As a popular video sharing platform, Youtube offers reach to a large audience with minimal effort. But towards what end? What motivates people to create content for Youtube?
People posting content to Youtube might desire to:
- Become Famous
- Influence Culture
- Entertain the masses
- Share Knowledge
- Earn Income
- Promote a Business
- Develop Film Talent
- Build Followers
For each purpose there exist stories. Let’s consider one possible story, that of a young film maker.
Sandra - Film Talent
Sandra is a creative young person who loves cinema and wants to be a film director. She took film classes and performed well on assignments. She volunteers as crew on local no-budget productions to gain experience. But always on other people’s projects. She is not directing and developing her own work.
Sandra gathers a few colleagues from past productions. They create a film collective, Plastic Sky, and produce short films at their own expense, taking turns in different roles – writing, directing, camera, etc. They upload the results to the collective’s Youtube channel. Over time, people begin watching…
There are scarce opportunities for new filmmakers.
New filmmakers might use online platforms to directly build an audience for their work.
Sandra’s story brings to life how some film makers might employ Youtube to improve their situation.
Next let’s consider a different story, that of an underemployed aficionado of a popular subculture.
Alex - Hipster Expert
Alex is a social fellow who loves his hipster lifestyle of counter-culture and progressive politics. He is an icon in the local alternative art and indie-rock scene, hangs out with retro attired friends, engages always in witty banter. For income, Alex works as a barista in a trendy coffee house where many of his friends visit, which is cool, but the pay is not great, and it offers limited opportunities for creativity.
In his spare time, Alex begins making a Hipster Culture show on Youtube. Alex films the local scene with his phone, checking out events, talking with people. The humor and wit make the show popular and build a decent following. Alex starts earning enough from his channel to pay friends to help produce more varied content…
Experts can monetize their knowledge and interests through creating content and sharing online.
A popular show online can potentially generate sufficient income to compensate creators.
Alex’s story helps us understand how an expert in a subject they enjoy might share it with the world through Youtube and earn income at the same time.
Finally let’s consider the story of an acting school struggling to grow its business.
Dramactic - Acting School
The Dramactic acting school was founded 2 years ago with a mission to make acting accessible to talented individuals. The founders believe that their experiential methods are suited to develop innate skills of new actors. Participants of Dramactic’s Experiact program typically are delighted with the results. Referrals of new students are common, but still Dramactic struggles to fill its programs and can barely pay its instructors. Without much budget or resources to devote to marketing, Dramactic is not sure how to grow its business.
Anne, the Dramactic founder with the most business experience, googled about marketing for small businesses. She learned about generating inbound leads by creating helpful Youtube videos. Scraping together minimal funding and assisted by writer and filmmaker friends, Dramatic produced a few inexpensive but informative videos for Youtube with topics such as Fundamentals of Acting, Acting Methods Explained, and Finding Acting Jobs. The videos were intelligent, humorous and well acted, helping convey the Dramatic brand. Viewers were invited at the end of each video to check out Dramactic’s programs. Over time Dramactic’s videos moved up in Youtube’s rankings, and eventually came to generate a steady, ongoing stream of interest in their programs.
A small business with limited marketing budget may struggle to acquire customers.
Publishing helpful videos on topics of interest to potential customers can continuously drive qualified leads to a business.
Dramactric’s story helps us envision how businesses might employ Youtube videos as cost efficient part of their marketing strategy.
The stories presented here illustrate three ways people might employ Youtube to pursue their objectives. In this way we see that Youtube provides more value than “the ability to share videos.” Once read, the stories become a part of our understanding, connecting the Youtube product to the benefits realized by Youtube’s users.
Through stories we have made real the benefits of putting content on Youtube. Without stories, we would only know that people post to Youtube in order to share their content.
[Are theses the best stories youtube can offer its users?]
[Are there stories for the same users that don’t involve youtube?]