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Pro Tip: Branded Videos for YouTube and Instagram

Updated: Feb 4, 2020

When was the last time you went to YouTube for answers? Whether you’re learning to make ramen or watching Future go sneaker shopping before you buy your own new kicks, you have likely encountered branded videos on social media. Branded videos can add dynamic to any video marketing strategy or a digital marketing campaign. T-Series, a music label and production company in India, is the second-most-subscribed YouTube channel in the world. Many of IGTV’s top channels are branded or educational videos. So Yummy Foods, Netflix, Buzzfeed and Nike Football are just a few examples.

Wait, Isn’t a Branded Video an Ad?

Nope. A branded video isn’t obviously promotional. Think educational or storytelling videos like the one above from Nike. Your brand is a focal point, but it’s not a blatant advertisement. Digital Brew sums it up really well: An ad disrupts the conversation. A branded video participates in it.

So What’s the Point Then?

People find value in your content, and therefore, your brand. You’re building brand awareness and loyalty. And research suggests a brand with a great marketing strategy that includes branded videos on social media can raise awareness better than those without. The billions of users on YouTube and Instagram are open to watching your branded content.

Before We Start, You Should Know...

First, a quick differentiator on the places you can put videos on Insta. Videos posted to your feed can be a minute long. Stories are a bunch of photos and videos in one place that followers can quickly cycle through. They disappear after 24 hours. IGTV has vertical videos up to an hour long posted to a specific channel. We’re talking about videos posted to your feed and IGTV in this post.

Next, watch the video above from tech expert and social media influencer Marques Brownlee about the differences between YouTube and IGTV. He gives an awesome overview of all types of social media video and what's easiest for creators to use. Also, his channel is a great example of doing everything right when branding a YouTube channel.

Remember This For Every Branded Video

  • Relevance: Pick a topic or story that fits your brand and is relatable (and interesting) to your audience. Fortnite does that with its gaming broadcasts. Nearly 700,000 views on this more than four-hour video.

  • Quality: Make a video that looks professional and tells a great story, whether that’s how to solve a Rubik’s cube or how you started your company. Quality content shows your followers you’re an expert in your industry.

  • Platform: Create videos specific to the platform where you’ll post them. A vertical video made for IGTV looks unprofessional with black bars around it when you upload it to YouTube.

  • Educate: How-To videos are the number two type of searched videos on YouTube, behind product reviews. They also earn four times more watch time than animal videos (no matter how many times we could watch the top 10 funniest viral animal videos). The more than one billion YouTubers are looking for what your brand can offer.

  • Frequency: Post often to keep people coming back.

  • Don’t Oversell: Sometimes just a logo is enough.

Remember This For Instagram

  • Channel: Are you posting to your feed or IGTV? This will determine how long to make the video and its format.

  • Engaging: Make your video engaging – with or without sound. Users are often scrolling with sound off. Give them a reason to want to turn it on and watch.

  • Series: A series of videos keep people coming back to your channel or your feed.

  • Looping: Videos in Insta’s feed replay automatically. Loop your video to keep people watching over and over and over again.

Remember This For Youtube

  • Custom Channel Banner: Make sure people know who you are and what you do. Buzzfeed Video’s banner is a good example.

  • Snappy Titles: Another way to improve your YouTube search results. Pick something relevant that people want to click or tap. Look to our blog posts titles for inspo… kidding… kind of.

  • Creep on the Competition: You can file this under market research. Search the topic of your video and see what other people and companies are doing. What words do they use to describe the content?

  • Bumpers: Adding a bumper is an easy video production tool to keep people watching your channel as your video ends.

Level Up By Doing These Two Things

  • Design Consistent Thumbnails and Graphics: Awesome opportunity for branding and improving search results. People are more likely to watch more of your videos if they see the thumbnails look like a social media video they’ve watched and loved. Matching graphics further reinforce branding, add more information and really position your brand as an expert.

  • Work with a Professional: Higher production value translates to more credibility online. It shows people you did more than get a selfie stick and talk at a camera. We’re here for any and all video production needs.

P.S. Get inspiration from the BG’s YouTube channel and Instagram. We’re always adding new content.

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