video was shared to his 4.76 million subscribers on 30th September allowing plenty of time to drum up excitement.

Why this worked:

  • It was seasonal and released in good time before the holidays. If the product was released in the height of summer, it may not have received 26k likes.
  • The collection was a limited-edition inducing FOMO and encouraging people to act. After all, Halloween doesn’t last forever, so the sentiment was to jump on the bandwagon.
  • Manny Mua considered the entire YouTube reveal experience. From clear descriptive video content to a well-written video description, the marketing strategy was superbly executed.

#3 Not Embracing Storytelling

 56% of global consumers say a brand’s story influences their decision to buy. Similarly, more than three quarters of consumers (76%) say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor. Storytelling is therefore a great way to attract, engage and retain consumers by evoking emotional responses. Many brands focus solely on selling products without trying to build a rapport or connection with their audience and this is a big mistake when it comes to social media marketing.

Don’t worry if your budget isn’t huge. Storytelling doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Just sitting down and explaining who you are is of paramount importance and this doesn’t require any large-scale production team or an elaborate script.

Giving people a sneak peek into your business or ‘insider’ information is also brand storytelling which will help consumer to feel valued and appreciated. Again, this doesn’t have to be high budget, but should include interesting behind the scenes information such as who you’ve worked with, projects you’ve enjoyed, strategy tips and more. Introducing key team members is also a nice way to humanise your brand.

#4 Not keeping a close eye on the comments section

Internet users are notoriously blunt with their comments and while you can’t please everyone, it’s really important to keep a close eye on the comments section of your videos. Many consumers will read the comments before they watch your video and therefore outsider opinions can affect their view of your brand.

One of the best ways to keep on top of things is to ‘hold all comments for review.’ This means you can monitor sentiment without anything negative escaping through the net. You can also hide comments from specific commentators if they’re trolling your brand in any way, for any reason, or block words and phrases that you don’t want to show.

There are videos on YouTube itself that will help you moderate your channel in style.

On the other side, don’t forget to interact with comments on YouTube as you would on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other channels which are often considered to be more ‘chatty.’ Take a look at this response from John Lewis & Partners regarding their Christmas 2019 advert featuring Edgar the dragon.

Staying as engaged as possible will encourage further interaction and help you develop a strong YouTube community.

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Contact me for help with your content marketing strategy throughout 2020 and beyond. As director of leading marketing agency Contentworks, we can provide blogs, articles, whitepapers, video scripts, PR material and more to ensure your online presence is as good as it can be.

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