Nobody could have predicted the incredible impact that YouTube would have on the world ten years ago.
Former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim discovered the niche platform in which people could access video clips of the most random events, and no one has come close to matching the huge popularity of it since.
Currently, YouTube is the third most-visited site on the internet, and the second biggest search engine on the web, with over 40m brand-related videos uploaded daily.
With this in mind, there has been a rise in the new influencer on the internet; the vlogger, with their power of persuasion on YouTube reaching more 18-24 year olds than any cable network shown on television.
What is key in the new found era of vloggers is the need to maintain a personalised and ‘real life’ relationship with viewers. The power to tailor their content has been a godsend when it comes to reaching their audience.
Statistics show that 64% of viewers are more than likely to purchase from an ecommerce site after watching a video, and it is this that shows the true power of the vlogger.
A recent survey of digital marketers found most top retailers aren’t making use of video SEO, noting that only 16 of them had more than 10,000 pages on YouTube.
With that said, it’s extremely important to note that strategy in video content is vital when it comes to upping your branding game.
Find your niche & stick to it
All the best vloggers, as well as bloggers, know what they are good at.
Brands and viewers will always look to you for a specific niche, and once you are settled within that, there is no looking back.
Advice and personal lifestyle-led content is currently popular on both the blogging and video platform, where the demographic is that of a younger audience.
A lot of vloggers have tuned into this and made their content specifically tailored to their viewers.
The amount of views is not the only metric to consider when uploading a video on to YouTube – the main aim is for the audience to follow through with an actionable response, which is exactly what brands look to build upon when they reach out to you.
YouTube is fast becoming the platform for people trying to build a following. Gone are the days of ‘playing out’; a lot of young children and young teens look to the web to seek solace and the impact of YouTube is far reaching; even the likes of Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards are recognising its importance to the younger generation nowadays.
Despite this, the site is overflowing with the same content, and it’s up to you to ensure that you stand out, which is exactly what brands and PRs look for.
Difference, particularly in an industry where people know what works, plays an incredibly large part in gaining traction when it comes to views and subscribers.
Think With Google recently published an article discussing the power of online video for mothers.
With many new parents looking online for advice, a survey of 1,500 women aged between 18-54 found that 83% went to the internet for help, and a three out of five of those mothers looked to online video to answer their queries.
For those ‘I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do-moments,’ they often turn to YouTube, which highlights the need for the platform; people are now reliant on getting their advice from personable and down to earth characters online.
Consistency Is Key
Algorithms within YouTube encourage a consistent uploading schedule. As I said before, this platform is overflowing with content.
This is where the old ‘a consistent audience requires consistent content’, comes into play.
With brands knowing that you’re able to upload on a regular basis and your audience aware of when this will be taking place throughout the week, you’re able to instil a trust that you’re able to highlight in the work you upload
Making an effort makes a difference
Quality also plays a large part in the amount of subscribers and views you get on your videos.
Bethany Mota is a great example to look at when we’re looking at the time and effort that is put into work.
The teen vlogger concentrates on fashion and beauty videos with a view to making them as bright, colourful and welcoming as possible, and as a result has accumulated an incredible 9m subscribers on YouTube.
Again, trust plays a large part in this aspect of the platform. Ensuring brands and PRs are aware of the time and effort you dedicate to your channel can make the world of difference when it comes to the type of people who approach you.
According to Inc.com, 75% of users visit a marketer’s site after a video.
When you highlight yourself in a particular light, i.e. the way in which you depict your channel, it says a lot about the general quality of your channel’s brand as a whole.
Credibility is key
Consumers are constantly looking for credibility in products.
Authenticity is now relied upon from bloggers and vloggers, whose opinion is much more valued than that of the editor of your favourite print publication.
Brands are a lot more aware of this influence amongst the YouTube community, and if that trusting relationship is established from point A (the brand) to point B (the YouTuber) to point C (the viewer/consumer), then it’s all systems go for everyone involved.
Although brand representation is key within the videos, it’s imperative to remember the trusting aspect to vloggers; their purpose is to create meaningful and informative content that their audience will enjoy.
Despite money and brand relationships playing a big part in this industry now, the integrity of a YouTube channel should always be at the forefront.
