Video content is an important component of social media marketing plans and YouTube is changing to make publishing easier and smarter.

People are watching more online video content, and some of the biggest brands are taking notice. Search Engine Watch recently published a case study covering the success of Intel’s YouTube contests, which asked consumers to post their own time lapse photography and slow-motion videography on the MyIntelEdge brand Channel.

Hanging in the balance was $50,000 for the winners of 18 weekly photography contests and three video competitions. At stake for the company was the launch of its new Ultrabook product category that combines the best features of tablets and lightweight laptops. It became obvious that Intel had underestimated the YouTube community when it was nearing its end-goals just three weeks after the contests’ launch. Ultimately, the efforts helped the brand engage its target audience and boost awareness.

Online video consumption continues to rise – on YouTube alone, consumers watch 6 billion hours of video every month. Brafton recently reported this is a 50 percent lift in video content consumption year-over-year.

To further the momentum created by its impressive growth performance, YouTube has announced a number of changes to its services, and both consumers and brands will benefit. A recent post on the site’s YouTube Creator blog reported that publishers will now get upload notification emails and have more control over their sharing and posting. These changes are expected to trim back unnecessary wait times and provide publishers with more privacy before their videos go live.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.