Stay local and don’t assume digital audiences will follow you to TV or movies
I see people moving out to places like LA because they think that’s what you do when you’re successful. Definitely go out to collaborate but the only reason you have to move is if you have ambitions to do something like go into television or movies. And if you do, know that it’s a really different world: producers, agents, networks all own a piece of you and it’s really easy to lose your independence. Also, know that digital audiences won’t always follow you to non-digital platforms. For example, over the weekend The Smosh Movie was released. It’s a YouTuber movie that’s not in theaters and it went #1 on iTunes over the weekend. Audiences that start digital tend to stay digital and with TV becoming more VOD and streaming becoming mainstream, I think it’s going to stay that way.
Create content that’s useful, vlog for engagement
Basic vlogging has slow growth on YouTube because it’s personality based. The best way to grow on YouTube is to make content that people are looking for, something that helps them — cooking, how-to’s, makeup tutorials are some easy examples. Everyone is finding their niche on YouTube. Roman Atwood got noticed because of his street prank videos and then he started vlogging on the side. Now the vlogs have much more engagement than his prank videos. He does pranks about once a month whereas the vlogs come out three or four times a week. The savvy YouTubers share more and more about themselves but it’s a cult of personality and a bit fickle.
Use one platform to launch yourself on another
The number of video platforms we’re seeing now has exploded so this fragmentation has meant that people have to keep experimenting all the time with new formats. Smart creators use one platform as leverage to grow an audience on another. They cross pollinate between them. Matthew Santoro has five million subscribers on YouTube and has lately been focusing on Periscope to became the top Periscoper in the world. He encouraged his audience from YouTube to follow him to Periscope, without giving up on YouTube as his main platform. He’s made sure he understands how Periscope works and how to leverage it for his own purposes according to his strengths.
Follow the money (or why everything always ends up on YouTube)
I think content created on Twicer can really benefit from YouTube because fundamentally [YouTube] is a marketing platform. Let’s face it: Google is an advertising company! Anybody that uses YouTube only as a place to entertain people doesn’t get it and they’re missing a lot of opportunities. It’s not just the dominant video platform, it’s the second most popular search engine in the world and it’s a monetizable platform. An example is a hilarious family called The Eh Bee Family who started out making funny sketches on Vine. They found that people would steal their content by making compilations of the best vines. That experience demonstrated to them that they had an audience on YouTube so they decided to grow a YouTube channel, which is now at 500,000 subscribers and it’s growing by 5000 followers a day. The same thing happened with Facebook. They had to take control of their views, which helped them grow from less than 1 million followers to 3 million followers in a couple of months. And they are now the sixth biggest video creator worldwide on the platform right behind the NBA according to Tubular Labs. In the end though, it always seems to end up on YouTube.
Own your audience
Creators will build a sandcastle in someone else’s sandbox and when that sandbox moves, they’re done. When Facebook or YouTube changes an algorithm you have no basis to complain when you’re using somebody else’s platform to build your audience. They need to get educated about building a business outside of that platform off their fame. Should they be looking at newsletters? Or websites? Some of them don’t even have web sites! They need to own their audience and it’s a piece that’s lost on some creators.
Don’t build an audience if you have nothing to market
The creators fall into a trap of easy social followings — it’s easy to subscribe, it’s easy to follow — and they use this as a measure of success. They built a brand around their names but they don’t think about what’s in it for them in the long run. Ad dollars are great but they’re small. Facebook is partnering with media companies; they’re not partnering with creators! The last time I checked, Facebook ads are incredibly cheap. The day they roll out creator ad revenue sharing, it’s going to be a huge shock to the content creator community because CPMs and CPEs are low, which they’ve been complaining about from the beginning. It’s going to be pennies to the millions of views, I guarantee you. If you have nothing to market, you are missing out. Karlie Kloss, a highly successful model, recently announced that she’s going to be a YouTuber, which had a lot of people scratching their heads since she’s already so famous. But if you dig a little deeper, it’s because she’s trying to build a baking business and is using her notoriety to draw attention to that, which I think is great.
And, of course, what’s your take on Twicer?
I think the future of vlogging is shorter form mobile video formats like Twicer. I think it’s perfect for instructions and would be great for things that people already do like unboxings. Just from a marketer’s perspective, it lends itself to anything that needs to be explained. I think there’s even comedic potential there. Everyone is trying to get to the masses but in my experience every platform is born through a niche.
Carlos Pacheco’s career in digital marketing took a sharp turn toward online video content working at Just For Laughs at their Gags division, where he grew their YouTube audience tenfold in under two years. From there, he decided to pursue his growing love of working with content creators at Boat Rocker Studios, the digital studio of Temple Street Productions (which was recently acquired by Fairfax Media). Now he’s running what you could almost call a boutique MCN. Where typical MCNs can run at hundreds or thousands of creators, Boat Rocker Studios have kept their stable to around a dozen as well as managing Temple Street’s ever growing roster of owned channels. He lives in Toronto with his fiancee and their two pugs, Ridley and Lizzie.