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New Report Looks at Creator Loyalty on YouTube, and What It Means for Marketers

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How important is creator loyalty on YouTube, and how can that impact your video marketing strategy?

There are two key considerations within this – for one, if you’re creating your own YouTube channel, and you’re mapping our your video content strategy, then understanding what makes viewers come back time and time again is obviously key to maximizing your performance.

And from a marketing perspective, creator loyalty can also help in guiding your ad placement and influencer marketing partnership options. If you know, for example, that fitness channels have higher returning viewer rates, that could make it a bigger consideration in your outreach, as you know that these creators are more likely to have established trusted connections with their viewers.

To provide more insight on this, the team from Tubular Labs recently analyzed the top 100 YouTube channels in a range of categories over two months (January and February 2021) to get an overview of return viewership, and which genres are seeing more creator loyalty.

Tubular Labs measured return viewership based on ‘the amount of viewers who watched consecutively across both months and who met a 30-second quality threshold’. That provides some new perspective on the channel categories, and specific channels, that are driving the most ongoing engagement. You can download the full report here, but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key findings.

First off, Tubular’s researchers found that gaming viewers are the most loyal on YouTube, with more than 50% of them returning to their favorite channels regularly.

Tubular Labs YouTube retention

As you can see here, other entertainment genres like ‘People & Blogs’, ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Sports’ also have high audience retention rates, while ‘Travel’, ‘Home & DIY’, and ‘Animals & Pets’ see lower viewer loyalty than average. 

Which makes some sense – people would be going to some of these channels based on one-off searches, while pets, for example, could see high view rates based on YouTube recommendations, but you may not necessarily want to see that content every day. But as noted, this is worth considering in your strategic approach, as it can help to provide a better understanding of where YouTube viewers are looking to engage regularly, and what types of creators are better at building a community.

And individual creators are also a significant consideration in this respect.

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Tubular Labs YouTube retention

As per Tubular Labs:

“It’s no surprise top creators with the highest reach, who continually deliver great content to their audiences, compel viewers to come back time and time again. This means the better and more consistent your content strategy, the more likely you’ll attract advertisers along with loyal viewers. Some examples include gaming creator SSSniperWolf, who has audiences that are 2x as loyal as the average, while Inside Edition audiences are 72% above benchmark (vs. an average loyalty level for the total News genre).”

Worth noting, too, the high engagement for The Dodo, despite the lower general retention rates in the ‘Animals & Pets’ category. Tubular says that The Dodo ‘stands out for creating dependable content with repeating formats and series’, which is key for maximizing viewership. 

If you’re looking for notes on maximizing engagement, it could be worth taking some pointers from these channels and creators.

Lastly, Tubular Labs also looked at the retention rates for the top 1000 influencers on YouTube versus the top 1000 media channels, which showed that YouTube viewers have a clear preference for specific creators over brand outlets.

Tubular Labs YouTube retention

I mean, that’s likely not a huge surprise, but again, when considering your brand placement and influencer marketing opportunities, it is worth noting these trends, and how they define the next generation of media consumers.

Overall, there are some interesting points of note here, which may help to guide your YouTube strategies – or at the least, give you a better understanding of how YouTube influencers are driving the next phase of media engagement, particularly among younger viewers.

And they are indeed driving that next stage. YouTube recently reported that over 120 million people in the US are now streaming YouTube or YouTube TV onto their TV screens, which means that, gradually, YouTube is superseding traditional TV as the main media communications channel of choice, which will make it a much bigger consideration for all marketers over time.

Given this, it pays to know the latest trends and viewer habits, with a view to maximizing campaign reach in your key markets.

You can check out the full Tubular Labs ‘Value of Loyal Viewers’ report here.

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Instagram Confirms that Videos Under 60 Seconds in Stories will No Longer Be Split into Segments

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Instagram Confirms that Videos Under 60 Seconds in Stories will No Longer Be Split into Segments

Instagram continues its gradual process of merging its video products into one, with the announcement that videos in Stories that are under 60 seconds in length will no longer be split into 15-second segments in the app.

As you can see in this in-app alert, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when you update your IG app, you’ll get a notification letting you know that your videos in Stories will no longer be cut up, making it a more seamless viewing experience.

Instagram’s been testing the update with selected users over the past year, as part of its broader process to integrate its video options, in line with the short-form video shift and general engagement trends.

Last October, Instagram retired its IGTV brand, as it combined IGTV and feed videos into one format, while in July, Instagram announced that all uploaded video under 15 minutes in length would be posted as Reels, further aligning its various video formats.

Instagram Reels update

The merging of its video options is aimed at simplifying the app, while it will also, ideally, help Instagram maximize user engagement, by making all of its video content, in all formats, available in more places where users are interacting.

By shifting its video content to a more aligned format, that’ll give IG more video inventory to insert into user feeds, which it’s increasingly looking to do via AI-defined recommendations, as it follows TikTok’s lead in making your main feed more focused on entertainment, as opposed to being restricted to only the latest posts from people and profiles that you follow.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noted that just over 15% of the content in Instagram feeds now comes from people, groups, or accounts that users don’t follow, with its AI recommendations contributing more and more to the user experience. Zuckerberg noted that he expects to see that amount more than double by the end of next year.

Instagram’s been working towards this for some time, with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noting back in January that: 

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We’re looking about how we can – not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram – simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets. I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”

The merging of its video formats will ideally facilitate more opportunities in this respect, while also making it much easier for users to understand where to find each different type of content – or increasingly, to not have to go searching for it at all, as it’ll be fed directly into your main feed, whether you follow the creator or not.

Which, of course, is a process that not all users are entirely happy with as yet, but still, Meta remains confident that they’ll come around as its recommendations algorithms continue to develop.

Instagram has confirmed the new Stories video expansion to TechCrunch, explaining that:

“We are always working on ways to improve the Stories experience. Now, you’ll be able to play and create Stories continuously for up to 60 seconds, instead of being automatically cut into 15-second clips.”

That’ll also make it easier to skip through those longer videos that you’re not interested in (as you’ll only have to skip once, as opposed to tapping through each individual frame) – though it may also have implications for creators who’ve structured sponsored content deals based on frame counts, as opposed to Story length.

That’s a relatively easy fix, longer term, with the focus shifting to length instead. But it may add some complications to the process in the immediate future, as the Stories eco-system evolves in line with the new process.

Instagram says that the new, longer video Stories are being rolled out to all users.

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