The first VidCon in July of 2010 welcomed an attendance just shy of 1,500. Fast forward to 2019, and the annual video conference chalked up more than 30,000 attendees. As the online video platforms grow, VidCon’s size and scope increase in tandem. The event attracts thousands of influencers and fans, in addition to marketing professionals and big-name brands looking to learn more. This year, as VidCon celebrated its 10th anniversary, Google sent members of the Brand Unit to explore the various ways Youtube culture has evolved—and how it impacts brand marketing. 

At the center of every trend they encountered, the Googlers found the need for constant innovation and ingenuity. The YouTube platform has always been most successful when pushing boundaries and overthrowing the conventional. Luckily, today’s creators, fans, and industry leaders can enjoy a plethora of tools to help them keep pace with the platform’s quickly changing demands. 

While YouTube devotees are familiar with the traditional, talk-to-the-camera format, successful and up-and-coming creators are taking advantage of creative styles of storytelling, like 180-degree videos, animations, ad-sequencing, and long-form content. If VidCon has proved anything, it’s that success rewards experimentation. Switching up video formats will keep regular subscribers on their toes while simultaneously attracting new viewers—but creators aren’t making these types of decisions off the cuff. 

Creators and industry leaders now rely on platform data to make informed decisions on how and when to switch up their content. More intuitive than ever, YouTube Analytics allows an inside look at what is performing well down to the very second. Creators can look to their channel data and make real-time adjustments to their videos for consistent and effective performance. 

Rhett and Link of Good Mythical Morning spoke to the Brand Unit team about the effect data has had on their channel. At one point, Link quipped, “I really like to look at the audience retention, because I like to correlate it with if I’m talking or if Rhett’s talking.” All jokes aside, with over 4.5 million subscribers and over approximately 834MM views, these guys are doing something right. 

Data takes away the guesswork and heavy lifting that has traditionally accompanied marketing strategies. Just like the creators of Good Mythical Morning, brands and influencers can and should use the platform’s Analytics and Retention monitoring tools to make informed decisions about the direction of their videos.

What’s more, data can provide a path to reach new audiences. While YouTube’s conception provided a space for niches to thrive, years later, these small niches have resulted in massive global communities. The past decade of VidCon and the evolution of YouTube have demonstrated that people unite through their passions. At its core, that’s what sets YouTube apart—it understands that viewers have a unique blend of interests and viewing habits. Using Google’s insights, influencers and creators can tap into a repository of information to discover the unique passions that unite their viewers, and use it to reach new audiences. 

All in all, the past ten years of YouTube and VidCon have been nothing short of extraordinary. Creators and viewers have simultaneously revolutionized the world of video content and marketing. With increased awareness of the power of YouTube, along with tools like Analytics and Insights, creators and industry leaders will only continue to transform storytelling and marketing as we know it.