After having conducted our Literature Review, we decided to get a closer look at how 1) the use of YouTube and Vlogging specifically for marketing purposes and 2) the earning of money through YouTube and Vlogging is discussed on the Internet.
First of all, we conducted relatively general search for articles and colums via Google search, especially scanning pages like the BBC, The Guardian, as well as trend-watching websites such as mashable.
We then wanted to find out what the audience thinks and moved on to conduct an advanced Twitter Search, a hashtag analysis, and a YouTube Video Search.
We started our Online Research by doing a Google Search in order to get an overview on articles and thoughts about the YouTube phenomenon that is vlogging and on people who earn money with it, as well as aspects that are of interest for marketers. Based on our Literature Review we came up with a couple of search terms. Some of the most fruitful terms were the following:
site:theguardian.com YouTube AND “sponsored videos”
site:bbc.co.uk YouTube AND marketing
vlogging AND money
One article we came across during our Google Search was a short article from The Guardian from 2008, which presented a, at the time, new way for marketers or Vloggers to make garner attention on YouTube and make money. We had not come across this possibility during our desk research.
To explain this new opportunity a little better: The idea is that, for example, brands can either promote certain videos or their channels as a whole. The program is called “YouTube Sponsored Videos”, which, in our research, might sound a little confusing, because we call Sponsored Videos those of Vloggers who feature branded products to earn money. For YouTube’s “Sponsored Videos” one has to go to ads.youtube.com. From there they choose a video or just choose their channel, if they want to increase traffic to it. Then they type up a promotion text (Why should people watch their video). Then they choose keywords through, which, if users type them into YouTube, leads them right to these promoted videos. They further type in a budget or “Maximum Cost-per-Click” for the video.
Another very interesting aspect for brands is that of monitoring YouTube. In one article we found through our Google Search it states that nowadays, through social media such as YouTube, complaints against company have far more impact due to their reach than they used to have. One example is that of a customer of United Airlines who made a video about how the staff of United Airlines damaged his guitar. Because United Airlines didn’t want to pay, he produced the video and it has since been watch 9.23 million times, which puts immense pressure on the Airline.
This shows that YouTube is not only relevant for marketing and promotions, but also for customer relations. It shows a tremendous change in consumer power, which has increased massively due to the rise of social media.
One last very interesting article we found during our search and want to emphasize is an article written by a YouTuber herself. She describes the shadow sides of earning money through YouTube, or rather not earning money, but being too well-known for audiences to believe that they do not earn enough to live off of it. It’s a tricky thing, this monetization of YouTube.
Advanced Twitter Search
Our Advanced Twitter Search, unfortunately, did not garner a lot of information. Most tweets consist of people promoting their videos as can be seen in the screen shots below
We did find an interesting article about Lily Singh, a YouTuber we will later feature as well, and the influence she has due to her job. This can be seen in the last screen shot.
Although we did not manage to find a good conversation about the topic on Twitter, this did help us with our Netnography in the end. We had first thought about making use of Twitter, but after seeing these results we decided to find another community.
We did a small Hashtag Analysis in our Online Research and found two very interesting results. One is a 24-hour-trend analysis, which shows the popularity of a tag during a 24-hour time span. The results here are for the hashtags vlog, YouTube, and spon.
Here are the results from the website hashtags.org:
Surprisingly, the three graphs are rather different, even though we believed, due to our preliminary research, that especially YouTube and Vlogging would be closer connected.
On the website keyhole, we were able to garner word clouds with related hashtags to the one we were searching for. The results here show a close connection between Vlogging and YouTube and further between the hashtag spon and YouTube. Spon is short for sponsored and therefore very interesting for us. Furthermore we can see that especially the popular Vloggers Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) are closely related to the hashtag.
Interestingly, the hashtag YouTube garnered an entire cloud of presumably Arabic hashtags, which is why we did not include that cloud in here. None of us speaks Arabic, unfortunately.
YouTube Video Search
Last, but not least, we decided to conduct a YouTube Video Search in order to find out more about the partner program, how YouTubers themselves work with YouTube, advertisers, and sponsors, and how they feel about it. For this we used search terms such as the following:
Truth about YouTube money
We were able to find a few interesting videos. One of these is by Lily Singh, as already mentioned above. She is a very popular and successful YouTuber and answers frequently asked questions about the often controversial issue.
The YouTuber Carly Cristman also presents how she feels about sponsorships on YouTube and Social Media (SM) in general. She speaks about allegations of SM personalities being ‘fake’ and explains why she does vlogging and uses SM. She further warns to not be naïve about photos and other snapshots of a person’s life on SM, because obviously these are only snapshots and usually of happy moments.
She goes on to explain a little more in detail how sponsorships work for fashion vloggers and emphasizes the pros for marketers, especially the fact that it is cheaper than traditional advertising. She also shows the pros of sponsorships for creators and therefore their viewers.
Another side to the story presents beauty vlogger Simplynessa15, whose real name is not revealed publicly. She calls out fellow beauty vloggers on being “scammers” due to a variety of sponsored videos they have made. She does not, though, condemn sponsored videos, though. She simply calls out sponsorships that are based solely on money and which should actually have not been done, because there was not enough time to test the product thoroughly enough to make an honest review.
The last video we want to include in this research is a part of a video filmed by Ex-vlogger Meghan Rienks. In this part of the video she speaks about why she stopped doing daily vlogs (which is the original intent of vlogging) due to privacy issues.