30 Jul 2019 17:39 IST

YouTube can drive great results for brands

With 265 million monthly users on the video platform, brands can reach huge multilingual audiences

In the 11 years since its introduction, YouTube has shaped the internet browsing patterns of millions of users everywhere. Originally conceived as a platform for users to share amateur videos with friends, YouTube has now become a media behemoth. Today, it is the world’s second largest search engine and has 1.3 billion users across the world.

Due to its growing influence, this platform has naturally become increasingly important for brands looking to reach larger audiences and make an impact. This is especially true in India, where more people are coming online by the minute, cell phone usage numbers are on the rise and consumers are slowly but definitively moving away from traditional mediums such as print and broadcast to digital mediums like WhatsApp and, of course, YouTube.

Consumption in India

Digital adoption in India reached an inflection point in early 2016 with the sudden availability of low-cost, high-speed internet data introduced by Jio. Added to this was the increased competition in the mobile space, which significantly pushed down device prices. All of a sudden, internet connectivity, which was a distant dream for millions, was now at their fingertips.

Among the many platforms frequented by this newly digital audience was YouTube. With its huge repertoire of diverse content on demand, the video platform became hugely popular. As of 2019, there are 265 million monthly active users on YouTube from India. An incredible 85 per cent of videos on YouTube are consumed on mobile. What is most interesting is that 60 per cent of YouTube’s total watch-time in India comes from outside the big six metros.

The possibilities this opens up for brands are endless. Brands can not only reach a premium urban audience through YouTube, but they can also now tap into a huge, diverse, multilingual market, previously only accessible through traditional media.

YouTube is becoming essential for brands

With YouTube’s already massive reach only growing, it has become a crucial platform for brands to gain visibility, awareness and recall among their audience. One of the key factors driving YouTube’s importance for brands is that it is equally popular across age groups, regions and genders. No matter who your audience is, it’s very likely they’re watching a video on YouTube.

Apart from its pure reach, YouTube is important because of the way viewers are consuming it. They aren’t just on the platform to be entertained, they are also there to educate themselves and make informed decisions. The YouTube Brandcast in 2018 revealed that more than 50 per cent of female professionals turn to YouTube videos before making a purchase in the beauty, automobile and real estate space. The implications of this for brands is clear. Unless brands learn how to effectively leverage YouTube, they stand to lose relevance among a significant portion of their target audience.

Developing full-funnel marketing strategies

As every marketer knows, connecting with your audience at every stage of the consumer decision-making funnel is crucial for conversions. YouTube provides brands with a host of unique ad formats and targeting options to help marketers chart out a full-funnel marketing strategy.

Masthead ads, for example, are one of the best ways to create brand awareness at the top of the funnel. These are the sponsored videos displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for the entire day. It’s one of the best ways to gain a high number of views and build awareness among viewers. We used a masthead ad for one of our BFSI clients as a top-of-the-funnel approach to generate interest in a very short period of time. Using this approach, we were able to increase their subscriber base from 363 to an incredible 56,000 (and counting)! The masthead also garnered over 14 million views within 24 hours.

Get results through personalised communication

YouTube allows brands to personalise their communication, which can help their messaging resonate with the target audience. At the YouTube Brandcast 2019, it was revealed that personalised communication by brands on YouTube can result in 20 per cent increase in consideration, 31per cent increase in brand awareness and a whopping 800 per cent increase in brand search queries.

Indian viewers are increasingly making their presence felt on YouTube, and brands should follow suit. No matter which industry a brand falls under, the importance of having a powerful YouTube strategy is self-evident.