What Can We Learn From Telemundo’s Killer Year on YouTube?

Valerie Hoke
December 9, 2015

Suelta La Sopa is one big personality party. (Facebook)

Let’s be honest: We all get caught up in thinking of social media success in terms of Facebook likes and Twitter followers. We often forget to include YouTube as a primary social platform when we list the networks most crucial to social success.

If there’s one brand that’s mastered the art of not forgetting to set a place at the table for our favorite Uncle YouTube, it’s Telemundo. As a network beneath the NBCUniversal umbrella since 1954, Telemundo is one of the largest worldwide providers of Spanish-language programming both on television and in digital media. And simply put, they’re winning the YouTube game.

At the end of a killer year (460 million views, anyone?), we’ve broken down five key lessons we can take away from Telemundo’s YouTube strategy. Because who doesn’t want to dominate the video content game?  

  1. Exclusive video should be exactly that: exclusive.

Fact: People loooooooove exclusive interviews.

Dedicated TV fans will seek out every bit of related media they can find. That’s why those who care enough to follow Telemundo’s social channels are rewarded with video access that can’t be found by simply tuning in every week. Take Telemundo favorite El Señor de los Cielos (The Lord of the Skies), a dramatic telenovela about wanted drug dealer Aurelio Casillas. The video above is one in a promotional series called “Los Secretos de El Señor de los Cielos 3” that features behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast. Each video in the 15-part series averages somewhere around 100,000 views, some with as many as 600,000, and that level of dedication to one particular interview series says a lot about the greater Telemundo YouTube presence as a whole.

These days, audiences don’t just care about what happens on the show: They care about the personalities of the show. Between behind-the-scenes access, cast interviews, deleted scenes, and alternate takes, the video possibilities for a television show or network are endless.

  1. Multiple channels are a great idea if it makes sense for your brand.

What kind of Telemundo do you want? Take your pick.

Telemundo is the perfect example of a brand that calls for multiple channels within its higher structure. In addition to the main network’s YouTube account, Telemundo maintains 10+ channels for its individual shows and audience groups, like Mujer de Hoy (Woman of Today), Noticias (News), and Entretenimiento (Entertainment). Not only does this structure allow sharing more niche videos with audiences that have practically curated themselves, but it also amounts to a greater number of total followers. According to Digiday,

Between January 1 and October 31, all [Telemundo YouTube] channels combined to add 1.1 million subscribers, 761 million views and 4.58 billion minutes of watch time. In total, all channels combine to reach 2 million subscribers on YouTube.

That’s great, but if your brand’s voice doesn’t call for such a wide range of channels, don’t force it.

  1. Bilingual messaging can—and should—be a game-changer.

One of Telemundo’s most lauded YouTube habits is its regular inclusion of both English and Spanish-language summaries of its most popular shows. While this might just seem like a standard video strategy to promote and recap a television show, it’s a much-needed reminder that we live in a transnational, multilingual world. No audience is comprised of a single demographic, and we must view this not as a challenge, but as an opportunity to expand the purpose and distribution of our digital efforts.

  1. Partnerships can be a great way to reach larger audiences.


Last year, Telemundo teamed up with Mashable to distribute popular, often bilingual content to Telemundo’s digital audiences, specifically via #ElPulso, a “Spanish-language tech hub.” The deal certainly helps Mashable reach Spanish-speaking readers and viewers who may not necessarily have been tuned into their social channels before, but it also sends a strong message that Telemundo is a thought leader in the world of Spanish-speaking media.  

  1. Video is anyone’s game.

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A video posted by @telemundo on

These guys know when a video belongs on Instagram, not YouTube.

There was a time when YouTube was the go-to platform for pretty much any video a brand wanted to share. That’s not even close to being the case anymore. With the ease of sharing a video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat, there’s no reason for a digital strategy team to treat YouTube as the only option when it comes to video messaging. In fact, this creates an even bigger challenge for strategists, because having an idea for a video isn’t enough anymore. Now, choosing a platform is as important to your digital strategy as the video itself.

Here’s our TL;DR takeaway: Don’t be so quick to disregard YouTube as a crucial part of your social media strategy in favor of Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re providing your audience with captivating videos and the organization of your channel(s) is user-friendly, you’ll be racking up those YouTube stats in no time. Take a page from Telemundo’s book and think about how your digital strategy can find a home on YouTube.