This literature review is going to investigate the current state of YouTube and how it has changed over the years. The literature review will then narrow down its research to focus on how the platform has affected businesses positively and negatively and how they utilize the platform from a marketing aspect and future potential for the platform.
YouTube is a multimedia platform that allows users to create an account for free and upload videos that they have created. YouTube has become one of the most successful websites providing a new generation a video-sharing plaform since its establishment in 2005. Over the years YouTube has had certain aspects on their website that have attracted different types of users who use the platform for different reasons. They have attracted a lot of different types of audiences that require the platform for not just uploading videos but for reasons that can impacts businesses on a larger scale.
Due to the vast size of the platform, it is important to find out how YouTube is impacting marketing strategies. Social media marketing is on the rise and is becoming popular amongst businesses big and small. It is a topic that needs to be discussed due to the potential impacts it can have on a business positive or negative.
This literature review will first start by providing background information about the multimedia platform and how it all began providing examples of influencers who started off and have now grown and become celebrities attracting millions of subscribers and how they are utilized by businesses for their own fain.
This paper will also touch on how the increase in revenue on the platform has businesses incorporating social media marketing within their marketing strategies and why it is important. As YouTube continues to grow this will result in more and more money being pumped into the platform by advertisers. The future of YouTube is an important topic because the platform has not shown any signs of slowing down and there are endless benefits the platform can bring to businesses which also can have negative effects.
How has YouTube grown and changed
YouTube was founded in 2005. The platform has grown significantly over the past decade. People used to use the platform to upload self-created videos for fun and a hobby. Today YouTube has become a platform so big that content creators have become part of people’s households who watch them religiously. (Cayari,2011,p2) states ‘Since its creation in February 2005, YouTube saw rapid growth; sixteen months after its creation, 100 million clips were being viewed per day” Canary shows how significantly the platform rose since its introduction with these figures, how millions of people have joined the website and are uploading videos which are also viewed by millions. Hristo Genov (2017) then claims, “YouTube is the second most popular and most visited site in the world.” This shows just how significantly the website has grown to this day by and it’s only getting bigger. However, this claim is broad with no statistics provided to back the claim up
The scale at which success on YouTube is measured has changed considerably within the past 10 years and the trends and types of videos that make you successful have changed. Redinnick, (2019) tells us “Ten years ago, vlogs were barely a thing and the measure of a successful YouTuber was reaching 10k subscribers” Redninick provides comparable insights to how the platform has changed in terms of how success is defined. If you compare this to how successful YouTubers are today it really puts the platform into perspective and how big it is, having 10k subscribers 10 years ago was a big thing and looked highly upon, today influencers have accumulated millions of subscribers. To really put this into perspective Redninick provides an example of some influencers, Redninick, (2019) explains “Five years ago, Troye Sivan was just a YouTuber from Perth and Zoella had only recently launched her beauty line. Now, YouTubers are selling out stadiums and regularly ﬁlm videos with A-list celebrities” Redninick has provided examples of how YouTube has impacted the lives of two individuals, the growth of the platform has enabled them to reach a huge audience and has changed their lives. His points indicate that the platform has opened doors for them however doesn’t indicate the hard work it has taken for them to reach the point that they are at.
The growth of YouTube within the past decade has allowed YouTubers to generate revenue streams from uploading videos. However, Redninick, (2019) suggests “It may seem like all the big-name YouTubers are rolling in money, and they are, but they’re in the exclusive top three percent. 96.5 percent of people trying to be YouTubers won’t make enough on that sole income alone” This point indicates that not all YouTubers generate the income that can change their lives solely on YouTube, stating currently only 3% of YouTubers are doing this. This indicates that revenue streams could be coming from elsewhere and not just YouTube. Redninick, (2019) furthers his point by saying “An increase in sponsored videos and branded merch means these YouTubers have more of a guaranteed income and are earning bigger bucks” This indicates big-name YouTubers are gaining sponsored videos by 3rd party sources in order to generate revenue for themselves. This statement suggests due to the outreach these people have it seems like an attractive proposition for 3rd party sources to pay them for videos.
To conclude his point Redninick, (2019) points out that “YouTube has changed over the past 10 years, it’s almost impossible to deny it, but we have to remember that we’ve changed too. While we may not enjoy having three ads in a 15-minute video, it’s still a lot better than the number of ads crammed into traditional television, Although we’re all aware of YouTubers extending their videos times for monetary reasons” Redninick seems to be indicating that the increase of people on the website has caused change on the platform over the years. Due to the growth of the platform in terms of people visiting the site, this alters the demand for the types of videos because people want to see different things. Redninick also states that the duration of videos has increased due to longer ads being placed on the website which is the result of the way the platform has grown.
