Zoella and the rise of celeb bloggers

 

She’s got three times as many Twitter followers as David Cameron, a book deal, and even her own beauty range – but who is Zoella and how is she rewriting the rules for bloggers everywhere?

A newspaper recently dubbed her ‘the most famous woman in Britain you’ve never heard of’ – and that seems apt if you’re not a blogger, because outside of the blogging world few people had heard of Zoe Sugg until this year.  She’s a 24-year-old blogger famous for her down to earth style and bedroom vlogs on all kinds of topics; from what beauty products she loves right now, to her latest fashion buys and even, on occasion, her hamsters. Whatever she talks about, it seems people can’t get enough of her – the Zoella YouTube channel has a crazily massive 6m subscribers – and counting!

There’s been a lot written and tweeted about Zoella over the last few weeks and in the blogging community those who adore her are probably matched in number by those who are insanely jealous of her success. So what is it that this ‘ordinary’, just-like-us girl doing right and how can other bloggers and brands learn from her success? Let’s unpick it…

  1. She’s ‘authentic’
    Yes, we know this is a word that’s horribly overused in the social marketing world, but in this context what we mean is that Zoella’s approach reflects her personal interests and other girls relate to her. When a blog gets popular, the temptation is to accept every product and invitation and run with it. What she does so well is curate things in her own style, taking care only to feature things she really believes in. And that earns respect from followers and brands alike.
  2. She’s consistent
    Unlike a lot of other blogs (ours included!) who only post updates when time permits/when they feel like it, Zoella has kept up a rigorous schedule of blogging. As a content producer, she’s always on time and on point. People following her across various channels can be assured of something new to consume every day. And that has power in a community where new blogs come and go like buses.
  3. She has representation
    Zoella is one of a growing number of bloggers who’ve signed up with a ‘social talent’ agency – in her case it’s Gleam Futures. As the blogging world has got bigger, those seeking to differentiate themselves are turning to large scale networks like these to represent their interests and help monetise their blogs. Only those with the biggest stats and highest quality content are accepted into this world.In a way, this has created a bit of a two-tier system in the blogging community – there’s the professional ones with representation, and the ‘enthusiasts’, i.e. those who write in their spare time from home from their bedroom and make up the majority of the community. They should probably come up with a new name for the ones like Zoella because in reality, she’s not like other bloggers writing from their bedroom anymore – it’s a new phenomenon. The tricky part, if you work with brands, is educating them on this – many of them expect professional quality responses and content from bedroom bloggers, and this just isn’t going to happen – well not free, anyway!If you’re new to this scene, this summary of blogger networks from Bonjour Blogger is a good introduction.
  4. She has a carefully defined target market
    Zoella has been ruthlessly promoted as the tween girls’ blogger of choice and her content is strongly geared towards a younger audience. Zoella is 24, rents her own flat and probably has access to things normal girls couldn’t dream of – e.g. invites to red carpet events. In reality, her life is probably moving further and further away from the experiences of the 14-year-old girls who read her blog every day and idolise her. Yet she’s still pumping out stuff they want to watch – back to school make-up tutorials, break up advice, girls’ nights in, etc. We can’t help but feel that perhaps this is under the guidance of her agency, for whom this demographic is probably a lucrative bargaining tool, but she’s doing it such a natural and un-forced way, it’s still working for her. Whether she’ll still be able to do it aged 30 is another thing, though…
  5. She’s gorgeous
    It sounds superficial, and you definitely need more than this to be as successful as she is – but it helps. Brands like to see a pretty face alongside their products, so the fact that she’s impossibly photogenic only works in her favour. As avid Zoella fans and readers, we’ve yet to come across a bad picture of her – they’re shot with care and edited well, and she’s always beautifully lit and made up in her videos.There’s no denying that appearances matter, but from a brand perspective what’s also important is uniqueness. There are so many gorgeous girls out there, but what makes you stand out? A quirky approach helps her to stand out. What’s your point of difference?

We’d love to hear your opinions on this. Are celeb bloggers like Zoella changing the game for everyone in the community? Tweet us @StyleTribeUK with your thoughts!

