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The intersection of vloggers, YouTubers and public relations

My interaction with YouTube is limited to watching the occasion DIY “how to” video for an embarrassingly simple task that I realise I do not know how to do.

I thought that made me normal, but having chaired our recent PR and Vloggers event and listened to a bunch on stats on the number of people regularly watching the UK’s most influential Vloggers and YouTubers, turns out I’m not as normal as I thought!

At the event Alfred founder Dan Neale talked about how brands can work with vloggers:

The importance of vloggers is put into some context with the following chart:

Sector Example of leading online mag Printed mag Vlogger
Beauty Cosmo - 6,500,000 (monthly views)  Cosmo - 405,308 (monthly)
Zoella - 10,788,440 subs
Sport Football 365 - 4,023,782 (monthly views)  Sport - 304,899 (weekly) F2 Freestylers - 4,135,000 subs
Games IGN UK- 28,775,547 (monthly views) Games TM - 30,000 (monthly)
PieDiePie - 45,900,807 subs

Here is an interview with Shivvy Jervis, Award-winning digital series creator, Digital Futures and digital content head, Telefónica where she here thoughts about how PR people should approach YouTubers:

I’ve summarised some of the top-line insights from the event below:

  • The terms vloggers and YouTubers are fairly interchangeable, the phrase vloggers came about because media like the BBC weren’t able to the phrase “YouTube.”
  • Vloggers and YouTubers became popular in the gaming sector, but have now become popular in other sectors such as mummy vloggers, sport, food and beauty.
  • Kids up to 24 years old, tend not to watch much TV, or go to live events, they watch YouTube.
  • We’re talking big, big numbers. For example, here is the roster of one of our speakers Liam Chivers, founder of OP Talent:
  • As vlogger’s channels become larger so their audience and content becomes broader.
  • Reach is an important reach with vloggers. You can get reach by either working with one very popular vlogger, or a selection of smaller vloggers.
  • The level of engagement of a vlogger’s audience is also an important KPI, for example the number of comments and average view time.
  • Partnerships with vloggers require collaboration, this isn’t advertising, you must work to leverage engagement with the audience appropriately.
  • When putting together a vlogger campaign it’s important to put together an influencer plan which lists the vlogger, the demographic of their audience and their KPIs so you can rank your priorities and tailor you approach.
  • The digital nature of vlogging means that it is very easy to measure your return on investment, be that event sign ups, website visits, requests for demos, online sales, etc.
  • Vlogger engagement tactics might include: dedicated video, experience diary, sponsorship, round-up videos or even a brand channel.
  • Defining the best vloggers, even within a specific category, will depend on whether you prioritise reach, engagement, popularity or relevance.
  • Make sure you properly consider the ASA guideline on vloggers. A key rule under the CAP Code is that if the content is controlled by the marketer, not the vlogger, and is written in exchange for payment (which could be a monetary payment or free items) then it is an advertisement feature and must be labelled as such (rule 2.4).

“Because there is payment and control by the brand, this is an advertorial and needs to be labelled upfront so that viewers are aware and understand that it is an advertorial before engaging."

There is further info here ASA

I asked Alfred’s Dan Neale what his advice is when considering the ASA guidelines:  “Disclosure is key. Morality aside, for both brand and influencer benefit, there is a need to be transparent about the relationship. If this isn’t done, this form of marketing will not only quickly diminish in effectiveness, but the influencers audience will disappear. A negative effect for all parties.“

Thanks to Alfred for partnering with us on this event.

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