Why people visit YouTube and how to target them [New Data]

YouTube is the second largest website in the world with over 2 billion users worldwide.

However, despite the large audience, it can be difficult to get engagement for your videos.

Ultimately, in order to gain views, likes, shares, and even subscribers, your content must appeal to at least part of the huge YouTube audience while meeting their needs.

However, if you are just starting out with YouTube or are struggling to expand your strategy, you may not yet know what the platform’s audience wants.

To help marketers learn about YouTube’s vast pool of users and their interests, I asked nearly 300 consumers, “Why do you visit YouTube the most?”

Here is what they said.

Why do people visit YouTube?

Before we dive into what people have cited as the top reasons people visit YouTube, it’s worth mentioning one thing that you won’t see in the list below: product search.

Just under 3% of those surveyed visit YouTube mainly to find out about products.

A diagram that explains that most people visit YouTube for entertainment

Data Source

However, you shouldn’t panic just yet. Remember, we just surveyed a small group of general consumers about their most common reason for visiting YouTube. Had we asked them about their top three reasons, interviewed a larger group, or interviewed a specific demographic group, the results might have been different.

It’s also worth noting that when looking for a potential purchase, many demographics look for product videos.

In fact, in a recent 2020 survey, 94% of people said they watch explanatory videos to learn more about products. Even if many YouTube users do not always visit the YouTube platform for product videos, they are likely to watch them anyway if they are relevant to the customer journey.

However, if you know what YouTube audiences are looking for on YouTube, you can create a video about your brand or product that still has elements that can appeal to them and meet their viewing needs.

So why are people visiting YouTube? Let’s dive into the three most popular motifs.

1. To watch videos that entertain me.

When we asked consumers why they were visiting the second largest platform in the world, a whopping 65% of them said they were doing it for entertainment purposes only.

This statistic can be terrifying for marketers, especially if you’re selling a product that might not be considered super flashy or attention grabbing.

But the above statistic shouldn’t panic you just yet. Remember, this is just a small poll. Had we asked people of certain age groups or industries this particular question, the results could have swung in a different direction.

However, it is very important to remember that people on YouTube want to be entertained, or at least intrigued, by the content they are watching. Whether you want to serve YouTube video ads or standard videos, you want to add a touch of entertainment, action, or interesting information to them.

Here is a great video from Headspace and LOL Network showing actor Kevin Hart struggling to meditate and using the Headspace app to relax while jogging.

Even if you can’t work with a big celebrity, this video is still a great example of content that tells a fun story about how a product solves common problems. While Hart’s fame might draw people in, it might be relatable and fun for the audience to watch him take care of relatable, everyday things while he jogs.

2. To learn how to do something.

We all had a moment in life when we couldn’t figure out how to do something and we searched the internet for a video that might help. Unsurprisingly, 13% of respondents visit YouTube primarily to “learn how to do something”.

As a marketer, you can tap into the YouTube audience’s need for advice and guidance with videos on how to do things related to your brand, industry, or even your product.

In addition to being divided into the how-to format, you can also mix in entertaining elements like an influencer or an entertaining video host to meet a viewer’s need for interesting content

Here is an example of an how-to video from B Simone Beauty, a cosmetics brand named after its founder, B Simone. In the video, Simone, also known for her work as a stand-up comedian, offers step-by-step instructions on how to glamorously rejuvenate.

While the video highlights B Simone Beauty’s products, it focuses on makeup tutorial tips. This not only helps the viewers who bought cosmetics from the brand, but also gives helpful tips to those interested. In this video, not only will you see what using B Simone products is like in real life, but you will also learn how good Simone is with makeup. Either element could allow viewers to trust the company and product quality.

3. To learn something about something, for example a hobby, an interest or an industry.

While some people use YouTube to find step-by-step instructions on how to do something, others simply watch videos to capture as much valuable information as possible. In our survey, 13% of respondents said they visit YouTube to “learn something related to a hobby, interest or industry”.

As a marketer, you can also leverage this YouTube user need in your videos or in-stream ads. Here are just a few ways you can incorporate valuable information into your next video.

  • Lead the video with a surprising or interesting statistic.
  • With expert tips or insightful interviews from your company managers or industry experts.
  • Record an explanatory video with fun graphics, charts, and interesting information on a topic related to your industry or brand.

Here is an example of a video posted by HubSpot that explains how TikTok’s audience grew up by discussing stats and facts about the platform.

While HubSpot is not a TikTok tool, it does have a large marketing audience that the company engages with with this video that educates viewers on a very hot topic.

By creating informative or educational videos about your industry, you enable viewers with similar interests to learn something new while building trust with your company. Even if you don’t explicitly mention your product, the next time they shop in your immediate area, viewers can remember your brand and expertise. If someone does product research and comes across your YouTube channel, they can also be confident that a brand with a solid understanding of an industry will develop high quality products.

Other answer

Apart from the top three answers, 3% of users said that they mainly visit YouTube to watch videos of their “favorite stars or influencers”, while another 3% use the platform mainly to find videos about “news and trends”.

While these answers don’t have to influence your strategy, they go well with the topics people are looking for for entertainment and interesting information.

Catering to the huge YouTube audience

Ultimately, every single YouTube viewer is unlikely to love your content or seek out the types of videos you create. However, since the audience is so broad, there is at least a large portion of them that could interact with your marketing strategy. As you develop or fine-tune your tactic, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Know your audience: Learn more about who is using the platform, identify the best demographics or audiences, and see what types of videos they interact with the most.
  • Mix education with entertainment: While many people visit the platform to chat or to escape their everyday lives, others yearn for valuable or helpful information. So try to create content that captivates viewers while also providing valuable information about your brand or industry.
  • Don’t limit yourself to product videos: While you can certainly post some demos and interesting customer stories, and mention your product in some videos, keep in mind that YouTube visitors may not be looking for commercial content. Try adding variety with explainer, expert interviews, or other interesting but branded video formats.

Do you need more help developing or expanding your YouTube strategy? We’ll cover you.

Check out this data on why people click on YouTube videos, this ultimate guide to YouTube marketing, or download the free resource below.

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