New Report Looks at Creator Loyalty on YouTube, and What it Means for Marketers

How important is creator loyalty on YouTube, and how can that impact your video marketing strategy?

There are two key considerations within this – for one, if you’re creating your own YouTube channel, and you’re mapping our your video content strategy, then understanding what makes viewers come back time and time again is obviously key to maximizing your performance.

And from a marketing perspective, creator loyalty can also help in guiding your ad placement and influencer marketing partnership options. If you know, for example, that fitness channels have higher returning viewer rates, that could make it a bigger consideration in your outreach, as you know that these creators are more likely to have established trusted connections with their viewers.

To provide more insight on this, the team from Tubular Labs recently analyzed the top 100 YouTube channels in a range of categories over two months (January and February 2021) to get an overview of return viewership, and which genres are seeing more creator loyalty.

Tubular Labs measured return viewership based on ‘the amount of viewers who watched consecutively across both months and who met a 30-second quality threshold’. That provides some new perspective on the channel categories, and specific channels, that are driving the most ongoing engagement. You can download the full report here, but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key findings.

First off, Tubular’s researchers found that gaming viewers are the most loyal on YouTube, with more than 50% of them returning to their favorite channels regularly.

As you can see here, other entertainment genres like ‘People & Blogs’, ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Sports’ also have high audience retention rates, while ‘Travel’, ‘Home & DIY’, and ‘Animals & Pets’ see lower viewer loyalty than average. 

Which makes some sense – people would be going to some of these channels based on one-off searches, while pets, for example, could see high view rates based on YouTube recommendations, but you may not necessarily want to see that content every day. But as noted, this is worth considering in your strategic approach, as it can help to provide a better understanding of where YouTube viewers are looking to engage regularly, and what types of creators are better at building a community.

And individual creators are also a significant consideration in this respect.

Tubular Labs YouTube retention

As per Tubular Labs:

“It’s no surprise top creators with the highest reach, who continually deliver great content to their audiences, compel viewers to come back time and time again. This means the better and more consistent your content strategy, the more likely you’ll attract advertisers along with loyal viewers. Some examples include gaming creator SSSniperWolf, who has audiences that are 2x as loyal as the average, while Inside Edition audiences are 72% above benchmark (vs. an average loyalty level for the total News genre).”

Worth noting, too, the high engagement for The Dodo, despite the lower general retention rates in the ‘Animals & Pets’ category. Tubular says that The Dodo ‘stands out for creating dependable content with repeating formats and series’, which is key for maximizing viewership. 

If you’re looking for notes on maximizing engagement, it could be worth taking some pointers from these channels and creators.

Lastly, Tubular Labs also looked at the retention rates for the top 1000 influencers on YouTube versus the top 1000 media channels, which showed that YouTube viewers have a clear preference for specific creators over brand outlets.

Tubular Labs YouTube retention

I mean, that’s likely not a huge surprise, but again, when considering your brand placement and influencer marketing opportunities, it is worth noting these trends, and how they define the next generation of media consumers.

Overall, there are some interesting points of note here, which may help to guide your YouTube strategies – or at the least, give you a better understanding of how YouTube influencers are driving the next phase of media engagement, particularly among younger viewers.

And they are indeed driving that next stage. YouTube recently reported that over 120 million people in the US are now streaming YouTube or YouTube TV onto their TV screens, which means that, gradually, YouTube is superseding traditional TV as the main media communications channel of choice, which will make it a much bigger consideration for all marketers over time.

Given this, it pays to know the latest trends and viewer habits, with a view to maximizing campaign reach in your key markets.

You can check out the full Tubular Labs ‘Value of Loyal Viewers’ report here.

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