My YouTube “watch later” list is 150 videos –
give or take, ranging from brands like Vogue and
Harper’s Bazaar to Entertainment Weekly and Bon Appétit. It’s widely known that YouTube has been a popular, ever-growing marketplace for effective marketing, PR and social media. Ever watch an unboxing video featuring a unique PR package? The most popular one from 2015 received over 300 million views and featured a kid opening a golden surprise Spider-Man Egg filled with a variety of Spider-Man toys ranging from remote control cars and wheeled scooters to t-shirts.

It’s no surprise YouTube has become a marketing and PR hub extending the reach of promotional messages in an engaging and interactive way. It allows brands to create a mini-site showcasing new product, creative partnerships and interactive content. Analytics are also readily available with YouTube Creator Studio providing detailed explanations of reach, traffic sources, demographics and engagement rates.

One of my personal favorite series, Hot Ones, has become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. “The show with hot questions and even hotter wings” invites celebrities and musicians for an interview while they eat wings which get progressively hotter. If you’re thinking that sounds crazy, you’re right! Who knew watching Kristen Bell and Jeff Goldblum sweat profusely while eating hot wings and answering personal questions could be so entertaining? The show also features different brands of hot sauces, giving them a spotlight in each video. Additionally, at the end of each video, the interviewer, Sean Evans, rolls out the “red carpet” for each guest, giving them the opportunity to speak on whatever they’d like. The hot sauces from the show sell out in a few hours, and in 2018, it was estimated they made $7 million in hot sauce sales from these videos! It’s become a unique point of advertising for brands as well. In its most recent video, Tums created a specific “Hot Ones” ad, knowing it would resonate with the channel’s audience.

Another series I have been an avid fan of since 2015 is the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen series, commonly known as the “BA Test Kitchen.” In the past year or so, its content has skyrocketed (one video on homemade gourmet Skittles received 11 million views, for example). The property has close to 5 million subscribers on YouTube, but around 1.5 million monthly subscribers for its print magazine. Its most popular series, “Gourmet Makes,” is usually trending almost immediately after a video is uploaded. Another showcases how to cook one ingredient in as many ways that is feasibly possible: 59 ways to cook an egg, for example. These series are effective in creating a unique, genuine and authentic brand presence. By amplifying the Bon Appétit brand on YouTube, it’s engaging with younger viewers outside of the magazine demographic and increasing brand awareness exponentially. My 20-year-old sister, for example, comes home and immediately checks to see if there are any new “BA Test Kitchen” uploads. She doesn’t regularly read the website or magazine, but has the “notification bell” turned on for its YouTube channel.

Both series have found a way to interact with audiences in a new and engaging way that isn’t shouting ADVERTISEMENT from the rooftops. Content from brands that is simple, timely, unique and engaging will likely be a success with audiences, and it doesn’t hurt that it will also increase revenue.

To end, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. According to Forrester Digital Analyst Dr. James McQuivey, a single minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

Photo credit: First We feast