Web blogs have reigned the internet for several years, and the speed at which their importance and possibility for financial gain is unprecedented. Everyone and their cat’s cousin has an online space in which they can extol the virtues of Breaking Bad, share their views on politics or show off their latest random rant. The video blog (or vlog) is the standard blog’s more creative brother. It’s cleaner, more cohesive and, let’s face it, more engaging for the standard Facebook user.
Swedish-born video game YouTuber Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg has used the arena of video blogging to propel him to self-made millionaire-dom whose subscriber count (at time of writing 34, 528, 894) exceeds the populations of several countries including, but not limited to; Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Australia and Peru. Another example is Zoe ‘Zoella’ Sugg has used her YouTube channel’s platform to make her shadow-written novel the biggest selling debut book of all time, whilst sharing screen time on this years’ Red Nose Day Great British Bake Off with the calibre of Alexa Chung and Michael Sheen. Both of these case studies also have blogs, but it is their video platforms which have sent them from internet obscurity to household names.
Admittedly, the traditional blogging platform is churning out similar twenty-something success stories, which reflect the general profitability and popularity of the online web blog. However, the ever increasing popularity of vlogging platforms are evidence that audiences are interacting with video content and more importantly, sharing video content. Video content is still proving king. In a generation of people looking for instant gratification, it is the easily clickable, attractive and effortless video, which is gaining so much traction for brands and individuals. The potential for a video to go viral is infinitely greater than that of a written piece.
2014 was a big year for viral videos. Who can forget the phenomenon that was the ice bucket challenge for ALS awareness? Or the several little girls dressed as princesses who dropped f-bombs for charity FKH8? How about the troop of strangers who kissed on screen for the first time, earning LA-based clothing brand Wren? The thing with all of these viral videos is that they were easily shareable, watchable in bite-sized chunks and entertaining without any of the effort of actually having to read.
The brands that made videos were far more likely to gain views on their content, and therefore on their websites than brands that didn’t. The fact is that the general public are becoming far too lazy and/or busy to spend fifteen minutes of their day reading a feature. Instead, they want to click a video that will be over in no time and that will give them something to talk about in the office afterwards.
The written blog is always going to be more cost effective and much quicker to produce, but that doesn’t mean a video blog has to break the bank. Video blogs are also cost effective and don’t need huge budgets and investments. A video blog can be as simple as a creative director talking to camera and giving a brief overview of that week or month’s most exciting project. Keeping the video short, snappy and with some personality and emotion will travel further than a standard blog. Savvy customers today want the brands they use to have personality and character. Giving it that personal touch will help to get this across.
Both written blogs and video blogs have their place and are worth considering as a form of content. Both continue to grow in popularity and are great marketing platforms for brands. Throwing in video blogs to any marketing mix will ensure a much wider audience reach and inject the personality needed to really promote a brand.