PewDiePie may not be a name you’re familiar with if you’re not into video gaming.
But the YouTube star’s rise to fame through savvy personal marketing offers lessons for businesses that want to build their internet presence.
PewDiePie, a 29-year-old Swedish ‘vlogger’, has now amassed 100 million subscribers – making his the second-most viewed YouTube channel in the world after Indian music label, T-Series (110 million followers).
Kjellberg has built a legion of young fans with his “let’s play” game commentaries – and a fair dash of controversy.
In late 2018, Kjellberg urged his followers to subscribe to his channel after his rival T-Series began to quickly amass support, with Bollywood stars rallying fans to help overthrow PewDiePie’s five-year reign as the most subscribed to channel on YouTube. Kjellberg himself made a rap diss track about the label in an effort to hold on to the top spot.
In less than stellar moments, however, Kjellberg has also been accused of courting controversy with right wing jokes and imagery.
The YouTube vlogger reportedly removed some of the videos and issued a statement recognising that some of his jokes were “ultimately offensive”.
So how do businesses learn from PewDiePie but also avoid his controversial mistakes? Arabian Business asked the experts…
According to Mike Khouri, managing director of Dubai-based mobile marketing firm Tactical, PewDiePie’s biggest strengths are his evident passion for the gaming subject and his consistency with updating his channel.
“Gaming on YouTube is massive and he’s all about gaming – he’s had a laser-like focus on it, been consistent, and amassed a cult following,” says Khouri.
The MD also notes that PewDiePie has been careful to collaborate with the right people to help leverage his brand.
“It’s important to find ways to collaborate with allies within the same subject or similar subject; this can help with raising awareness to other audiences,” he says.
James Reynolds, founder of Dubai online agency Sherpa SEO, says to get more YouTube subscribers, you first need to get more views on your videos.
Here are his top tips:
• Use popular keywords relating to the topic of your video in the title, description and tags.
The easiest way to find popular keyword searches is by typing into the YouTube search box and seeing what terms YouTube suggests. These are the most common searches. By optimising your videos around these keyword terms, you can get a lot of views from YouTube search.
• Next, check the most popular channels in your niche, and see which of their videos got the most views. You want to create videos around these topics because when you do, there is a high chance you might show up as a related video after theirs.
• You also need people to watch your video. The best way to do this is to create a curiosity-driven video title and a standout thumbnail.
Thumbnails with a headshot and a title of the video work well, and for extra marks use standout colours. Since YouTube is predominantly red and black, contrasting colours like green and orange can work well for thumbnails.
Reynolds tells Arabian Business: “When it comes to growing a subscriber base, there are only two things that matter: Awesome content. There is no way around it; if your videos suck, your subscriber count is going to suck too.
“And also just ask for the subscribe. Seriously, I've found that asking viewers to subscribe to my channel at the end of videos boosts subscriber numbers.”
According to Khouri, it’s also important to cross-promote your content across all your platforms, keep the content as two-way as possible and be strategic in your story telling process.
He says all good content must aim to “educate, entertain or inspire”.
“Try to keep narrative quality to your content and take them on a journey of entertainment,” the MD says.
Khouri also recommends investing in paid YouTube media options to boost your click through rates.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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