By Donna Amey, Social Influence Director, FinchFactor
For those of us who don’t watch YouTube content daily, the enormous subscriber numbers a lot of them command can actually make you jump. The Island with Bear Grylls is currently one of Channel 4’s most popular shows, but, in terms of viewing figures, a vlog from Zoella commands a far larger audience.
So what is it about a girl, speaking straight to camera about daily life, that is more engaging than a group of people being dropped on desert island in the pacific? It’s probably a lot simpler than you’d think. And as content as simple as this can be such a huge success, there are plenty of practical learnings. Donna Amey, Social Influence Director, FinchFactor shares the top five things all brands should be doing to win the internet.
Enjoy the freedom of self publishing
Traditional broadcasting often comes down to budget, so, in order for something to have backing it needs to have a very broad audience. Publishing something yourself, as the owners of YouTube channels do, means that you’re under very few restrictions as to what you can share. This lack of restriction brings authenticity and heart – things which traditional broadcasting can sometimes lack.
Of course there are always target markets to hit, and existing customers to please, but social channels - whatever they are, and whoever owns them - are there in order for us to express ourselves in our own words. If you can’t do it there, where can you?
There’s a reason that the most successful YouTubers post daily vlogs: The more content they share, the less likely you are to forget them. Similarly, the more content you, as a brand, share, the more chance it has to be reposted by someone else, helping you reach plenty more people.
YouTube personalities are rarely without a camera. They’ve been known to share births, confessions, and colonics (oh, yes). For brands – probably quite fortunately, this kind of content just isn’t available. However, the point is that sharing these private moments is what instils trust between author and audience. The personal connection is what builds subscriber numbers, so involving your audience in your business as well as your brand can be invaluable.
Collaboration is key
You’ll notice, looking at any popular YouTube personality’s video stream, that the most viewed videos are those featuring another YouTuber. The maths is pretty simple; minus a few overlaps, two audiences are better than one. You’re (probably) a very interesting brand with a great story – finding people to collaborate with should be a doddle.
Listen to comments
Comment boxes can be both help and hindrance - realistically you’ll never please everyone. However, there’s no YouTuber who survives without them. They’ll check their comments for each video, and work on the suggestions. Of course, they’re not always positive, but actually this qualitative feedback is imperative to an evolving channel.
No matter who is producing content, what we share is just as much about who we are as who are audience is. It’s just as much about the author as the audience. Real connections and loyalty come from attachment, and the more personally connected someone feels to you the more likely they are to subscribe.