One of the biggest, and most shocking, YouTube success stories is PewDiePie. A Swedish guy named Felix, whose early videos feature him speaking partly in Swedish, is the biggest YouTube marketer …ever. And not only is he based in Sweden, far outside of the New York/LA media hub, he is also a complete goof who screams and swears too much.
The lesson that you can learn from PewDiePie’s three ‘pillars’ of success are directly applicable to any YouTuber looking to make it big. These three ‘pillars’ are:
- His YouTube channel, of course.
- His social media efforts.
- His website.
Each one has a specific strength which is replicable. Let’s start learning, just be aware that you may be offended by swearing and absurdity along the way.
PewDiePie’s mighty marketing machine
His YouTube channel
All of PewDiePie’s success starts here, and all of his success starts with one fact: He loves video games. His very first video is disputed. Some say it was a Call of Duty video that has been deleted, others say it was this Minecraft video filmed partly in Swedish:
Either way, all of his early videos are like this. Him laughing with friends, and sharing interesting video game happenings. Welcome to the dawn of the age of the Let’s Play style of online videos.
Pewds continued to make videos like this with his voice in the background as he played games. His 30-part Amnesia playthrough is a perfect example, and also one of the moments he really started to push himself as a YouTuber truly offering something unique to his fans.
It wasn’t until his 50th video that we started getting the Pewds we know now, with him in a video stream in the corner:
This is Pewds really establishing his channel. He took some time to grow into it, but he kept at it because he was having fun and his audience enjoyed it too. The absolute first thing you have to learn as someone looking to do any type of YouTube marketing is that you have to do something you enjoy. Because it’s going to be a long, long trip from starting your channel from nothing, to success.
The other things you need to take from his YouTube channel include:
- His use of a common outro: The Brofist. He places his fist right up on the camera lense so his fans can fist bump him back. This is how he has connected with his millions of fans.
- Every channel needs a logo. His ‘brofist inside a P’ may be simple but it works, and it brings everything back to him connecting with fans via the Brofist.
- His Playlists are ridiculously detailed, making for easy binge watching, which shoots views through the roof. He has over 100 of them, and a few include fan-made videos or videos from friends.
- He always stayed connected with his fans and told them what he was up to. In this video he told his fans he had to step away for a minute. A little kindness goes a long way with your YouTube viewers because your Youtube viewers are, believe it or not, human beings who want to know what’s going on.
- In the early days, he interacted with his fans in the comment section regularly. When it became too much he just made videos about it to let people know that he still cared. He has mean comments videos, and nice comments videos too!
Have you noticed any common themes amongst all of the above points? Each one is all about connecting with fans. Every single one. If you’re not following this basic advice from how Pewds built his empire, you’re going to fail. Getting YouTube subscribers is always about gaining the continued interest and loyalty of real people.
PewDiePie’s social media presence
What’s any online marketing presence without a social media account or two? Pewds isn’t exactly the most savvy of social marketers, but he gets it done by posting regularly on Twitter:
As you can see, he doesn’t take it very seriously. He keeps his tweets personal. You get the feeling that this is actually Pewds himself tweeting, and not some curated garbage from a company.
His Facebook page reads more like a stream of his video updates, but he still makes time for random silliness and fan interaction:
He also uses Instagram exactly the same way you do: Him and his pals goofing around, and posting daily life snapshots:
What has Pewds done here? He has taken his branding, his persona on YouTube, and kept it consistent all across social media. He has stayed true to who he is, and adapted that voice to suit each platform better.
If you’re a serious YouTuber talking about politics, you need to keep that voice across social media. If you’re a goof-off YouTuber, creating comedy videos, you need to stay goofy across your social channels. Consistency is the key to everything in life, including YouTube and online marketing.
Pewds gets paid on his website
We found out that Pewds made $12 million in 2015. That, ummm, is a lot of money for swearing on YouTube. While some of that will indeed be from YouTube Adsense revenue, and from advertisers who pay him to play their games, you can bet that some of that comes right from his website’s store.
For all your PewDiePie reading, accessory, and clothing needs! Capitalizing on success with a T-shirt is nothing new. Many YouTubers have similar merchandise for sale. Pewds really pushes it hard, frequently offering incentives to his fans:
With further online marketing pushes as he incorporates email marketing into his shop. And how it is framed “No thanks, I like paying full price.” is pure brilliance on his part.
But there are two more smart things that Pewds has done with his website which you should look at. First, he posts his videos on his website:
…did you notice how they are on his website right below the centered ‘Shop’ tab? You should, it’s smart design.
Second, he built a forum for all his bros to hang out, and would you look at that:
It’s still on the same website. This is where the ‘Bro Army,’ Pewds’ most loyal fans, hangout to discuss all sorts of topics. Best of all, they’re all just a few clicks away from making a purchase on the store. Mixing this much brand loyalty on a website, with a shop and free entertainment …well, is it any mystery now why he made those $12 million?
Think Pewds YouTube success is all swearing and goofing off?
So you’ve read through this whole article and you think that all you have to do is swear, yell, play video games, and take pics with your friends to be like Pewds. Are you crazy? Have you been paying any attention here?
Pewds has worked so hard to get where he is. All of his content, his social media, and his website were built over years of consistent effort. Yes, he made $12 million in 2015. He also uploaded 7 – 10 videos a week, every week, evolved his brand even more into comedy videos, updated his 4 social media accounts with fresh content, and continued to build his website.
You need this level of commitment if you want to be as successful a YouTube marketer as PewDiePie. Dedication is the only way to success, even if you just want to goof off, curse, and play video games for a living.
So thats all How Pewdiepie conquered youtube.
About Author – Matthew is a social, digital, and online video marketing writer for Devumi. You can read about their YouTube tools over on the website, or join the blog every Friday for the latest news on all things online marketing! Watch some videos, and subscribe, to the Devumi YouTube page too!