By Rob Ciampa published March 22, 2013

Video Content Marketing: 4 Elements of An Effective Strategy

Businesses are flocking to video content marketing as an efficient and wickedly effective content tactic. But the focus on making the video often overshadows the marketing of it. And winning followers on YouTube requires different strategies than doing so through other types of content marketing. 

We conducted a YouTube video study of the Top 100 brands from Interbrand’s 2012 Best Global Brands. After analyzing 200,000 business videos across 1,270 YouTube channels, we discovered more than 50 percent had fewer than 1,000 views. ROI fail.

Enter the YouTube nation

First, let’s look at the facts. Our study of Interbrand’s Top 100 shows YouTube video production in that cohort increased from 4,760 videos per month to 7,175 per month, with an aggregate production value of more than $4.3 billion.

brand video on youtube

The research also shows that brands — including Coca-Cola and Toyota — are not just creating effective YouTube channels, they’re also embedding YouTube videos on their own websites. In fact, 61 of the Top 100 brands now embed YouTube videos on their websites (further blurring the lines between digital channels). We’re also noticing more diverse video methods and styles. Intel, for one, effectively combines both professionally produced content with user-generated content.

So how is it that brands are investing so much in online video, but are reaching so few followers? Is it a content issue? Maybe, but after analyzing millions of videos, we think it’s a content marketing issue. Specifically, the top 100 brands — along with the rest of the YouTube ecosystem — are burning their online video budgets on video production, while ignoring an equally important element: video content marketing.

YouTube and online video content marketing

Assigning a few tags and a brief description to a YouTube video is not enough to allow your business to say, “We do video content marketing.” The truth is, marketing your online videos takes as much effort and finesse as making them. We’ve discovered four critical elements of an effective video content marketing strategy on YouTube:

1. Produce lots of diverse content on YouTube: The best YouTube content marketers produce more content. Using our online video grader, we found the top quartile of YouTube marketers had an average of 181 videos, while the bottom had 29. Equally interesting is that better marketers produced assets with a far broader distribution of video lengths, ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes, on average.

pixability video grader

Pixability’s Online Video Grader.

Online video performance isn’t just about views; it’s about audience and engagement. The Online Video Grader we use looks at four separate, yet interrelated areas that determine how well an organization is leveraging online video and YouTube:

  • Website score
  • Search engine score
  • YouTube score
  • Social media score

The grader analyzes numerous attributes under each area, as well.

As an example of brands that successfully leverage video, consider Nintendo — which has one of the top-ranking channels on YouTube. Not only does the company produce great content, but it produces lots of it as well, giving subscribers and other interested parties a reason to return.

nintendo great video content

Great video content + many videos = more subscribers + higher SEO rankings.

2. Integrate YouTube and web content: The most effective video marketing programs create a symbiotic relationship between their two owned media platforms: their YouTube channel and their website. Consistent branding and YouTube channel customization occur in 63 percent of the most effective business-oriented YouTube channels. Furthermore, 61 percent also embed their YouTube content on their website. Keep in mind, YouTube automatically compensates for diverse devices — which is particularly important for mobile and tablet viewing.

A YouTube embed is not just web content — it’s very important (Google-wise) web content. Consider the example below from, a rich tech gear site that nicely integrates YouTube video to increase both its search results and product sales.

embed youtube videos

Embed YouTube videos on website to drive CTA and search.

3.  Engage your community with YouTube: Audiences are about 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video content than blogs or related social posts. Understand that YouTube is not just an online video repository; it’s also a powerful social media platform. Engagement is a critical part of earned media that allows brands to engage back, a critical method for driving views and action.

For example, Old Spice lit up its brand through a YouTube campaign that delivered videos in response to community feedback. The community responded by extensive sharing and video embeds. The result? Increased sales. By how much? 107 percent!

old spice-engage community

YouTube + social media = full community engagement.

4.  Embrace YouTube advertising: Paid media is a critical part of effective video content marketing. YouTube TrueView ads are not the same as Google’s AdWords. Our experience demonstrates YouTube advertising can deliver 10 times the click-through rates when compared with traditional AdWords and video ad networks. It delivers results through diverse hyper-targeting options: contextual, behavioral, geo, retargeting and search. The key is that you need to experiment.

