The COVID-19 pandemic has provided some tough challenges to YouTube content creators and marketers in 2020. How do you keep your audience engaged when you can’t go to the office or even leave the house?
It’s a tough question, and what makes it even more frustrating is that there’s no better time to publish content on social media and YouTube. People are spending record amounts of time in front of screens because what else is there to do?
Some brands faltered when the pandemic shook things up, but others adapted and created some of the best YouTube marketing campaigns we’ve seen. Let’s take a look at a few.
1. Bud Light
Budweiser is a name synonymous with excellent marketing, and its Bud Light brand has continued to set the bar high with its unifying yet reserved pandemic ad.
What works so well about this ad is that it manages to stay on the sidelines of the growing political aspect of the pandemic while tapping into something we’re all feeling.
The simple ode of “We’ll meet again” is like a message from a friend. It isn’t demanding you to stay at home or wear a mask or get tested. The somewhat jovial nostalgia reminds viewers that Bud Light was an essential part of the “normal” we all want to return to—going to concerts, sporting events, bars, etc.—and it reinforces Bud Light’s image as a beer that everyone can agree on.
With a name as ubiquitous as Google’s, its a wonder this brand even needs to make ads. But they do, and they are some of most successful on YouTube. Google’s “Thank You” pandemic campaign has racked up nearly 20 million views in under a month.
This popular campaign highlights the deeds of some of the unsung heroes of modern times, such as parents and teachers. These ads use real, user-generated content to tug at the heartstrings and get a few laughs from viewers. The users are the stars of the ads, but the Google search bar appears on-screen with queries such as “how to teach from home” and “how to fix a bad haircut.”
Heartwarming and disarming, Google uses real people to show that we’re all dealing with the same problems and that we’re all using Google to find answers.
The streetwear and sneaker vendor (and pop culture blog) Complex was lucky to nail one of the most popular YouTube videos of the year just days before COVID-19 touched down in America—and just before it launched its new sneaker app.
By enlisting the help of A-list celebs Will Smith and Martin Lawrence (on the press trail for their new movie Bad Boys for Life), Complex added some serious clout to their claim of being a sneaker authority.
Not only are Smith and Lawrence cultural icons, but they’re also part of the sneaker history. Complex honed in on this in their short video as they go sneaker shopping with the two stars and talk sneakers the whole time. No chit-chat, no small talk—they didn’t even talk about the new movie. Complex understood its audience and gave them what they wanted, which is why the video scored 7.5M views and nearly 10k comments.
Enlisting celebrities to help you market doesn’t always go well, especially when doing an interview. Complex showed that in 2020, your audience won’t buy a simple celebrity endorsement. You have to demonstrate that you know your niche.
4. Gym Source
Behemoths like Google and Anheuser-Busch and massive celebrities like Will Smith might leave smaller marketers feeling overwhelmed in 2020. But smaller firms have just as much to gain as the big guys—and maybe even more. With the big guys unable to access film studios and sets to produce high-quality content, the playing field has been evened unlike ever before.
The fitness equipment retailer Gym Source is not a small brand, but with less than 1000 subscribers on YouTube, they needed to pick up the pace. They did just that with their #YourHomeYourGymChallenge ad campaign.
This viral-style, upbeat collection of videos challenges viewers to stay fit and turn any space into a gym while stay-at-home orders are in effect.
The videos are made using footage of active people, overlaid text, and upbeat music. They could have been produced on a single laptop with stock footage. But the mix of inspiration and fear of pandemic weight gain put Gym Source’s ads on par with heavyweights like Peloton and boosted traffic to their site by 150%.
2020 is a unique time for YouTube marketers. But it certainly isn’t lacking in opportunities for firms big and small. By using tactics such as user-generated content, stock video, green screen video, and live streams, marketers still have a well-stocked tool belt for content creation. It may be a while before things go back to “normal,” so it’s not too late to learn from the best and start your own YouTube marketing campaign now.
Looking to upscale your YouTube marketing campaigns and churn out the maximum ROI? Then you are in the right place. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to understand the right time, right targeting, the right content type and make everything right about your campaign.
The content marketing team at Vidooly publishes articles and blogs on current and relevant online video industry related news.