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Brands often use YouTube to launch slick campaigns with high production costs and big budgets. They collaborate with a well-known influencer, someone who can give you a lot of views, but will also just as easily work with your competitor next month, if there’s more money to be made.
These tactics can certainly be effective, but most brands often forget the enormous opportunity that the video platform also offers: the fact that this is the platform where your target group is researching and informing themselves for their next purchase. To use this opportunity, the approach is fairly simple: help customers and you will generate views. The brand who answers questions the best will rank at the top of search results.
WHY A CONTENT STRATEGY FOCUSING ON HELP CONTENT?
This is perhaps surprising for those who associate YouTube mainly with funny cat videos, but viewers don’t just want to be entertained on YouTube. Certainly, many people use YouTube to watch videos from their favorite channels and influencers, but the main reason to use the platform is a different one. They use YouTube to solve their problems and they are actively looking for answers.
The most important reason to use the platform is to solve a problem around the house or car (65 percent of respondents). 54 percent of users indicate that they use YouTube to solve a very specific problem. YouTube functions as a search engine and a place that people use to learn new things. Videos offer the solution for customers’ problems. That’s why it’s smart to focus your content strategy on creating how-to videos and reviews, among other things. Yet many Dutch brands are still missing out on that opportunity.
To answer the question of what type of content scores well on this platform, YouTube developed the Hero / Hub / Hygiene model in 2015. (The third H stood for Help in the beginning, but was later changed to Hygiene.) In short: Hero content is the one or two moments a year that you launch a big campaign supported by a lot of (paid) reach. Hub content is regularly-appearing content that fascinates your audience and ensures that they keep coming back. And the bottom layer, the Help or Hygiene layer, is content that reaches people who are searching for relevant content.
Many brands and marketing managers are very good at creating Hero and Hub content, but do not pay attention to Help content. Without this content, there’s no foundation and viewers disappear just as quickly when your paid promotion ends. And if someone looks for instructions on how they should use the product that you are selling (How-To), or to find out if the product will actually meet their expectations (Review), they will not end up on your channel, but with a smart competitor or any individual with a camera. This person may not have the largest budget, but understands that answering a question offers an opportunity to get in touch with interested customers. Therefore, just as with building a house (or pyramid in this case), always start with a strong foundation.
So, I have tried to convince you that “helping” can bring you success on YouTube. But how do you start helping? Here are three tips:
YouTube is a great advertising platform. You can run a great campaign, buy attention and views with laser-sharp targeting, but before you dive in: start with a content strategy focussing on thinking about useful help content. Answer questions your potential customers may have, because that will bring you a huge step closer to lasting success on YouTube.