How to Promote Your Event with YouTube?

How do you develop your own YouTube channel? And can you use YouTube stars to promote your event? Geert Torfs of youth festival Your'In tells us about his experiences in practice.

Kevin Van der Straeten
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How do you develop your own YouTube channel? And can you use YouTube stars to promote your event? Geert Torfs of youth festival Your'In tells us about his experiences in practice.


Hi Geert, welcome to our studio.  


Thank you for inviting me. 


Well, we're talking about hiring YouTube stars to promote your event. A lot of people always think: well, that's a lot of work. And does it make sense? 


The great thing about YouTube is that you can measure the actual output that you have. YouTube has great statistics. You can read them, and everything you put in, you can read out. That's quite simple. So if you do the effort to engage some YouTube creators to make a movie or to make some promotion for your stuff, you can actually measure what's the outcome of this promotion. How many people watch this video? How many people clicked on the video? And how many people clicked on my link in the video? 


But from your experience... - because you're the organiser of a kids festival - Do you also see that you get more visitors to your event because you use YouTube?  


Yeah, definitely! Of course, for our event it's an event for youngsters between 10 and 15 years old. We see that a lot of young people watch YouTube more than they actually watch TV. TV is a great thing to have, but YouTube is a faster moving thing for the young ones. So in our case it's definitely measurable that more people come to our events just by putting some Youtube creators on it, and to let them create some content that the young people like, because that's the association they make with our brand. They say: "it's a cool brand, because they use cool YouTubers, so we have to go to that event". 


And how do you convince those YouTubers. Is it just putting some coins in their pockets? 


Definitely, YouTube is all about making money of course. They only make video's because they get some money. They're all looking at PewDiePie, who's getting a lot of money for his video's. And all those young YouTubers are trying to get that status too, and they're actually doing two things: they are getting some money from YouTube itself, but they are also making deals with companies like ours or an event company, and trying to make a video and trying to make the most money out of it as possible. 


And do you have control over what they will say, or how does that work? 


That's quite difficult, because they are creative people. They want to do whatever they like, and of course they know the audience the best. That's quite simple. They have to please their audience, their viewers, and their coming back next week, so it's not only your brand they have to promote, they also have to promote themselves. So what we actually do, we say: "this is our message. This is what we want to tell your viewers. And these are the lines in between which you have to operate". And we see the video before they upload it, of course, because if there are really things that couldn't pass, then we stop the video of course. But besides that, they do whatever they like. They are the creative people. They have to make the video. And that's what really makes the video authentic and that's what the strong point of YouTube is. It's really authentic, it's not some kind of directed promotion clip that you put online. 


But for a lot of marketeers it will not be easy to let go. 


No, definitely not. We see it all the time, that for real marketeers: "no, I want to direct the video from point zero until the end". That's not how YouTube works. If you want to direct the video, you make a promotional video. There's no problem with that, but that's another thing. If you want to use YouTube creators you have to let them be creative. If they cannot be creative, then it just doesn't work  


But now we're talking about using other people's channels. But what about making your own channel? 


Yeah, definitely if you have the possibility you have to start today to make your own channel. It's quite difficult and it takes a long time to make your own channel, but it's worth it. For example, Coolblue, a famous Dutch company, has its own YouTube channel. But they didn't make it in one day. It took them three years to make that great channel like that, because they have to find the right tone of voice, they have to find the right content to put online and they have to learn to know who their viewers are. So if you want to have a successful event channel, then you have to start today and maybe in one year you have a channel that you can really use within your marketing. But you can also cross-promote with YouTube creators. It's not a problem to use the creator to make some content on your own channel. 


And do they allow that?  


They allow that yeah, if you pay them for that. 


It's all about money?  


No that's not true. It's not all about the money because if the creator has a certain point of view he will definitely not change that just because you put a lot of money in front of him. But in the end, they'll do something if you give them enough money, yeah definitely. 


Okay, but in the end it's worth it to start investing in YouTube? 


Yeah definitely, it's a channel we see that... At the moment TV is decreasing and the YouTube channels are increasing. Of course, the real numbers; if you compare them, there's a big difference. But you see that YouTube is growing really really fast. We have in Belgium with our network at this point 3 million views a month. 


Even for a small country?  


Even for a small country. That's quite impressive. I know a lot of TV formats would love to have that amount. I would do it on YouTube. We do it every month on YouTube and it's increasing. So it's a thing you really have to invest in and you have to do it right now, because it's now rather small and if you want to be a big guy when YouTube really takes off, then now is the time to start. 


Okay Geert, thank you very much for coming over. 


You're welcome. Thank you. 


And you at home: thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next time!