YouTube – The American video-sharing website was founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. It has been 12 glorious years for YouTube as it grew to its leading position in the video content social media space, home to billions of videos covering any topic under the sun.
Here are some even more impressive statistics about YouTube that shows why and how it is dominating the video social media platform provider.
- Over a billion users – almost one-third of all people on the Internet
- Billions of views generated each day
- Reaches more 18 – 49-year-olds audience than any cable network in the US
- Local versions launched in more than 88 countries
- Supports 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population)
Comparing YouTube to the other key social media platforms, it is easy to see why it has remained and will continue dominating the video content space.
An extremely visual platform that supports a multiple types of content from images to videos, boomerangs, gifs and IG stories. However, users generally have a shorter attention span (per post) which does not work the best for video content. There are also limitations on video length.
It has everything, from news to gossip articles, photo albums, memes, long wordy updates and videos. Since it has so much content, those who watch videos there do it more casually. Hence, it is not the easiest platform on which to get a user to commit over 10 minutes on a single post.
Needless to say, it focuses solely on in-the-moment disappearing content rather than specially curated/created video content.
Started off as a word (short text update)-centric platform, users on Twitter are seeing more visual additions to their tweets but they are pretty much limited to simply photo collage/albums or gifs and short videos.
As a video sharing platform, viewers on YouTube are accustomed to a dedicated video consumption experience. Over the years, as more creators and content come on board, users log on to YouTube expecting to spend an average of 25 minutes watching different videos such as vlogs, music videos, reviews and many more.
Digital and social media spaces are quickly dominating the market right now, for brands and for consumers. Brands need to choose the most effective and relevant platform given its marketing budget. Influencers face the same choice as well–choosing the most suitable platform for themselves given their limited time and resources.
Here, we are sharing 4 reasons why brands and influencers should definitely keep YouTube as one of their key platforms for consideration.
1. Creativity without limitations
The restricted video length and the accompanying short attention span of users on other platforms may severely limit the types of videos posted – vlogs have to be shortened and only highlights can be featured, while promotional or tutorial videos can only show that much of a fast forwarded scene.
YouTube, on the other hand, offers brands and influencers endless possibilities to express their creativity without limitations on the video length. While one may start worrying that a long video may cause viewers to lose interest quickly, YouTube offers its viewers the possibility of selecting the length of the video they prefer to watch (below 4 mins, above 20 mins). However, on average, YouTube viewers are very much willing to spend hours on the app/website itself.
Longer videos allow influencers to share vlogs documenting snippets of their daily lives or places of attraction they visited in their recent trips. Longer videos allow influencers to go in depth, even going so far as to be able to share their thoughts on every single piece of their a fashion haul or monthly favorite.
Longer videos allow brands to share exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews or even factory/production tour. This allows brands to build a stronger relationship with consumers and allows them to understand the brand better, beyond what is commonly known and seen outside.
2. YouTube community
YouTube is bringing user engagement on its platform further by introducing the brand new community tab on the channel. Think of YouTube Community as something like the newsfeed and personal update we see on Facebook and Instagram.
Community provides content creators on YouTube a new and simple way to engage with their viewers/ subscribers, allowing them to express themselves better beyond that just the video they produce. Creators can now post text updates, start live videos, share images, animated GIFs and many more. Not only can they share updates on their latest content, there is also a poll feature that allows creators to seek viewers’ opinions on their next content.
Given that almost half of YouTube views come from mobile, YouTube is including creators’ Community updates into the Subscription feed on users’ mobile app. It is a rather lightweight way to engage fans as these updates are inserted in between uploads.
3. Higher conversion
The rise of social media and the whole concept of influencer marketing has brought out an entire industry worth millions annually. As influencers and content creator are paid for their social content/ postings, many of them are also remunerated based on the sales generated by them. To track where a paying customer came from, influencers often provide their followers/viewers with special discount quotes or unique links to the product page.
While Instagram still remains the top platform for influencer marketing, the inability to include web links in post captions limits brands’ and influencers’ efforts in closing the last gap between inspiration and actual purchase. Influencers on Instagram can only rely on #linkinbio, which, unfortunately, may not return the highest click through. The next best alternative would be the Instagram story swipe up link available for certain accounts.
Good news for brands though, shoppable posts are being launched on Instagram and that is definitely going to change the online shopping space.
YouTube, on the other hand, provides the ease of including links and thus, greatly increasing the conversion rates for both brands and content creators. It combines the best of both worlds – providing inspiration and facilitating the purchase. Take for example a 20 min make up a tutorial that wouldn’t have been possible on other platforms.
As the beauty influencer takes viewers through her daily routine, she also shares the various products that she is using and loves. With the recommendation from a beauty guru, a viewer may be inspired to look for and purchase a specific make up item that was used in the video and that is when the links included in the description box come in handy.
With the ability to input as many links as needed, this allow viewers to essentially shop along with the influencers’ video content and hence, greatly increase the click through and conversion rates.
4. Addition of paid promotion tag
With more YouTube content creators taking up paid collaboration with brands (vice versa) to create fresh video ideas for viewers, authenticity and transparency remain crucial. Getting influencers and brands to declare the compensated relationship is a common challenge for all social media platform.
Many should already know about Instagram’s paid partnership tags that were released not too long ago. However, YouTube began this even earlier. In 2016, YouTube first introduced its feature allowing content creators to declare if a video was sponsored by including the tag “Includes paid promotion” into the video.
Unfortunately, similar to Instagram, we don’t see many of these tags even for videos that were stated in the caption as #sponsored or #ad. Regardless, this is a useful feature introduced by YouTube to bring its platform ahead in terms of transparency and accountability to viewers.
Here are just 4 reasons why YouTube is definitely one platform to look out for. It has been growing and achieving tremendous results over the past years and we can only expect it to get even better! Although investing in YouTube videos may be more costly, the creative content and user engagement makes it worth every cent!