It’s this that makes the likes of Tyler Oakley, Ingrid Neilson, and dare I say it, Zoe Sugg the leaders in their field.
With over 18m subscribers between just the three of these vloggers, it’s their honesty that they feel they owe their followers that shines across each channel.
Be accessible across the board
Communication in the blogging/vlogging world can, arguably, be the basis of the making of a personal brand.
Accessing news, be it about yourself or sharing your life on a more personal level, can help build the platform that you’re slowly bringing together.
Twitter is a great source for sharing your own content, connecting with like-minded individuals as well as building relationships with brands that might miss out on your work.
It might not be much, but expressing a little bit of your personality through other routes can really make the world of difference when it comes establishing contacts; the odd favourite or small reply can put you on their radar for future projects that might be perfect for the niche you’re building for yourself.
What else is out there?
With the power of online video ever expanding, the opportunities for this sort of content are seemingly never ending.
Vine, Instagram video, Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat – there is a lot of time being given to this new way of communicating.
Periscope enables you to shoot live video streams through a mobile app.
Described as wanting to be ‘the closest thing to teleportation’, the app does require a Twitter account, but doubles up as a live vlog for audiences.
Unfortunately there is no fancy editing and montages, but the chance to have your audience essentially with you in the moment can be enough for many.
- Vine and Instagram
If you’re looking for short bursts of video, Instagram and Vine have this covered.
These platforms have built up new online stars that have changed the way we look at video content. Take Amymarie Gaertner, for example, a talented dancer who posts short snippets of dance choreography that anyone could replicate and Thomas Sanders who is most famous for his Vines where he narrates the lives of the general public.
Click the image to view the Vine
What works on this platform is the timing; any longer and it would be disinteresting.
Sanders’ Vine enables you to hear his commentary with a short snippet that reveals his target’s reaction.
Facebook has recently exploded onto the scene with its use of video. Unlike YouTube and other video platforms, its algorithm allows videos to be curated specifically to its users.
Unfortunately, because of this, there isn’t a specific way of searching for a particular video; either you see it or you don’t.
As many of you will know, Facebook video is now embeddable, which is of course a sure fire move to compete with YouTube, particularly with the ability to comment/like/share, even outside of the website.
With news that the service has already started to deliver over 3bn videos per day, it’s interesting to note that Facebook records a view after just three seconds, whereas YouTube is around 30.
This highlights two important things; the major impact of the amount of eyeballs reaching the Facebook videos, and that the first 30 seconds of your YouTube video is critical in keeping those views increasing.
The Snapchat app has become noticeably popular amongst bloggers, vloggers and celebrities as of late.
As much as a YouTube or Instagram account is being promoted through Twitter, as is Snapchat, and it’s now available for use on a desktop or laptop.
A Snapchat story allows you to see sneak peeks of your favourite star’s day.
Unlike Periscope, it doesn’t allow for a real-time look into the lives of those flying high, but is still seen to be taking you, the audience, on a 15-second journey.
71% of the app’s users are said to fall in the 18-34 year old demographic, and it’s now branched out to 1-to-1 snaps, stories, as well private messages (follower dependant), which moves into more personal territory.
Unlike the other video bases, Snapchat stories are downloadable, enabling them to be shared on various platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for more views.
Think With Google also mentioned the introduction of ‘micro-moments.’ With the way in which we consume media taking a sharp turn, online has cushioned this by using what Google calls ‘fragmented interactions’, i.e time checking, sending a quick text or conversations on any social media platform.
As mentioned with the ‘I-want-to’ moments, the way in which brands interact with us has moved forward light-years, as we’re always looking to be educated or to discover.
According to statistics, 91% of us look for information on our smartphones whilst in the middle of tasks, 82% of us look to our phones when deciding to buy a product in-store, and 69% of consumers online agree that the quality, timing and relevance of a message is influential in creating a positive perception of a brand.
The numbers state the facts; creating a timeless and trusting relationship with your audience through video can highlight you as a significant figure in their decision making process.
The key is to create content that is needed, wanted and asked for by your subscribers, particularly where brands are concerned.
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This post, YouTube strategy: Tips for building an audience & working with vloggers was first published on Econsultancy.