What marketers can learn from what the U.K. watches on YouTube

Raja Saggi / September 2020

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. As more people moved online for work, pleasure and e-commerce – marketers have followed suit, with the hope to grab the attention of viewers.

According to ComScore, the average person in the U.K. spends around 46 minutes viewing YouTube per day, and YouTube is used by over 96% of online adults in the U.K. each month on average.1 Plus over 20 million people are now watching YouTube on their TV screens in the U.K.2

Marketers trying to make sense of this new hyper-paced digital environment turned to an old but trusted marketing tool — content. Understanding people’s online interests — what they’re watching and engaging with, and using tools such as Find My Audience has enabled marketers to not only reach the right people, but also reach them with personalised messaging.

During the last six to eight months, more people have turned to YouTube to live, learn, work, and connect to communities. We’ve seen a change in habits, rising content topics and an increase in watch time. For example, as the weeks spent in lockdown have rolled by, people continue to visit YouTube to soothe their anxious minds, directly from the living room. TV screen watch time of videos related to well-being, including yoga, fitness, and meditation, have increased more than 180% from July 2019 to July 2020.3

Understanding viewing behaviour to connect with audiences

In new episodes of This Is My YouTube, we explored how some well-known faces from the U.K. use YouTube and connect and engage with content across various genres. And their stories reflect the millions of people who tune into YouTube every single day.

We caught up with fashion gurus Trinny Woodall and Patricia Bright, popstars Rina Sawayama and Jessie Ware, actor Andrew Scott, and radio DJ Clara Amfo. Read (and watch) on to see what their YouTube watch history can teach marketers about audiences in the U.K.

What marketers can learn from what the U.K. watches on YouTube

Finding a spark of creativity with video

Fashion and beauty enthusiasts Trinny Woodall and Patricia Bright say they use YouTube to inspire their creativity — whether it’s finding clothing inspiration, re-creating makeup looks, or doing a little shopping. Patricia isn’t afraid to click the ‘buy’ button. She says, “As much as I create content and provide links, I consume content and I purchase. I am literally my audience”.

Fashion experts Trinny Woodall & Patricia Bright discuss what makes them click through on YouTube

And their shopping and viewing habits certainly do reflect rising trends in the U.K. We’ve seen U.K. watch time of fashion review videos on YouTube has increased over 130% since last year4 with 51% of viewers saying they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.5

Viewers want to connect with the world more than ever

Pop sensations Rina Sawayama and Jessie Ware use YouTube to connect with fans and the world around them. In the last year, watch time of pop rap videos has increased over 700% and music review videos over 60% in the U.K.6 And although Rina and Jessie know YouTube is a music hub, they also use it to fuel their other interests, like cooking.

Jessie Ware & Rina Sawayama on how they use YouTube as a modern day muse

For Jessie, YouTube became a source of reference points for inspiration — from Sade videos to fluffy omelette recipes. This trend can be seen across the U.K., with over a 50% increase in watch time of various cuisine recipe videos since last year.7

What marketers can learn from what the U.K. watches on YouTube

Viewers turn to video to live, learn and work

Actor Andrew Scott and radio DJ Clara Amfo are avid YouTube users, and say they use YouTube across all content topics — whether it's searching for aspirational fashion, finding cleaning hacks for their favourite trainers or getting spiritual.

Andrew Scott & Clara Amfo put the new in new age spirituality

And Brits are keen to do the same. In the last year U.K. watch time of designer clothing videos has increased over 200%, sports shoes over 80%, while U.K. watch time of videos about mental health on YouTube has increased over 200% since last year.8

Key takeaways for marketers

  • The world and marketing might feel like it has changed immensely, but people’s basic interests remain the same. Match interests with your brand content – use tools such as Rising Retail Categories to stay in the know on the latest consumer needs, and use Find My Audience to discover new audiences on YouTube and learn how to reach them individually with relevant messages
  • Consumers use YouTube to make purchases. Connect viewers directly to your products with TrueView for shopping.
  • Real stories attract real viewers. Lead with authenticity to appeal to a wider audience. Bookmark the YouTube Culture & Trends site to keep up to date with the latest research and insights.
  • Viewers are drawn to TV screens. Make your campaign available across devices (computers, mobile, tablet, and TV screens). This will expand your reach and avoid over-delivering frequency on any one device type.
  • Want to go a little deeper? We’ve put together three playbooks to help you drive results with online video ads.
What marketers can learn from viewing behaviour at home: This Is My YouTube