Video Essentials

Looking to Build an Audience on YouTube? Be Authentic Is Rule #1

How can brands succeed on YouTube? Authenticity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

Whether the YouTube video comes from a teen in her bedroom or a global consumer brand, authenticity is the one element that’s key to attracting viewers. YouTube’s audience hates a phony. At the recent Streaming Media West conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California, Andy Stack, a manager with YouTube, explained why it’s critical.

YouTubeCaptions“One common thread that I’ve seen be successful through a variety of different channels…and that’s authenticity,” Stack said. “If you’re really authentic about what you’re trying to create that is what wins, and that’s what’s won over the past few years and that is what’s still winning. If the audience and the fans see that what you’re creating is truly authentic, then you can have channels that are wildly successful, like Toby Turner who will just shoot something with his Flip cam in his underwear in his bedroom, and then he’ll get 3 or 4 million views on that.”

Just because a video creator is authentic and builds an audience, however, doesn’t mean she’ll attract advertisers. Brands want to show ads on high production value content.

“Think about who you are as a creator and what you want to achieve, because your voice can be successful whether it’s through a range of production qualities,” Stack explained. “From the advertiser and the viewer standpoint we certainly recognize the need for…content that resides on YouTube to have certain levels of quality that brands would love to throw more money against.”

For more on succeeding on YouTube, watch the panel discussion below.


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