What marketers can learn from viewing behaviour at home: This Is My YouTube

July 2020

It’s a universal truth that people tend to adapt to change. Whether it’s how we live, work, or learn — we adapt. And this innate skill has proven especially useful during the last few months.

Changes to our normal daily routines have impacted and reflect what we watch, read, and listen to online. Here in the U.K., the rising trends on YouTube reflect a very British lockdown. From how to make comfort food at home to Joe Wicks guided PE classes, the nation changed how and what it was watching to make things a little easier.

‘This Is My YouTube’ explores how users — with different backgrounds, jobs and interests — are connecting, engaging and using content on YouTube. Read on to find out what these shifting trends mean for marketers and how you can adapt strategies to cater for new consumer behaviour.

In our latest episodes, we caught up with three celebrity couples in their homes who shared what they love to watch on YouTube. And it turns out that they’re not so different from the rest of us.

Viewers upskill at home

Undefeated boxer Nicola Adams, OBE, and her girlfriend, Ella Baig, are avid YouTube fans ⁠— whether it’s learning the guitar, researching their next travel destination, or uncovering new beauty tips.

The couple’s viewing behaviour definitely reflects some rising trends in the U.K. For example, in March 2020, watch time of ‘guitar tutorial’ videos rose 40% compared to March 2019.1 And watch time of ‘makeup transformation’ videos increased by over 50% last year compared to the previous year in the U.K.2

At-home consumers focus on fitness and wellbeing

Rio and Kate Ferdinand are huge fitness enthusiasts ⁠— so much so that they’ve been creating and uploading their own workout videos. While at home, the couple searched for smoothie recipes, learned how to french braid, and Rio took to the pitch in FIFA’s #StayAndPlay tournament.

When the world went into lockdown mode, people found ways to fend for themselves. Whether it was turning living rooms into gyms, or kitchens into five-star restaurants — we became more self-sufficient.

So far this year, Brits watched 45% more videos related to recipes and cooking compared to the same time last year.3 And since mid-March, there have been more than 44 million views of ‘exercising at home’ videos.4

Viewers use online video for discovery

DJs Annie Mac and Toddla T have uncovered a new world with YouTube since spending more time at home. They’ve always used it for new music inspiration, but now they’re doing yoga with their kids and finding life-changing hacks — like blowing up a paddling pool in the garden with a hair dryer.

They’re not the only ones hitting the mat. This year, across the globe, average daily uploads of videos related to yoga have more than tripled since mid-March.5

As Annie Mac puts it, “YouTube is like discovery central.” A July 2019 study showed 56% of U.K. consumers say that YouTube allowed them to dig deeper into their interests.6 And for many, more time at home meant even more opportunity to explore.

While in discovery mode, shoppers narrow and broaden their consideration set. Brands that are there to offer useful ad experiences, with clear calls to action, stand to make the most impact.

Key takeaways for marketers

  • Following and analysing trends can help you understand the mindset of the audiences you’re trying to reach and engage with. Get regular updates on changing COVID-19 searches here.
  • The viewing habits of these celebrity couples are common topics and trends in viewing behaviours of YouTube users across the U.K. Reach audiences aligned to these trends in your next TrueView campaign or use YouTube Select for lineups most closely associated.
  • By creating ad campaigns tied to trending interests, you can reach more audiences and make your content more relevant.
  • Ready to get to work? We’ve put together three goal-focused guides to help you meet strategic objectives, measure advertising performance, and drive business results with online video ads. Download your guides below.
The Update