When did you last see a Facebook feed without video; or YouTube clips made of just pics? The reality is, you got all kinds of video: UGC video, branded video, influencer video - truly, there are so many your head starts to go round!
If the amount of video out there is enough for millions of hours of watch time, how the heck are brands supposed to stand out and fight for a place under the sun?
The answer is simple: brands can stand out by scaling their video creation, or, in other words, making web series. Think about it, branded web series work by telling the story of your brand to your audiences from different angles - something that’s pretty hard to achieve using just one video.
All the talk aside, let’s see some real-life examples of branded video series from marketing gurus as well as smaller fishes - here are our 8 picks:
1. Buzzfeed’s Tasty
Calling Tasty one of the biggest online publishers will be an understatement; it’s more of a revolutionary one. Being one of the pioneers in short-form video creation, as well as of the specific style and way videos are shot (view from top), they’ve really set the tone for the entire industry. Today, Tasty is in the driver’s seat and brings Buzzfeed 35% of all its video views.
If you peek into their Facebook page, you’ll see several cooking videos posted every day, giving as much as 22.8M monthly views (on average), driving better performance than Buzzfeed’s main Facebook page.
That’s no surprise, since Tasty branded video cooking series have got 75M Facebook fans (now 77M) and 1.8M subscribers on YouTube. And, it’s with the help of the branded video content at scale that Buzzfeed recently wrapped all its cooking videos into a real, printed book called The Tasty book.
Here’s one of such videos, posted just 15 hours ago (at the time of writing); and it already has 11M views, 50K comments and 305K reactions. Guess all that chocolate is really in sync with the holiday spirit, eh?:)
If you want to create videos at scale, but don’t know where to start - here’s an idea: keeping up with the tune of the above video, try and make a bunch of videos displaying your product from the top view, showing people ways in which it can be used.
2. Nifty’s Online Web Series
Another brainchild for Buzzfeed to be proud of:) Joining Buzzfeed’s Tasty short-form cooking videos, Nifty answers the craving for - in Nifty’s words: “money-saving hacks and DIYs for upgrading your home and life that will have you saying, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’”, uniting their branded content web series under one roof - home. It seems that they’ve got a video for every topic: candles, zen bottles, wooden crates, decorations, etc.
To say that Nifty’s branded web series are popular is not to say anything at all: the engagement around their branded videos is high in the sky, with 100K likes, 4M views and thousands of comments (and that’s on average).
Keeping up with the holiday spirit again (and with gift ideas), here’s one of their latest videos that already has 7.3M views (at the time of writing):
Creating videos at scale, featuring ways your products can be used in different DIY scenarios could be an awesome start!
Not there yet? See 3 more reasons to create branded videos.
3. “Will It Blend?” Blendtec’s Branded Video Web Series
It is those ‘Blender-eats-everything’ branded web video series that brought “Will it blend?” huge success: after publishing their first 186 branded videos both on YouTube and on their website, Blendtec got over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and a 700% increase in retail sales. Considering that their primary objective was to boost brand awareness with these videos, that’s an excellent job. What can I say, branded web series do work in unexpected ways:)
Ten years later they continue to create branded video at scale like bees produce honey. Over the years, they’ve tested anything and everything to prove their blender is the strongest out there: Iphones, Rubik's Cube, Nike shoes and so on...but it never gets old! The videos are bursting with fun, which is a great way to get a word out about a product as ordinary as a blender.
Their YouTube channel still posts the “Will it blend?” video series, along with several other related branded web video series like recipes . Here’s one video posted on YouTube that shows the top 10 things ever blended (the amount of comments and engagement speaks for itself):
Why “Will it blend?” videos are such a hit? Well, they seem to tell a story - and like every best branded web series - they push for authenticity rather than scream marketing. But it is more than just about telling a story and being authentic - like with everything that answers the question “What if?” - they push your curiosity off the charts.
Next time you aim your marketing radar towards making a branded web series, we suggest to take the above three points in mind for best results.
In case you have already thought about it, but are yet to make the first step (which is always the hardest thing to do:), read our latest eBook: 8 ways to bring marketing results using videos at scale.
