Reach more than just viewers: Play into passion points, capture attention, and deliver results on YouTube

Erica Probst / October 2019

Online video viewership is on the rise

Following the release of the Ofcom Media Nations U.K. 2019 report1 earlier this year, we’re seeing that consumer habits are changing – and the appetite for online video is growing.

The Ofcom report found that YouTube is the most-visited online video app, reaching 27M people, or 73% of adult smartphone users. And more than 10M of those users in the U.K. are using the YouTube app daily. Adults in the U.K. are now watching +30mins per day, while young adults (18-34 year olds) are watching double; +60mins on YouTube, on their smartphones, every day. Viewers tune into online video to find the content they’re most passionate about.

What does the U.K. love to watch? Here are 3 watch time trends

An Insight Strategy Group lab experiment revealed that over two thirds of people in the U.K. who watch YouTube said they watch videos related to their passions2 – and where there's passion, comes attention, and attention leads to action. For marketers, how can you learn more about your audience and find ways to engage with them? We took a deep dive into the latest watch time trends on YouTube – here’s a snippet from our Trends with Benefits feature.

Reach more than just viewers: Play into passion points, capture attention, and deliver results on YouTube

Football: Viewers are watching beyond 90 minutes. Not only are fans coming to catch highlights – we’ve seen an 80% increase in U.K. watch time this year3 – they’re also tuning in for pre- and post-match content from their favourite creators, as well as documentaries, interviews and bite-sized news reports.

Takeaway: This represents an audience of ultra-engaged fans ready to receive and react to relevant advertising.

Reach more than just viewers: Play into passion points, capture attention, and deliver results on YouTube

Food: Viewers are hunting for healthy options and foodies are seeking inspiration and assistance in the kitchen. YouTube viewers are 1.4X more likely to say that content they watch taught them something than those who watch other platforms. In the last year, watch time of cooking recipe videos was up 55% in the U.K..8

Takeaway: For brands, this trend towards more conscious eating means an opportunity to join a bigger conversation, whether it's through health-oriented ads or food-focused how-tos.

Reach more than just viewers: Play into passion points, capture attention, and deliver results on YouTube

Beauty: Beauty moves fast from GRWM (‘Get Ready With Me’) videos to DIY videos. One overarching trend – viewers seek content that is truly helpful. In the U.K., watch time of "makeup transformation" videos increased 50% this year5, while 32% of viewers say they feel the need to learn something new, develop a new skill or get smart through online video.6

Takeaway: To connect with your audience, make sure your content is genuinely useful – and consider how partnering with YouTube creators can give you an authentic gateway to an already-engaged audience.

5 tips for marketers to drive success

After learning the how, why and what viewers are watching on YouTube – use these rules of engagement to help plan your next YouTube advertising campaign. These will help you deliver the results you need – plus, learn from the brands driving success (see their stories here).

1. Supercharge your storytelling

In a world of distraction it can be hard to earn attention, and even harder to keep it. To give your ad the strongest chance, replace the traditional story arc (build up – climax – payoff) with peaks throughout. Begin with a compelling hook, then keep the tempo up with unexpected twists and brand mentions throughout. To cater to different viewers, serve up content of varying lengths; short ads are great for initial interest but, once viewers are invested, longer ads can aid recall and consideration.

2. Use Search

Using Search signals can help you differentiate casual browsers from in-market shoppers. Refine your focus and make your spend work harder by leveraging intent signals using Advanced Audiences – which gathers insights from across Google including active Search terms, lifestyle, interests and interactions.

3. Drive action

More than half of shoppers across the globe say online video has helped them decide which specific brand or product to buy.9 Brands that enable prospective customers to take action with a seamless, immediate experience hold an advantage.

4. Play into passion points

Create content that allows viewers to engage with their interests on a deeper level. Gather Search insights to discover your audience’s interests, then ensure the creative is compelling and relevant, and you’ll build loyalty and trust while driving views.

5. Tell your story in 6 seconds

This is all it takes to win (or lose) attention. Whether it’s delivering your whole message in one-shot or intriguing viewers to keep watching, you’ll get the best results if you plan for a six-second format. That means keeping your story as simple as possible – hone in on a feeling or punchline – then get creative to deliver it.

Some of this content originally featured in "Viewernomics: The art and science of audience engagement" – click to download the full magazine below.

Trends with Benefits: How brands can tap into key audience trends on YouTube to stay relevant and drive results