YouTube: The Original Home of Creators

Last week, our Connected Thinking series took a deep dive into the world of YouTube, joined by OG YouTubers Hannah Witton and Lucy Moon. We uncovered that YouTube is still the best platform for influencer engagement nearly 20 years after its inception, with a staggering 8.24% ER. It generated $8.1 billion in advertising revenue in Q1 of 2024 – that’s +21% YoY.  

So, what’s behind YouTube’s enduring success? If you missed the webinar, read on to find out. Let’s get into it...

1. Mastering the Metrics

As the platform constantly evolves, the metrics that matter have shifted. Gone are the days when subscriber counts were the primary measure of success. The algorithm now prioritizes watch time and retention rates over sheer subscriber numbers. Hannah explained that for Creators, this shift emphasizes the importance of creating engaging, longer-form content to keep viewers watching. With TV becoming the fastest-growing device for YouTube consumption, viewers are now watching longer, more considered content.

YouTube’s analytics are best-in-class. Use them. Take a deep dive into key metrics like retention rates and viewer satisfaction, which YouTube places a lot of emphasis on. Brands should focus on how consistently a Creator uploads, engagement in the comments, and the ratio of subscriber to non-subscriber views. This insight helps brands identify whether a creator has an engaged audience and so potential for conversion.  

2. Community is King

Come for the content, stay for community. One of YouTube's standout features is its community feel, which other platforms often lack. The comments section on YouTube videos isn’t just a space for interaction but a continuation of the conversation started in the video. Lucy highlighted how this creates a more interactive and personal experience, akin to a Reddit forum.  

This strong connection is a key factor in YouTube's lasting appeal, Creators can foster long-term relationships with their audiences, without the pressure of frequent posting. It’s this quality-over-quantity approach that has helped bring YouTube back into the spotlight, as we saw just a couple of weeks ago with OG YouTuber, Tanya Burr, returning to the platform after a five-year hiatus.

3. Partnership Success

Successful brand partnerships require a delicate balance between creative freedom and clear guidelines. Both Hannah and Lucy stressed the importance of aligning the brand's goals with the creator’s content style and audience values. Rather than giving creators total freedom, brands should provide clear briefs which allow room for creative input. This ensures that the content resonates with the Creator’s audience and maintains trust.

For brands, it’s crucial to identify creators who genuinely use and appreciate their products. Long-term partnerships are more effective when they integrate naturally into the content. Over the past decade, the approach to brand deals has evolved. Dedicated videos are out; integrated videos, which seamlessly blend brand messages into the content, are in. Lucy suggested that brands could build on relationships further by sponsoring series’, making the partnership more cohesive and less intrusive.  

4. Short and Sweet

The message was clear: don’t underestimate the potential of Shorts. YouTube Shorts garners 70 billion daily views, so incorporating them into your content strategy can significantly boost your engagement and reach. Given its massive daily view count, it's an essential tool for keeping your audience engaged and expanding your viewer base.

YouTube's sustained success is driven by its ability to change, advanced analytics, strong community ties, and strategic brand partnerships. By understanding and leveraging these pillars, creators and brands can thrive. Watch this space, we can’t wait to see where they go next.


Our Connected Thinking series took a deep dive into the world of YouTube, joined by OG YouTubers Hannah Witton and Lucy Moon.


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