Everyone’s a vlogger: the new normal

I confess, I am not a vlogger. But I won’t pretend I haven’t whiled away the time watching someone’s morning makeup routine, fancy home tour, or “haul” of their latest clothing purchases. Most of the time, I catch myself watching something I wasn’t even looking for and don’t care much about, but somehow, I’m too engaged and engrossed by the content to switch off.

At times it might feel like we’re inundated with content, and this constantly presents new challenges for brands who are desperate to be heard amongst the noise. But I think there’s something to be learnt from the good old-fashioned vlogger.

It’s no secret that lockdown’s been a chance for us to learn new skills, from dubious DIY projects to the all-important sourdough starters. It’s turned us into a nation of doers. And the same can be said for content creation.

Data from Google Trends shows that between 14th March and 4th May this year, YouTube searches for “how to start a YouTube channel” increased by 230%. Meanwhile, the number of people searching for “how to edit videos” increased by 225%.

Undoubtedly, YouTube has democratised content creation – cue the flurry of people now eager to become vloggers over lockdown. Thanks to YouTube’s algorithm, the upshot is that what does well on the platform is what’s most authentic and relevant to the audience. All you need to do is follow the breadcrumbs…

One key takeaway from this period has been the overwhelming surge in people searching for instructional and practical videos. Something that the new tribe of vloggers were far quicker to respond to than any of the big brands.

Looking at children’s content, it’s a similar story. The latest research from Giraffe Insights highlights how lockdown has increased screen time and the need for educational content. Now the demand on video is not just about sustaining children’s attention but providing parents with practical teaching solutions.

It’s true that privacy laws around YouTube kids have left many content creators (no longer able to monetise as they had traditionally) in something of a stranglehold. But it’s also presented an opportunity. The onus is firmly on the content. Now more than ever, video needs to be entertaining and useful – whilst also, crucially, selling the product.

It’s a great time to go out to clients and show them that by being bold, agile and resourceful (just like those vloggers out there), they can really make a mark. Let’s take stock of the lessons of lockdown – and let’s bin the banana bread!