20 YouTube Statistics to Base Your Video Strategy On

20 YouTube Statistics to Base Your Video Strategy On in 2024

We all know the current popularity of short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. As marketers and business owners, it’s easy to depend on the latest shiny objects and neglect tried and true approaches to getting your brand message out. Of course, many of these shiny objects are effective and worth leveraging.

However, in our enthusiasm to try new technologies and techniques, it’s easy to ignore tried and true marketing channels. In particular, older platforms like Facebook and YouTube frequently get less attention than they deserve.

With YouTube, it’s clear that marketing on the platform, whether through brand-created content or user-generated buzz, is still highly effective. Many relevant YouTube statistics demonstrate why YouTube is a gift that keeps on giving. All it takes is careful planning and some creativity.

1. YouTube’s 2.7 Billion Monthly Users: What It Means for Your Video Strategy

YouTube's 2.3 Billion Monthly Users: What It Means for Your Video Strategy

There is no question that YouTube has a massive user base. In fact, a staggering 2.7 billion people globally log on monthly. Practically, this means almost everyone in the West has an account, and they represent almost every niche or consumer group imaginable.

Simply put, no matter what kind of business you run, there are opportunities to reach your target audience on YouTube. Even service-based businesses can do consumer education or day-in-the-life videos and employ similar strategies.

Another important thing to note is that YouTube users span many age groups. Parents may allow children as young as 13 to have their own account, and for younger children, there’s often a family account. Better yet, because YouTube is not mobile-dependent like TikTok, it may be relevant even to people who don’t like smartphones.

Of course, leveraging the power of YouTube to its full potential requires careful planning and accurate targeting. In particular, there are global targeting features you can use to reach a broader audience. Multinational companies, in particular, can produce content that appeals to everyone who speaks a particular language. While not every subject or approach has international appeal, certain video topics may work just as well for English speakers in North America as it does for Australians and Brits.

Similarly, you can produce videos that appeal to certain global niches. Many hobbies have appeal across cultures and languages. In this case, you can translate out of the original language or provide closed captions, for example. Then, add hashtags in your description that reflect your topic in multiple languages.

2. How 79% of Internet User Adoption Makes YouTube Essential for Video Marketing

Did you know that an incredible 79% of Internet users have a YouTube account? This is especially notable in the context of YouTube’s active user base — there are a lot of occasional users. Furthermore, this expansive user base makes YouTube the second-largest social network globally.

Ultimately, YouTube is a very widely adopted platform, even if some people don’t spend a lot of time on it. You can see this not only through user numbers but also the huge variety of material available on YouTube. For instance, various creators have developed everything from medical and other educational videos to hobbies, gaming, and even pets.

Because YouTube is almost ubiquitous in many countries, there’s almost unlimited potential for reaching diverse audiences. Furthermore, because people share videos they’ve enjoyed, it’s relatively easy for your videos to be seen far beyond your target audience. You never know when these unintended viewers will become customers. This phenomenon is not as significant on other platforms with fewer members or networks with more restricted audiences.

Ultimately, the potential for massive audience reach on YouTube is a big reason you must prioritize this network as part of your multichannel strategy. In fact, an easy way to leverage the power of YouTube is by repurposing content. You can shoot footage once and reuse it for several formats. For instance, you can take a 10-minute tutorial and post it on YouTube. Then, take pieces of your video and turn it into Shorts, TikToks, and IGTV content. Best of all, this approach is cost-effective.

3. Why Being the Second-Most Visited Site Makes YouTube a Strategy Cornerstone

One of the most surprising YouTube statistics is this — YouTube is the second-most visited website globally. And the most popular website is Google. Considering that the same company owns both websites, it’s easy to see that both are very important for anyone who wishes to reach customers.

With such high traffic, YouTube is a very important place where your business can be seen. As with Google search, YouTube visibility is critical to maximizing your overall video marketing efforts. Furthermore, Google includes YouTube videos in its search results. Therefore, these videos are an important source of traffic to your website, especially if you link to a landing page in every video description.

With that said, you also want your YouTube videos to be visible directly on YouTube. For this reason, YouTube-specific SEO efforts maximize your return on investment. Although people may spend more time looking for the right video than they would the right article on Google, you still need to be close to the top of the search results. Besides, if you don’t optimize, your competition will (and reap the rewards more easily).

