Advertising on YouTube has become a dominant point of discussion for John Green, the VidCon co-Founder and popular YouTube personality, as evidenced by his keynote presentation that kicked-off the YouTube-centric convention. Green spoke openly about the reasons why YouTubers cannot solely rely on brand integrations and advertising to produce content. He gave two reasons why, and every content creator should be aware of them:
If all of your content is sponsored by advertisers, will your recommendations and opinions still be seen as truthful? A creator’s fan base, and a creator’s relationship with that fan base is ultimately what’s responsible for one’s success or failure on YouTube. Overly branded content has the ability to damage the relationship between a YouTuber and his or her audience. If a viewer feels that their favorite influencer is ‘selling’ them in an untruthful manner, it will often end with a growing sense of distrust that may result in the viewer clicking somewhere else.
The content will be worse. If videos with high views are the only content worth creating, it will bury valuable information that can better the internet and – ideally – our society. A video explaining a mathematical equation may not receive as many views as a video of animals engaging in intercourse, but the average viewer will be bettering his life much more by learning the principals behind a particular piece of complicated number theory than watching two giraffes get it on.
That second reason brought Green to his his final point, care more about viewers than views. If a creator has a loyal following, there are now methods of gaining financial support without relying on advertisers. Whether it’s Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Subbable, the Green brother’s new platform, there are a variety of different ways for creators to finance projects they want without having to compromise quality or relationships.
Advertising on YouTube is a hot button issue as our industry is still in a reeducation process with advertisers looking to work with talent on YouTube. While both sides have made great strides, it’s still worth for creators looking to work with brands to remember that your audience is more important than a quick buck.
Great John Green photo by TMikeMkartin.