BBC is the world’s leading public service broadcaster, boasting several prominent television channels and an expansive digital video catalog, which includes 10 YouTube programmes for children such as the popular series CBeebies and Blue Peter.
With its video presence growing rapidly in the kids’ space, how does the UK-based broadcaster create a successful YouTube content strategy, as well as find influencers who complement their brand?
We sat down with Mark Denby, YouTube and Influencers Lead at BBC, in a recent webinar to discuss these questions in detail.
Here’s what he had to say!
Make Data a Key Part of Your Strategy
Data informs everything BBC does for its children’s content, right down to what type of thumbnails to use, the best upload times, and viewership retention and trends. All these data points help steer creative brainstorms.
In fact, the company was able to launch a new YouTube channel called Bedtime Stories that was partially inspired by Tubular’s Made for Kids report, which identified the category “fairy tales” as a white space opportunity within the realm of children’s entertainment on YouTube.
“In today’s world, you shouldn’t be totally led by data, because you’d end up making lowest common denominator, click-bait content,” Denby explained. “We’ve got to balance that by giving the right kind of content but optimizing it — marrying the creativity of what’s right from a tone of voice point of view and what’s right for delivering content for the audiences but making it as optimized as possible by adding the extra frame of data on top of our creative decisions.”
Marry Creative and Insights When Choosing Influencers
In a similar vein, Denby said his team also rely on insights when trying to scout and decide which social talent to work with on new content. Essentially, they validate hunches and creative ideas about influencers via data.
As an example, Denby said if BBC Children wanted to create a new gaming kids’ show, they would use services like Tubular to find UK-based gaming creators who have a predominantly UK-based audience. Being able to look at that underlying audience data can be a main factor in deciding which talent to work with.
Denby said they also ask important questions about selected influencers. “First and foremost, it’s always ‘Are they right?’ Do they have the right attributes, from tone of voice to point of view? Are they on brand for kids? Do they have the right interests and specialisms for the particular content we’re going to do with them?”
Use YouTube to Push Attention to Another Medium
While you want to give value to audiences on the platforms they’re on, it’s important to consider your entire brand’s ecosystem. This is especially true when you own and operate a video medium like a streaming platform, as BBC does with its iPlayer service.
In this sense, Denby said BBC Children views YouTube as just one part of a funnel that drives not only brand loyalty and awareness, but also pushes attention to iPlayer. He believes other media companies with their own platforms should do the same.
“When we’re thinking about our content strategy, we’re always thinking about how to bring people back and building attribution,” Denby explained. “That’s not to say that we think of YouTube as purely a marketing platform. But we look at the content ecosystem… and wherever possible, as well as providing value on the platform [audiences] are on, we think about how we use YouTube as the funnel, how we’re peaking interest in going to watch the full series on BBC iPlayer.”
Want to hear more strategies that could boost your kids’ content?