It wasn’t long ago that advertising was a game of hardball, played by big-name corporate executives around imposing boardroom tables. The game was exclusive, cynical, and geared towards making big bucks for big business. Small businesses struggled to compete against huge brands who inevitably created a monopoly, drowning out the sounds of smaller advertising campaigns. Then along came the millennial generation. Motivated by a need to lead fulfilling, experience-led lives, millennials began to use technology in a way that big business had not seen before.
And suddenly they were in the advertising driving seat. Using simple equipment setups, video bloggers or “vloggers” began to create content that instantly appealed to their target market and, most importantly, sold to them. It’s easy to see the appeal of creating a vlog, there is plenty of equipment designed for beginners and it is easily accessible so just about anyone can get set up quickly. So, just what is it about vlogging that makes it so successful as a means of advertising?
Although it might look pretty straightforward, getting started in vlogging isn’t just as simple as having the right camera and lighting. The recipe for successful vlogs boils down to one thing – likeability. The audience must feel a connection to the vlogger in some way and the only way to achieve this is by being authentic. Authenticity is a huge driver for engagement on vlogs, which is where the difference between TV presenters and vloggers lies. Vloggers directly interact with their followers, often in real time, responding to comments and acting on suggestions made by their fans. This is hugely appealing for a young audience as it gives them the opportunity to interact with their favourite vlog stars.
Vloggers tend to film from their bedrooms and refer to their followers and friends, which increases their authenticity and likeability factors. For example, Zoella, who now has over 10 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, built her brand from regularly vlogging about everything from beauty finds to 60 things in her bedroom. Followers connected with her friendly demeanor and honest way of expressing herself and she now has hugely successful lifestyle and beauty ranges as well as a best-selling book. Not bad for starting out in her bedroom!
Creativity as a career
Another reason why vlogging is so popular is that it empowers younger people to take control of their careers and use their creativity in a way that can make them money. The thought of exploring a hobby and creating a business out of it at the same time is undeniably appealing, especially when faced with the prospect of becoming as famous as Tyler Oakley or Jim Chapman.
Where traditional advertising cynically targets an audience, vlogging is much more creative. Brands can work with vlog stars to promote their products, or vloggers can create their own after they have created a large enough audience. The possibilities are endless – though, it all comes back to the first factor. If the vlogger isn’t authentic about the advert, their fans won’t buy into it.
Finding a niche
The most important thing to decide upon when it comes to creating a vlog is the niche you are going to work with. When people are passionate about something, it means they are much more likely to create interesting, engaging, and relatable content. Relatable content attracts a large audience which in turn means more people to market to. So, deciding on a niche is key to targeting your audience. Whether you want to be a beauty guru or a poker vlog star, narrowing it down will help you to effectively promote to a specific group of people rather than the entire world, which is much harder.
Once you’ve created that niche, the next step is to create regular, authentic and relatable content around it. This will attract an audience interested in your particular content which in turn will create a community of followers. The community aspect is vital in successful vlogging, as vloggers genuinely care about their fans and vice versa. When their fans feel as though they have had a glimpse into their favourite star’s life, they feel as though the bond between them is much stronger.
So, always remember that authenticity is key in successful vlogging. Whether you decide to set up your own vlog or get the help of vloggers to promote your product or service, one thing is for sure – vlogging is here to stay.