 

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Zoella and the rise of celeb bloggers

She’s got three times as many Twitter followers as David Cameron, a book deal, and even her own beauty range – but who is Zoella and how is she rewriting the rules for bloggers everywhere?

A newspaper recently dubbed her ‘the most famous woman in Britain you’ve never heard of’ – and that seems apt if you’re not a blogger, because outside of the blogging world few people had heard of Zoe Sugg until this year.  She’s a 24-year-old blogger known for her down to earth style and bedroom vlogs on all kinds of topics; from what beauty products she loves right now, to her latest fashion buys and even, on occasion, her hamsters. Whatever she talks about, it seems people can’t get enough of her – the Zoella YouTube channel has a crazily massive 6m subscribers – and counting!

There’s been a lot written and tweeted about Zoella over the last few weeks and in the blogging community those who adore her are probably matched in number by those who are insanely jealous of her success. So what is it that this ‘ordinary’, just-like-us girl doing right and how can other bloggers and brands learn from her success? Let’s unpick it…

She’s ‘authentic’
Yes, we know this is a word that’s horribly overused in the social marketing world, but in this context what we mean is that Zoella’s approach reflects her personal interests and other girls relate to her. When a blog gets popular, the temptation is to accept every product and invitation and run with it. What she does so well is curate things in her own style, taking care only to feature things she really believes in. And that earns respect from followers and brands alike.

She’s consistent
Unlike a lot of other blogs (ours included!) who only post updates when time permits/when they feel like it, Zoella has kept up a rigorous schedule of blogging. As a content producer, she’s always on time and on point. People following her across various channels can be assured of something new to consume every day. And that has power in a community where new blogs come and go like buses.

She has representation
Zoella is one of a growing number of bloggers who’ve signed up with a ‘social talent’ agency – in her case it’s Gleam Futures. As the blogging world has got bigger, those seeking to differentiate themselves are turning to large scale networks like these to represent their interests and help monetise their blogs. Only those with the biggest stats and highest quality content are accepted into this world.

In a way, this has created a bit of a two-tier system in the blogging community – there’s the professional ones with representation, and the ‘enthusiasts’, i.e. those who write in their spare time from home from their bedroom and make up the majority of the community. They should probably come up with a new name for the ones like Zoella because in reality, she’s not like other bloggers writing from their bedroom anymore – it’s a new phenomenon. The tricky part, if you work with brands, is educating them on this – many of them expect professional quality responses and content from bedroom bloggers, and this just isn’t going to happen – well not free, anyway!

If you’re new to this scene, this summary of blogger networks from Bonjour Blogger is a good introduction.

She has a carefully defined target market
Zoella has been ruthlessly promoted as the tween girls’ blogger of choice and her content is strongly geared towards a younger audience. Zoella is 24, rents her own flat and probably has access to things normal girls couldn’t dream of – e.g. invites to red carpet events. In reality, her life is probably moving further and further away from the experiences of the 14-year-old girls who read her blog every day and idolise her. Yet she’s still pumping out stuff they want to watch – back to school make-up tutorials, break up advice, girls’ nights in, etc. We can’t help but feel that perhaps this is under the guidance of her agency, for whom this demographic is probably a lucrative bargaining tool, but she’s doing it such a natural and un-forced way, it’s still working for her. Whether she’ll still be able to do it aged 30 is another thing, though…

She’s gorgeous
It sounds superficial, and you definitely need more than this to be as successful as she is – but it helps. Brands like to see a pretty face alongside their products, so the fact that she’s impossibly photogenic only works in her favour. As avid Zoella fans and readers, we’ve yet to come across a bad picture of her – they’re shot with care and edited well, and she’s always beautifully lit in her videos. Even when she’s wearing no make up in her tutorial videos, she still looks great. How is that even possible?! Oh yeah, she’s 24…

Anyway, there’s no denying that appearances matter, but from a brand perspective what’s also important is uniqueness. There are so many gorgeous girls out there, but what makes you stand out? Working out your point of difference and playing up to it is the name of the game here.

We’d love to hear your opinions on this. Are celeb bloggers like Zoella changing the game for everyone in the community? Tweet us @StyleTribeUK with your thoughts!