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YouTube: The Underrated App Marketing Tool For User Acquisition

Currently, there are over 1 billion users on YouTube, monthly this translates to over 6 billion videos watched and more impressive is that the total number of hours watched is growing 50% year over year. As the platform grows it has become a medium that offers so much more: from entertainment to information. Youtube fosters high levels of engagement and creates a community through likes, comments and subscriptions.

Globally, two-thirds of all traffic will be video content by 2018. We can see this trend reflected by the growing number of brands that are leveraging YouTube as a marketing tool. While in the past we have seen the likes of L’Oreal, Taco Bell, General Mills collaborate with YouTube influencers. The platform is not solely limited to product brands, we have seen a growing number of mobile games and apps venture move in this direction. Most recently, Audible, extended their affiliate program to bloggers on YouTube to help promote their app through sponsorships, product placements and/or mentions.

Not convinced yet, well we have 5 reasons which you might want to take into account:

 

1. YouTube has Become the Second Largest Search Engine

After Google, YouTube comes in second as the most used search engine worldwide. The video platforms facilitates the viewer to search for information and consume it in an entertaining manner. According to YouTube’s rankings the most popular categories are music, games and comedy channels. However, more recently there has been ca growing interest in style and beauty, food and travel content.

 

2. Half of YouTube Views Come via Mobile

The rise in mobile consumption also affects YouTube as their latest statistics show that  50% of all viewed content is viewed via a mobile device. Specific demographics have an even greater likelihood to view and share YouTube Content, such as Generation C, who view 80% of the content through their smartphones. Taking a closer look at US’s media consumption, a report illustrating frequented apps, it showed that YouTube was the third most frequented, only after FaceBook and Google Play.

By 2018, video ad spending for mobile is expected to reach $6bn, representing half of the total advertising budget. As YouTube’s popularity grows and sees higher consumption on mobile, it could very well become the leading platform for video advertising. YouTube has the ability to be both a source of information and entertainment and as the rise in video mobile consumption grows it will prove to be an invaluable asset for app developers not only to boost discoverability outside of the app store but also to market and brand their app.

 

3. YouTube Cultivates a Social Community

YouTube attracts a variety of people from different demographics, interests and backgrounds (See Engagement Diagram below)  but the most prominent group are those from Generation C. (aka as Gen C). The majority, sixty-five percent, of Generation C consists of individuals under 35 years old; yet it is important to understand that age is is not a defining factor for this group. This group is classified as a “consumer culture”, which means that they are mainly interested in communication, creation, curation and connection. Gen C are a niche and valuable opportunity for advertisers as they represent a community which is highly profitable and engaged. To learn more about Generation C, read more here.

 

Engagement Topics per Gender  (YouTube Insights)

Engagement Topics per Gender  (YouTube Insights)

 

In a report on the US by Nielsen, YouTube reaches more individuals between the ages of 18-34 than any cable network. As content creation is the pinnacle of the platform it is crucial to understand that most often user generated or co-created through direct requests from viewers. For example, it is common for the influencer (this term will be explained below) to ask their audience (subscribers) to “leave a comment below the video” and specify what the next video should be. This form of co-creation allows for an exchange which both parties are in control of what and how they create content. The viewer gets the chance to request information, tips and even advice that can influence their purchasing decisions. While the influencer has creative control of how they put the content together, such as script (or none), lightening, setting, etc.

Taking all of this elements into account, its clear to see why YouTube fosters a highly engaged social community or “consumer culture”. Through co-creating and consuming content the lines are often blurred between entertainment and advertisement, which if done right could eventually turn into viewers into consumers.

 

4. YouTube is Third Biggest Social Network

As previously mentioned, the YouTube community is built through engagement in the form of subscriber comments, likes, shares and ratings. Weekly there are over 100 million people taking part in a social action on the channel, meaning that over half of all videos have received a comment or a rating. While it might not be traditionally started off as a social network the dynamics that have created a strong engaged community have transformed YouTube has adopted a strong community which has lead it to become the third largest social networking site. In June 2014, YouTube managed to surpass Facebook as the biggest social network.

USA: June 2014: YouTube beats Facebook’s unique visits (courtesy of SiteAnalytics)

 USA: June 2014: YouTube beats Facebook’s unique visits (courtesy of SiteAnalytics)

YouTube keeps growing and now receives over one billion visitors per month which means that there are over four billion videos viewed a day! Beyond being the largest user generated video content platform, YouTube also has the greatest percentage of shared content. In the UK, 50% of people will speak to their peers about the YouTube videos that they watch while 44% of them will even share them further. Sharing is also growing across social networks, on Twitter over 700 YouTube videos are shared per minute and on Facebook in one day users have viewed over 500 years of YouTube content.

These insights clearly illustrate the strength of the platform and further exemplify the level of virality that the channel commands within and across third-party social networks. Providing once more why advertisers should incorporate a YouTube campaign to their app marketing mix in order to improve their virality.

 

5.The Importance of YouTube Influencers User Acquisition

Native advertising has now established itself as the norm across platforms, devices and industries. On the platform native advertising initially took place in the form of YouTube’s app install ads.

AppLift’s native app install ad format

 AppLift’s native app install ad format

While there are still other ways to advertise on YouTube, which still provide full integration and connects you to the viewers. Most recently, the trend involves a collaboration between a brand and a YouTube influencer. The influencer(s) will  will feature the product in their videos through a review, product placement or trial. Allowing the influencer to become an extension of the brand/product and encourage virality. While there is no concrete definition for an influencer, it could be explained as an individual (or team) that has a YouTube channel and creates video content, they often have a large viewerships and followership. The value of the influencer comes from the fact that they command a celebrity like presence while at the same time are relatable to the viewer.

 

YouTube Influencer recommends Audible app

 

One of the most important things to consider before you start the process of a YouTube campaign, is that the ‘creative control’ needs to remain in the hand of the influencer. This is very important as they are the ones that understand their audience and in order for the message to be authentic it can not be over produced or manufactured. If the video comes across as an advertisement or a marketing ploy it will be difficult for the content to be relatable to the viewer, since they connect with the influencer for advice and information but not to be explicitly sold or advertised to. It is important for the influencer to build off their relationship with their viewers and communicate to them in the same tone and style that they would when a sponsored product would not be involved.  Equally as important, is the fact that your app and the influencers personality and followership match.This is vital as the success of the campaign will be influenced on the compatibility between the two.

Taking all of this into account, it is obvious why influencers have started to command such a strong presence on YouTube and now have even become a strong element of a brand’s marketing mix. Influencers are able to create awareness for the brand (to niche or untapped audiences), influence brand recall and eventually acquire new users

At AppLift, we have an expanded network of media partners and tools that support advertisers in all of their marketing efforts, including the possibility to leverage YouTube as an app marketing tool. We provide the opportunity and the means to get in touch with specific audiences through YouTube influencers for all app verticals.

 

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AppLift’s 4 steps to achieve an optimized video campaign

 

To get a better understanding of how we conduct influencer marketing we present to you the four steps on how to create an optimized video campaign. If you would like more information or have have any questions please reach out to Michael Puriz our Senior Strategic Partnership Manager.

This article was originally published on AppLift’s blog, read it here.

You can read more posts from AppLift on their blog or follow them at @appLift for the latest in mobile marketing news.



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