The Age of TikTok? 5 Reasons Why YouTube is Still King for Creators

By Race Johnson, COO and Co-Founder, Pixly

TikTok – it’s the platform getting all the buzzy attention today. Yet despite all of the hype, you may be surprised to learn that YouTube is more profitable for creators than TikTok or Instagram.

On YouTube, 6% of creators earned more than $10,001 per month – compared to 3% of Instagram creators and 2% of TikTok creators. Fifty percent of YouTube creators earn more than $500 per month vs. Instagram (40%) and TikTok (36%).

Despite the rise of competitors, YouTube remains the dominant platform for influencer marketing programs. Here’s why brands ought to look at YouTube as a key part of their influencer marketing strategy:

  • It’s massive. YouTube has more than two billion monthly active users (nearly a quarter of the world’s population), making it the most popular video-sharing website in the world and the second most visited website, behind only parent company Google. And while TikTok has more than 1 billion active users, and is the number one downloadable app (which is nothing to scoff at), YouTube is also the second-largest search engine after Google.
  • It’s got SEO on its side. YouTube generates more search queries than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask combined. And since it’s a subsidiary of Google, if you create compelling content with the right keywords, your brand will show up in both YouTube and Google searches. TikTok and Instagram don’t have that same benefit.
  • It’s established. YouTube has grown quickly since its inception in 2005. As one of the first platforms to generate influencer marketing, YouTube has gained a level of trust – unlike, TikTok, which is still a relative newbie and continues to face obstacles. Everybody and their uncle knows about YouTube, but TikTok and Instagram are more limited in scope.
  • It’s engaging. Not only does YouTube have a large user base, but it’s a highly engaged one with over 1 billion hours of video content viewed each day. On average, 694,000 hours of video are streamed by YouTube users every minute, higher than Netflix whose viewers watch 452,000 per minute. More significantly, a recent study found that engagement rates on YouTube are about 50%, significantly higher than engagement rates on TikTok (around 17%) and Instagram (3%). YouTube viewers are intentional and focused, logging onto the platform the way people used to tune into the biggest network shows during primetime.
  • There’s no time limit. YouTube provides the ability for influencers to highlight various aspects of the brands’ values without having to edit down for length. YouTube’s longer-form content allows for a better ability to educate viewers with tutorials and how-to videos about products or services. Whether it’s a dedicated video or a product integration, these longer segments provide viewers with a more authentic look at how they might use a certain product. It also allows brands to build deeper, longer-lasting connections to consumers.

YouTube also has an incredibly diverse user base, which allows brands to tap into deeply connected micro-communities, and most YouTube viewers seek out the latest video from their favorite creators, with whom they develop trust over time. On TikTok, brands are at the mercy of the site’s algorithm, which sometimes delivers like gangbusters, but is far from a sure thing.

The bottom line

Though it may not be the hot new platform, YouTube benefits from its longevity, the breadth of offerings, and its ability to engage users with longer form content from sources they trust. It should be a significant part of any robust influencer marketing program.