— September 1, 2017
Learn how these funny food reviewers build audience with video
Corey and Sean first met at improv class in The Second City’s Conservatory Program in Chicago. The duo began making their videos together shortly after. Applying their natural comedy and fresh takes on the familiar fast food spots we all know and (occasionally) love, Corey and Sean have built an audience on YouTube of over 8,000 subscribers and have had their videos watched over 1.1m times. We interviewed them for another installment of Social Humans to get a better perspective of how they grew their audience and the lessons you can learn from them.
Lesson 1: Just Get Started
One of the biggest things that is probably holding you back from YouTube success is simply getting started. Beginning from an audience of zero can be terrifying for anyone. The amount of time and effort that goes into creating video content can also be intimidating. These early fears can be enough to discourage some. If you’re able to get past that initial hesitation, then you’re one step closer to developing a presence on a social network who’s audience comprises one-third of the entire user base.
Corey and Sean noticed that other people were having some success with food review accounts on YouTube. So they just got started with their comedic, satirical take on the genre. By taking the content outside of YouTube and posting on their existing personal channels, they saw 1,000 views on the first day and are now at 140,000 monthly views.
Taking that first leap is the first step to finding success with your YouTube marketing. They were fortunate to be featured early in a compilation of top YouTube food reviewers but their success and audience building didn’t just happen because of dumb luck. They took the right steps to engage and grow the audience.
Lesson 2: Get feedback from your audience
If you’re going to build an audience on YouTube, you need to know what they want. You find out what they want by listening to them. Once you’ve heard what they like and dislike about your videos, you can refine your content for your audience.
You will regularly see Sean and Corey interact with their community in the comments section of their videos. This is the most one on one interaction they can have with their biggest fans and where they come up with ideas for some of their best videos. And from someone who once ate a dishrag just for laughs, getting this kind of direction from his audience is a good thing.
Lesson 3: Invest in the creation
Corey and Sean leverage the engagement from their audience to inspire the content that they create. But this content creation isn’t a 2-bit operation. They have a serious focus and investment into what they’re making and the tools they use to create.
As we mentioned before, the work that top YouTube videos require is often a deterrent for many brands. Corey and Sean address this head on. Any single episode will feature as much as 6 hours of filming from 5 cameras including multiple GoPros and a drone. Though there is a lot of equipment and work that goes into each video, they’ve honed their process enough to churn out multiple videos a week.
Lesson 4: Don’t be afraid to branch out
Corey and Sean have seen their success grow because of their funny fast-food reviews on YouTube but they’re not afraid to branch out either.
They’ve been known to experiment with different types of videos. Instead of only doing fast food reviews, they are looking for complementary kinds of videos they can make to entertain thstarting to reach other “bubbles” with their content by sharing other types of content that show their full comedic range and personality. And they’re also using this as an opportunity to partner with other creators building collaborations to reach new channels.
Lesson 5: Don’t worry about always being PC (when your audience calls for it)
The overall key here is don’t be afraid to test your limits and be authentic. Ultimately, this comes back to knowing your audience.
Having that keen understanding of who your audience is and how they’re talking will help you build a channel that’s more personable and relatable. In some cases, that means you may not be very “PC”. For Corey and Sean, they understand there’s a difference between being fun and casual with their audience and crossing the line– they never allow hateful comments to exist within their community for example. They are playful and irreverent, but they draw clear lines and that resonates with their community.
We’ve talked about how influencers are changing media, Corey and Sean see these changes being mirrored in the way that comedians become famous. YouTube is shortcutting the normal process of doing years of standup, improv, Second City and hoping to be discovered by an SNL scout. YouTube is the new destination for video content in the living room and personalities like Corey and Sean are the stars of the show. This is why you need to focus and invest in building an audience on YouTube with lessons from these creators as your playbook.