People want to participate!
"The days of TV commercials and of dictating the one way communication is over" said Zuber Mohammed, Head of Product Marketing for YouTube in APAC, during the Digital Marketing Show Asia 2015.
From a YouTube standpoint, people today no longer want to sit back and have a ton of information thrown at them. Instead, they want to be actively engaged by participating and sharing. Across South East Asia, people are spending an average of more than two and a half hours everyday on social networks of different kinds and a third of them access these social networks through their mobile phones.
This creates a digital environment with so many simultaneous conversations going on - not only between two individuals but also between brand and consumer. People want to be able to talk to brands, they want to be able to talk back to brands and they want to talk about brands to other people.
As communicators, we need to think of how we can be a part of these conversations or how we can initiate these conversations. YouTube alone sees more than 100 million social interactions every week and one out of three people who watch a video goes on to share it with their friends.
With so much content all over the internet, the biggest fundamental change we see today is that a brand can only meaningfully connect to a user ONLY IF the user chooses to connect with them. The user has the power of choice to decide which content to consume. However, as a brand, you helm this power of choice - if you create content your followers want to consume.
What barriers? (Visual) Entertainment transcend cultures & borders.
The combination of sound, music and motion make videos an amazing tool for anyone who wants to communicate their message with great passion and emotion. With advancements in technology providing us with better connectivity, platforms and devices, more doors are being opened for communicators to be more creative to connect with their target audience.
Language barriers are a thing of the past when it comes to using videos as a medium. A good example that Zuber gave was the very popular Gangnam Style music video from South Korea. To give you an idea of how popular this video is, Gangnam Style currently has 2.3 billion views and counting on YouTube.
"The legacy is more impressive than this one song has left behind" says Zuber, because before Gangnam Style was released in 2011, Korean pop videos had only a total of 2 billion views globally and most of the viewership for Korean pop was from within Asia (60%). Today, the number of views has increased more than five times that number and 90% of the views are from outside of Korea.
For so long, language has been a barrier for exchange of cultures between countries that don't speak the same language. Now, these barriers don't hold anymore, giving communicators more opportunities to be creative and extend their reach.
YouTube stars more influential than mainstream celebrities?
The power of choice is now with the consumers. It is the consumers who decide what is good, who should be famous and who should be successful.
In a survey done by Variety Magazine (U.S), YouTube stars were rated more popular than mainstream celebrities among U.S. teenagers. In fact, the top five on that list were all made up of YouTube stars.
These YouTube stars understand the fundamentals of brand building in our modern digital age. They understand what their followers and target audience want and they create content based around it. But they don't stop there. They also connect and engage with their fans as much as possible even if it means having to reply to most or every comment on their videos.
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