4. One Billion Daily Watch Hours: The YouTube Metric You Can’t Ignore

YouTube's 2.3 Billion Monthly Users: What It Means for Your Video Strategy

Multiple YouTube statistics indicate that the platform has a very engaged user base. For instance, we know that YouTube viewers watch over a billion hours of video daily. And that’s just on YouTube, rather than a total across platforms. As a result, YouTube is a great place to actually engage with your target audience.

However, YouTube has come a long way from cat videos and low-quality content. While not all content on YouTube is of professional quality, people want to feel like their time watching YouTube videos is well spent. Better and more engaging YouTube videos perform better on the algorithm than amateurish footage. That’s because YouTube considers watch time for each creator when they rank videos.

To get more watch hours, produce content that people will find compelling and engaging. This will look different across various topics and niches. For instance, special effects can be great in certain niches or video types but fall flat in others. However, the video should always be engaging on some level. Even dry subjects can be engaging if presented well or if the content is thought-provoking.

5. YouTube’s Localization in 100 Countries: A Multi-Lingual Strategy

Some YouTube statistics demonstrate the platform’s importance as a global brand. In fact, YouTube offers localization in 100 countries and is available in 80 languages. While most brands don’t need their content in that many languages, there’s plenty of opportunity for translation.

Even companies with a regional presence can benefit heavily from YouTube’s wide international reach and language versatility. For instance, here in North America, there are three main languages spoken among the native-born population. Plus, immigrants and indigenous people speak many more languages that are less common in the region.

Fortunately, you don’t have to hire translators or use outside tools to tap into these foreign-language speakers. YouTube offers free translation features to localize your content. These let you add closed captioning and other multilingual features to your videos. Similarly, you can post translated content on the corresponding language site.

6. YouTube’s Age Demographics: Tailoring Your Video Content for All Ages

As some YouTube statistics point out, this platform is great for reaching people of all ages. In fact, 62% of internet users between ages 15-35 are on YouTube, along with 73% of users aged 36-45, 70% of users aged 46-55, and 67% of users aged 56-65 [source]. This is in contrast to other platforms like TikTok, which mainly appeal to certain age groups.

Because of the diverse demographics on YouTube, you should be careful about creating age-appropriate content. Although there are some rules that apply to most groups, which may make content unsuitable, the same content won’t appeal to all age groups. For example, jokes or cultural references can be very generational. Similarly, teenagers have different concerns and pain points from their older counterparts.

Therefore, when you create each piece of content, be sure to customize it to your audience. Some brands have cross-generational appeal, but you still need a somewhat different pitch for various age groups. Just make sure your brand voice is consistent throughout.

7. Targeting Millennials and Gen Z: YouTube’s 56.66% Young Audience

YouTube video

Unsurprisingly, YouTube has a lot of younger members. In fact, 56.66% of YouTube members are either Millennials or Gen Z.  Older millennials discovered the platform as young adults, while Gen Z often grew up with it. For this reason, even if you want to reach older generations on YouTube, you should typically target younger users, too.

While tastes vary among individuals, younger audiences love authenticity. For this reason, influencer marketing and other user-generated content are valuable tools for reaching your customers. You should also consider live streams as appropriate, day-in-the-life programs and tasteful humor. Similarly, Shorts are an excellent way to make your point quickly while also boosting view time/numbers for your channel.

Finally, incorporate trending topics. Even though many topics seem irrelevant to your brand, you can still weigh in. As an example, during the pandemic, most businesses had some operational disruptions. Even if they didn’t sell things directly to consumers or have brick-and-mortar stores, many brands looked for some humor in the situation. Or they saw an opportunity to demonstrate social responsibility. Now, AI and other hot topics let companies reach out to their audiences by being relevant.

8. 82% of US Adults on YouTube: A Market You Can’t Miss

Here in the US, a whopping 82% of adults use YouTube on some level. This is a huge number, and it demonstrates that this platform is one of the best ways to reach US consumers. Arguably, if you aren’t leveraging YouTube, then you are missing out on one of the most important video marketing tools available.

With that said, there are many other countries where people speak English, and some of them are major economies. For this reason, if you want to reach American consumers specifically, you should target your videos for this geographic area. Doing this will help YouTube recommend your content primarily to US users.

