This is a guest contribution from social media analyst Matthew Yeoman.
The move online from only having a blog for your online marketing is, of course, one which has long since been abandoned. Brands now have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on and on to promote their website and the blogs themselves.
A trend towards video, with YouTube leading the way, has lead to the rise of the vlog as the next big thing in content marketing. Many of the biggest brands in the world are on YouTube. They are killing it with views, subscribers (there’s a familiar term for bloggers), and brand exposure.
I’m going to be using data supplied by SocialBakers to look at two channels: Apple and Red Bull. These two brands have contrasting styles of content presentation. You can see both extremes of how you can vlog successfully, and how this relates to blogging.
The Apple vlog strategy: Quality over quantity
We all know Apple to be one of the highest quality electronics manufacturers in the world. Their products are sleek, sexy, and right to the point. It’s no surprise that their vlogging strategy follows this exact style guide.
Apple’s vlog works on having high quality content at only the most high need moments. You can expect a new video on their page for a product launch, and their bi-annual events are also posted.
To look at the numbers, here are Apple’s top ten most viewed videos as of Oct. 30 2014:
|Apple – Holiday – TV Ad – Misunderstood||6723096||46077||3891||92.21|
|Apple – Introducing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus||5478799||34912||5081||87.3|
|Apple – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – TV Ad – Duo||5408369||21099||8642||70.94|
|Apple – iPhone 5s – TV Ad – Powerful||2855270||22496||2295||90.74|
|Apple – iPad Air – TV Ad – Your Verse||2526843||20616||1779||92.06|
|Apple – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – Seamless||2522625||15249||1823||89.32|
|Apple – iPhone 5s – Dreams||2042473||20378||1331||93.87|
|Apple – Mac 30 – Thirty years of innovation||1891868||26777||2114||92.68|
Click on any of those 10 videos and you’ll see a high quality video with incredible production values. This is part of Apple’s overall brand strategy of being a bit elitist. Your brand strategy on both your vlog and your blog has to match the overall feeling of your brand as well.
An interesting approach that Apple has taken is that they have disabled comments on all their videos. Take a look at the Likes and Dislikes for each video, the ratio shows a percentage of how ‘Liked’ Apple is on YouTube.
Their Like/Dislike ratio is, at best, 92.68. At lowest, 70.94. They average out in the high 80s. This is highly unusual for a brand as they typically score much higher. Nike Football has nearly a 97% Like/Dislike ratio for their 10 most popular videos.
Apple is a bit of a controversial brand. In order to escape the nightmare of YouTube comments, they have chosen to disable comments. If your brand blog has problems with controversy following you, you may want to disable them on YouTube as well. Apple’s low ratio shows that their YouTube page would likely be filled with negativity, avoiding it may prove to be a wise move on their part.
Everything I have just talked about parallels Apple’s blog exactly. They write about the same stuff they’re vlogging about, and they update just as often. The posts themselves are very well produced, and there’s no comment section. Are you starting to see the similarities in blogging and vlogging now?
Red Bull fosters community and rapid video releases
Red Bull is a company so vastly different from Apple that it is no surprise that they have gone a completely different route with their vlogging. With a target marketer of nearly always active millennials, with short YouTube attention spans, and a product that is best with constant promotion, Red Bull have turned to the power of LOTS for their vlogging. Here’s a typical video:
Short, punchy, full of action. And infrequent actions isn’t their style. Here is what the Red Bull video page looked like at the time of this writing:
Seven new videos in the last 24 hours! You’d think that this extreme audience, with some videos catching virality and getting 1 million+ views, would have an equally unpredictable subscriber growth. You’d be wrong about that:
That growth is so consistent that it’s boring! This approach, however, is far from boring. They have taken the concept from their daily blog, and applied it to a vlog. If you’re seeing growth in your brand’s blog with daily updates, this may well be the approach you take with your vlog to increase your channel subscriber growth.
The other thing that they are doing, which Apple isn’t, is fostering a community by opening up their comment section. Now it is, I’d say around 50% of the time, full of pointless trolling. The rest of the time you’ll see their fans voicing their amazement, asking if it’s fake or not, or bragging about crazy stuff they say they’ve done.
Their channel engagement rate shows this consistent brand interest paying off as people come back again and again to comment:
Just like Apple above, everything that Red Bull does on their blog they also do on their vlog. Both have a clear vision of who they are as a brand, and link their content strategy across vastly different content delivery platforms.
What you can learn from Red Bull and Apple’s vlogging
There are two key takeaways from this:
- You need to match your company voice to the content style you deliver. A high profile brand needs a high end vlog – just like their blog. A high-energy brand needs high energy content with a frequent delivery schedule – just like their blog.
- Your community engagement will depend on the type of feedback you typically receive. Brands with controversial images may benefit from having no comments associated with their vlog. Those with a youth market need to help foster a community, and the comments section is where that happens.
How all of this ties back into your blog is that you will likely have already learned a great deal of how you will vlog thanks to your blog. If your comment section is notoriously filthy, clean it up by disabling it. If you have seen a community growing around your brand in the comment section that goes beyond trolling, open up your comments and allow the community to grow. Above all, make sure that the tone and presentation of your blog and vlog match one another for a consistent brand voice.
Matthew is the social media analyst over on the Devumi blog. You can find him there every Wednesday and Friday writing about the latest developments in social media. Stop by the blog, follow the @Devumi Gorilla on Twitter, or check out this article, to learn more about Devumi