The Brand ‘All-Stars’ and ‘No-Stars’ of YouTube

/ Oct 13, 2014


VideoInk recently published a report — “Earning and Owning YouTube” — in partnership with YouTube analytics and marketing intelligence company Tubular Labs on how the top brands across several key verticals — autos, gaming, luxury, beauty, and CPG — were performing on YouTube. You should read the whole thing; we worked hard on it!

But for those of you who just want some quick, key takeaways, don’t worry, we’ve got your back, too. Below are our “all-stars” and “no-stars” across all of the key verticals measured by Tubular Labs for the report.

But first, a little insight into our analysis. The crux of the report is in comparing a particular top brand’s owned-media efforts — that is, content uploaded to an official brand-owned channel — with its earned-media performance — content uploaded by users to channels not affiliated with the brand.

This, when mixed with that brand’s engagement rate (likes, comments), provides a strong view of how active and influential it is on the world’s biggest video site. The best brands performed well across both types of content — even if they had room to improve on either side — while also generating healthy engagement rates on all of the content.

The data from this report measures YouTube performance between September 3, 2013 and September 4, 2014.


All-Stars: Porsche & Honda

Porsche had the highest owned-media engagement rate (0.61%) and third-highest earned-media engagement rate (0.71%). In other words, the brand was consistently successful across both types of content. Where it’s lacking, is in how active the brand is on YouTube. Porsche ranked dead-last in number of owned and earned videos uploaded to YouTube, which means it was also last in both owned and earned views. That said, with campaigns like “Porsche 911,” and the premium nature of the brand, there is a great opportunity for Porsche to really succeed in the category — if it chooses to.

Honda, which isn’t a luxury-car brand, is in a similar boat. Ranking third in owned engagement (0.15%), the brand also was the only one to surpass 1% in earned engagement. And unlike Porsche, Honda also cleared 30 million total views in the past year, generating 71.7 million owned-media views and 261.1 earned-media views during the measurement period.

No-Star: Toyota

Toyota was first in both owned and earned views, but last in engagement — 0.06% rate on all owned content, and 0.7% on all earned content. That, in addition to the fact that Toyota is a top-10 advertiser in the US, strongly suggests that many of the views were a result of paid-media campaigns, which is effective in reaching a lot of people, but, again, is not conducive to building and retaining a fan-base on YouTube.


All-Star: “Minecraft”

Was there any surprise? Mojang’s game ranked first in owned-media engagement with 3.3%, and second in earned-media engagement with… 3.3%. That’s right, whether the content comes from Mojang, or is created by one of the game’s many fans, it’s equally engaging. The only fault we can find with “Minecraft”’s YouTube presence is how little of it is from the brand. In the measurement time period, there were only 50 official “Minecraft” videos uploaded to YouTube, altogether generating 6.7 million views. That’s far below most of the rest of the category, but we’re willing to bet that changes now that Mojang is under the Microsoft umbrella. “Minecraft” is the current, undisputed king of YouTube gaming, and it has the opportunity to get even bigger.

No-Star: N/A

Speaking of opportunities, every gaming franchise within Tubular’s top five has the opportunity to grow on YouTube. Rockstar Games, which produces and publishes the “Grand Theft Auto” games, just started using its channel as more than a haven for trailers and official promo videos. Activision (“Call of Duty”), EA Sports (“FIFA”), and Riot Games (“League of Legends”) are already expanding content strategies into formats ranging from eSports to original series. The engagement is there, the opportunity is there, and we expect the gaming category to continue succeeding on both levels in the future.


All-Star: Prada

Prada led the runway with a 1.3% engagement rate in earned media and was the second-most engaged with brand across its owned channels. Even more impressive about Prada’s performance was that it received over 10,000 engagements on its owned channels across only 23 videos — gaining the highest ratio of engagement and views per video created. As Tim Gunn would say, Prada knows how to “make it work.”

No-Star: Louis Vuitton

Despite the brand’s 46.8 million views achieved across its owned channels, we’re calling this one out for hyping the view counts, given that the total engagements barely stack up to 18,000 across 56 videos. The results are rather clear — Louis Vuitton is using its deep pockets to pump up a paid-media campaign and generate views. Aside from Louis Vuitton-owned channels, the brands earned-media engagement rate landed it the fourth spot in the category with 0.4%. Despite the low engagement, Louis Vuitton has the second highest volume of videos generated by fans — well over 8,000 in fact!


All-Star: NYX

There’s a new makeup player in town — the NYX cosmetics line. Not only did NYX top the beauty vertical with a 3.3% engagement rate in owned media, but the brand also had the best engagement given that the volume of videos it created was so little — 39. And while it tied for second in earned-media engagement, NYX’s 77,000 fan videos achieved the greatest density of engagement — 235 per video. Which is all to say, NYX is doing well (but it could do better, too).

No-Star: L’Oreal

In opposition to NYX (and the other brands we’re highlighting as All-Stars), L’Oreal boasts a high number of views, but is barren when it comes to engagements. across its owned channels. This signals that these are likely views that were bought. The brand also produced the greatest volume of videos (over 3,100) but only garnered 122,000 engagements across those videos, with a meager engagement rate of 0.07% on owned media. L’Oreal also had the lowest earned-media engagement rate at 3.2%. With those kinds of numbers, it’s a no-brainer that L’Oreal holds the no-star title in beauty. However, as we also noted in our report, the L’Oreal’s Destination Beauty channel has the potential to bring its earned and owned presence back to balance.


All-Star: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is one beverage brand that knows how to earn and own YouTube. Across the board, the top five CPG brands had rather weak engagement rates, but we marked Coca-Cola as an all-star because it was most balanced across both earned and owned media. Coke also generated the greatest number of views and engagements across the 63,000 videos uploaded by fans. Additionally, for Coke’s owned videos — all 3,500+ of them — the average number of engagements per video was nearly 200, and the average view-count was 105,000.

No-Star: Budweiser

Despite the quality of content that Budweiser is producing on its channels, the alcoholic beverage brand taps out as our CPG no-star on account of an engagement rate of 0.1% across both its owned and earned media on YouTube. Furthermore, the brand saw the least amount of fan-generated videos, more than three-times fewer than the other brands in the vertical. While the brand accumulated over 260,000 views across both earned and owned, the balance between videos uploaded, the number of views, and engagement rate was uneven. For this reason, we think Bud should be “wiser” about its YouTube presence all around.

This excerpt comes from “Earning and Owning YouTube: A Guide to Best-in-Class Brands in Auto, Beauty/Luxury, CPG, and Gaming,” which was written by Jocelyn Johnson and Sahil Patel.

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