YouTube is the world’s second most visited website and the most popular free online video platform, founded in 2005 by Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley. It began as a dating site, but it quickly expanded to include general video content.
In this case study, we’ll take a look at the Marketing Strategy of YouTube, which includes its marketing mix, digital presence, competitor analysis, and SWOT analysis. So, without further ado, let’s get to know YouTube as a company.
YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform founded in February 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. Every day, its users watch more than one billion hours of video. YouTube content creators, also known as YouTubers, upload more than 500 hours of content per minute.
Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in October 2006. Since then, it has grown from a small video streaming platform to a large service that influences popular culture, internet trends, and the creation of multimillionaire celebrities.
With over one billion monthly users, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world after Google. Google’s ownership of YouTube has also altered the company’s business model; it no longer generates revenue solely from advertisements.
YouTube now sells paid content like movies and exclusive content. YouTube and approved creators are both members of Google’s AdSense program, which increases revenue for both parties.
Now that we’ve understood Youtube as a company, let’s see the Marketing Strategy of YouTube.
Marketing Strategy of YouTube
The Marketing Strategy of YouTube is responsible for the majority of its success. Marketing is one of the most important functions of a business because it engages in promotion and marketing activities such as market research and advertising for products or services; this is especially true in today’s context where marketing innovation has accelerated exponentially and adoption of these techniques can be a make or break factor for businesses.
Let us look into the Marketing Mix of YouTube which is the foundation for its Marketing Strategy.
Marketing Mix of YouTube
The marketing mix is the set of actions, or tactics, that a company employs to market its brand or product. This is a detailed examination of YouTube‘s marketing mix. It investigates YouTube‘s 4Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) and explains how it has used these marketing techniques to convey its message to customers.
1. Product Strategy:
YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload and share videos.
Anyone can watch videos on its platform, but only registered users can upload videos. It has put music, news, documentaries, sports, dramas, films, and a variety of other types of videos at the users’ fingertips. YouTube Go, YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, YouTube Originals, YouTube Premium, YouTube Studio, and YouTube TV are its primary product categories (YouTube, 2020).
This demonstrates how differentiated YouTube‘s products are, for example, YouTube Kids is an app for kids to have fun in a safer and more contained environment. YouTube also has a recommended videos service that assists users in discovering the videos they enjoy.
2. Price Strategy:
Anyone can access YouTube for free. This has been one of the most important factors in the company’s success. However, not all services are provided for free! YouTube TV, for example, costs $64.99 per month and includes 6 accounts. It has over 85 top channels of entertainment, news, live sports, and more, and programs can be recorded without worrying about storage limitations.
YouTube‘s pricing strategy has been very effective, combining both free and paid services.
YouTube advertising is also inexpensive. Most businesses begin with YouTube as their advertising platform, spending around £6 per day on local campaigns. YouTube typically charges advertisers only when people watch their ads or engage in some way, such as clicking on a call-to-action overlay.
3. Place Strategy:
YouTube is available on all smart devices and major browsers; however, mobile devices account for 70% of all watch time. It has been localized in over 100 countries, and viewers can watch its shows in 80 different languages (YouTube, 2020).
However, it should be noted that YouTube is not available in all countries. Similarly, it occasionally bans some YouTubers for violating its online terms of service and removes their content from the platform.
4. Promotion Strategy:
One of the most important drivers of YouTube‘s global growth has been word of mouth. Every minute, approximately 500 hours of videos are uploaded, and millions of people watch and share them. This spreads the name of YouTube from one end of the globe to the other.
YouTube also employs sales promotion strategies. For example, to entice advertisers to use its platform for digital marketing, it frequently offers $100 in free credit for every $50 spent on video ads.
Now that we have seen the brand’s marketing mix, let us analyze its competitors.
YouTube’s Competitors Analysis
In marketing and strategic management, competitors analysis is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. This analysis provides a strategic context for identifying opportunities and threats from both an offensive and defensive standpoint.
Vimeo, the online video sharing platform with 150 million creators worldwide, is YouTube‘s main competitor. YouTube is the market leader in the online video market, with 2 billion registered users and $15 billion in advertising revenue.
So, without further ado let’s take a look at the top competitors of YouTube.
Vimeo is an online video-sharing platform owned by the InterActive Corp (IAC) group. It was founded in 2004 by filmmakers Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein who wanted to create an easy and fun way for their friends to share videos. Today, it is the meeting place for 150 million video creators worldwide, has 1.24 million subscribers, and generated $ 160 million in revenue in 2018 with a total of 8,700 employees.
The service is free to use and does not include advertising. It also includes options to share, store, and comment on videos, as well as a social network. Their revenue is generated by monthly and annual subscriptions that users pay in exchange for cloud-based services that allow them to create, host, stream, monetize, analyze, and distribute online content on various devices.