Edmondson, B, (2019) in his article states “the video-sharing/social media site YouTube has become an indispensable advertising and marketing tool” this is a broad claim however he’s gone on further to state a few facts as to why the platform has become a marketing tool.
- 1.3 billion people use YouTube.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
- 5 billion videos are watched every day.
- 80 percent of people aged 18–49 watch YouTube.
These statistics provided by Edmondson indicate why YouTube is being used as a marketing tool stating Edmondson, B, (2019) “Its reach is vast and global” Edmondson is implying that the number of people operating on the website and how many times videos are watched are an attractable proposition to anyone requiring the platform for marketing purposes.
Why businesses use YouTube as a marketing tool
YouTube is a free platform. Any type of business, small, medium, or large can utilize and take advantage of its marketing needs. (Edmondson, B, 2019) “The reason so many businesses use YouTube marketing is that it’s so effective. Not only is it a way to reach an extremely large audience but it’s also one of the most cost-effective online marketing channels” Edmondson’s then goes on to say (Edmondson, B, 2019) “YouTube videos are easy to search for by keywords—both on YouTube itself and through Google, its parent company. And related videos appear whenever somebody watches a video—that means you reach your niche audience easily.” This point by Edmondson isn’t clear but it seems to suggest users can target what they want by searching specific videos or trends meaning businesses can reach their target audience as users themselves will input the correct keywords to narrow down their results.
Businesses using YouTube as part of their marketing strategy have its benefits. (Jeff, P, 2018) “Your video marketing content has the potential to reach billions of viewers. Of course, that is highly unlikely, but the promise of generating high traffic is plausible. Jeff has made the point about the potential outreach the videos can have however it is not always guaranteed but the potential is always there. Comparing YouTube to other different platforms (Jeff, P, 2018) points out ‘ Not only does YouTube provide a cost-effective dissemination strategy, but its reach is far more comprehensive than regular television and cable stations.” This is a good point made by Jeff. Regular television requires funding to market your business however YouTube is a free-to-use platform that has the outreach of millions and can compare to other platforms.
Due to advertisements that will be run on the videos Edmondson, B, (2019) states “No control over the type of ads that will run with your content” this is a simple claim but this means businesses that upload videos to the platform could have advertisements that could potentially clash with there business and indirectly promote something that could harm themselves.
Businesses can opt to sponsor videos from larger influencers to promote what they do. This is a quick and effective way to market your business and expose yourself to a huge audience however it is not cheap. Barker, S, (2019) talks about the importance of product placement “if your goal is to generate leads and increase sales, you can ask your influencers to create honest product review videos” he then goes on to provide more benefits Barker, S, (2019) “ Coming from a trusted influencer, such a review is likely to foster brand awareness, add credibility to your product or service, and inspire your target audience to purchase it” Barker is making a good point in regards to the exposure an influencer can have for a business however has made broad claims about the positive impact it can have without any examples or statistics.
Not only will the businesses receive exposure from the influencer but Barker, S, (2019) claims “if your target audience likes the video, they are likely to share it on their social media profiles. As a result, your content will reach a far wider audience. While this may not drive direct conversions, it is extremely effective in generating brand awareness and customer engagement” Barker states in his work that influencers can also have a knock-on effect as once videos are viewed they can potentially go viral if shared by them, this can only be a positive as the aim is for the content to be seen by as many people as possible. These benefits will have an overall effect on a business’s profits as they are receiving clicks from potential buyers as they are being promoted by influencers.
In conclusion for this literature review, YouTube has changed drastically over the years. Millions of people have joined the platform to view or upload their own videos. Today the website is the second most viewed platform on the internet which shows just how big it has become after being purchased by Google in 2005.
This literature review has shown how YouTube has evolved over years since its introduction and why the multimedia platform has become an attractive platform for businesses and has become a part of their marketing strategies. YouTube is a cost-effective option for businesses to promote their brand or product by uploading videos for free. There are different options a business can take if they decide to use YouTube as a marketing tool. They can either produce their own videos to upload to the platform and build their own loyal viewer base or they can fund a promotional video for an already established influencer on the platform.
The positives of this approach outweigh the negatives heavily but the downsides to this approach can render the positives useless. A business can pay an influencer with thousands of subscribers to post a promotional video however if the influencer and subscriber base view that YouTube channel doesn’t correlate with the type of business that the video relates to then the impact and benefits can be significantly reduced and not effective.
If a business takes the route of paying for product placements in the videos of influencers it won’t be cheap due to the potential return, they could get from it so influencers are likely to increase rates based on what they can bring to the table.
The future of YouTube currently looks as if the platform is going to continue to go, there are no signs of it slowing down with millions of people continuing to sign up to the website. As the platform grows further this will attract even more businesses to adopt this marketing strategy.