Profound Marketing Strategy of Youku – with company overview and STP Analysis

Updated on: Oct 31, 2022
Marketing Strategy Of Youku - featured image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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In a previous article, we learned about the detailed Marketing Strategy of InVideo. In this blog, we will get to know about the marketing strategy of Youku, a video hosting service based in Bejing, China. It operates as a subsidiary of  Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

The purpose is to gain insights into Youku and how it became one of China’s top online video and streaming service platforms.

So, as you can see, the world is fully online now, and marketing is the rib of every industry. If you are interested in marketing, check out our Free Masterclass on Digital Marketing by the CEO and founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

We will learn about Youku’s marketing strategy by the end of this blog. Before getting deep into it, let’s start with the company’s brief introduction.

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About Youku – Company Overview

marketing strategy of Youku - logo

Source – WorldContentMarket

Youku Tudou Inc. (formerly Youku Inc.), doing business as Youku is a video hosting service based in Beijing, China. It operates as a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

Youku has its headquarters in the Sinosteel Plaza in Haidian District, Beijing.

On March 12 2012, Youku agreed to merge with Tudou in a stock-for-stock transaction, the new entity being named Youku Tudou Inc. In 2014, it had more than 500 million monthly active users, with 800 million daily video views.

Youku is one of China’s top online video and streaming service platforms, along with iQiyi, Sohu, LeTV, Tencent Video, PPTV,, etc. However, Youku’s domination in the Chinese market was toppled by its competitor Baidu’s iQiyi in 2015.


Quick Stats 


CEO Victor Koo
CMO Yawei Dong
Area served China
Industry Internet (Video hosting service)
Revenue US$649.5 million (2014)
Tagline “what you love to watch is on the air”.



Marketing Strategy of Youku –

Let’s learn about the marketing strategies of Youku!

Segmentation, Targeting, and positioning

Youku boasts an attractive user base of predominantly 18-to-30-year-old white-collar workers, with a female skew. Unsurprisingly, China’s online video explosion has also seen a surge in advertising with inventory prices skyrocketing as platforms become saturated with commercial content and Youku is no exception.

After YouTube was blocked in mainland China in late 2007 — when YouTube launched a Chinese version of the site — Youku and Tudou became the go-to online video platforms for Chinese netizens.

Marketing Campaigns

According to Frank Ming Wei, Senior Vic President at Youku, the video hosting service offers luxury brands access to hitherto difficult-to-reach territories: “…their nationwide reach is helping these brands make inroads into second-and third-tier cities where they had previously not had strong footholds.”

Examples of Luxury Branded Channels on Youku

Burberry – promotional films of collections and exclusive videos.  Youku is one of the platforms used by Burberry to launch seasonal campaigns.

A popular hit that helped to attract a sizeable audience was a 2012 promotional video that coincided with the label’s Autumn/Winter collection. It featured a British actress alongside a musician who composed and performed an exclusive song.

Cartier – adverts and short-themed films organized into several categories – Jewellery Collection, Watch Series, Brand Style, and Brand Microfilm.

Louis Vuitton – glossy, well-produced short videos that are organized into different sections including Louis Vuitton Travel, The Story of Louis Vuitton, and Louis Vuitton Art

Social media marketing

Youku is active on Social Media like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. 

  • Instagram – 135K
  • Facebook – 131K
  • Twitter – 75.5K
  • LinkedIn – 4.2K

SEO Strategies

Marketing Strategy of Youku - Ubersuggest seo screenshot

Source – Ubersuggest

As per SEO analysis, organic keywords low than 500 are bad, above 1000 are good and above 10,000 are amazing. As shown Youku has 5,679 keywords which are good. Also, monthly visits above 20,000 are considered good and they have 126K monthly traffic which is great.

ECommerce Strategies

If we talk about e-commerce strategies YOUKU has an application from where we can get access to watch videos. Besides that, they offer luxury brands access to hitherto difficult-to-reach territories, their nationwide reach is helping these brands make inroads into second-and third-tier cities where they had previously not had strong footholds. Examples are Louis Vuitton, Burberry etc.

Influencer Marketing 

Youku has 25 Chinese content creators /Influencers who promote the brand around china.

Mobile Apps 

Youku has a mobile app named ‘YOUKU’. It provides various Chinese dramas and films. It has ratings of 3.8 and 10L+ Downloads.

Content Marketing Strategies

Youku is very active on social media. They continuously post teasers and short clips of the shows that they will release on Youku. This gives the user information beforehand about the content available on Youku.

We have come to the end of the blog. Let’s conclude our learning below

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Conclusion – What’s unique about the marketing strategy of Youku?

In the marketing strategy of Youku, we got to know that after youtube got banned in China, Youku has been getting a lot of viewers. It has collaborated with a lot of high-end brands and made a good name for itself.

With the increasing importance of digital marketing, learning about the growing field is an important step. If you would like to learn more and develop skills, check out IIDE’s 4 Month Digital Marketing Course to learn more.

We hope this blog on the marketing strategy of Youku has given you a good insight into the company’s marketing strategies.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies just like the marketing strategy of Youku, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and do share your thoughts on this case study of the marketing strategy of Youku in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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