Dailymotion is a French website that allows users to upload and share videos. It is available in 25 languages and 43 localized versions worldwide. The platform was founded in 2005 by Benjamin Bejbaum and Oliver Poitrey and is now worth $128 million and generates $110 million in annual revenue. It currently has 300 million active users.
Dailymotion offers benefits such as advanced algorithm-based recommendations and the ability to discover sports, music, politics, fashion, and eSports content from around the world. The integrated player has been used to watch over 3.5 billion videos. All users are free to share their videos, and the platform provides creators with innovative technology resources, great flexibility, and visibility.
Twitch is an American platform that specializes in a video game and eSports content. It was founded in 2011 by Justin.tv and was purchased by Amazon for $1 billion in 2014. It generated $ 230 million in revenue in 2019 with 1,500 employees. It has three business units: subscription service, advertising, and the sale of “bits,” which users use to tip, share emoticons with friends, and cheer on their favourite streamers.
Every month, 3.2 million users broadcast live, and there is also a library of 124 million clips available on demand. It is the most popular video service among fans of eSports and video games.
As we can see the top YouTube competitors are: Vimeo, Dailymotion, Twitch. YouTube has 5,000 employees and is ranked 1st among its top competitors even when combining its competitor’s employees and revenue.
So, let’s now get into the digital presence segment of YouTube in the section below.
YouTube Digital Marketing
Customers can easily browse through your portfolio if you have a digital presence. It allows you to interact with your customers while keeping you ahead of the competition. YouTube relies on social media platforms too. Let’s take a look at them.
1 Hundred Million+ Followers on Facebook
27 Million+ Followers of Instagram
72 Million+ Followers on Twitter
So, now that we’ve seen a glimpse of YouTube‘s digital presence and activities, let’s take a look at its SWOT analysis.
SWOT Analysis of YouTube
A SWOT analysis is a model that helps to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a company. Its primary goal is to assist organizations in developing a comprehensive understanding of all the factors involved in making a business decision.
Let’s take a look at YouTube‘s SWOT analysis below:
1. Strengths of YouTube
- Largest Video sharing site: Simply put, YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing website. It has billions of views and continues to grow every day.
- Viral concept: Viral marketing is a concept that arose as a result of YouTube videos. In fact, when social media first emerged, it was primarily focused on YouTube videos, which quickly went viral. YouTube can be considered the birthplace of viral marketing.
- Huge revenue driver for Parent company: Google, which is now Alphabet, was YouTube‘s parent company. Because of the number of viewers who visit the site daily and the advertising revenue generated, YouTube is one of the most important revenue generators for its parent company.
- Multi-lingual support: YouTube is available in 34 languages, including several localized versions. This multilingual support goes a long way toward making users feel at ease and increasing traffic to the site.
2. Weakness of YouTube
- Podcasting is increasing: More and more bloggers and podcasters are shifting away from YouTube and toward their own private podcasts, where they earn money directly from brands. Even Vimeo is growing in popularity, and many users believe that YouTube has become too noisy for brands.
- Social Media shared videos: The majority of videos shared on Facebook and Twitter are uploaded directly to the social media sites, and these social media sites do not allow YouTube-linked videos to be uploaded. As the popularity of social media videos grows, the popularity of YouTube videos declines. Even social media platforms like Facebook are experimenting with new ways to monetize video content.
- Copyright material: A major issue that YouTube has repeatedly encountered is users uploading copyrighted material as original content, resulting in revenue loss for the original content creator. Even movies are being leaked online at an alarming rate.
3. Opportunities for YouTube
- New customers from online channels: The company has invested a significant amount of money in the online platform over the last few years. This investment has provided YouTube with a new sales channel. In the coming years, the company can capitalize on this opportunity by better understanding its customers and meeting their needs through big data analytics.
- Adoption of the Internet and Smartphone: The adoption of the internet is accelerating. Even the most remote locations now have access to the internet. The same is true for smartphones. With its app becoming increasingly popular and Android being the most widely used mobile operating system, YouTube comes pre-installed on all phones, resulting in increased usage.
4. Threats to YouTube
- Intense competition: Over the last two years, stable profitability has increased the number of players in the industry, putting downward pressure on not only profitability but also overall sales.
- Isolationism: The growing isolationism in the American economy may prompt a similar reaction from other governments, negatively impacting international sales.
Due to an excellent marketing strategy, marketing mix, competitor analysis, digital presence, and SWOT analysis, the brand has been able to remain at the top of its game, and with this, we have concluded the case study on the Marketing Strategy of YouTube.
YouTube is one of the most well-known companies in its field. YouTube was founded during the internet’s peak popularity, and it was later acquired by Google. When Google began marketing YouTube, the website’s traffic skyrocketed, and it is now one of the world’s largest websites. While there are numerous video-sharing platforms on the market, most brands and customers rely on YouTube as their primary content distribution channel for matched pre-rolls and branded content. Building a business on the YouTube platform has largely allowed brands and customers to enjoy a relatively large degree of freedom while operating in a well-established and relatively stable environment.
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