Harnessing the power of YouTube



YouTube presents a huge opportunity but only if you know how to harness its power, says Phil Lloyd, Chief Marketing Officer at www.​carwow​.co.uk. Here he outlines 5 tips carwow learned building the YouTube presence from 0 to the biggest motoring channel in the world, with over 40 million views and approaching 2.5 million subscribers.


Learn the rules to play the game 


Whilst Youtube is undoubtedly a space to be creative and people will always have the capacity to surprise, you need to think like a scientist when it comes to making YouTube work hard for you. Study others, pay attention to the algorithm and make sure you work with it and not against it. Simple changes, from optimising your thumbnail image, to the amount of times you post, can have a big impact on factors from how many times you appear in people’s feed to where you are on the list.


Be obsessed


 You can never be too informed about viewer behaviour, if viewers are abandoning the video then look at why, keep a feedback loop going, review what they do next, which videos drive the most traffic, what do those viewers do when they hit the site? Know the type of viewer you want to attract and make sure the videos serve them – at carwow we’re obsessed with our customers and what they want and this drives our strategy across all channels.


Be authentic and allow editorial freedom 


Our editorial director and YouTube presenter Mat Watson has complete autonomy to express his views and reviews in an utterly transparent way and we don’t crowd him with brand guidelines or insist he pulls punches. Whilst he is on the payroll and is the face of our branded You tube channel, he also represents our real customers. The manufacturers we work with respect and recognise this, his subscribers tune in for this, and he has regular feedback about his honesty and authenticity.


Where you can, avoid ‘shop talk’ and obvious commercial partnerships 


Trust that your viewers will engage enough with your content to give your service or product a chance if they ever need it, and concentrate on building a good, credible relationship. Avoid making commercial partnerships that will likely contradict with viewers’ lived experiences or involve any kind of change to the tone of your content. Viewers are not stupid, a quick look at numbers on advertorial posts versus normal posts on any influencer channel will demonstrate that the audience can pick that up from a mile away. ​Similarly, don’t ever put TV ads in your stream – this is not an out and out marketing play and adds no value for the viewer.




There aren’t any shortcuts to building the best audience of genuinely engaged subscribers you can have. Avoid the common traps of gimmicks, buying followers and artificially inflating them through competition. If you are creating quality content, operating a constant feedback loop of test and learn on what your audience wants, and keeping an eye on your stats then you’ll earn the followers organically, and they are the ones that you want. Make sure you invest in the right places, but be clear that you are planning in terms of years, not months – whilst there will be exceptions to the rules, for the majority of brands wanting success on social then it is a long game. Believe in the long term power of what you’re doing, don’t give up after a month because something ‘hasn’t given any traffic’.


Before embarking on any social media strategy you need to ask yourself are you ready to commit?


By Phil Lloyd, Chief Marketing Officer at www.carwow.co.uk


Phil Lloyd is the Chief Marketing Officer at www.carwow.co.uk, and has success across high growth, start-up businesses and large consumer brands. He’s a passionate believer in the power of creativity and difference to fuel commercial growth in the short and long term. He has previously worked with the Virgin Group, Paddy Power, Betfair, Snatch Inc in both London and San Francisco. He has spoken at SXSW, AdWeekEurope and has been featured in Campaign, CMO.com and CNBC.

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