YouTube continues to be a go-to social media platform in 2022. In fact, 61% of social media users surveyed this year visited YouTube within the prior week—a larger number than any other social platform. There’s still ample opportunity for brands to engage with audiences on YouTube, but effectively doing so can be a challenge. While about half of marketers run organic content campaigns on YouTube, brands sometimes have trouble crafting content that hits the mark. Brand initiatives run the risk of coming across as stilted, salesy and inauthentic, driving consumers away.
There are steps that all brands can take to avoid creating lackluster content, however. Unsatisfied with past YouTube campaign performance, Adobe overhauled its YouTube content strategy completely. In the past, the Adobe marketing team had produced content that met their standards, but they lacked the platform-specific expertise to research what viewers wanted and to roll out content strategically. Now, the team is focused on producing the lightweight, engaging content that viewers want to see, leveraging the power of YouTube as a platform. By embracing a YouTube-first strategy, Adobe is developing a brand presence on the platform that creates value and boosts rankings.
Adobe’s YouTube strategy has valuable takeaways for any brand looking to strike the right chord with viewers. By prioritizing organic reach, relying on market research and merging creative and tactical approaches, brands will establish a foundation for driving engagement, and ROI, on YouTube.
1. Focus on Organic Reach
The Adobe marketing team’s goal was straightforward: Become the go-to resource on YouTube for tutorial content about how to use Adobe products. But their videos weren’t gaining the traction they wanted. The team realized they had been producing what they thought viewers would want to hear, but not making the most of the insights at their disposal to produce content that reached viewers efficiently. As a result, their content wasn’t getting enough exposure.
As a solution, the marketing team chose to reprioritize organic reach. Focusing on organic over paid reach has allowed the Adobe team to get a better sense of what kinds of content are a value-add for viewers. In turn, the team can make more informed decisions about the content approaches that will make Adobe a go-to educational resource on YouTube.
The shift to organic reach is helping Adobe better understand how to create valuable, entertaining brand content that vies for viewers’ attention right alongside creators’ content. Crucially, Adobe isn’t putting too much emphasis on brand initiatives: Instead, they’re creating fun, watchable content that is authentic and engaging.
2. Invest in Market Research
Before creating content itself, the Adobe marketing team conducted thorough market research using TubeBuddy. They wanted to determine what types of content would create the videos and channel ranking they wanted.
The team considered competitors’ videos and analyzed videos that were performing especially well. Using Keyword Explorer, a TubeBuddy tool for keyword optimization research, they gathered data insights about target keywords and search patterns. These findings allowed them to solidify a tactical SEO strategy rooted in facts.
Based on their market research, the team identified key opportunities with low supply and high traffic, potential videos that they already knew viewers would want to watch. By getting analytical before content creation had even begun, Adobe leveraged the full range of insights at their disposal, setting themselves up for success.
3. Unite Creativity and Strategy
Before their strategic overhaul, the marketing team at Adobe put most of their content marketing energy into the content itself. In doing so, they were generating content they believed in, but they weren’t seeing the engagement numbers they expected. And what’s the use of lovingly-crafted content if hardly anyone sees it?
The team realized where they were going wrong: They didn’t have the platform-specific experience that it takes to gain real traction on YouTube. Because building in-house expertise takes time, their efforts to inject strategy into their content weren’t focused enough to make a real difference.
Adobe worked with TubeBuddy to streamline this process, acquiring platform expertise that they were missing, including data and analytics tools. Using an upload checklist provided a simple way to see what else Adobe could be doing to succeed on YouTube. The team also used TubeBuddy to hone their keywords and SEO, and conduct experiments with A/B testing tools.
Ultimately, the Adobe team realized they couldn’t devote all of their attention when it comes to YouTube to either creative work or social strategy—they needed to balance both. By ensuring their back-end work is taken care of, the team can now create powerful content that draws attention.
All-In Strategy Pays Off
Going all in on YouTube has enabled Adobe to produce brand content on par with the engaging, entertaining content that creators make on YouTube. By focusing on organic reach, making the most of market research, and making sure back-end strategy work is taken care of, Adobe’s YouTube-first strategy is driving audience growth and engagement. Adobe’s reshaped brand presence is not only more appealing to viewers—it will also be a valuable resource to Adobe customers in the future.