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Understanding The "Vlog" And Using It To Your Advantage

By Diana Brown, PPMG Summer Intern

Since the onset of entertainment and media, we’ve always been captivated by the chance to tune in to a select group of people and bear witness to an intimate and personal side of their lives. These people aren’t necessarily celebrities, but something about being able to watch them go about their day to day is oddly appealing. Entire industries have been built off of this desire, like reality TV and the majority of social media. As the landscape for entertainment has changed, so has the way that we tune in and fulfill this want to be nosey.

One of the major contributors to this shift in the entertainment landscape is YouTube. YouTube has revolutionized the way that we are able to consume videos. In many ways, this platform has replaced TV with its 24/7 availability, diversity of content and condensed video format that allows viewers to rapidly watch a high volume of videos. Viewing a video on one topic automatically generates a recommendation for another, and so on and so forth, until you’ve discovered a breadth of YouTube contributors and their content.

There is a plethora of video formats and genres available on YouTube, but one that is especially popular at the moment is that of the “vlog”. A vlog is essentially when a Youtuber takes a camera along with them throughout their day-to-day life. This video usually features a key event that showcases how fabulous their life is, such as a photoshoot, and combines that with snippets of regular day-to day-activities, like having them cook dinner at home. The combination of mundane tasks with fun lifestyle features has hit a sweet spot with viewers.

Vlogs can happen anywhere thanks to portable video cameras and other new technology developments.

It may seem that since this type of video content is rooted in the spirit of authenticity and sincerity, there may be no room for marketers to integrate products. However, it is the authentic form of this content that lays the perfect groundwork for product placement. These vloggers will film their content with the intent of featuring a specific product, usually that of a lifestyle brand, and illustrate how said product is a necessity in their daily routine.

Integrating product promotion into vlogs is a brilliant way to engage target customers. Rather than having a regular advertisement featuring some stranger promoting a product, (which a viewer could easily dismiss), a verified and influential vlogger is the one supporting your brand, talking about the product in an organic way, and showcasing exactly how they use it. Typically, anyone tuned into a certain individual’s vlog is that person’s follower and looks to purchase any article or product that can help them replicate the given vlogger’s lifestyle.

The ability of these vloggers to generate such a devoted following is what makes them such a sweet spot for product placement. Even if the promotion of the product doesn’t end in a purchase, it still places the brand name in the viewer's mind, which is half of the battle anyway.

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