The YouTube story: A decade in revolutionising marketing & advertising

In 5 years YouTube has gone from 15 million to 265 million daily active users in India, figuring prominently in the marketing strategies of several brands

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Jan 2, 2020 2:19 PM



Youtube isn’t for only listening to music and watching videos anymore, and marketers have also come to realise that. The video-streaming site has taken the marketing and advertising game to the next level by investing in technology that has helped brands tell their story better in 2019.

According to YouTube Brandcast 2019, it took the video platform only five years to go from 15M to 265M daily active users in India. It aims to reach 500M by 2020. Brands such as Urbanclap, Pepsi, Garnier, Spotify and many others got their YouTube marketing right with campaigns and video strategies designed especially for the medium. Brands across categories such as automobiles, FMCG, Travel, BFSI have been prioritising YouTube as part of their marketing mix and have seen great results.

So, how did brands leverage YouTube’s reach and service to suit their needs? Pepsi, for instance, used the medium aggressively. To bring alive the idea of how any food item becomes better with Pepsi, the brand leveraged YouTube Director Mix to create custom video ads from one core creative.

The tool enabled Pepsi to turn the limited creatives of its ‘Kyun sookhe sookhe hi’ campaign (such as images, voiceovers, texts, fonts, or colours) into multiple unique messages, catering to different audiences contextually and engagingly. As a result, Pepsi could create 2040 dynamic videos that helped reach 89 million unique customers and lifted its total sales by 14 per cent.

In the last decade, YouTube has evolved dramatically. Brands have begun to realise how the platform drives performance with its focus on an action-oriented and measurable approach. Naturally, they’ve been devising their marketing strategies with YouTube at the centre of it.

With an ever-increasing number of brands relying on it with every passing year, here’s what experts predict from YouTube in 2020.

“In India, we have the cheapest data in the world and because we love videos, Indians use YouTube instead of Google for web search,” highlighted Kiran Khalap, co-founder of Chlorophyll.

“YouTube is a unique marketing tool that allows you to be relevant to all stakeholders, from consumers to channel partners. And it can be assured that the brand will get discovered,” explained Khalap.

Videos are a great way for brands to connect with audiences and YouTube offered brands the first choice to reach the audience through video content. 

Says Prachi Bali, Business Head- North, FoxyMoron, "For consumers, YouTube has evolved from a video listing platform to an entertainment platform. And for marketers, access was pivotal in the past decade where consumers with data-enabled smartphones changed the game for creators and content consumers."

On being asked what she as a marketer expects from YouTube in 2020, Bali replies, “I hope YouTube provides us with better quality markers - both for the videos we are advertising and for those we are showcasing our ads on.

Even Prasad Shejale, Founder and CEO, Logicserve Digital feels that YouTube is a great medium and a space for brands to test the consumption of video content amongst their audiences.

“The massive growth of YouTube comes from popular music marketing companies, short story-tellers, affiliate marketers, influencers, etc. With the rise of native language speakers online, YouTube provided a boost to the careers of a lot of vernacular-first influencers in India like Bhuvan Bam,” observes Shejale.

“From comic content to DIY videos to the latest news, YouTube has shaped the internet for the last 10 years as no other platform has.”

In 2020, Shejale looks forward to seeing unique marketing opportunities from YouTube.

“Introduction of creative formats for advertising, enhanced tools for capturing insights and performance of marketing campaigns, improved features within YouTube Stories are some ways how the platform can improve on its marketing benefits while keeping it interesting for the viewers,” he points out.

According to Sameer Makani, Director – Makani Creatives, YouTube has changed the world for consumers and businesses. “This platform has helped eliminate barriers to entry for production and distribution of media content. It has been instrumental in shading off the boundary between customer and business,” he adds.

In 2017, YouTube evolved even further, making more changes that will benefit companies who incorporate it into their social media and video marketing strategies. “YouTube AdWords has also helped to promote videos that can boost their visibility and adds momentum to their organic reach. After Instagram and Facebook, YouTube also hops on to the stories’ bandwagon. YouTube allows for you to add short, mobile-only videos that expire after 7 days,” Makani says.

He expects YouTube to go through some overhauling in 2020. “Some changes are expected in the content. Thumbnails and description are the ones that provide a glimpse into the brand’s content. It’s crucial to optimise in such a way that they prompt users to click and watch the brand’s video.”

Given YouTube’s evolution over the last decade, it’s exciting to see what the platform has in store for brands and marketers in the next 10 years.

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