Jules: What do you recommend for content creators who are just starting out?
Taryn: Look for new platforms that are early in their growth… most people who were early on Snapchat, early on Instagram, early on Vine, they all saw these incredible growth rates. You have to be smart about where you build.
Jules: Did you experience success in YouTube early on?
Taryn: My first video I posted got almost 2M views. I had no audience but it got 2M views because it was fairly high production quality for back then, it was edgy, but there’s no way it would get that many views today. I am lucky now to get a video that gets 100k views.
Jules: What are your biggest tips for creating high-performing content?
Taryn: Apply formats to concepts so that people can use the video as a social identifier. One of the first videos that BuzzFeed did in their original content strategy was about why redheads are actually more fun… and you can imagine why it went viral, because every redhead shared it on Facebook. It serves as a perfect social identifier without people actually having to say I’m a redhead and I’m more fun.
I also recommend playing into something that some segment of the population emotionally identifies with. If you take a social issue and tie it to a specific segment of the population you’re hoping to speak to, that’s a very powerful thing. You’re basically saying you need to watch this because you’re a member of this population.
Jules: Evolution in your career is integral. At what point did you know it was time to pivot in your YouTube career and how did you take action?