The landscape of content marketing is rapidly evolving, and video is at the forefront of this transformation. As consumers increasingly dedicate their time to platforms like YouTube and TikTok, brands need to develop a video marketing strategy that resonates with younger generations. And the best news? It’s a very affordable digital marketing option for small businesses!
Recent insights from YouTube shed light on the prominent trends that are shaping the future of video marketing. By understanding these trends, we can gain valuable insights into the direction in which YouTube and video marketing are headed – and keep your business driving sales and engagement!
YouTube: A crucial channel for consumers
The first and foremost takeaway is that YouTube is a vital channel for reaching consumers. In fact, 73% of consumers say they prefer to watch a short video rather than read an article, look at website text content, or view an infographic. Neglecting this platform means missing out on a significant opportunity to maximise visibility where it matters most!
As early as 2016, 68% of YouTube users were already relying on video content to aid their purchasing decisions. Today, 88% of people have been convinced to buy a product/service after watching a brand’s video! It’s become the go-to platform for product reviews, unboxing videos, travel inspiration, buyer guides, and a plethora of content that influences consumer choices.
Consumers are exploring niche interests
Recent insights reveal that YouTube has become a platform for individuals to delve into their specific interests, no matter how niche they may be. Consequently, this presents an opportunity for brands and advertisers to connect with audiences that are primed to act.
A survey conducted by Google in October 2022 found that 72% of respondents use YouTube to explore their interests and passions. Another survey revealed that 55% of Gen Z individuals watch content on YouTube that nobody else they know finds interesting.
An Ipsos survey further supports this trend, indicating that 65% of Gen Z believes personally relevant content is more important than the content that enjoys broader popularity.
YouTube allows people to freely explore their own interests without concerning themselves with peer approval or the opinions of others. Marketers can tap into these niche interests to create highly relevant messages. Rather than casting a wide net with their video and advertising strategies, narrowing down on specific interests can yield better results on YouTube.
Short-form video continues to dominate
Short-form video has taken centre stage across various platforms, playing an increasingly significant role in the consumer journey. While Snapchat was among the early pioneers, TikTok has emerged as the dominant name in short-form video today. Observing how these companies excel at video marketing on TikTok provides valuable insights.
The rise of TikTok has prompted other platforms, including Instagram, to prioritise short-form video content. YouTube is no exception, with its own format called YouTube Shorts amassing over 150 billion monthly users and 30 billion daily views.
To support creators, YouTube has introduced a new monetisation system specifically for Shorts, enabling them to earn from their content.
Initially, spontaneous, surprising clips garnered the most attention in the short-form video realm. However, popular creators have managed to replicate this sense of spontaneity by incorporating more scripted and choreographed productions.
Google emphasises that the best short-form videos leverage the format’s strengths and encourage repeated viewership.
But long-form video has significant benefits
Although short-form video is currently in the spotlight, long-form video content is carving out a new role in the consumer journey. Despite assumptions that attention spans are shrinking, video marketing data indicates that long-form content remains crucial. In fact, Google insights highlight a significant rise in demand for long-form video content.
While short-form video excels at the initial discovery stage of the consumer journey, longer videos take the lead during the research and comparison stages, particularly when consumers are in the process of making purchasing decisions.
Google’s own research found that 59% of Gen Z individuals watch longer versions of videos they discover on short-form video apps.
For brands targeting this demographic, it is crucial to have a video marketing strategy that encompasses both short-form and long-form content. As more of Gen Z matures as consumers, this approach will become increasingly important for all demographics, not just younger individuals.
Tapping into YouTube communities to drive sales and engagement
One of the greatest strengths of YouTube lies in its ability to foster communities. YouTube channels have the power to build highly engaged communities with loyal fans who contribute to further growth through meaningful interactions. These interactions go beyond mere vanity metrics and drive real passion within these communities.
YouTube excels at catering to niche topics, interests, and cultural movements, making it a hub for communities and sub-communities centred around almost any subject. Understanding and valuing these online communities is crucial for successful marketing strategies.
By delving deeper into your target audience’s interests and embracing niche communities, you can create a strong presence on YouTube. Engaged communities amplify your message, advocate for your brand, and send positive signals to YouTube’s algorithm. Comments, likes, subscriptions, and memberships all contribute to driving growth.
As Google states, “Find ways to encourage participation from online groups with specific personal interests and lean into them. By doing so, you can create brand moments with greater impact and meaning.”
Be inspired by the top YouTube videos and ads of 2022
To gain inspiration and insights into successful YouTube campaigns, it is valuable to explore the top trending videos and ads from the previous year. The “2022: A Year on YouTube” page showcases the most popular videos in Australia, providing a sense of what captures people’s interest on the platform.
Analysing topics relevant to your target audience can help identify video types that drive the most engagement. When examining these videos, pay attention to the production style. Are they serious and professional, or more spontaneous and personal? This can provide insights into the preferences of YouTube viewers.
Additionally, exploring the top Shorts of 2022 is crucial, as this format has gained significant traction. Creating Shorts requires a different stylistic approach compared to full-length videos. Even if you repurpose long-form content for Shorts, you’ll need to get creative with editing to match the specific feel and tone expected from this format.
Lastly, reviewing the top YouTube advertising campaigns on the Ads leader board allows you to observe the most-viewed ads of the year. By analysing these successful campaigns, you can identify trends that resonate with your target audience. Google emphasises that humour and relatable imperfections are appealing characteristics of top-performing YouTube ads.
To align with the expectations of Millennials and Gen Z, consider moving away from a traditional corporate feel and adopt a more casual and personal approach that showcases the human side of your brand. Remember that YouTube is an entertainment channel first, so find ways to inform your audience in a way that’s fresh, exciting, and new.
Given that Millennials and Gen Z are becoming the majority share of consumers, it is crucial for your business to adapt its approach. Your video marketing strategy is an excellent avenue to embrace these changes and effectively engage with your audience!
Accessible, affordable video marketing for small businesses
At Digital Freak, we understand Melbourne’s small businesses – because we are one! We’re just as much a part of the community as you are, and we want to help bring customers to your door to experience what you’ve got to offer. And that includes affordable video marketing and YouTube marketing!
We’re a no-nonsense, affordable digital marketing company (although we have a sense of humour!) with a proven record in helping businesses just like yours, from law firms, IT companies and orthodontists to gin distilleries, interior designers, and more! Chat with us today for a FREE assessment and let us show you a new way to do digital.