You Tube Blogging
I want to let you know about an excellent You Tube channel, which in the eyes of an outsider looking in is a good case study. I’ll conclude this blog by summarising some of the things that they do really well and consider how those good practices can be replicated in your own business.
This channel really knows its audience. I’ll say straight off I don’t know any of the people behind it, or even how commercially successful their business actually is.
This certainly is not a Mickey Mouse company (sorry that’s a poor joke), because although it’s all about Disney, it is not owned by the mighty entertainment corporation.
Disney Food Blog
The DFB Guide (Disney Food Blog) has 331,000 You Tube subscribers, new video guides to planning trips to the Disney Parks are posted at least twice a week. The most popular video on the channel (see below) has had an impressive 1.4 million views.
When a new video is posted I usually see that it achieves 100,000+ views within the first 24 hours. This looks like success to me. (BTW this blog has given me the excuse to post some holiday pictures!!).
Why Disney Food?
The channel’s presenter and (I think) owner is AJ, she is clearly an expert on the many restaurants and snacks available at Disney World and Disneyland. The subject of the content has broadened beyond food to include the rides, characters, entertainment, hotels and magic that together create the Disney experience.
Each video is typically around 15 minutes and contains footage of the Disney Parks, narrated throughout. The chosen topic is described using lists, recommendations and useful information. As well as the videos there is a website and a food directory that can be purchased.
In my eyes the significant number of views racked up, together with the many positive comments are because presenter AJ’s deep understanding of the viewer. The Disney Parks are vast (Walt Disney World in Florida is the size of Greater Manchester!) and if you want to get the most out of your visit it is really necessary to do some planning, to allow you to pre-book some rides and restaurants.
Benefits of Pre-Planning
The reward for some pre-trip research is spending less time waiting in-line in the Florida humidity and avoiding the worst crowd levels. Wait times for the most popular rides can be anything from 60-180 minutes at peak time. The quality of the restaurants varies enormously and there are days/times when the parks are quieter. Tips to help you save time, and as importantly save money, can really help you to get the most out of your precious (and expensive) holiday.
The titles of the videos are very effective - some examples include ‘Which Disney Dessert Party Should You Do?’ ‘20 Killer Disney World Ride Hacks’, ‘Get This Before You Go to Disney World’ and ‘17 Things We’ve Learned from Going to Disney World Every Day’.
Is this Official?
Disney Food Blog is 100% unofficial, there is a statement on the website explaining the independence. I should also take a moment to mention a couple of other excellent websites for planning Walt Disney World holidays, they are Touring Plans and Disney Tourist Blog.
Disney World has its own blog, but I have to say that I have hardly looked at it. The unofficial ones are much better, they’re not tied to corporate communication guidelines and are on the side of the visitor. They’re not overtly critical of Disney, but not afraid to point out the odd daft decision by the corporation if necessary.
Touring Plans is a different style of presentation, but equally as good and again delivered with real credibility. A great example was their guide to avoiding 180 minute+ waits for the (breathtakingly good) Avatar Flights of Passage ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This was a walk around the park with the presenter.
I followed Brian’s step by step instructions and had actually ridden this amazing ride before the park’s official 9am opening time! Thank-you so much Brian!!
Passion or Profit?
These Disney Park planning blogs, channels, books and apps are brilliant. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World I strongly recommend spending some time watching and reading. It may sound tedious to have to spend time planning, it is though good fun and trust me you’ll be glad that you did.
The content is monetised by a variety of means including books, subscriptions, website advertising and You Tube channel adverts.
It’s none of my business but I’d love to know if they are all profitable or not, only because I really hope they are. There is clearly passion for the product and the people involved seem to really enjoy what they do (why wouldn’t you visiting theme parks all the time!). For all their success and really useful information I hope that they are earning a reasonable amount for what I am sure is hard work, as much as fun.
So the Disney Parks are clearly a popular subject. Magic Kingdom in Florida is the most visited to theme park in the world, plus there are another 3 theme parks and 2 water parks within Disney World. That provides a large potential audience.
A big subject, but then other people have created similar videos that have had a fraction of the views. DFB’s success to me comes from the consistency of its style and execution.
In summary here are some of their stand out points.
1) It’s Unofficial
The content is both useful and authentic, they’re not paid for by Disney. This status builds trust and you can tell by the mostly positive comments that many of its viewers have a very strong relationship with the brand.
2) Frequency & Consistency
There is clearly a discipline to creating regular new content, as there is good frequency of posting. The style and packaging and content is very consistent, so you know what to expect. That means once you’re likely to watch it all the way through.
3) Understanding of Audience
All the mentioned blogs/channels understand and relate to their audience. They put themselves in the shoes of a park visitor, knowing instinctively what information the viewer wants. This comes from empathy, as they have started as visitors themselves, before becoming experts.
4) Great Titles
The cleverly chosen titles immediately raise your interest, you want to click through. It’s not link bait, when you click through you get what you expected. Mainly because trust has been built over time.
5) They are Valuable
If you’ve been to a Disney park then you’ll know that great rides and entertainment, meet humid weather, long waits and high costs. These blogs and videos really help to make you and your family have a more enjoyable trip.
There is a real focus to the content, keeping to one theme per video and getting straight to the point. I can’t stand podcasts and videos where you have to wait a couple of minutes for it to get started because there is a long rambling introduction.
7) There is a Warmth
The style of writing and presentation is warm, engaging and welcoming. I’ve noted a real empathy in particular for those travelling with very young children.
Back To Business
Does this inspire you to start a You Tube channel, or new blog on a theme or subject that you know about? This could become a new revenue stream for you, or a way of generating new interest in your existing businesses.
If you are interested there are two simple questions to answer. First, what are you an expert in? (or could become an expert in) and second what information/content do people want on that subject?
If there is a big enough market and you can present it well in words or vision, then you may just have a Disney Food Blog style success on your hands!
Based in Loch Lomond Paul Saunders Marketing works throughout Scotland providing marketing consultancy and digital creative media for businesses, charities and organisations of all sizes. Core services include Marketing Consultancy, Commercial Photography, Video Production, Websites, Aerial Filming, Social Media, Design & Branding and Events. To find out more call Paul on 01360 661029 or get in touch via the Hire Us page.