While it may feel early to start thinking about the Q4 holidays, many brands are busy planning their end-of-year content strategies to reach holiday shoppers and maximize sales. And as nearly 80% of consumers say they use YouTube for shopping and/or browsing, YouTube is one platform brands can’t afford to skip this holiday season. 

A quick look at the holiday space on YouTube: 

  • 68 billion views in 2022-2023
  • 8.8M total videos
  • 6.2K total channels

However, with so much content, and so many brands, vying for attention, it’s important to create videos that stand out and resonate with viewers. We analyzed the performance of Pixability-run YouTube ad campaigns, along with Google’s holiday trend data and public YouTube data, to uncover tips and tricks for driving interest and action for your brand on YouTube. Read on for our top insights.

Drive Interest and Trust with Creators

Did you know that 81% of consumers say that content from influencers drives interest in an item or service? Not to mention 89% of viewers agree that YouTube creators give recommendations they can trust.

This isn’t surprising, as our research found consumers are much more likely to turn to creators over brands for top holiday content on YouTube. In fact, 90% of views across all holiday videos in 2022-2023 were on creator content. Additionally, YouTube creator content had an engagement of more than 35X the engagement rate of top holiday videos from brands.

When it comes to your holiday content strategy, try partnering with an influencer to create authentic and engaging content for your brand. By allowing influencers to create content that aligns with your brand, you’ll create a more organic and genuine connection with your target audience.

Increase Engagement with Short-Form Video

Google recently announced that more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users watch YouTube Shorts (more than TikTok and Instagram Reels). That’s great news for holiday advertisers, as consumers in the mood for product discovery gravitate towards Shorts because they’re easily discoverable, snackable, and provide an immersive experience. 

This is consistent with our research, as we found that YouTube viewers prefer short-form holiday content (less than 60 seconds) over long-form content: 

  • Videos 30-60 seconds saw a 1.8X higher engagement rate than top longer-form holiday videos
  • Videos 30-60 seconds showed both the highest engagement rate and the highest total engagements 
  • Top holiday content under 30 seconds saw the next highest engagement rate and total engagements

One way for brands to jump on the short-form bandwagon is to engage in the emerging trend, #shortsmas. Shortsmas is a spin on the traditional Vlogmas holiday trend in which creators upload YouTube shorts every day during December instead of traditional long-form vlogs. Videos containing #shortsmas reached 2.3B views in 2022 and a 2X overall engagement rate. Brands can use content themes such as Comedy, Gift Wrapping, or DIY/Crafts to join in, all of which lend themselves to short-form content. 

Start Your Holiday Content Strategy Early

According to Google, how shoppers behave this year has shifted as today’s consumers have become more intentional. Google’s research shows that 74% of consumers plan their holiday shopping early, and, on average, consumers need 10 touchpoints to evaluate purchases. 

While highlighting peak shopping deals and promotions in your creative can be a great way to drive immediate action closer to the holidays, successful brands should kick off their content strategy early and sell shoppers on the value of their products. 

Google recommends testing online ratings and reviews in your holiday creative to help build consumer confidence in large purchases. Additionally, “Shop with me” videos have grown on YouTube by 35% year-over-year, further solidifying the need to partner with creators to drive the authenticity of your brand and products. 

Want to learn more YouTube best practices to get ahead this holiday season? Get in touch to learn how Pixability can drive suitable reach for your brand.