Vloggers – the new stars of the social media space

Vloggers – the new stars of the social media space

Fiona Hughes

Fiona Hughes

Video blogging: v-logging/vlogging as it is obviously often shortened to.  It’s a word that I really dislike saying, as it gets confused as “flogging” with my East Anglian vowels.  But it’s a word that I find myself needing to say more and more frequently.  And that’s because vlogging is on the up, and becoming increasingly important to the brands that PR consultants represent…

Vloggers are a whole (relatively) new breed of media commentators.  They are busy producing video content for a wide variety of reasons, on a wide variety of topics, distributing it via a slightly less wide (but expanding) variety of routes, and every day creating new opportunities for consumer interaction.

The first recognised vlogger came to light in January 2000 – a man named Adam Kontras. He posted a video alongside a blog entry (the blog itself had started the year earlier), aimed at informing his friends, family and followers of his cross-country move to LA in pursuit of show business fame and fortune. This first video post was quickly followed-up, in what would later become the longest-running vlog in history. Interesting that this guy so in search of traditional fame on the big screen, actually created a big name for himself doing something different, albeit on the small screen.

Adam Kontras was taking on no small task, when he started his vlog. It’s estimated that it takes minimum an hour a day to create and upload content of a good enough quality and with enough regularity, to create a vlog that will resonate with the online video-consuming audience – so it’s not to be taken lightly. Which is perhaps why, although vlogging has certainly taken off, the community has not got the number of lapsed or inattentive members as the Twittersphere or Wordpress blog communities for example, have.

And it’s an hour or so a day that could certainly pay off. Interestingly, it seems that the monetisation challenge that hit, and continues to hit, bloggers hard, is less of an issue for vloggers. Perhaps they have benefitted from coming to the party later? And stars of the big and even the small screen have always been pretty well paid…

There are plenty of monetisation opportunities out there for vloggers; who can sell targeted advertising space, offer promotions to their audience and conduct paid reviews or posts. To the vlogger, this can lead to serious revenue opportunities.

For brands, there are several different ways to work with vloggers. If the vlogger is producing/has already produced content that is relevant to your audience, then you can contact them and ask if you can link to their content. And if you like their style and see the influence of their network, you may want to work with them to produce bespoke content to positively impact your brand and suit their audience.

When entering into a relationship like this, PR consultants and businesses are in the happy position of being able to track results from the activity really comprehensively. The traffic that vlogs drive to your site is eminently track-able – so a brand-owner can look at click-throughs, at resulting sales, at resulting time on their site as a result of the visit, and so on.

This blog should perhaps have been a vlog, so at least could not end without another example of a vlog. Jenna Marbles' YouTube channel is an example of how vlogging can be done really well. This ballsy, no-nonsense vlogger scored over 5.3 million video views in her first week, with the wildly funny video "How To Trick People Into Thinking You're Good Looking". Now, she has over two million subscribers – meaning over two million people who interact with her on a regular basis.  That means she's making some great vlog content, some serious revenue from online advertising, and offers a huge amount of return on investment to the right brands.

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