9. YouTube vs. Cable: Reaching the 18-49 Demographic Effectively

Just a few years ago, cable TV advertising was one of the best ways to reach consumers. While this is still true for older consumers, studies demonstrate that YouTube reaches more people ages 18 to 49 than cable. Cord cutting and other factors, such as the expense of cable, have led to this trend.

Naturally, the trend away from cable TV requires brands to change their advertising and content strategies. Although it’s still profitable to advertise on cable if you want to reach older consumers, the ROI isn’t very good for the younger set. And because people under 50 spend plenty of money, they are an important demographic.

For an increasing number of brands, remaining relevant requires more content marketing around the web. In particular, YouTube is a very effective platform where you can reach customers with a video of any length. These pieces of content spread easily through social sharing and algorithm recommendations.

Similarly, YouTube ads are a great way to reach younger audiences. In the Ads Manager, you can choose to target consumers under 50 or any subset of them, such as by gender or special interest. This way, you can reach the right people without wasting money on YouTube users who might not fit your target demographic. In turn, you’ll get a better conversion rate and higher ROI.

10. The Male Majority: How 54.4% Male Users Affect Your YouTube Strategy

Although many online and other public spaces are gender balanced, the YouTube statistics are slightly skewed: Nearly 55% of YouTube users are male. When you consider that the global population has slightly more women than men, we can see that the difference is significant considering YouTube’s huge user base. Note that until recently this number was as high as 62%.

As marketers and business owners, this creates a dilemma. In an era of equality and women’s empowerment, how do we respond to a slightly male-dominated public forum? We can capitalize on the existing demographics by advertising to men more than women. Or, we can try to balance the majority by encouraging women to hang out on our channel.

Generally, I suggest tailoring content and advertising to men unless your niche is more female-dominated. This way, you can achieve a high ROI and increase your customer base. Besides, many women will listen to male influencers in appropriate niches, such as tech or automotive, when making purchase decisions. At the same time, make women feel welcome on your channel by producing content that they will also find useful.

Of course, at the end of the day, let your YouTube analytics guide you into leaning into the audience that is craving your content and hopefully converting on your website, regardless of what gender they are.

11. Understanding YouTube’s Age Groups for Targeted Video Content

Did you know that the majority of YouTube users are between the ages of 25 and 44? This age group breaks down to 23% of users aged 25-34 and another 26% aged between 35 and 44.

These two age groups are significant. By age 25, most people who go to college after high school have graduated, though people who get advanced degrees may study for a few more years. Either way, most have a steady job. By age 35, people start buying homes and may have paid off their student loans. In both cases, buying power has dramatically increased, and companies are vying for their business.

Naturally, the dominance of users in their mid-twenties to mid-forties means that you should tailor content to appeal to them. However, you’ll want to narrow this down somewhat for each piece of content. That’s because there is a significant difference in perspective and interests between someone at the bottom of the age range and those at the top.

Over time, tailoring to the right audience will be easier. Not only do you get better at producing the right content, but analytics should guide you. Using YouTube Analytics to keep track of age and other demographics for your viewers helps you adjust content. Best of all, this tool is free.

12. Why US Teens Prefer YouTube: A Niche Worth Exploring

Think that TikTok is the best place to reach teenagers? Think again. While a lot of people hang out on that platform, YouTube statistics show that you can do better. In fact, YouTube is the most viewed social network among teens in the US.

To leverage the power of YouTube, consider content strategies that resonate with this younger audience. For instance, young users love challenges and vlogs. Influencer marketing techniques are also effective, though these are collaborations often hosted on other channels. Over time, you’ll learn what works well with your younger audience.

Here’s an example. YouTube developed Shorts as an answer to IGTV and TikTok. Now, they are popular with several demographics on YouTube, and you can use the same footage on multiple platforms. They’re also a great way to do challenges or go viral on YouTube. Plus, your older audience members might join in the fun.

Further Reading: How to Make YouTube Shorts: A Guide for Newbies

Just because YouTube is a newer way to watch videos doesn’t mean it is totally separate. In fact, recent statistics show that 35% of YouTube searches globally were TV-related.

When you think about it, a lot of TV networks these days provide versions of their programming on YouTube. This includes excerpts, older full episodes, and even subscription programming. Not only does this provide an opportunity for cord-cutters, but it helps promote their programming.

As a marketer, you can leverage the power of TV-related searches, too. For instance, you can create content that taps into TV shows or genres. Parodies of certain shows can be quite effective. Similarly, mentioning and interacting with the latest shows can help draw people in and harvest some algorithm exposure.

