Within the last few years it’s become increasingly obvious that visual media is the premier type of content on the web. Why? Well maybe it’s because pictures and videos spread faster because they’re easy to digest and instantly entice an emotion.
And like I’ve said before - the secret to the internet is that their’s humans on the other end of that username. And what makes human’s act the most?
Emotional attachment and/or connection.
Being an individual who spent a ridiculous amount of money to get BFA in Film I learned pretty quickly that being a filmmaker in “Music City” kind of limited my opportunities.
Because, lets face it folks, it’s cheaper to pretend we’re in Tennessee while shooting in Georgia and South Carolina where production companies get better tax incentives. Instead of actually coming to Tennessee to shoot. ALAS!
Well, thankfully, my interests in the internet and the beauty that is Youtube has pretty much made distribution of video….instantaneous.
Being someone who works pretty avidly on the creation of youtube channels I’ve noticed a trend in the TYPES of content currently making it’s rounds on youtube.
Think of them as Youtube Genres if you will.
1. The Talking Head / Vloggers
The talking head is where a number of “youtube stars” baffle the masses. Personalities like Jenna Marbles, Grace Helbig, and the Vlog Brothers are “comedic personalities” who make their living by making youtube videos talking to the camera. Using fast talking wit, sarcasm, and sometimes “obvious observation” these videos make a connection with their audience. Usually through laughter - but ultimately they share their voice, opinions, and insights with the world.
And believe it or not - people like it.
Why? Majority of the time they appreciate their fans more than other celebrities. They take the time to respond and read comments. They interact and entertain. They are what made the pre-commercialization of youtube so popular. People could share their opinions and thoughts and people would listen. It’s beautiful.
While it’s unlikely that everyone reading this would ever really understand the popularity - the fact of the matter is people relate to these people. They are a face that people recognize and connect with. It’s the easiest way for fans to connect with a voice.
2. The Narrative Web-Series
The Narrative Web Series is initially what got a number of filmmakers excited about the Youtube Venture. It was a way to tell stories in an entirely new way. Quick, fun, and powerful. Ultimately, it’s storytelling at it’s fastest and most effective.
With the likes of The Guild, Wigs and many more you get amazing filmmakers trying their hands to get seen. Blip.tv is another source of how narrative web series is getting more and more popular. And the land of content is becoming more and more populated.
Why do they work? Because people love stories! Thats why people adore television and movies. But with the Narrative Web Series entertainment and stories are told much quicker than traditional entertainment and they ultimately are easier to digest in quick succession.
3. The Skit Based Web-Series
Skit WebSeries, while similar in “production value” of a number of Narrative web series tends to be single one off comedies. Each episode doesn’t connect in any way - but they fall under an all linking concept.
Epic Rap Battles of History, Conversations with my 3 year old, Sugarboy, 5 Second Films, and others tend to range in entertainment level. They explore various forms of comedy and storytelling. They’re an active contributing factor to youtube land.
Why do they work? They’re usually very short, high quality, and sharable. You don’t need to “catchup” like a narrative webseries. In fact you watch a one off and your entertainment needs are appeased. They provide a face to the performance and they entertain the masses. It’s also pretty common that the brands that do on-off skits talk back to fans and create videos based on conversational encouragement.
4. The Inspirational Promo
The Inspirational Promo is what I like to call the classic “heartstring marketing ploy.” They pull at the heartstrings of the human psyche to bring awareness of a brand that may or may not be related to the subject matter.
There’s been some pretty epic Inspirational Promo’s over the last few years.
Coca Cola has lead the way with their Happiness Machine and Security Camera campaigns. 20th Century Fox’s “Live Your Dreams” Video, West Jet and it’s Christmas Miracle (above), and though some may say it’s not a Home Depot sponsored video the Marriage Proposal of 2013 …. totally could be seen as a marketing strategy for the store.
Why do these work? They show that the brands involved are more than just a name or some ridiculous mascot from the 90’s. It shows that the brand is connected to the human experience and they want to contribute to making people happy. It’s true Marketing Genius.
5. The Educational Tutorial
The Educational Tutorial is a part of youtube land that really kind of makes information go round in today’s society. You can practically learn ANYTHING on the internet right now. Everything from cooking a pineapple upside down cake to how to make DIY movie lights or even how to work complex 3D design software. The tutorial video is very popular because that’s what the internet is for.
To ask questions and find answers.
So, when the visual learner would rather watch and imitate actions - it’s just easier to watch a video instead of trying to decipher a blog post with pictures. It’s also that human connection of teaching and learning that we get out of tutorial videos that keeps them coming back for more!
6. The Music/Lyric/Cover Video
Alright…I’m not really going to go into detail on this one since it’ll be covered in future posts. But… with the disappearing act of MTV’s TRL and VH1’s Countdowns the music video industry had to go somewhere! Just like the rest of the music industry it became very obvious that consumers preferred to consume the content of the artists they liked on demand without being told to listen to anything else.
So, the music video is where people get what is no longer available to them on television. The music/lyric/cover video is really how a number of artists can break into scenes and build a following based on their talents and their ability to appeal to a fan base.
Some stars who became popular or reinvented themselves through their music videos includes, Lindsey Stirling, Robin Thick (come on you watched both versions of that Blurred Lines video - we all did), and yes folks….lets not forgetJustin Bieber was indeed a youtube brat face long before he was pissing in public places and hoping Anne Frank was a belieber.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
The video world is vast on the internet and these were only the “Top of the head” list. Within each of these are even more complicated variations and styles that are replicated over and over.
All that really needs to be recognized about video content in marketing strategies is that there are PLENTY of different ways to go about videos. And just like doing your research on social media norms - one has to plan appropriately when planning your video content.
There’s a subcultures within the world of Youtube and other than flinging out content blindly simply because someone tells you video is where it’s at. Choose your strategy wisely, select your genre, and ride the wave!