Five Reasons Why YouTube Is an Underrated Channel for Mobile User Acquisition

By Johana Leeflang | December 12th, 2014

With over 6 billion monthly video views, YouTube seems to have met our need for continuous visual content. While YouTube is often referred to as merely a media channel used for video consumption, in reality its dynamic nature offers the viewer so much more. Beyond entertainment and information, this platform allows for viewers to engage through subscriptions, likes and comments. As early as 2018, over two-thirds of the global data traffic will be video content. In this context, YouTube is becoming a great marketing tool and it then comes as no surprise that an abundance of brands are leveraging it as a part of their greater marketing strategy. The good news is that YouTube is not restricted to product brands, as we have seen apps like Audible extend their affiliate program to YouTube bloggers to actively promote their app in the form of sponsorships and product mentions. Here are five reasons why, as an app advertiser, you should use YouTube for you mobile user acquisition needs.

1. YouTube Is The World’s Second Largest Search Engine

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, only after Google, worldwide. This creative platform facilitates the viewer in gathering information, thereby blurring the lines between search and entertainment. In other words, YouTube provides an efficient way to find information in an entertaining manner. Although YouTube’s official rankings from July 2014 revealed that music, games and comedy were the most successful categories on the platform, we have recently seen that interests such as travel, food and beauty/style are also growing exponentially.

2. 40% of All YouTube Content is Viewed Via Mobile Devices

Currently, 40% of all YouTube content is consumed via mobile devices, and this figure is continuously growing. This figure is often higher with certain segments that typically consume most of their information via their mobile devices. 80% of Generation C, for instance, accesses YouTube via their smartphones. A more in-depth report on mobile media consumption revealed that in the United States, YouTube was the 3rd most used app overall with almost 50% reach, landing only after Google Play and Facebook.With mobile video ad spending estimated to reach $6 bn in 2018 (50% of the total advertising budget), YouTube is in a very good position to benefit from this trend and become the leading platform for video advertising on mobile. With the reach the platform offers as an avidly frequented mobile search engine, YouTube provides a great touchpoint for app developers to get discovered outside of the app stores, both organically and through advertising.

3. YouTube has a Highly Engaged Community

So who’s on YouTube? The core following is made up of Generation C, aka Gen C. 65% of GenC is made up of people below 35, but the concept is not limited to an age bracket. Gen C is rather a “consumer culture”: a collection of individuals who are interested in creation, curation, connection and community. For advertisers, Gen C is the golden segment, as it is highly engaged online and extremely profitable. Together they are responsible for $500 bn annual spending in the US alone.According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults between 18 and 34, more than any cable network. You can learn more about Gen C here. Content creation on YouTube is also very often generated out of specific user requests. In other words, subscribers are the ones spontaneously asking for video content, turning to influencers (see below) for insights and information on specific topics, tips and even advice and recommendations on purchasing decisions.All this makes for a highly active community, likely to, down the line, turn into loyal and engaged users for mobile apps.

[caption id="attachment_5196" align="aligncenter" width="587"]This diagram shows how the engagement topics differ per gender (source: YouTube Insights)

This diagram shows how the engagement topics differ per gender (source: YouTube Insights)

4. YouTube is the World’s Third Largest Social Network

The YouTube community spreads the word through subscribers who engage with ratings, comments, likes and shares. This behavior has made it the third largest social platform worldwide. Weekly, over 100 million people take part in a social action (liking, sharing, etc.) with over 50% of videos receiving a rating or a comment. YouTube is therefore also a social networking platform, ranked only third after Facebook and Twitter, as the channel harbors a community that interacts and engages with one another.Popularity and attraction is growing for YouTube as in fact it gets over 1 billion unique monthly visitors overall - more than Facebook. For more mind-boggling stats on YouTube, head here. YouTube is also recognized as the largest user-driven video content provider. Besides, viewers are not only generating the content; they are also sharing it. In the UK, 50% of users speak to their peers about the content they view on the platform and 44% of them share videos with others. Videos are also shared via other social networks: on Twitter over 700 YouTube videos are shared every minute and on Facebook the equivalent of over 500 years of YouTube videos are watched daily.This illustrates how YouTube’s social network drives virality, not only within the channel but also across social media networks, in turn permitting advertisers to broaden their reach.

5. YouTube’s Influencers Are a Very Efficient Mobile User Acquisition Channel

Native advertising is currently gaining traction in mobile. In YouTube’s app we mostly think of native in the context of YouTube’s app install ads

[caption id="attachment_5195" align="aligncenter" width="383"]Example of a YouTube native app install ad

Example of a YouTube native app install ad[/caption]However, there is another format that provides full integration and engages a whole community. The latest trend on YouTube is to collaborate with “influencers” or “gurus” to spread the word about your app. While an official definition doesn’t exist, an influencer is an individual, a duo or even a team that have their own YouTube channel and regularly produce content, generating thousands or even millions of views as well as many subscriptions. While influencers are not necessarily actors or celebrities, they do command a large and impactful online presence.

When an app chooses to connect to an influencer by creating a performance campaign, it is important to remember that the creative control should remain in the hands of the influencer. As they are the ones that know their audience and in order to maintain authenticity, they need to stay true to themselves and their communication style. The exchange between influencer and subscriber is based on trust, admiration and to some extend even friendship. In this respect, influencers have become a strong player in the game of brand building, improving user acquisition of loyal consumers through their trusted network and indirectly influencing brand recall.Once a brand or an advertiser is able to find the right influencer to collaborate with then they can start to reach new untapped consumers/ users. For app advertisers, influencers will be in a position to drive large volumes of quality app installs, and, additionally, through their influencing power YouTubers can increase brand recall for further performance campaigns.

How can AppLift help you run a YouTube influencer performance campaigns for your apps?

AppLift has an extensive network of media partners and tools that can support advertisers in connecting with influencers. Together we can define the most appropriate media strategy for your app.First, we will review which channels and influencers would be the best to connect with. Depending on the nature of the app we can ensure that the video campaign has the correct app-audience fit.Then, we will make sure that the app is integrated properly, implementing the correct tracking links and defining which KPIs need to be met. Until now we have supported several of our causal and mid-core gaming apps. While the creative creation stays with the influencer we guarantee that the installs of the app can be directly attributed to the video. With unique link tracking, we also ensure that the YouTuber instructs the viewer to click solely on the link that they have provided in their info box that leads directly to the app store. The results show that within the first two weeks, these video campaigns are able to generate thousands of downloads.

Applift’s 4 steps to creating an optimized performance video campaign for app advertisers.

Applift’s 4 steps to creating an optimized performance video campaign for app advertisers.

Applift can support your marketing efforts through our global network. To learn more on how we can help you integrate YouTube into your marketing plan, please reach out to Michael Puriz, senior strategic partnerships manager. If you would like to connect in person, Michael will also be in London attending Pocket Gamer Connects from January 12th to 14th.

Johana Leeflang
Johana Leeflang is Leading EMEA Events and Community at AppLift. Johana writes about mobile marketing trends and in-depth market analysis. When she is not digging deep into mobile marketing, Johana enjoys dancing salsa, listening to old-school R&B and hip-hop and traveling; her favorite holiday destination is Milos, Greece for its beautiful beaches and lovely people. Connect with her on LinkedIn here

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