Tuesday, 22 November 2016

How to make YouTube work for you

When you see YouTube stars like Michelle Phan and Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) bringing in billions of dollars through their channels, you would want to start your own too. As tempting as it sounds, captivating and growing a massive audience for a sustained period of time takes much more work than it looks. YouTube might have the step-by-step of how to create your own channel, but there’s no real tutorial on the ‘How To Make Your Channel Profitable’.

As a YouTuber myself (don’t forget to subscribe! ;) ) here’s some basic tips to keep in mind:

1. Get to know your audience and stay on top of the trends!
When starting your own channel, it’s crucial to know your market. There’s a reason why YouTube has a comment section and it’s not only for haters throwing mean (although sometimes funny) comments, they’re there so people can interact with what they watch. Phan once said, “if you know your audience, you know exactly what they’re going to watch.” This requires you to stay on top of trends and the broader social media zeitgeist.

2. Put in a lot of time and effort.
I used to wonder how some of the most trending videos on Phan and Kjellberg’s YouTube are usually around 8 minutes and when I started making videos I realised how an 8-minute video can take as long as three to four days shoot, edit and refinement.

It really is a lot of work! No wonder YouTube stars like Phan and Kjellberg both had to quit their pre-existing commitments (work and uni) to focus on their YouTube channel.

3. Make it authentic.
You know how it can be a bit annoying when you’re watching a video on YouTube and suddenly an ad comes up? Yup, we’ve all been there. Imagine how annoying it’ll be if your video actually sounds like an ad. If you want to communicate effectively, then the best thing you can do is to be authentic.

“The thing that has made YouTube so successful is that you can relate to the people you’re watching to a much higher degree than to the people you see on TV.” - Pewdiepie

4. YouTube is not Hollywood.
While caring about the quality is a good thing, don’t let the creation process bog you down. Viewers are not expecting a masterpiece, what’s important is to get a good content, put it out there and allow the viewers to get to intimately know you.

5. Create a brand for your channel
While this sounds very technical, creating a sense of familiarity to your channel is basically what branding here means. Keep your style consistent so that viewers know what to expect. Once you created your brand, you need to keep your content align with your branding.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Why marketers should think ‘selfish, scared, stupid’

‘Selfish,’ ‘scared’ and ‘stupid’ may not be inspiring words, but business strategist Dan Gregory claims these should be on top of marketers’ mind when they think about their brand, product or campaign.
Mr Gregory is co-founder of strategy and branding agency The Impossible Institute and co-author of the book Selfish, Scared and Stupid. He argues that three instincts--self-interest, fear and simplicity--guide human behaviour, and urges businesses to exploit these tendencies.
‘We tend to think of selfish, scared, and stupid as negatives… The truth is, they’re not,’ Mr Gregory said in a 2014 interview. ‘It’s actually a recipe for success. But because it doesn’t sound good, we tend to ignore that and pretend that we act in other ways.’
When businesses ignore human selfishness, fear and bias for simplicity, they ‘end up with strategies built around human ideals versus human reality,’ added Mr Gregory, whose portfolio includes top brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, News Corp, Vodafone and the NRL.


The so-called behavioural design strategy works not only with brands but also with ideas. It is easier to influence or persuade a target audience, Mr Gregory says, when statements are framed simply, answer the question ‘What’s in it for them?’ and address fear of loss or risk.
Mr Gregory, who is also a sought-after motivational speaker, is scheduled to give a talk during the University of Sydney’s End of Year Master of Marketing Reception on November 17, Thursday, 5:30 p.m., at The Refectory, 5F, Abercrombie Business School Building.
Besides Mr Gregory’s talk, the event will showcase presentations from the three finalists for the AMI Prize for Best Consulting Project for 2016 awarded by the Australian Marketing Institute, which accredits the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing Program.

This year’s AMI Prize finalists are Lis Churchward, who focused on revitalising the brand of the Centre for Veterinary Education in the University of Sydney; Jessica Ratcliff, who developed an on-premise sales and marketing plan for Taylors Wines; and Maria Ignatia Gharib Andrigehetti, who drafted a new marketing plan for Tigerlily Swimwear.

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The consulting project is a key feature of the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing program. It allows students to apply frameworks learned in class to actual business scenarios. The students’ clients and mentors have been invited and will take questions during the event.
The End of Year Reception is an opportunity for students to interact with faculty, lecturers, mentors, alumni and industry guests. Those who have received invitations for the event are requested to confirm their attendance before Monday, November 14.

