The short-form video boom has created a seemingly never-ending need for content with marketers turning to creators as well as publishers to help feed the content beast. Crayola has partnered with TheSoul Publishing this year to help it do just that.
The 120-year-old art supply brand now rolls out roughly 40 videos a month on YouTube — roughly three times what it was producing prior to the partnership — with the hopes of generating more organic viral videos to continue to grow its presence on social media. By working with TheSoul Publishing, which has brands like 5-Minute Crafts, Crayola is employing the publisher’s expertise in creating do-it-yourself and craft content for its social channels.
“It doesn’t matter if you make great content if no one ever sees it,” said Victoria Lozano, executive vice president of marketing at Crayola, of the brand’s need to partner to help reach audiences. “How do you scale it? How do you get out there? How do you make sure it reaches the maximum number of consumers in a way that’s really engaging? That’s it’s informing them about our products or inspiring the use of our products? Engaging the brand at a high level? We’ve been looking at partnerships as a way of accomplishing that.” Since employing the strategy, Crayola’s organic views have increased and watch hours have grown significantly, according to the companies, who did not immediately respond to a request for specific figures.
While Crayola has rolled out a mix of short-form and long-form videos on YouTube, TheSoul Publishing produces new content, re-edits previous social content and manages posting of said content for the brand with a focus on organic growth. The publisher’s management and production of social media was initially focused on YouTube — its “strongest channel” per Lozano, but has expanded to TikTok and Pinterest in recent months to continue to grow audiences on those platforms. The companies will continue to tweak its strategy for those latter platforms as they have more learnings.
“We’ve started a whole new business around Crayola, really,” said Patrik Wilkens, vice president operations, TheSoul Publishing, as the publisher is working with the brand like that of a creative agency. “We’re not putting Crayola products and videos on The Soul’s channel. We produce the content, and we also publish the content on Crayola’s own social media pages. All the subscribers, all the views, all the engagement that’s generated is really Crayola’s fanbase that we’re building.”
It’s unclear how much Crayola is spending on the content production or the terms of the partnership as the company declined to share budget figures. That said, Lozano did note that the company is “investing at a heavier level” in content production and that it “expect[s] that to continue to next year.” Throughout the first eight months of 2023, Crayola spent $3.9 million on advertising, up from $3 million spent during that same time in 2022, according to data from Vivvix and including paid social data from Pathmatics. Throughout 2022, Crayola spent $5.2 million on advertising, up from $4.3 in 2021, according to data from the firms.
While Crayola has three target audiences — kids, parents and educators — the content created with TheSoul Publishing aims to reach families, according to Lozano, adding that the content is meant to inspire families to make crafts together for memorable family moments.
“[Crayola’s strategy] helps them be top of mind when families are wanting to engage with this type of content or activities,” said Camila Caldas, a strategist at Mother in LA, adding that video production of this kind can be produced quickly and cheaply making it more appealing for marketers. “It seems like a great way to test quickly different approaches to product, concepts, different audience demographics.”
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