In this guest post, Google Australia’s director of marketing, Aisling Finch, is just back from Melbourne’s inaugural VidCon event and says these are her top takeouts from the standout video event…
More than 600 creators, six thousand fans, hundreds of savvy brands and a whole lot of video – Australia’s first-ever VidCon was held in Melbourne last weekend.
VidCon is a celebration of content and culture of online video. It started in the US back in 2010 but last weekend in Melbourne was its debut for Asia-Pacific. Online video is where culture is happening – and nothing brings this to life like the thousands of eager fans lining up to meet their favourite YouTube Creators.
From the fabulous Gigi Gorgeous, entertainer and transgender rights campaigner, to Australian beauty and lifestyle creator Wengie, who has more than eight million subscribers and one of the fastest growing channels in the world.
Vidcon brings together of the entire ecosystem – community, Creators and industry. From a marketers perspective, this confluence of content, culture and creativity is powerful. It has even been said that VidCon is worth skipping Cannes for.
Here are my three main takeaways.
- Audiences are crazy about online video!
We know the data…..but it’s not until you hear the screaming fans at Vidcon that you realise how much we love our online video stars.
More than 14 million Australians adults 18-plus visit YouTube every month (Nielsen). This scale is impressive but when you see them up close and personal, you realise how “leant-in” and personally connected people are.
Whether they’re tuning in for Lauren Curtis’ beauty tips or watching their favourite Carpool Karaoke episode, Australians are spending more than 19 hours a month on YouTube (Nielsen).
- Creators have authentic two way connections with their audiences
Online video allows a two way interaction. Audiences have close relationships with YouTube Creators – individuals who produce video content for the YouTube platform and tell stories online that everyone can watch.
Fans talk about creators like they are talking about their friends – their good friends who happen to be famous. The level of connection is unique. Their fans know the creators intimately, and the creators actually welcome the interaction rather than hiding behind a rope or security. There is a rawness and an intimacy. The creators also speak highly of their audience, and about drawing creative inspiration from them.
And Australian creators are punching above their weight internationally… there are now more than 60 Australian YouTube Creators you with over one million subscribers.
- Opportunities for brands have never been greater
We saw many of Australia’s leading brands taking part in the VidCon industry track, using this event to connect with the creators their audiences love. Speaking to creators and fans at VidCon, it’s clear there are some great partnerships with brands underway. But there is more untapped potential.
These creators are connecting with audiences and telling a story in ways that viewers want it told. VidCon provides a chance to see this up close and see how they can work with brands.
YouTube Creators have a clear identity, purpose and audience – much like a brand. Creators have their own brand and are personally invested.
Take for example acapella musician Mike Tompkins, who became a YouTube sensation and has now worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Disney, Universal and Pepsi to create innovative content and help them reach the audiences that matter.
Many savvy brands are already taking advantage. If you aren’t hiring bright minds who know this world then you are missing out, and you won’t get it. A number of savvy brands were there over the weekend speaking to these creators about how they can work together – something I think we’ll see more and more of over time.
For me and many other marketers VidCon was an “aha” moment, bringing to life the data points and insights we hear every day. We know Aussies are watching more video online but seeing the lines of excited fans reminded me with this actually means. Online video isn’t just the future, it’s already here.