“In the US alone, there are an estimated 77 million millennial digital viewers in 2015, representing more than 92% of all US millennial users,” said Gabe Gordon of Reach Agency.
In addition, he said, many of these viewers are heavily engaged with digital videos, watching on average 10 hours and 15 minutes in March on YouTube alone.
While this may sound like a lot of time, it isn’t when compared to the near endless amount of fresh content from which viewers can choose. This means for a digital video campaign to cut through the clutter and actually capture viewers’ attention, the content must be something they would watch organically, Gordon said.
“Entertainment-centric” cooking shows, like Nestle Toll House’s recently launched Bake My Day web series, are a strong example of the type of content digital viewers already watch and of which they want more, Gordon said.
“Since Bake My Day has launched a little over a month ago, the series episodes have received more than 282,000 views. The channel has also seen an increase in subscribers of over 76% in the last month” with many viewers watching the entire show, Gordon said.
Recruit well-recognized, respected talent
A key element of the 11-episode Bake My Day series’ initial success is that it features “great talent in Ashley Adams [who] had an established audience” before this series launched that she could bring to the table, Gordon said. Specifically, he noted that Adam’s also co-stars in “Feast of Fiction,” another YouTube cooking show with more than 350,000 subscribers.
In the Bake My Day series, Adams engages with viewers in a fun, lively manner with recipe demonstrations, tips and life hacks that are relevant to young viewers, according to Reach.
For example, in the series’ most recent episode, “The Science of Baking,” which launched Oct. 21, Adams and special guest Derek Muller of the science and engineering YouTube channel Veritasuim, answer questions about the science of baking and show tips on how to prevent lumpy batter and air pockets in baked goods.
The episode also prominently features Nestle Toll House products, giving the brand significant, constant exposure that does not distract from the videos’ content or entertainment value. This leaves viewers with a positive impression of the products and brand.
Proper platform selection
Choosing the correct platform for digital content also is essential to the success of web videos, Gordon said.
“Digital video’s success is dependent on distribution, each platform has a different audience and it is very important to make sure the platform is a fit for your target audience,” Gordon said. “That’s both a pro and a con of digital videos: It allows you to tightly target your audience, but if you use the wrong platform you might miss your audience entirely.”
He explained that Reach and Nestle Toll House collaboratively decided on YouTube for the service because connected viewers are watching, searching for and engaging with food content on YouTube. Likewise, YouTube reaches 81.2% of Internet users in the US and on mobile it draws more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the US, Gordon said.
“Discovery also is important” for a web series’ success and the best way to do that for digital videos, like Bake My Day, is to spread the word through trusted sources, such as blogs, influencers and friends’ social feeds, and not just media units, Gordon said.
The best way to do this is by creating truly good content, that does not strike viewers as false or smack of traditional advertising campaigns, he said.
“Every element of distribution needs to be thought of as a content series, not an ad campaign,” he said.