Spicing up a video with a branded introduction can make its identification clearer and link video marketing materials to larger campaigns.

Running a successful content marketing campaign on the semantic web means being conscious of branding. The more Google and other search engines are able to recognize a company’s content as part of a unified entity, the better they’ll perform in search.

But branding isn’t just about following SEO best practices. It also helps users understand the connection between different types of media that companies publish. And with content dispersal set to maximum spread, a unified approach is necessary. That’s the thinking behind YouTube’s latest marketing feature: intro videos.

Use video to introduce yourself

Companies that run branded YouTube channels can upload three-minute intros that precede their own videos. The idea is that they’ll remind viewers what they’re watching and connect visual content with a larger campaign on other parts of the web. These intro videos can be applied retroactively to any videos on a channel, or changed at any time. That way, companies can accommodate current brand initiatives as well as future strategies. The intros won’t be listed as videos users can watch, but they will display between videos in a playlist, or before any individual video on a channel.

The intros won’t be listed as videos users can watch, but they will display between videos in a playlist, or before any individual video on a channel.

Before video marketers start thinking about advertising applications, they should understand YouTube won’t allow them to be used as third-party advertisements or sponsorships. They’re entirely meant to give videos further identification, and (as Google is YouTube’s parent company) they’re in keeping with the idea of branding as part of web marketing in general.

Get in customers’ video queues

A three-second video shown before branded videos may seem like a small component in a large marketing strategy, but they can have an oversized effect. According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau study, spending on digital content is growing and may soon outpace television. Traditional media accounted for 58 percent of advertisers video production budgets in 2012, to digital’s 42 percent, but the gap has narrowed to 51 percent for TV and 49 percent for internet video in 2014.

Online marketers can reach customers with video, in no small part because of how engaging and shareable it is. However, to stand above the increasing video noise, brands need to mark their content so it can be identified, shared and spread around an increasingly fractious and diverse web.

Alex Butzbach

Alex Butzbach

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.