With almost three-quarters (73%) of the British adult population said to have used YouTube at least once in the previous four weeks, you can be forgiven for thinking that trying to personalise or zero in on a specific target audience on the platform is no mean feat.
But there are certain interests and affinities that can be drawn on across this vast audience that brands can pay attention to, according to research shared exclusively with PMW.
Kantar TGI’s January 2023 release from its annual survey panel of 24,000 British consumers reveals that the nation’s YouTube community has a large affinity with gaming content and technology, above the average consumer.
Those that had used YouTube in the last seven days at the time of the survey, carried out over the year to November 2022, were 24% more likely than the average adult to cite their video game characters and avatars as important to them, and were 22% more likely to admit that new content and updates kept them playing the same video games.
Their viewing habits are skewed towards tech on the go — with those that had been recent consumers of YouTube being 25% more likely to prefer to watch TV on a laptop, tablet or mobile.
“The right media mix”
“We know that there’s a strong affinity with gaming and technology among many regular YouTube users, but tech-enthusiasts also love cinema, watch a lot of video-on-demand and regularly read news online,” insists Sarah Sanderson, Managing Director at Kantar TGI.
She adds: “The right media mix depends on the audience being targeted – brands need to connect with people meaningfully through the media they’re using.”
And there is clearly a competitive spirit among YouTubers, with those being 24% more likely to want to get to “the very top” in their career and admit that they “play video games to beat other players”.
YouTubers: keen tech influencers, but social media shapes their politics
In a not dissimilar theme to similar research concerning Reddit users late last year, YouTube users are more likely to believe in their own influential power over others, particularly when it comes to tech, gaming and podcasting.
In fact, they are 35% more likely to believe they can convince someone to listen to a podcast that they listen to, and 29% more likely to believe in their influence over computer and console gaming. When it comes to what influences them, social media plays a part, with YouTube users questioned on the panel being 20% more likely to state that social media posts influence their political views.
Mashable and fashionable
Montages and fashion advice are the online video content categories more likely to attract YouTubers, the research found.
Those that had YouTube in the “last seven days” were 29% more likely than an average British adult to watch “mash ups” or montages and 28% more likely to consume fashion advice in the form of online videos. Though the figures exclude on-demand services like Netflix, gaming trailers or videos were also high up the list for YouTubers – who were 27% more likely to consume that content in video form.
Sanderson says: “People use YouTube for many different types of content, from pure entertainment to ‘how to’ advice. Their emotional needs and receptivity will vary according to the content genre, and brands need to keep those distinctions in mind. As well as understanding who their audiences are, marketers must know what they respond to and want to see.”
“We mustn’t forget older users”
A significant proportion of respondents (56%) told Kantar TGI that they had content on the platform “in the last seven days”, slightly down on the 64% recorded a year earlier, as the channel sees “a return to pre-pandemic levels of usage”, says Sanderson.
“Whilst we’ve seen a slight drop in the number of people using the YouTube app on a weekly basis over the last year, the fall in monthly users is more modest, suggesting that people are accessing the platform slightly less often rather than abandoning it altogether. People turned to YouTube for entertainment more often during lockdown.”
But YouTube remains the most consumed video entertainment app, with only 19% of the panel saying they had used Netflix in the last seven days.
The proportion of those reporting that they used YouTube in the last week were heavily skewed towards a younger audience. More than nine in 10 (92%) of 15 to 24-year olds highlight their use of YouTube in the previous seven days – making them 59% more likely than the average adult to have done so.
But, says Sanderson, “we mustn’t forget older users. Our data shows that while those aged 55+ are 20% less likely than average to have been on YouTube lately, they also make up nearly a third of all those who have. That accounts for a huge 12 million people throughout Britain.”