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Stepping up your Instagram game

A lot of people are still trying to figure out how to crack the photography code when it comes to Instagram. It’s a very interesting platform where all your photos are side by side, below and above each other. If you're someone that wants to get exposure through Instagram and not just taking Sunday afternoon shots with Nan, here are a few tips that I have learnt over the years.

credit: http://www.justlikesushi.com

Decide on your feed style and content

Before you post your first photo, you need to plan ahead and decide on the style that you want your feed to have. Whether it be black and white, over exposed, under exposed or flat lays, keeping your feed consistent throughout will be appreciated by your followers. Not only does the individual photos matter, but also how it looks side by side. Another thing you need to decide on before starting your Instagram game is the content. You might be into fashion and post photos of style and fashion of the day’s (OOTD) or you might be into culinary and take photos of food. Your followers will definitely appreciate this because users follow you because they like your content. If you’re posting all about food and one day you post something that’s irrelevant, they might question it or be put off by it.

Light is your friend

As a professional photographer, I know how important light is for a photograph. Lighting is key and arguably the most important aspect to a photograph. Without correct lighting, no matter how good the subject is, it will be very hard to achieve good quality images. So when there isn’t good light to light up the subject, walk around and find a spot that has good lighting before pressing the shutter!

Colours, shapes and lines

An image becomes engaging when it has strong colours, unique shapes or strong lines. Without one of the 3 in an image, it will look flat and become unappealing. So before opening your Instagram app on your phone, look around and try to find one of these elements to compliment your subject.

Likes or no likes?

This is possibly the most important thing when it comes to Instagram. Most of us get carried away with the amount of likes we get for an image. That shouldn't be the driving factor when you shoot photographs. You need to appreciate the fact that any type of art is subjective and no two people will be the same when asked whether they like it or not. Take photos not for the likes but because you love the images you produce. No matter how many people are following you, you know that those people appreciate your photographs.

Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

To trendjack or not to trendjack?

With social media users producing engaging, shareable or viral content almost every day, it might be tempting to think that your job as a brand marketer is now much simpler. You no longer need to spark the conversation and engage an audience; social networks are already abuzz. All you need to do is join the trend—whether it’s a hashtag, a meme or a viral video.
This technique has given rise to a new buzzword: trendjacking, defined as hijacking a trend to promote your brand. Think of it as a modern word for ‘jumping on the bandwagon.’ Like all marketing approaches, however, trendjacking does not work all the time. That’s where you step in as a brand marketer. Here are some questions you should ask before hijacking a trend:
Is the trend relevant to your brand?
Countless topics trend on social media each day but not all of them will make sense for your brand. Some trends fit your brand perfectly. One trendjacking match made in heaven is fruit producer Dole’s hijack of the viral japanese video 'Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen' (PPAP) using a GIF posted on its official channels in Asian markets. Social media users have called it a case of advertising copy writing itself.
The PPAP craze is based on what anthropologist and ethnographer Crystal Abidin calls a blank canvas. ‘PPAP means nothing; it is nonsensical and void of distinct meaning. This thus presents PPAP as a template, a blank canvas onto which viewers can project meaning, and into which viewers can invest creatively,’ she writes. In other cases, joining a trend might be a bit of a stretch.
How long will the trend last?
When Pokemon Go exploded, businesses were quick to ride the trend. Lifestyle brands used the trend to promote outdoor gear. Establishments lucky enough to host the augmented reality monsters posted about them to boost store traffic. Restaurants and cafes scrambled to make their locations ‘Pokestops’ or ‘Gyms’, where players can go to collect eggs or to train their Pokemon.
Businesses that took advantage of the Pokemon Go boom did two things right: they moved fast and invested little. They wouldn’t feel bad now that interest in the game seems to be flattening out. (Read: Pokemon Gone?) We’re not saying you shouldn’t ride a trend that would die quickly, but knowledge of a trend’s life cycle should guide your decisions, especially when it comes to budget.
Do you understand the trend?
The Internet is a place where meanings evolve; not everything there is what it seems. ‘Netflix and chill,’ for example, sounds like a fun activity that involves lounging about and watching movies from the streaming site. If so, it’s a perfect opportunity to promote popcorn or pizza! Many brands fall into that trap, not knowing that among millennials, 'Netflix and chill,' is code for something else...
Jumping on a bandwagon you don’t understand could lead to a disaster. That’s why thorough research is necessary. Find out what the hashtag, meme or viral video is about. Try to anticipate the risks you expose your brand to by riding the trend. You must also understand that in the same manner that you are hijacking a trend, social media can also hijack your hijack of the trend.

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.