India has more than 325 million YouTube users,1 and for the country’s fast-growing EdTech industry, this statistic indicates a considerable opportunity to reach people who are using the platform for online learning. Eighty-five percent of video viewers in India say YouTube helps them learn or improve skills that interest them,2 and the enthusiasm for e-learning is seen in Search trends. Since 2019, search interest in online education has increased by 50% and search interest in e-learning has risen by 75%.3
Given that 4 in 5 people in India turn to YouTube to learn something new,4 EdTech brands are in an ideal position to utilize their educational content to reach people who want to learn. By regularly delivering quality content in authentic, engaging ways, EdTech players can attract new learners, keep them returning, and build brand loyalty.
Why people in India are turning to YouTube
Satya Raghavan, director of YouTube partnerships in India says, “Building affinity with these learners will require brands to be always-on in their communications, express themselves through content that builds audience trust, and collaborate deeply with learning content creators to engage and connect with people.”
In India, Edureka and upGrad are two EdTech companies that have managed to build deep connections with audiences through their YouTube channels. Using a data-driven content strategy, Edureka grew its channel from 1 to 3 million subscribers in two years, and upGrad’s robust creative partnership with content creators helped it attract viewers in the millions. Both companies offer lessons on how EdTech brands can unlock the power of YouTube content marketing for growth.
Use data to improve content for users
A user-centric, data-driven YouTube content strategy helped Edureka grow its YouTube subscriber number by 2X from 2019 to 2021.
Edureka’s data-driven content strategy
For one, Edureka kept a close eye on internal data, YouTube trends, frequently asked questions, and mobile searches, and it analyzed the data to uncover topics people were most interested in at any one time. The trending topics informed its YouTube content strategy, which was constantly updated to ensure that Edureka created content people found useful.
For example, Edureka found out that there was high search interest for “tutorial” on YouTube at one point. At the same time, it noticed a rise in search volume for DevOps-related topics in Google Ads Keyword Planner’s historical search data. Based on these observations, Edureka created videos for DevOps, with titles such as “5 Best Practices In DevOps Culture,” and used phrases like “tutorial for beginners” and “introduction to DevOps” in video titles to help people discover content useful to them. The result: Edureka was able to generate close to 5X more leads in 2016 for DevOps courses than the year before.
Producing long-form content was also a key part of Edureka’s content strategy. Longer videos increased a channel’s total watchtime and, in turn, the likelihood of its content being recommended to people. When Edureka noticed that a three-hour-long Hadoop video helped to increase its channel’s total watchtime, the brand started producing more engaging long-form content such as tutorials and interviews to make its content more discoverable.
Another critical step in Edureka’s YouTube content strategy was making sure it had dedicated talent to produce consistent, high-quality content. Interesting videos with engaging teachers drove views, increased enrollment leads, and helped Edureka raise the number of training and certification sign-ups. Now, with nearly 3 million YouTube subscribers, the EdTech brand estimates that its channel influences the majority of the business leads it receives.
Awanish, associate vice president of marketing at Edureka says, “Learners who go through all the free content on our Youtube channel are very impressed by the quality of hands-on content we provide and the quality of delivery by the trainers. This influences them to take our instructor-led live online training when they think about upskilling or learning a new technology. When the content impresses viewers, they reach out for training and certification.”
Experiment and embrace creators’ unique personalities to produce authentic content
The willingness of upGrad, one of South Asia’s largest online education companies, to experiment and trust its content creator partners, enabled it to draw millions of online viewers.
When upGrad was developing content for its campaign #KaamKiDegree (a useful degree) to reach young, ambitious working adults, it constantly experimented with new ideas to learn what content would resonate with its audience. upGrad partnered with more than 70 creators to produce videos in a variety of styles, and eventually discovered its audience enjoys comedy-style learning content. After a video collaboration with comedian Kumar Varun pulled in 440,000 views, upGrad tweaked its YouTube content strategy to invest more in similar partnerships with comedy creators.
For example, upGrad partnered with YouTube personality and comedian BeYouNick to create “The Office Canteen,” a series of quirky sketches based on real-life scenarios set in a typical Indian office cafeteria, hence the series namesake. The series leaned into the comedian’s personal style of creative storytelling to naturally incorporate mentions of upGrad’s educational courses and their benefits into the storyline and dialogue. The fun and uncontrived way it promoted its courses through the YouTube content series led to a spike in search interest for “upGrad courses.”
The successful collaboration led to a 41% uplift in impressions, 27% increase in leads, and 52% increase in organic app installs. The content series’ strong results won it the YouTube Works Awards for best collaboration in 2021.
Authentic content collaborations drove results for upGrad
The large Indian audience browsing YouTube every day wants to learn something new, and EdTech brands have the opportunity to reach them in meaningful ways. To connect with this audience, brands need to produce quality content that people find useful and authentic. If you’re working with content creators, trust them, be open to new ideas, and embrace their creative styles. Great content keeps your brand top-of-mind and creates brand love, which ultimately helps to drive business growth.