Market Share: As YouTube Users Increase, So Does Marketing Potential

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YouTube has become the social media platform that is accessed by the most Americans, according to data from Pew Research Center. In a nationally representative survey of 1,502 U.S. adults, “Social Media Use In 2021,” more than eight in 10 respondents (81 percent) said they have consumed media on YouTube, representing a 10-percent increase between 2019 and 2021. In contrast, 69 percent of respondents said they have ever used Facebook.

The popularity of the Google-owned social media and video-sharing platform isn’t concentrated to select demographics, but usage is consistent across the population; something which offers immense potential for brands. Nearly all respondents (95 percent) ages 18 to 29 used YouTube last year, according to Pew, while 91 percent of 30-to-49-year-olds used the site, along with 83 percent of those ages 50 to 64. Usage is lower for people age 65+, which include older baby boomers and the silent generation, but still nearly half (49 percent) of this group has used YouTube as well. Usage is almost equal amongst men (82 percent) and women (80 percent), and consistent across Hispanics (85 percent), Black people (85 percent) and Caucasians (79 percent).

Because of its video-sharing component, YouTube, which has more than two billion active users worldwide, provides brands with a space to develop their vision, and create a community around their products; something which further connects fans to the brand. Red Bull, an energy drink produced by Fuschl, Austria-based Red Bull GmbH, has more than 10.2 million YouTube subscribers, and it uses the platform to promote an active lifestyle by featuring videos of athletes and adventurous daredevils. PlayStation is another top user of YouTube, and the Sony-owned brand has 13.7 million subscribers. It uses its channel to debut new games and features, and offer demo gameplays, among other things, all the while keeping its branding consistent in the upper left-hand corner of each video.

The appeal of YouTube is endless, and for businesses and brands, both big and small, the reach and use of YouTube can mean a lot of exposure, and a core way to reach, connect with and keep fans on an ongoing basis. According to the 2020 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, more than half of marketers (55 percent) use YouTube, making it the most-used video channel for marketing. Through their channels, brands like Red Bull and PlayStation are able to create a community around their products and users, bringing people together who share common interests or curiosities. And by doing so, brands further hone their mission by establishing themselves as a “lifestyle brand” or “family-friend product,” and by creating and sharing content to reinforce their image. As YouTube continues to grow along with internet access, it offers more potential than ever before for brands and personalities to shine through and promote their message.

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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