What is VidCon?
For the last eight years, influencers, content creators, and brands have flocked to Anaheim, California to attend VidCon, a convention focused solely on online video, YouTube culture, and digital marketing. Viewers are able to meet their favorite Internet personalities and learn about social media marketing, while at the same time have the opportunity to preview the content that is yet to come. YouTube celebrities film their experiences in real time, and upload footage from the convention to their channels, which garners enthusiasm from their fan-base, and encourages attendance the following year.
Despite the fact that VidCon mainly caters to a younger audience – teenagers who aspire to start their own YouTube channels – there is also a significant amount of exhibitors and industry leaders, parents, and lecturers ranging in ages between late 20s and late 40s, meaning that VidCon is an inclusive event, which unifies hundreds of people under a common interest – the Internet.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from VidCon 2017
#1: The Power of YouTube & Video
According to an article from Tubular Insights, there are 11.5 billion people who visit YouTube every month. Other data that was shared at the convention included that the average time a user spends on YouTube with their mobile devices is approximately an hour every day – and that statistic only pertained to viewers who were logged in. This shows the importance of mobile video marketing, especially since YouTube’s CEO reported that 70% of YouTube views are coming from mobile devices, not desktops. For video marketers, the opportunity to advertise on YouTube is more beneficial than ever. The increase in views through mobile devices means that the site is able to reach a much broader audience, which means that any business who runs a channel can too.
#2: Ad Revenue and Video Strategy
Recently, YouTube has been implementing new algorithms that change the way people are able to access videos. It was reported that the “discoverability” feature is shifting from viewers responding more to the browsing features rather than what YouTube suggests based off of their viewing history. Moreover, users are always looking for more content, which encourages businesses and entertainers to continuously share new content. This affects the number of subscribers a channel receives, and since YouTube is becoming such a competitive site, the necessity to create and remain relevant is higher than ever. In light of this, it is important to maintain a unique brand and differentiate content as much as possible.
#3: Facebook Marketing Tips
On the first day of VidCon, Facebook held a conference where it announced new features to Facebook Video and Facebook Live. The app contains a creative kit, which allows people to decorate their videos and broadcasts with stickers, custom intros and outros, and frames. The update also includes a “Community tab”, which allows for easy connectivity with friends and followers – with automatic uploads to Instagram and Facebook Messenger. For video marketers, Facebook is intent on generating ad revenue from the videos that channels and users upload. However, Facebook does not partner with them, meaning that the users do not generate profit from uploading to Facebook. While it cannot hurt for a business to upload its YouTube content to Facebook in order to strengthen its social media presence, solely relying on Facebook for revenue and views is not the best decision.
#4: Terminology Matters to the Younger Generation
A Forbes article reported that, much like any other industry, there are very specific labels for different types of social creators. “Influencer” only pertains to the overall industry, and what the media calls Internet personalities. With the prominence of social media increasing every day, other terms include “vlogger,” “Instagram model,” “YouTube gamer,” etc. While it may seem like a juvenile market, it still impacts the new generation of content creators, while at the same time encouraging brand awareness and individuality. Social sharing and digital connectivity are the most important ways to interact with an audience. For a company to truly form a relationship with its following, maintaining an Internet presence is key.
#5: VidCon is Less Relevant for Senior Level Executives
While VidCon is a huge part of Internet culture, it still mainly gratifies a younger audience. This can be gathered by the type of content present at the convention, as well as the people who were in attendance. VidCon relies heavily on spectacle and visual enjoyment, which makes it difficult to receive a ROI from senior executives. Newfronts reported that it is worth going for one day to see what the larger companies have to offer, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Hulu. But it can be argued that the influencer market has reached its peak, or at least somewhat of a plateau. While video marketing is still the most effective form of advertisement, businesses should focus on brand development.