As most of the world self-isolates to stop the spread of coronavirus, life as we know it is currently very different. Schools and Universities are closed, cafe’s and restaurants have either ceased to trade completely or are now only able to operate a takeaway/delivery service and anybody who can work from home is doing so.
For YouTubers, however, it’s business as usual and the only thing that may have changed is that their video content now features a “Quarantine edition” caption. These digital creators are uniquely positioned to financially weather the coronavirus storm as they have spent many years building careers out of the online world that we are all now relying upon even more for our entertainment in these uncertain times. They have however had to up their game and adapt making sure content is quarantine appropriate. And they sure have - one search for “quarantine vlog” will reveal the thousands of videos already posted that viewers are using in their droves in order to stay entertained and garner inspiration during lockdown.
The most popular videos are the “a day in the life” style vlogs, where creators update their followers on what life during quarantine is like — missing friends, only leaving the house for essential errands and video-chatting family members without any clear idea of when this will be over tend to be typical themes. This is the new content that audiences want to see and can relate to. Most videos will take on a more optimistic approach to the pandemic and will emphasise the importance of self-care, productivity and how we should realise how important our day to day ordinary lives actually are. Examples of the types of popular YouTube vlogs that are generating thousands of views contain titles such as “15 Self Care Ideas for Coronavirus Quarantine,” and “turn your coronavirus self-quarantine into a self-care staycation.”
Another technique certain Youtubers have been employing is to hand control of content over to your audience. Ask them what content they would like to see. Estee LaLonde, a 29-year-old London-based creator with 1.15 million subscribers who has been making beauty and lifestyle videos for almost a decade did this successfully and the response was clear - escapism. Viewers came back with a resounding thirst for content that would give them a distraction from the news.
Many established Youtubers work with brands and will still have commitments already in place in terms of sharing content. Videos will have been submitted months in advance for brand approval, meaning creators will have had to adapt the content to make it pandemic relevant. Nobody wants to see content that is in any way inappropriate at this time and if ignored can generate a real backlash.
The pandemic has not only seen established YouTubers with large followings adapt and up their game but aspiring ones are now getting the chance to focus on their end goal of becoming full-time YouTubers. Many will have lost their jobs or been put on furlough so now suddenly have the time, and the finacial inclination to go all out and brand themselves as YouTube gurus. With an impending recession on the horizon, perfecting your YouTube channel may just be the most sensible way of securing your finances.