Video marketing lessons from the latest YouTube trends

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Video is driving the latest content marketing trends as consumers spend more of their time on platforms like TikTok and YouTube. As Gen Z comes of age as a consumer group, brands need to dedicate more resources to reaching younger audiences in the content formats they care about most.

Brands can learn a lot about the future of content marketing by looking at the biggest YouTube trends from 2022. These insights reveal which content formats are capturing the most attention and the keys to holding it as short-form videos take over.

Dig deeper into your audience’s interests

In a Google survey from October 2022, 72% of UK respondents said YouTube is a place where they can dig deep into their interests and passions.

Since then, Google has published further insights, showing 55% of Gen Z watch content that no one they know personally is interested in. Meanwhile, insights from an Ipsos survey back this up, revealing 65% of Gen Z say content that’s personally relevant to them is more important than the content that lots of other people talk about.

65% of Gen Z say content that’s personally relevant to them is more important than the content that lots of other people talk about

YouTube is a place where people go to indulge in their interests without the influence or pressure from other peers.

Creators, brands and advertisers need to dig deep into these interests to maximise relevance. On the one hand, you can try to cast a wide net and please as many people as possible. However, you’ll get better results on YouTube by honing in on specific interests with a smaller, more engaged audience – or several of these audiences. Also, keep in mind that the interests of any one audience/viewer can change at any time.

Google itself has recognised this in a summary of YouTube 2022 trends:

“In 2022, audience interest spanned multiple formats and content categories, and their preferences often changed based on their mindset and the moment. While this trend may seem like an obstacle, it presents a great opportunity for marketers to follow the lead of creators who successfully reach new audiences by meeting them where they are.”Think with Google

This is both a challenge and an opportunity for markers but it’s also typical of the current landscape on a platform like YouTube. As Google goes on to explain, it’s the creators and brands who tell relevant stories “across multiple formats” that build the fastest-growing audiences.

Crucially, Google insights have found that engaging audiences successfully with one content format often results in the same viewer following you to other formats and channels.

The rise of short-form video

Short-form video is the hottest content format right now. It seems like every network is rolling out its own TikTok-like video formats and YouTube is no different. In fact, Google says YouTube Shorts already has more than 150 billion monthly active users and over 30 billion daily views.

Initially, short-form videos were popularised by spontaneous, accidental or random moments – an extension of the TikTok effect.

However, as we’re also now seeing on TikTok, Google says that The Shorts attracting the biggest audiences on YouTube are “specifically designed to recreate the spontaneous feel of those older videos, with deliberate moments of surprise and delight”.

In Google’s own words:

“The best short-form videos embrace the format’s strength and encourage people to watch them again and again.”

At the same time, YouTube has rolled out a new monetisation programme for creators to make money from Shorts.

Creators and brands using Shorts as part of their video marketing strategy can now earn revenue from ads while the programme also opens up a new ad placement for YouTube advertisers.

It’ll be interesting to see how the monetisation programme and ad placement perform in 2023.

Long-from video still has a place

While short-form videos are getting all of the attention right now, it’s important to recognise the ongoing value of long-form content.

It’s easy to assume shorter attention spans mean longer content is no longer relevant. However, the data suggests otherwise. In fact, short-form video is crucial for discovery but audiences typically want more from the brands they’re excited about – and this means regular, longer content.

Graph showing how more people are searching for video essays on YouTube

Back in August 2022, Google published an article entitled New trend: Long attention spans for long-form videos.

The article references joint insights from YouTube and Ipsos revealing 59% of Gen Z watch longer versions of videos that they discover on short-form video apps.

The key lesson for marketers is to use short-form video to reach new audiences and maximise discoverability. And, once you’ve got the attention of your target audience, you guide them to the longer version of your video or similar content covering the exact same interest.

The power of communities

If you’ve built any kind of an audience on YouTube, you’ll understand the power of communities on the platform. Channels put the creator on centre stage but it’s the followers who build a community around the channel. They do this through comments, engagement, subscriptions, memberships and other interactions – all of which feed into the algorithm and put your content in front of new eyes.

As Google puts it:

“The most successful marketing shows an understanding of what motivates an audience to engage. That’s why it’s important to value online communities and understand how they can amplify and strengthen your messages.”

Google’s advice for marketers is simple: “Find ways to encourage participation from online groups who have specific personal interests and lean into them. By doing so, you can create brand moments with greater impact and meaning.”

With YouTube marketing, building an audience is great but it’s the communities who drive real growth. They start the conversations in the comment sections, debate the talking points in your videos and hit the “like” button to tell YouTube similar users may want to watch and get involved.

Biggest YouTube videos & ads in 2022

To see the most popular YouTube content from last year, you can scroll through the 2022: A Year on YouTube page.

YouTube trending videos

You can also view the top Shorts from 2022, as well as the most-watched music videos, the top creators in 2022 and the breakout creators who gained a lot of traction last year.

YouTube top shorts

YouTube Advertising has its own ranking for the year with its Ads Leaderboard, showcasing the top global ads of 2022.

YouTube top viewed ads

You can watch and analyse the most-viewed ads from last year and the page also offers up some advice for advertisers in 2023.

YouTube says humour and relatable imperfection are relatable characteristics on the platform. Brands that are showing more of their human side are building deeper relationships with their audience.

“On YouTube, humor and relatable imperfection can show that a brand gets their audience, and that’s reflected in how products and services are advertised.”

For many brands, switching to a less corporate tone of voice will be an uncomfortable transition. But this is where customer relationships are heading, especially as Gen Z matures as consumers.

Millennials are closely following the latest content trends, too, and these two generations are making up a larger portion of your target audience every year.

Is your video marketing strategy ready for 2023?

If your video marketing strategy is looking a little dated in 2023, our content and social media teams can help. Call us on 02392 830 281 to speak to our team or send us your details to discuss your next moves.

Chantelle Riley profile picture
Chantelle Riley

Chantelle is a PPC Specialist at Vertical Leap.

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