Here’s a story about our connection with the video platform Youtube. When it was our 10 year anniversary, we made a documentary to celebrate a decade of film making. We really wanted the film to reach a big audience. But also we were keen to hear some feedback from the people that watched it. So we looked around for a PR company to help us push the film. We noticed that there were may companies offering advice of how to gain an audience on social media. However they often had very few followers themselves, which seemed a odd really. At that point I was no expert at using twitter. However I had more followers than many these companies who were supposed to be experts in social media. It can be harder to get people to follow a business rather than an individual, especially an unknown brand.
We decided to keep our money in our pockets and just push the films ourselves. When it started in 2005 we embraced the possibility of Youtube. We saw it as a way to broadcast our work across the world rather than send it out on tape and DVD to people in the UK. Many of our clients back then were very reluctant to put their videos on Youtube. Horror stories of the kind of comments that viewers can leave put them off. We figured we could delete such comments if they were too disturbing. For us market research like this and the chance to engage with a new audience was something very valuable. Something video production companies hadn’t had before.
Why Youtube over other platforms?
Most filmmakers and creatives favour Vimeo over Youtube mainly because of the increased quality of the video and,some might say,it’s audience. For us though Youtube has become such a universal recognisable name. In fact it’s the familiar story of a product name becoming a ‘product’ in it’s own right. It’s similar to the story of Hoover. It was such a popular product that many used to use the term hoover when referring to the vacuum cleaner itself, but it was only ever really a brand name. When we’re out filming people often shout “Will this end up on Youtube than?”. Vimeo and other similar platforms just aren’t that popular with the general public, well not yet anyway.
Also many people now use Youtube as a search engine and it’s considered to be the 2nd largest behind Google. I recently chose the company car by viewing customer review videos on Youtube. I was able to find the largest boot space for our kit without leaving the office.
The documentary did quite well . Mainly it was just putting the time and effort in to make social media posts. A bit of research to engage with influencers led to a few successes. We had articles written about it in the U.S and the video was embedded on other people’s websites.
Over 6,000 Youtube Subscribers
In the last 7 years we have continued to commission ourselves to make short films for the channel. Now we have over 6,800 subscribers! Although we know some Youtuber’s get millions of followers we’re still amazed that have more subscribers than some big established brands with their own dedicated marketing teams. I really enjoy getting messages from the viewers. Every day someone will comment about how a film has inspired them. Some simply say that one of our films has made them happy that day. For us we feel really rewarded for the time and effort we’ve put in to make those documentaries.
Our experience in growing our Youtube channel has given us confidence as a company. We know if we can make great content for ourselves we can make for our clients. Occasionally if we’re lucky our films get picked up in the main stream media too.
We believe it’s important to make a video to a high standard technically. But just as important is to have the skill to craft a story that resonates with people. Those people then share your films and your business or brand increases its profile. So we feel the work we’ve put into our Youtube channel has made us better film makers and we hope when our prospective client compares us to the competition, they can see we know how to grow a video’s audience.
Youtube turned 15 this year and it’s come a long way since 2005, so we’ll leave you with the first ever upload by by the site’s co-founder Jawed Karim “Me at the Zoo”.