Sure, all of us have spent many an hour perusing YouTube for that hilarious video of kittens on a roomba, or a dad getting hit in the nether regions, or that SNL sketch we all loved… And I’m sure some of you know about the advent of “career YouTubers” – people who are literally making a killing just by putting up YouTube videos.
Many people love incorporating video into their campaign, or message, or event, or whathaveyou. But you can’t just create a YouTube video or a YouTube channel and expect it to go viral in 24-hours. You can’t expect to become a YouTube celebrity overnight. Sure, creating video content is great, but if no one is watching it, then why do it? I’m by no means claiming that I am an expert. I love video blogging and putting up videos on YouTube, but my videos get a couple hundred views, maybe 1,000 views at best. I continue to do it because I love the work I do and frankly, it’s practice. I want to get better and the only way to get better is to screw up. [At the Social Media Business Forum I attended in October, I attended a panel on creating video content. Zach Ward wrote a great blog post about it to sum up.]
Well, “YouTube Celebrities” have become an entire niche and an entire industry. So, I just wanted to share a couple of the Rockstar YouTubers I, personally, follow and why I think they are so successful.
Who: Okay, so the PS22 chorus isn’t making money through YouTube, because they are a bunch of 5th graders. They are phenomenal singers and are so incredibly inspiring. I just wanted to give them a shout out here because I think they rock. PLUS I wanted to share one of my favorite videos they have done.
Subscribers: 494,071 – Videos: Too many to count – Channel Views: 24,268,468
Who: Natalie is an Australian video blogger and YouTube personality. She talks about anything and everything. She does all her own filming, editing, writing, etc. She is the #1 most subscribed YouTuber in every category in Australia and she is in the Top 10 Most Subscribed on ALL of YouTube in the entire world.
What makes her so successful: Aside from her sick Australian accent, her appeal is definitely in her charisma and her charm. However, she is savvy and knows what works. Her videos are solid and consistent, she puts a lot of work into the quality of her videos, and she engages with her community… She ends EVERY video with a shoutout to her fans, she’ll feature fan questions and give answers, etc. She is involved. She also generates a ton of content – thus, getting people hooked and bringing them back again and again.
Why I like her: Of course I think she is really funny, but what I like best about her is that I try to learn from her. Obviously I don’t have the camera or editing skills that she does, but she is incredibly creative in that arena which is an arena I am not as comfortable in. I gain something new every time I watch one of her videos.
Subscribers: 165,589 – Videos: 122 – Channel Views: 8,441,025
Who: Blair “JuicyStar07” is a 16-year-old (yes, 16) beauty guru. I had no idea until recently there is an entire niche on YouTube of “beauty gurus” who do make up tutorials, share products, do reviews, etc. It totally makes sense. But anyway, Blair is 16-years-old, and is a beauty guru. She posts a video anywhere from every day to twice a week. I just happened upon one of her videos one day, watched it, and actually learned something. (I am totally not ashamed to say that I learned something from a 16-year-old. By all means, she knows more about this stuff than I do. Teach me!)
What makes her so successful: She has only been on YouTube for a little over a year. She posted her FIRST beauty tutorial in July of 2008. Wow. She really became almost an overnight sensation. She has been featured in Seventeen magazine and in the New York Times. She is adorable, quirky, and honest – which I think are 3 attributes that make her appealing to a crowd of teenage girls (and quasi-makeup-inept 20-somethings) who want to know what the must-have eyeshadow for Fall is. She creates a ton of content and keeps her content fresh. She is now getting sent free makeup and hair products and Coach bags from different companies to review and talk about in her videos. She is a 16-year-old entrepreneur and incredibly smart. Way to go, Blair.
Why I like her: What I think is interesting about her is that she is not afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something about a product. She doesn’t claim to be an expert which I think is really admirable considering the world we live in where people are afraid to admit defeat. I think the other reason I like her videos is because she talks about something that I really know nothing about. And every girl secretly wants to be super girly. Yeah, I love to write. Yeah, I love comedy, Yeah, I love social media. BUT, I’m also a girl and I love to do my hair, and I love makeup. But I want someone to teach me how to do it. (Totally not ashamed in the least).
Subscribers: 775,325 – Videos: He posts one every day Mon-Fri for like 3 years. So, a lot. – Channel Views: 27,375,711
Who: Philly D is a video blogger who creates short (2-5 minutes), fast-paced, news-like videos. He talks about the headlines, celebrity gossip, his own life, anything. He is frank, abrupt, honest, and doesn’t take sh*t from anyone.
Why he is so successful: Aside from the fact that he posts SO much (like I said, he posts a video every day Monday-Friday), he is hilarious. His content is original, fun, and incredibly insightful. But he get straight to the point and doesn’t sugar coat anything. He isn’t afraid of offending anyone… he just tells it like it is. And I think that whether people love him or hate him, people respect him.
Why I like him: I’m not going to lie, I get a lot of my news from Philly D. What I also love is that he keeps his videos short and sweet. Sometimes I am way too lazy to sit and watch a video that is 16 minutes long. I like that I can count on Phil’s video to be less than 5 minutes, funny, and get me up to date on the latest headlines/news/gossip/stories/fun. And I like the standard-issue monkey poster in the background.
Subscribers: 290,525 – Videos: Again, a lot. – Channel Views: 6,772,209
Who: iJustine is a video blogger, YouTube personality, internet geek, APPLE LOVER (she seriously LOVES Steve Jobs), techie, and all around rockstar.
Why she is so successful: She has an awesome balance of quality content, hilarious videos, and originality. She lets her personality shine through in every video or blog post she does. (She also loves to dance). She found her niche: she loves Apple products, Steve Jobs, dancing, technology, photography, social media, and videos. So she takes all of those things and makes them her own. Again, consistency is key.
Why I like her: In a totally non-creepy way, I want to meet her and be friends with her. I think we’d get along. I’m fun. She’s fun. I’m cool. She’s cool. I’m saying, together, we could do some serious damage (in that we would crush the business world with our genius powers… or something like that). But in all seriousness, her content rocks. When I mentioned earlier that I wish I were better at creating videos and editing (etc.), I have learned a lot of easy to implement techniques from her.
And no YouTuber blog post would be complete without mentioning… Fred. I am not officially including him in my list. I am simply going to link to his channel and let you decide for yourself. Fred is the #1 most subscribed YouTuber of all time on all of YouTube. This is a link to Fred’s channel. I want to know: why do YOU think he is so successful?
TAKEAWAYS: So all of these YouTubers are not alike, yet they are all video rockstars, and all for completely different reasons. BUT there are a few common threads:
- Quality content = people will want to watch your stuff
- Consistency = the more you post on a consistent basis, the more people will return
- Subscribers = the more people subscribe, the more they will keep coming back
- Quantity = the more you post, the more there is for people to find
So, what do YOU guys think? Why do you think some of these people are totally rocking YouTube? What makes them so successful? Are there any YouTubers you, personally, follow? Why do you like them?
Tell me about some of the rockstars you love.