14. YouTube as a Search Engine: The SEO Benefits You Didn’t Know

YouTube video

As I mentioned above, YouTube is the 2nd most visited site globally after Google. It is also the 2nd most popular search engine, with only Google being more popular. Surprised? People don’t always think of YouTube as a search engine — after all, it only works for one website.

However, small websites typically have a search function that’s powered by Google or another search engine. And large sites like YouTube have their own dedicated search engine. In that case, there’s an algorithm with predictive capabilities that can make recommendations. Furthermore, YouTube is a major search engine because it helps people find information and not merely content.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to optimize for YouTube. Most of the same principles you’d leverage for regular search engine optimization work for YouTube. The main difference is that you don’t have as much need to tailor the contents of your video to the search engine as you would with written content. Instead, you leverage the title, description, and hashtags. You’ll also want to use a compelling thumbnail. Besides the description, YouTube uses factors like engagement and watch times to rank your content further.

One thing that’s great about YouTube when it comes to search is that YouTube isn’t as cutthroat for top rankings as Google is. That’s because, even though YouTube is the second-most popular search engine, most people think about optimizing for Google first. This gives you opportunities on YouTube that you may not have otherwise.

Further Reading: YouTube Thumbnail Best Practices: The Definitive Guide

15. Why YouTube is the World’s Largest Streaming Platform: Strategy Insights

Over the past few years, streaming on YouTube has become wildly popular. In fact, there’s so much streaming on YouTube that it has become the largest streaming video website globally.

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that video streaming has become popular. The isolation of the pandemic era made us all look for ways we could connect with each other. And although video streaming was not new in 2020, it has become more relevant than ever. Nowadays, video streaming on YouTube is a major way for Content Creators to make money.

Of course, if you’re a marketer rather than a professional content creator, the goals can be somewhat different. Here, streaming becomes a way to not only connect with your fans but also encourage the purchase of products and services. You’re also trying to build a brand community.

The challenge with streaming as a brand is that much of your competition is working based on personality rather than an offline brand. At the same time, other brands in your niche may also be streaming. Therefore, to make your YouTube streaming successful, you want to offer something special to your viewers. Examples could include live tutorials, Q&A sessions, or seminars. Add some exclusivity by making the content subscriber-specific or offer it in private mode for only those who preregister.

Ultimately, the best way to make your content successful is to look at your competitors and see what they are doing well. This technique can encompass both competing brands and influencers in your niche. And, of course, you may want to work with some of the influencers later on. Then, try things and see what works best based on your analytics data.

16. T-Series’ Success: Lessons for Your YouTube Channel Strategy

YouTube video

YouTube statistics show that some wildly popular channels hail from emerging markets. For instance, T-Series is the most viewed YouTube channel worldwide, with 230 billion total views as of August 2023 and 237 million subscribers. This channel is based in India and features a variety of music videos. Although India is a large and populous country, the large viewer base shows that the channel has some international appeal.

There are several reasons why this channel is so popular and successful. One of them is the vast potential audience among Hindi speakers worldwide. Furthermore, T-Series is actually a record label that makes these songs available for free through their channel. Several styles of Indian music are available, including Bollywood and pop. Some of its material is also Hindu devotional music. Finally, T Series publishes a new video daily, and sometimes more than once a day.

As you can see, consistency and variety are the keys to T Series’ success. At the same time, the channel focuses on people who speak a certain language and belong to one culture. Despite the channel’s focus on a specific ethnic group, there are some lessons that any brand can learn. Posting consistently is critical, whether that’s several times a day or a couple of times per month. Similarly, you should post a variety of content so you can appeal to multiple subsets of your audience.

17. 500 Hours Uploaded Per Minute: The Competition You’re Up Against

Just like the Internet at large, YouTube is rapidly expanding. In fact, 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Even considering that this material covers every available language, content type, and niche, it’s a lot.

With so much content being added to YouTube daily, yours must stand out. This is especially true in highly competitive niches like fashion, music, or travel. Of course, there are many ways to make your content special. An easy option is with the branding you already use for other content, like logos and fonts. But other differentiation can happen through quality, approach, or point of view. Ideally, people should watch your content and know that it’s yours without even seeing the label.

