What does it take to get noticed on the Internet? How can you turn your winning personality into a profitable brand? What’s the secret to getting Internet famous? We got the lowdown on YouTube FanFest (coming up August 14) from Nicole Bell, spokesperson for YouTube Canada.
SDTC: What does it take to “make it” on YouTube?
NB: One of the great things about YouTube is that anyone, anywhere, can become a Creator. If you’ve got an idea or talent to share, YouTube has the tools to help you bring it to life. While there are endless ways to capture audiences on YouTube, we’ve identified three main ways Creators have managed to resonate, either by inspiring their audience with emotional and relatable stories, educating them with useful and interesting information, or by entertaining viewers by surprising them or making them laugh. Often, it’s a mix of all three.
YouTube also offers a ton of free resources to help Creators get started and really “make it” on YouTube, like the Creator Academy and the Creator Community, which gives Creators a place to meet each other, find collaborations, and consult experts. We also recently launched YouTube Space Toronto, which is a creative industry incubator at George Brown College that offers free workshops, programming and production facilities to Canadian creators who are looking to build their channels, innovate and experiment.
Why are some creators so successful – what do they do that others don’t?
YouTube is a community and what many successful Creators have done is build that sense of community with their fans. They listen to the questions and comments that come in from their subscribers and they respond with their videos. That’s the magic of YouTube – it’s a two-way communication and fans feel connected to Creators.
What Creators are you especially looking forward to seeing this year?
Canadians are killing it on YouTube, and I’m excited that we’re putting that talent front and centre on stage at FanFest. I’m also excited about the all the different types of Creators we have brought to FanFest this year.
From fashion and science, to comedy, music and dance, the range of headlining Creators really reflects the variety of quality content on YouTube. This year’s participating Creators are among the most-watched stars on the planet, with a combined reach of 52+ million subscribers, and a cumulative 7.9+ billion views.
Toronto’s own YouTube superstar Lilly Singh (aka IISuperwomanII) is headlining the show, alongside fan favourites AsapSCIENCE , Bethany Mota, LaurDIY, Mike Tompkins, Daniela Andrade and Humble the Poet. They’ll be joined by an incredible lineup of performers, including musical artists Kurt Hugo Schneider, Ruth B, Megan Nicole, Tiffany Alvord and Sam Tsui. Dancers are also making a splash on stage this year, with amazing performances by Marquese Scott (WHZGUD2) and Poppin John.
What is it about that self-made celebrity aspect that really gels loyalty?
Going back to the notion of community and an authentic connection with fans. I think these elements make YouTubers stand out from mainstream celebrities. Because they are constantly communicating and sharing with their audiences, their fans feel a part of their lives – it’s a two-way relationship. As the YouTube Creator community continues to grow and evolve, events like YouTube FanFest provide an offline manifestation of the engagement and fandom we see on YouTube every day.