My son has hit that age. The age when mummy’s iPad is more interesting than mummy. When his conversations revolve around Minecraft more than Iggle Piggle.

He’s also worked out how to hit the YouTube app on anything without a 27-figure encryption – and because he likes Minecraft, so does my YouTube profile – pretty much every video in my suggestions stream revolves around the game in some way.

Now just as I’ve never quite understood the popularity of Gogglebox – a programme about people watching programmes – neither do I fully understand the massive market in gaming videos; gamers watching videos of people gaming.

But through my son’s love of Minecraft, I’ve been introduced to the world of Stampy Longhead.

Stampy’s YouTube channel currently sits at over five million subscribers. He has so far uploaded almost 1500 videos. His 20 minute gaming clips receive over 50million more views per month than One Direction.

He’s a one man gaming phenomenon – a Justin Fletcher for the YouTube generation.

Left to his own devices, my son would watch Stampy videos for hours.

Video leads to video, leads to videos about different games, leads to videos from Stampy’s friends and so on.

And Stampy knows his market. He knows the appeal of Minecraft to the under 10s. Always engaging, never offensive, brilliant at explaining what he’s doing with a sense of fun and humour, the guy’s now so popular with children that he’s even launching his own education channel.

He’s a brand. A content brand.

And just as other YouTubers have captured individual markets and now make their livings streaming videos on everything from make-up to martial arts, Stampy sticks to his strengths.

So what tips can content marketers take from the Stampys of the world?

Find your niche. Capture your market early. And if you’re not early to the party, bring something different to it. Tackle issues from a leftfield perspective. Consider different formats; digestible, snackable, shareable. Build interest by saying something new.

Build your personal brand. Just as the Joe Pulizzis, Ann Handleys and Jay Baers are the heroes of the content marketing world, so too can you put yourself out there and become known in your industry for what you say and how you say it, as much as for what your business does.

Give the audience what they want. A concerted content marketing strategy requires effort. If you’re going to build an audience, you need to keep them coming back for more. A ‘follow’ in a social context soon becomes an ‘unfollow’ if you don’t keep the content tank topped up.

Above all, Entertain. Don’t be dry. Don’t sit on the fence. The world is drowning in content so fight for your airtime with colour and humour. Battle the boring. Yes, content marketers can teach – but entertainment is the route to capturing and retaining interest.

As the old verse that circulated around Fleet Street in the 1800s suggested:

‘Tickle the public, make ‘em grin. The more you tickle, the more you’ll win…’

(*Disclaimer: before the accusations of bad parenting roll-in, I do take the iPad off him occasionally. So he can watch TV…)

image credits

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