Audience behaviour is changing. People now live their lives online, and digital video consumption is soaring thanks to the growing penetration of smartphones and the on-going roll-out of 4G. YouTube has become the second biggest search engine on the planet.
It is the synthesis of sight, sound and motion which makes video a "lean forward" experience, and more than 1bn viewers come to YouTube every month, looking for entertainment, information or inspiration. And a new study by Ipsos has found that 83 per cent of the UK's under-35s believe the platform's channels can teach them absolutely anything they need to learn.
This hunger for engaging, snackable content offers marketers an incredible opportunity. If someone is looking up a video on island holiday destinations, travel companies can serve relevant content to them - a "best beaches" list, for example - at that precise moment. The value of putting the right message in front of the right user at the right time shouldn't be underestimated. Indeed, the same Ipsos study shows that 66 per cent of UK consumers who researched a product on their phone thought about purchasing a brand they would not normally consider, precisely because they received relevant information at the right time.
YouTube also gives marketers access to tools like Google Preferred, allowing them to reserve inventory from the top 5 per cent of YouTube's most popular and engaging channels. And they can use TrueView to precision target certain types of audience or content. They can analyse the number of views, the view-through rate (the number of people watching the full ad), and the drop-off rate throughout the ad so they can identify where the creative is working hard and where it needs to be re-edited to be optimised.
From car companies to financial services, a lot of brands see video platforms as an opportunity to reach new consumers. Video allows marketers to amplify their message through a combination of excellent paid marketing, great creative, and a thorough understanding of their consumers attitudes and preferences through the analytics services provided. And they'll see the benefits in their earned media, when there is increased engagement with their brand on social platforms. It is this combination of paid, owned and earned media that delivers great results.
Consumers are willing to accept a brand if it can offer something entertaining, useful, or both. Be this through vloggers like Zoella and PewDiePie, or cooking channels like Sorted Food, video is an excellent vehicle for reaching an engaged audience.