YouTube has been on a roll promoting its top stars on everything from billboard advertisements to TV spots. And, it's trying to take center stage at this year's VidCon, where it hopes showcase just how much having one of these online influencers on a campaign can help a brand.
In the past five years, VidCon has grown from 1,400 attendees to more than 18,000 industry members and fans. YouTube wants marketers to experience the crazy fanaticism firsthand and will be providing customized tours of the online video conference and hosting fireside chats with its leading creators including Grace Helbig, Bethany Mota and iJustine. It also plans to hosting a brand session with Taco Bell, where the fast food chain will discuss its YouTube strategy.
"Interest in VidCon mirrors the growing interest and engagement we're seeing on YouTube from brands—YouTube has now become a core part of our clients' marketing strategies. And their content is clearly resonating—the top 500 brands grew their average monthly views by nearly 70 percent over the past year," a Google spokesperson explained.
Brands have historically been skeptical about advertising on YouTube, due to the rapid proliferation of content—not all of which is exactly prime material. To further convince marketers to jump onboard, it unveiled Google Preferred at this year's Brandcast presentation. The program allows brands to advertise on the top 1 and 5 percent of YouTube videos.
Google is hoping that by holding marketer's hands throughout the conference, they'll start believing in the video network and buy into its Brand Partner Program and the Google Brand Lab, training and workshops that teach brands about the tools the Silicon Valley-based company can provide them.
"The video landscape is evolving at break-neck speed, but it's not just about format or even content. Today it's just as much about as how the content delivered, because that often sets a distinct context that could bring greater meaning to your content or potentially work against it. VidCon is a fantastic opportunity to meet and be inspired by those who are helping to reframe what video should mean for brands," Roshen Mathew, AT&T's executive director of emerging media, said.