Mark Wheeler on how YouTube talks to consumers across the whole marketing funnel

Like many digital platforms, YouTube experienced growth in marketer spend throughout 2020. Mumbrella's Zanda Wilson chats with Mark Wheeler about YouTube's latest campaign, and putting quantifiable data behind what the platform can do for advertisers.

YouTube has unveiled its new marketing campaign, designed to showcase both its vast ecosystem of creators and the positive impact the platform has on the Australian economy.

The campaign includes the YouTube Australia Impact Report, as well as a hero video featuring some of its creators across a range of different content styles.

The report, which had independent consulting from Oxford Economics, found the YouTube creative ecosystem contributed AU$608 million to the Australian economy in 2020 and supported 15,750 full-time equivalent jobs.

Mark Wheeler

Head of YouTube and large customer ads marketing AUNZ, Mark Wheeler, says the purpose of the campaign and report was to quantify the impact of YouTube’s creators. “Working on such an amazing brand and ecosystem of creators and artists, we’ve been wanting to quantify the impact they have.

“We know there’s a societal, cultural and economic impact they have, and we’ve worked to understand that economic impact. We have this thriving ecosystem that has amazing creators who are entrepreneurs in their own right. And small businesses in their own right.

“I think that the report is allowing us to just quantify that the audience is quite broad for companies, people and businesses to understand that.”

The campaign comes off-the-back of more consumers and marketers turning to YouTube and other digital platforms during 2020, as traditional forms of media suffered through the first year of the pandemic.

“Overall we’ve definitely seen a positive impact [in 2020]. Consumers have turned to YouTube, for both education and entertainment,” Wheeler says.

“I think we were helpful through the pandemic in servicing information, helping users understand a bit more what’s happening with the pandemic and, but also the entertainment factor. We don’t shy away from the fact that people come to get away from the day-to-day.”

SMB findings from the YouTube Australia Impact Report

YouTube was already on a growth trajectory for a number of years, Wheeler explains. “We talk about YouTube as a really strong mainstream platform… we did see increases in usage and watch time [last year], but nothing extraordinarily different from pre-pandemic.”

The report also showed plenty of what Wheeler says YouTube already knows. “YouTube is a mainstream platform that works if you want to engage all audiences, not just a very young demographic. It’s a great place to engage and build your brand. YouTube is becoming more and more of a central platform to build business and brand.”

75% of SMBs (small and medium-sized enterprises) attributed growth to advertising with YouTube, according to the report. “YouTube allows them to connect with their audiences, and with the creators we have, it’s a really authentic way of connecting with that audience,” Wheeler says.

There are a few other key takeaways for marketers as well. “YouTube is a diverse platform with features like YouTube Select which allow you to hero and highlight certain verticals and you can advertise with those creators.

“Marketers should be wanting to advertise where the consumers are,” Wheeler adds.”YouTube is becoming more and more of a central platform to build business and brand.”

The hero video in the campaign is designed to show that YouTube’s effectiveness is all about the connections between creators and audiences. “Video drives the emotional connection. Audio plus visual really does drive an emotional connection and we see brands and businesses leaning into that,” Wheeler explains.

“We’ve highlighted 25 creators from across Australia on a microsite website. We’ll keep heroing creators, and we just want to highlight them and hear them because they are what makes YouTube so unique and impactful.”

Wheeler acknowledges there is plenty of competition from other media channels and digital platforms, but says YouTube has a unique ability to talk to consumers from a hyper-broad range of demographics.

“Marketers have a lot of pressure from their companies to make sure the marketing is effective and to be smart over their choices.

“YouTube also really has the ability to talk to consumers all across the whole marketing funnel. Whether you want awareness consideration, whether you want to drive leads and action towards the bottom of the funnel, YouTube still does a really good job.

“It’s down to the marketer to ensure YouTube is an essential part of their media mix.”


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