And so should me and every PR, marketing or business student, and with this blog post I shall clarify why!
This post is the base for my today’s presentation at the #PRinthepicture event, which is a networking event for students and PR practitioners, organised by me and my fellow PR classmates.
We could have volunteered to prepare short snappy presentations on the chosen by us subjects and I haven’t really been thinking about it much until one day, when I decided I needed to talk about this particular platform.
I didn’t used to overthink Youtube too much. Not gonna lie, I don’t have a channel, I don’t even spend much time on there, unless I take a break from studying. Cause’ what can a person do during a short break from all the books and essays, if not watch funny can videos on Youtube?!
I mean, come on, how cute is that?! Brightens your day right up!
But other than that? No…it’s not like Facebook to me, or Twitter, or Linked in, or WordPress, which I use a lot on a daily basis.
But I’ve decided to talk about it and I have a strong reason behind it.
And the reason is the half an hour I spent with a 10 year old girl. Here’s the story:
I was at my boyfriend’s mum’s place…
I really do enjoy using possessive ‘s. At some point in the afternoon, Dotty’s (my boyfriend’s mum) friend, Jasmine, popped in with her children – Lilly (10) and Jack (12). Jack went to the back room straight away to join the boys playing football on the Xbox and ,curious of what I was doing Lilly, sat down next to me on the sofa.
– What are you doing Nat? Youtube?! Cool! Do you want to see my channel and what I’ve watched today?!
She didn’t even notice the cuteness of the kittens on my screen, just took my phone and went straight into her account. She had so many videos posted, I couldn’t believe it! Especially that I, myself, was considering setting up a channel at some point, but still haven’t got to the point where I feel confident enough to do so. She’s 10 for God’s sake!
I pointed out she had a lot of videos and asked if the fact that anyone and everyone can watch her didn’t overwhelm her?
– If anything, it annoys me when people aren’t watching me. Most of my viewers are my friends. They follow my channel so when I post a new video, they’re the ones to watch it. Then they respond with their video. Most of the time it’s just like we’re talking.
– What do you talk about in your videos then? – I asked.
– Everything. How my day at school was…you know, normal stuff.
Dis I get it right? She’s already building her personal brand in a brilliant way without even realising she’s doing it.
– Who do you watch then? – I asked.
– A lot of people. A lot of DIY videos or educational ones, when I don’t know how to do my homework…
Apparently it is easier for Lilly to search up stuff on Youtube, rather than on Google, because, “she gets it better and learn faster from the videos”.
– I do have my favourite vlogger! – Lilly got excited.
“Zoella” – she typed in the Youtube search box.
Of course I knew Zoella, we all know her, with more than 7 million channel subscribers to her name, she’s probably one of the most successful fashion and beauty blogger and an amazing PR in addition.
– I love her so much!!! – Lilly continued. – She’s so smart and pretty and she’s got so many followers! I want to be like her! I even have her book, look! – and so she grabbed her bag and took the ‘Girl Online. On Tour’ out of it to show me. – I’ve got another one actually. This isn’t the first one, the first one is just ‘Girl Online’. You should read it! My friends were so jealous when I showed them this one.
– Do your friends have her book too?
– Oh yeah, we all do! You’re kind of lame really if you don’t. You have to know those people…it’s weird that you don’t have your own channel. Everyone’s on Youtube, you have to be there, you know?
I didn’t. I didn’t also know, how popular Youtube and vloggers were among younger generations – generations of today’s 10 year olds. They look for inspiration through Youtube, they learn through it, they communicate through it….Funny fact? Lilly doesn’t have Facebook, or Twitter…but Youtube and Snapchat are used by her on a daily basis.
My first thought was “This is insane”! My second thought was, that this is amazing and Youtube, despite what I thought, has not reached its full potential yet. The process has already started though. Youtube is already booming and its statistics are incredible, even though they only include people of the age of 18 and older. Think how those statistics are going to look like in 8 years, when Lilly and her friends are 18!
Youtube is no longer a platform focused on cute animals, pranks and music videos. No. It moved from it to being used in order to showcase campaigns that are promoting awareness, promote a brand or re-positioning. It gets better than that….and it’s still completely free!
So what does it mean for PR departments?
- Brand Awareness; Youtube reaches probably the biggest potential audience you could ever dream of. From kids, like Lilly, through men and women aged 18-49 (according to Youtube statistics), to elderly people – the evidence are my grandparents. This gives you a new way of approaching the public and building brand awareness. You can choose your audience so easily. You can communicate with a broader one, or narrow it down to a particular community (e.g. gamers, travellers). Youtube has became a platform to showcase your products/services and their benefits with creativity!
- Communicate Messages; it was never easier for you, brands and companies to communicate messages. When you publish a video on youtube you don’t just communicate with your local audience, you send the message worldwide. And the language barriers? Please, there’s a free option to add subtitles so you can communicate with anyone and everyone despite all the different languages.
- Respond fast to risk; Youtube platform allows companies/organisations and individuals to respond fast to any allegations, which may lead to a crisis. It is a simple and effective way of responding to a potential reputation threat. A great example is Domino’s President response to the prank video by two of Domino’s employees, which was far away from funny and more of a offence to some. Domino’s acted fast by putting this on:
- The personal touch; to engage with their public well companies and brands should become more personal. Youtube is a great way to add some humanity to a faceless corporation. Youtube has already been used by many companies to showcase the benefits of working with them and their Youtube activities became a significant part of the recruitment process:
So if you, or your company aren’t on Youtube yet…well, I think it’s worth to start thinking about it now. It could help you build your own, strong brand and add up to your reputation.
Sorry, this one turned out to be a bit longish. Hope I didn’t bore you too much!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!