When it comes to customer loyalty, brands around the world dedicate a significant chunk of time and money to understanding what makes their customers keep coming back for more. The same should be said for media companies, as the loyalty of their viewers has important implications for their long-term growth and success.
This is why, in our newest report, we looked at the topic of loyalty across unique, de-duplicated U.S. audiences on YouTube in January and February 2021 for the top media creators and influencers. We measured loyalty by the amount of viewers who watched consecutively across both months and who met a 30-second quality threshold.
We found three key aspects of loyalty that media companies can apply to their audience development strategies:
- Create dependable content that creates an emotional connection with your viewers.
- Learn how influencers and top creators connect so well with their followers.
- Use loyalty as a complement to reach and engagement.
We’ll look at a couple of these key findings shortly, but before we go any further, let’s consider why media companies even need to pay attention to the loyalty of their viewers.
Why Media Companies Should Care About Loyalty
Below are four compelling reasons media companies should aim to foster a trusted relationship with their audiences.
It’s no secret that getting new eyeballs on your content is hard, and the costs associated with this task can often run very high. That’s why it’s important to focus on maintaining the dedicated viewers you have now to reduce overall churn and spend. It’s easier to delight and engage current audiences than it is to continually try to reach new ones.
The more often the same viewers come back to your content, the more exposure they’ll have to any brands and advertisers working with you. This can potentially impact brand lift, making your advertising partners happy and want to continue working with you.
Your audience can be one of the best marketing resources in your arsenal. This is because loyal viewers are more likely to recommend your content to friends and family than casual viewers are. Word-of-mouth from dedicated audiences can help expand your reach to new viewers.
Finally, loyal audiences are usually some of the most vocal when it comes to your content. More often than not, these viewers will tell you exactly what they want to see from your videos, which makes it easier for you to create that content and deliver it to them. The more often you give audiences content they want, the more likely they are to keep coming back for more.
Loyalty Differs Across Content Genres
Now let’s jump into the first key aspect of audience loyalty, which is that loyalty differs across content genres. This is especially important when deciding what kind of content to make, because some genres will likely have more loyal audiences than others.
For example, we found gaming audiences were 53% more loyal than average, implying their audiences find and stick with the creators they like the most. Entertaining genres such as People & Blogs, Entertainment, Sports, and Music also showed above average levels of loyalty.
This was not the case for genres like Travel, Home & DIY, and Animals & Pets, however. These types of creators generally showed a lower loyalty rate than the average channel.
That being said, top creators have shown they can have higher loyalty than those around them. The Dodo, for example, has an audience loyalty that’s 67% higher than the benchmark (while the Animals & Pets genre average is 38% below benchmark).
Clearly, you can still have a very loyal fan base in a genre that overall doesn’t show high loyalty.
Influencers Have More Loyalty on Average
In another section of our report, we discovered influencers in general tend to have more loyalty than media companies. Across the top 1000 influencers and 1000 media channels, we found influencers showed an average loyalty value 17% higher than that of media companies.
This data implies influencers are, on average, better at making an emotional connection with their audiences and making them tune in on a regular basis compared to media channels and companies.
As individuals who candidly sit and record themselves in front of a camera, influencers undoubtedly seem more personable than brands and media companies, who don’t always take such a direct, relatable approach to their content.
But that doesn’t mean media companies can create a loyal following like influencers. If anything, it’s important to learn from these top influencers and strive to make a connection with your audience by being personable so you can build loyalty across your viewers.
In summary, audience loyalty is important for media companies who want to reap the benefits of a lower cost of retention, a higher ad frequency, fan advocacy, and an audience-informed content strategy.
In the report, we dove even deeper into the topic of loyalty, so if you want to learn more about how the best-of-the-best creators are building loyal audiences, make sure you download it for free below!