On YouTube, Be Bold With Your Brand Personality


Every communicator knows that in 2018, video is the king of content. And as the second-largest search engine online, YouTube should be your top choice for posting branded video. But it’s not as simple as posting a few videos and hoping for the best.

Chris Allen, director of social video at Fast Company & Inc., will speak at PR News’ May 17 webinar Advanced YouTube Tactics for Brands about how his newly merged company is going through a branded video strategy shift on YouTube right now, and how he and his team plan to take its updated channels in a new editorial direction to increase brand awareness and bring in revenue through sponsorships.

Allen stresses that even though Fast Company & Inc.’s video teams have merged into one, the group is still relatively small and has a “fairly lean budget.” But that doesn’t stop them from producing quality content because “everybody is multi-skilled.” So when looking to improve your game on YouTube, your first step should be to invest in training around video production for your team—and make sure any new hires have the skills to match. With a talented in-house team you’ll have to outsource work far less often, which can help keep overhead down so you can focus on growing your brand through video, Allen says.

Make sure you lay out clear and realistic goals for your YouTube channel as well. Perhaps, like Allen, you already have an existing brand channel but are looking to revamp it in order to increase your view counts and subscriber base. Then your primary goal may be to increase brand awareness—make sure your audience knows the channel is there and that you’re creating new and exciting content.

To ensure audiences return, end each video with an authentic call to action for your followers. Link to previous videos or playlists at the end of your videos so that new audiences can easily find your other content that might interest them. And above all, Allen says, the content that will connect most with audiences will show your brand’s personality. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Allen explains that though Fast Company & Inc. does create content around wider trends, the company is also focusing on niche topics that will resonate with engaged audiences. With such a wide range of content and formats (both long-form and short-form video and episodic programming), it may seem that your brand identity has the potential to slip away. But that’s not necessarily the case. “I think when it comes to video content within a brand, it’s a balancing act,” Allen says. “I think you have to take the overall tone and message of the brand and translate that into video. But there are definitely limitations. We don’t subscribe to the idea of clickbait and we don’t want to skew so far away from the brand that it alienates existing and potential advertisers.”

When it comes down to it, Allen says, it’s about whether the content is authentic to the brand. “And if the answer [to that question] is yes, regardless of whether the format or subject is slightly different, then we can move forward with confidence and integrity.”

Want to learn more about using YouTube to build your brand? Join PR News on May 17 at 1:30 p.m. for our Advanced YouTube Tactics for Brands webinar.