Muse of the month: Vlogging – how to make the most of YouTube’s Ambassadors

Posted by: Line Up on September 30th, 2014 IN Fun stuff

Welcome to another new series as we blog our way towards the end of 2014.  ‘Muse of the month’ is really just an outlet for us to pass on our thoughts on anything that is particularly trending or topical.  We hope you enjoy!  This month we look at the rise and rise of YouTube’s ever popular vloggers.

Vlogging 1

It’s official! A new celebrity is born and brands worldwide are scrambling to climb on board and share the spotlight. Video bloggers or ‘vloggers’ are the new partner of choice for brands jostling for the attention of the Millennial market.  The question is, how do you go about choosing the right kind of brand ambassador and how do you secure their endorsement without asking them to ‘sell-out’?

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, with 30% of reported users under 34.  And that’s not including anyone under the age of 18, a group that undeniably includes millions of YouTube fans.  It’s these teens, many of them female, who are fuelling the success of this new breed of super-vlogger.

Out of the bedroom, into the boardroom

Vlogging 2

In just a few years, top British and American vloggers such as Zoe Suggs (5m YouTube subscribers) and Bethany Mota (7m subscribers) have built vast, loyal fan-bases of teens and young adults.  Their honest, friend-next-door-style videos offer practical tips and advice on a range of fashion, beauty and lifestyle topics – with every new film racking up millions of views from their trusting fans.

It’s little wonder big brands such as Topshop, Superdrug, Dove, Vo5 and Penguin books have been tripping over themselves to find credible and appropriate ways to partner with these new age digital influencers.

Indeed for any brand seeking to connect with youth audiences these days, vloggers can be an immensely valuable part of a digital communication strategy.  But only when approached in the right way.

How should brands approach the opportunity?

Vlogging 3

The benefits of earned media over bought media are not new news and working with YouTube influencers buys a peer-to-peer recommendation that far outweighs the effect of advertising.

It allows brands to piggy-back an audience’s earned trust; a trust that is implicit in the channel and hard to quantify.  But some brands are still taking a traditional approach and alienating the vlogging community.  Here are a few tips from us on how to get involved without upsetting the apple cart:

1.   Invest in content that is authentic and relevant to the brand

Authenticity is absolutely key to the kinds of communities that vloggers build up.  Their style and tone of voice is conversational and open, there is no ‘talking at you’.  So don’t shoehorn your brand into a conversation where it doesn’t naturally belong.

2.   Don’t try to be the boss

Although some of these vloggers may seem young and inexperienced, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they don’t know what they are doing.  They have created their own world in which you want to play, they write the rules and many of them now have agents to back them up.

Vloggers are intermediaries between you and your audience.  The audience listens to them because they love what they say and how they say it.  Don’t try to re-write their script – it’s not your conversation.

3.   Ambassadors not adspace

Although ads do appear at the beginning of many video blogs (or pop up half-way through), this is not the best use of your vlogging pound.  Remember that ads can be skipped and try as you might to create something that sits well with a given channel or vlogger, paid media sticks out like a sore thumb.

vloggingpng

The Ford Fiesta Movement campaign is a great example of a brand understanding how to work in this environment.  They gave cars away to vloggers for six months and asked them to document their lives with the Fiesta in it.  The content fed into more traditional advertising but fundamentally they understood that they should let vloggers do what vloggers do best.

This is not about negotiating a good price for the best spot, this is about earning your place in an established community.  They call the shots – not you!

4.   Get the mix right

So you’ve found the right brand ambassador that really reflects your brand’s values and is making all the right noises about your products.  Remember that these media savvy audiences live their lives online and, if they choose to find out more, will want it all at their fingertips.  Make sure that your digital and social strategy are geared up so as not to disappoint.

So, four key pointers for getting started in the crazy new world that is ‘vlogging’.  Hopefully you’ll find them useful. What good or bad vlogger approaches have you noticed lately?

Line Up

Line Up

Line Up is an award-winning, creative communications agency, headquartered in London. We create engaging live and digital brand experiences for internal and external audiences all over the world.

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