Ultimately, your brand should offer very high-quality content. This means investing in high-quality production, such as top-notch footage, expert editing, and a great presentation. Similarly, your content should be unique from its competition while also being highly relevant to your audience. Different content formats can help with this, especially since your followers have different time commitments and interests, even within the same niche.

Further Reading: 19 AI Video Editors to Scale Your Video Marketing

18. The 100K Club: What It Takes to Be Among YouTube’s Top US Channels

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ekzicbhj_BI

While not every content creator wants to go big or go home, the YouTube landscape can be highly competitive. In fact, as of October 2023, there are about 321,100 US-based YouTube channels with 100,000 subscribers or more. That includes everything from corporate channels in healthcare to gamers showing off their skills.

Having a channel with that many subscribers requires hard work, but it isn’t insanely hard with good planning. For instance, channels should have quality content with good SEO and enough variety to keep people interested. And as I mentioned above, consistency in posting is important. So, for that matter, is engaging with your followers. People want to know that a creator values them, whether it’s a commercial account or something more recreational.

Once your content quality and engagement are competitive, it’s time to concentrate on growing your channel. One of the best techniques is setting subscriber milestones and creating special content or events to reach those goals. For instance, you might promise a special program after you reach 10,000 subscribers. Or, you may hold a special livestream in which you encourage viewers to subscribe if they haven’t already. The great thing about these techniques is that they are relatively easy to implement and are effective.

Further Reading: 15 Powerful YouTube Tools You Need to Grow Your YouTube Audience

19. MrBeast’s 112 Million Subscribers: A Case Study for Individual Creators

MrBeast's 112 Million Subscribers: A Case Study for Individual Creators

While corporate YouTube channels can have huge subscriber numbers, it’s also possible for individuals to amass millions of followers. With over 213 million subscribers, MrBeast is the individually-run channel with the most subscribers on YouTube. Unsurprisingly, this channel, run by Jimmy Donaldson, is iconic.

Why is Donaldson so successful? The MrBeast channel started over a decade ago when he was in high school. Now, he has a fast-growing business empire. But it didn’t start out that way. Instead, the channel started as funny stunts and other low-key content. People resonated with his style and youthful sense of fun.

Nowadays, MrBeast is known for outlandish, elaborate practical jokes and great acts of philanthropy. For instance, one time, he paid for a lot of people to get cataract surgery and then filmed the results. While this approach is controversial to some, many others love to see the way he’s making people’s lives better. In other content types, Donaldson will challenge other people to do things. He also has a philanthropic side to him that has won him many fans – check out him building 100 wells in Africa giving half a million people access to drinking water:

YouTube video

As a creator, you can do similar things to help grow your channel. For instance, giving a challenge is often cost-effective because you can do it without any prize or offer something of minimal value. Similarly, you can host giveaways or do live streams where the revenue goes to charity. YouTube even has a fundraising function you can tap into.

Finally, be relatable. For all of his philanthropy and outlandish stunts, MrBeast is also known for some humility. It’s easy to appear arrogant when you’re the center of attention, and being able to avoid this pitfall earns MrBeast a lot of respect (and subscribers).

Further Reading: YouTube Marketing Strategy: 13 Tips to Help You Grow Your Business with YouTube

20. 62% of Businesses Use YouTube: Why It Should Be in Your Marketing Mix

Although the platform used to be a neglected destination for content marketing, YouTube statistics show that this is no longer the case. In fact, nowadays, 62% of businesses use a YouTube channel to post video content.

There are a few reasons why this is true. For instance, hosting your brand’s how-to videos on YouTube and then embedding a player means you don’t need as much bandwidth for your servers. And people can save those videos to watch later on YouTube itself. Similarly, it’s an excellent way to post promotional material.

In other words, YouTube can become part of your broader digital marketing strategy. You can host live streams, create DITL videos that create a connection to your brand, and work with influencers. Including YouTube videos with your content calendar helps you reach members of your audience who have given up on other social media platforms – or who prefer forums where you don’t have a presence.

Further Reading: 13 Cool AI Thumbnail Makers for YouTube

Conclusion

Ultimately, the latest YouTube statistics demonstrate that this platform is an important place to reach your target audience. With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube has massive global appeal. Furthermore, businesses are creating more content than ever before. Whether you exclusively create your own content or partner with others, having a YouTube presence is becoming essential. By skipping it, you can give your competition a major advantage.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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