YouTube advertising is meant to drive both engagement and calls to action. Increased engagement leads to increased sharing, which leads to increased and sustained long-term views and social interaction. For example, Pixability uses YouTube ads to promote its campaigns, such as the book launch for “Video Marketing for Dummies.”

promote your video

YouTube ads result in sustained increased organic traffic (& business).

YouTube is no longer just a nice-to-have marketing platform. It’s a must-have video content marketing engine. More importantly, YouTube and online video respond very positively to effective, actionable and well-targeted video content marketing.

Video providers

If you are looking to produce videos, here are 10 companies to check out:

This article originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of Chief Content Officer magazine. Subscribe to receive your free copy.

Looking for more ways to maximize the impact of your video content? Get practical insights, advice, and answers in our 2018 Guide to Essential Content Marketing Tactics.

Author: Rob Ciampa

Rob Ciampa is executive vice president of sales and marketing for Pixability , a YouTube marketing company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also an award-winning marketer who has used video to help bring 75 innovative products and services to global markets, generating more than $1 billion in sales. Follow Rob on Twitter @robciampa .

Other posts by Rob Ciampa

  • Damian

    Very good analysis. Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this. It is eye-opening for sure.

  • Angela Booth

    Rob, you’re a champion. I’ve been looking into providing more video options for clients, and hadn’t done any research. Your article helps tremendously. I’ll know what to say when I’m making my pitch. Thank you. 🙂

  • Marcel de Visser

    And what about new media.
    The ultimate fan experience

    Clypper is a unique mobile broadcasting solution to connect your organisation or club to your Fans worldwide!

    Clypper is an innovative mobile video broadcasting service that enables the global broadcasting of short, powerful and high quality video clips to internet- and video-enabled mobile phone devices. Broadcasts can be targeted to specific groups of users and there is no need for user interference for playing the video clips. Clypper delivers a unique video player that needs to be installed on mobile phone devices that communicates with a central server. The server schedules the video broadcasts per channel and delivers the video clips to the mobile phone devices utilizing a mobile internet connection.

  • Julian R.M.

    Great stuff, Rob! I would add to your list by also recommending that companies upload/host some videos on their own, IN ADDITION to embedding from YouTube. I think both (YouTube-hosted and self-hosted videos) are essential to making sure the videos on your site have the best chance for ranking. Love that you pointed out the YouTube video advertising – I agree, this is an often overlooked part of the puzzle. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Robin

    wonderful points to do effective video content marketing. Thanks for the excellent write up rob. bookmarked and going to start the process for my videos 🙂


  • VideoElephant

    Interesting, but I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on You Tube potentially impacting the value of producer’s content? This seems to be a concern for a lot of the producer’s we work with at VideoElephant.

  • Andre

    I’m not surprised to find out that the top 10 best video makers are B2C companies (although GE also have some B2B products and services, which I doubt is the focus of their video campaigns). It would be interesting to see a research like that only for B2B.

  • Brittany Botti

    You weren’t very clear on how embedding YouTube videos on your site helps you in search. Isn’t it better to host the video on your website and properly mark it up so that the rich snippets show up in search and drive people back to your site vs. to YouTube?

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  • guest12

    HI Rob, do you have the links of the top 100 video promotion brands on YouTube?

    I might get ideas there before I consult and make my business video with

  • Kelly Hansen822

    Nice Collections…Thanks for Sharing…
    Web Video Player

  • MauaoMauao

    lol at all the generic comment insert website for backlinks… Just thought I should add to the list! In seriousness however, it should be pointed out that when generating content like this, you really need to think of the end goal. Like @brittanybotti:disqus mentioned, if its self promotional you really should self host to drive that link traffic to your site, and not really give out a iFrame link to youtube etc until later.

    Unless of course your already a worldwide brand and its literally product awareness and not to create traffic to your site..

    just my 2 cents

  • Planker

    Hi Rob, please advice how to get traffic after I have my own video brand? Because as far as I know that google only catch keywords in documents not inside the video, do you have any idea? Actually I would like to create my video with just curious before I deal with them. Thanks b4

  • George Jones is an excellent tool to make a company presentation. It has some templates for reuse.