Until recently, TikTok had been the bright social media star but recent talk about banning the platform in the U.S. has dimmed it.
Google bought YouTube in 2006, it has grown to become especially valuable to marketers who need time to demonstrate and show longer how-to programs. TikTok, on the other hand, is popular for its short 15 second videos that can be uploaded from mobile devices.
In May, Digital Namanji reported 2 billion monthly active users on YouTube, compared to 800 million monthly visitors on TikTok. It’s important to note that TikTok’s demographics skew to a younger audience, as evidenced by a recent survey by Morning Consult that reported 60% of Gen Zers oppose banning TikTok. 47% of millennials agreed.
But now with the fate of TikTok hanging in balance, marketers need to consider the alternative, which is YouTube.
A new paradigm
Reaching and appealing to both young and older audiences on YouTube will require recognizing the differences in these audiences and tailoring videos to each. Cowen’s 2019 Consumer Tracking Survey showed that 81% of internet users in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 25 go to YouTube. What’s unknown is their purpose and frequency.
According to YouTube, music videos are the most highly viewed on their platform. Brands that know their younger audience and can customize video messages that appeal to them have the opportunity to capture those frequenting TikTok. Also consider collaborating with influencers aligned with the selected music to further heighten interest and popularity.
Despite the popularity of video, a recent survey by Sprout Social found that only 24% of marketers they surveyed are planning a strategy around YouTube Live. The social media platform company found this surprising since it discovered that live video was what consumers most wanted to see when inquiring about rising social trends.
YouTube’s 5-Minute Crafts and its more than 67 million subscribers is another viable possibility for brands that market to do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and cooks. In the short three years since it launched, the channel has already surpassed popular channels like elrubiusOMG and has amassed an extensive and popular video library.
The final option to consider is sponsorships. It may be valuable and worthy of consideration. Check out YouTube’s T-Series. As of January, it was the platform’s most popular channel, with 123 million subscribers followed by YouTube Movies (114 million) and Music Channel (111 million). If the brand’s target audience fits, it could also be a valuable arena to enter.
Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities