Logan Paul. Gary Vee. Mr. Beast. David Dobrik.
That’s what comes to mind when you think about YouTube, right?
As much as I love all of these guys…YouTube is SO much more than its top creators.
Over the past 2-3 years, content creation has become such a big (and highly controversial) conversation in the business world. Especially within the DTC vein.
Should we start a TikTok? Should we do UGC? Should we start a podcast?
What about our personal brands?
What about Twitter?
What about LinkedIn?
All of these questions have brands frantically scrambling to figure out how they can best capitalize on the wave of content creation to improve their bottom line.
Although I could write a whole blog post on how brands get content creation in general wrong at the core, today we are going to stick with the topic on hand:
Woah. I know, that’s a bold statement. I also know it may not be the most exciting statement. It sounds like a lot of money without a direct ROI? Right? (we all know that’s what you’re thinking, lol)
But by the end of this article, I plan to convince you otherwise.
I plan to convince you that this is the biggest opportunity your brand has over the next 5-10 years.
Let’s start with the basics.
TikTok MAY be the craze right now. But YouTube is still king.
Long-form content will always convert at a higher rate than short-form. (we’ll table the YT Shorts conversation for another time) Why?
The nature of long-form content allows a deeper connection with your audience. More time spent watching you = the opportunity to connect at a greater depth. The average YouTube video is anywhere from 10-12 minutes. The average TikTok video is anywhere from 15-25 seconds. 100k views on YouTube is worth more than 100k views on Tiktok strictly due to the amount of watch time the YouTube video will have.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…
“But Matt, we do UGC on TikTok and we’re printing money. Don’t tell me that’s not working.” That’s awesome! Every brand should be taking advantage of this opportunity.
But it would be naive to think this will last forever.
How long do you think UGC will be this relevant?
It’s still new & once the consumer realizes these aren’t real customers…the conversions may not hit at the same rate anymore.
UGC is paid media in content creation’s clothing.
That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It is just important that we recognize this if we want to become better content creators for our brand.
My point is COMMUNITY will always trump quick transactional sales in the long run.
The brands that will have true staying power over the next decade are brands that create and cultivate their communities.
How are you creating a community through UGC on TikTok?
You aren’t. You aren’t creating content. You’re making sales.
Which is awesome, but culture is changing. The consumer wants more.
They want to feel emotionally connected.
They want to trust the person they’re buying from.
They want them to have personality.
They want to TRUST them.
It’s hard to trust a faceless corporation with random people doing UGC on their TikTok page.
This is why you’re seeing all of these YouTubers creating CPG companies.
Look at Mr. Beast with Mr. Beast Burger & Feastables.
Do you think a 19-year-old kid is going to buy your startup brand’s chocolate bar over Mr. Beast’s?
Not a chance. They don’t know you.
And even if you got a solid celebrity spokesperson, they won’t have the trust and authority built in that Mr. Beast does with that 19 year old.
Do you think a 24 year old is going to buy your sports drink over Logan Paul and KSI’s drink, PRIME?
Nope. They’ve been watching Logan and JJ since they were 14.
Do you think a 21 year old is going to buy your coffee over Emma Chamberlain’s?
Sorry, again it’s not happening. Emma is the QUEEN of coffee.
Welcome to the Creator Economy.
We are just in its genesis and these creators are already making big waves.
That is precisely why your brand needs to launch a YouTube channel.
It’s time for your brand to become more than a selling machine.
It’s time to focus on providing value through your content creation.
It’s time to tell your story.
Document your journey.
Allow your employees to be characters in your story.
Create experiences for your consumers.
Collab with other creators.
As my friend and TikTok agency owner, Denver McQuaid says, “Contribute to culture. Don’t sell to it.”
Most brands that create YouTube channels use them as a self-promotion platform.
Or they post a subpar lengthy podcast with webcams that loses interest within the first 5 minutes.
That is not the point of YouTube.
The point is to make entertaining and engaging videos that make your audience feel emotionally connected to the story you’re telling.
Let me give you some examples of what your YouTube content could look like:
What if your brand brought together 10 YouTubers for a tournament of sorts and created a YouTube video for it?
Bonus points if you let the YouTubers create their own vlogs of the event for their own channels 👀
What if your brand documented their story from the ground up? Even while it was still in its start-up phase? Your story is VALUABLE.
What if you ran a marketing effort where you placed 5 basketball hoops on college campuses all across America + had 5 professional basketball players challenging anyone to score on them?
1st player to score at each site wins something crazy.
I don’t know.
I am not your CMO and I don’t know what your product is.
My point is that you as a brand can make such better content than what you’re currently making.
And once you start doing this, the buy-in that follows from your customer is going to be so much greater.
I can only imagine what it would do to your LTV of a customer…
SeatGeek started doing this a few years ago with David Dobrik and some other creators.
Granted it was David’s videos instead of SeatGeek’s, but the concept is still the same.
It started out as a general partnership. But David became more and more assertive that he understood his audience and what they wanted better than SeatGeek did.
He was right.
He started giving away Teslas sponsored by SeatGeek…
That makes no sense right? SeatGeek isn’t in the EV market. How does this help sales?
Well here’s what happened.
David made SeatGeek (more specifically Ian from SeatGeek, their Influencer Marketing Manager) a character in his vlogs.
His fans began realizing any time SeatGeek came around, something cool and fun was going to happen.
SeatGeek became the personification of FUN in the vlogs.
What’s the result?
Well, SeatGeek released their 2021 investors report in October of last year…
They have DOUBLE the Gen-Z customers than the rest of their competitors.
Now, you might say…
“Gen-Z isn’t our target market.”
Well, it should definitely be at least a portion of it.
Gen-Z is a microcosm of where culture is headed.
Sooner or later the older generations are going to be behaving the same way.
“As Gen Z comes up, they really are the best predictor of the future. Smart brands are trying to figure out how you connect with them in a sincere way. If you win Gen Z, you can win everyone else.” -Jason Dorsey, founder of the Center of Generational Kinetics
How many 55 year olds do you know addicted to their iPhone just as much as 13 year olds are?
I personally wasn’t seeing that 10 years ago.
My father (62) hated iPhones in 2012. He refused to give up his trusty flip phone. Now he has an iPhone 11 that he uses to send me tweets and Instagram videos he thinks are funny.
Isn’t that interesting how culture works? He finally came around.
Let’s get back to Seatgeek.
In 2019, they began creating some YouTube videos on their own channel.
They did some of the things we’ve talked about, including created authentic experiences that involved other YouTubers in their vertical.
Imagine if they kept it up consistently
I understand it feels like a lot of work. But I’m telling you…this is where culture is headed.
Find a way to start a brand YouTube channel in Q4 that does these three things:
It’s funny how most of the brands I talk to are so afraid to make content that isn’t directly selling their product.
There’s a reason virtually no brands are creating content on YouTube the way I am suggesting.
It is because they are scared.
They are worried that if they start making content that they’re wasting their money.
There’s too much risk in it “not working.”
But that’s because you’re playing the short game.
You need to start playing the LONG game.
This is where culture is headed. It is on YOU and YOUR brand to either embrace it or push back against it.
The choice is yours, but I’ll warn you that history hasn’t been kind to brands that have resisted culture shifts.
These creator-led brands are going to crush you over the next decade if you don’t adapt.
Be one of the first brands to start a value-based YouTube channel that collabs with other relevant YouTubers and reap the rewards that will come with it.
In 2027, every brand will have a YouTube channel.
While everyone is obsessing over TikTok UGC and paid media, be the brand that branches out and watch what happens.
There is very little risk to starting if you genuinely think about it
Financially, it doesn’t cost that much.
You need one videographer, one thumbnail designer, one editor, and a couple employees to champion the content creation. (one person can hold multiple roles, or they can be contracted out)
You’ll gain trust, authority and the respect of the next generation.
You’ll be considered the cool brand that is relatable, culturally relevant, and that makes awesome YouTube videos.
And that is ALL the reason your customers need to buy and continue buying from you.
By now I’ve given you every reason and zero excuses to begin this journey.
It doesn’t have to be hard or overwhelming. You already have a couple video ideas to get started with.
99.9% of brands reading this will throw this out as unimportant and not take action.
All the while doubling down on TikTok UGC.
Are you going to be one of those?
Let’s hope not. :)
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