4. MAC Cosmetics
When you look at MAC’s YouTube page one word comes to mind: diversity. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the branded videos they create (and that’s several a month), give you the feeling that makeup is capable to work on any face type and skin structure. The thing is, there’s no way to convey that feeling with just one video, and that’s why...
You got it all there: how-to tutorials, celebrity makeup collections, holiday makeup - you name it.
If there is a marketing takeaway here that is brand-worthy it is that brands should try scaling video production to show their products from different angles - that their products work for different people.
But here’s how MAC does it with Fatima Thomas, Senior makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics:
Both of these videos are a great example of branded online video series, with over 1M views combined and lively discussions from MAC fans (in which, MAC Cosmetics seems to actively participate.)
5. Refinery29 Video Web Series
So, what is Refinery29? For those of you who don’t know it is (and we’re quoting Refinery29 here): “a modern woman's destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life.” So far so good, but how do you help women live that kind of life? Branded web series are the answer for these guys, and we agree.
What can be a better way to talk about challenges, life hacks and topics important to women (and, let’s face it, not only them) then video? Guess that’s why the publisher is also among those that post tens of videos a month.
If you look at their Facebook engagement scores, they usually flow around several hundreds and thousands of likes, views (this can come to millions), general reactions and comments.
But Refinery29 is not just about hair tricks, cakes and lash extension online videos - it is so much more. The publisher even made a series of web videos about immigration, and how it saves lives while showing immigrants (women in focus) as powerful contributors to community:
As Vat19, an online store for unusual and fun gifts, puts it, they live by two rules:
- “If [they] sell a product, it's got to be curiously awesome.”
- “Show how the product works with awesome pictures and awesome videos.”
Pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you agree? So it is true, every product they have gets a video and, as they say, it’s the way for them to ensure customers understand what they’re getting + a smile on their face. Needless to say, it works!
Vat19’s YouTube is full of that out-of-the-ordinary stuff and, after watching a video, you find yourself saying: “I have to get it to my ___[fill in the blank]______”.
Vat19 practically lives off creating branded video at scale: we counted at least 4 videos a week that are professional, yet fun in unexpected ways.
A great example is a branded product video posted just 3 days ago (at the time of writing) and it already has more than 400,000 views:
Can I be honest? After watching this video I wanted Catchoo soo bad, I actually went on the web to look for it and run some team tournaments at lunch hour.
For your branded video series to be as catchy as they can be, don’t forget to make them fun - something that will generate viral exposure for your products and new sales on your website.
7. Toshiba Field Testing Branded Video Web Series
Remember we talked about “Will it blend?”? Well, Toshiba has taken a similar approach to its products: they’ve used branded video content series to show the world their laptops and TVs can withstand anything.
As much as Toshiba did go the same path as “Will it blend?”, they’ve shown their audiences something different as well.
Part of the success of the branded video series lies in the fact that Toshiba actually included field test videos that failed, showing their audiences how real and genuine their products (a.k.a it’s not a super computer) and tests are.
Here’s what I mean:
But aside from that, there were some definite funny and unexpected videos in the branded web series, like testing the drool of a dog on Toshiba:
Overall, these branded videos got Toshiba the attention they need from big publishers and social media platforms like Adweek and Pinterest. What’s more, the series actually encouraged Toshiba fans to submit testing ideas and tell their own Toshiba challenges - a great way to engage with communities, don’t you think?
Remember we talked about authenticity? When making your own branded video content at scale, it may be wise to include fails too in order to look even more authentic.
8. A Little Extra From Taco Bell
Come on, join the Joyride! Joyride - that’s the name of the first episode of Taco Bell’s Taco Tales branded video web series, which came to life on December 8, 2016.
Here it is with it’s 696,715 (at the time of...) views in just about 5 days:
This online video series promises something big! As you can see Taco Bell actually made it into a series of episodes (just like real TV series).
What’s interesting is that at the end of the first episode they tell what’s to come in the next episode to keep the interest boiling - something that makes them very different from all the above brands (another tip to take with you if you want to start scaling video production). Heck, they even promise you a new episode every Thursday:)
So, that covers it all right! Hopefully, now you’re fully armed with ideas on where to take your branded videos, and we’d be happy to help with every step down the road.