This past Wednesday, March 25th, I had the pleasure of meeting Valentí Sanjuan. He came to my class to talk about his past careers and how he has made a living through digital journalism. Valentí started his career doing mainstream journalism at a radio station, “Vist i no vist” working in the newsroom. He had a creative mind and wanted to do new adventures with his job like creating a website and blog. However, the radio had other ideas in mind. After not renewing his contract, he had to figure out a way of making money and getting back onto his two feet.
With the help from a lot of his friends, Valentí started a show, which was done by streaming. At the time this was not a popular way of using technology. This time around, he incorporated images into the show and not just audio like he had previously been doing at his job at the station. They were sponsored by beer brands and would give away a free beer to anyone who came out to see the show. The atmosphere consisted of some people walking around, drinking beer, and talking about the Internet while Valentí and a few others were stationed up talking on the radio.
Valentí mentioned, “You start to succeed when you do something different.” The first thing he did was a normal show via the Internet instead of the radio. Then he progressed to a radio show mixed with a television show. This incorporated acting, movement, talking to cameras and being more interactive with the audience. The first show that they did, 100 people were there watching it live. Three months later, it didn’t work out so well, they had no grants and the audience was starting to die out.
Valentí knew that he had to make a huge turn around and think of another idea. He decided to perform a show in a theatre. This show was called “Visto lo Visto” and was almost like a stand up comedy. It included popular YouTubers, music and musicians, comedians, interviews and more. It was the opposite extreme from his original idea, and included just one camera, which he filmed with his own hand. Seven hundred people once a month come out in the audience to support him and his new form of success.
The idea of this show was to incorporate YouTubers that were young but had a huge following to generate more viewers for their show. Eventually once the numbers started to pick up, Visto lo Visto wanted to change the model to make their target audience adults. This idea was a bit of a disaster at first, but like anything else, with time things can start to change.
Aside from Visto lo Visto, Valentí has a personal YouTube account and achieves a big fan following. He claims that, “You don’t have to work for a big corporation to reach millions of people.” He says that creating content and keeping the adventure alive is more important than making a lot of money. He uses his YouTube account to post his Ironman successes and other activities that he takes part in on a weekly and daily basis. Most of his stories are dedicated to hard moments he faced in life as well as things that he just enjoys.
Last winter, Valentí ran to Santiago from Barcelona for a total of 10 days. The run was to commemorate his mother who had passed away. All of his passion and driving force is something that can be admired and respected by thousands of fans from all around the world that watch his videos. What he is taking part of is great for living, team building, coaching and so many more aspects of life.
After hearing Valentí talk in class, we all asked ourselves, what is journalism? This one word can be defined in so many different ways. Journalism to one may mean a completely different thing to someone else. Journalism to Valentí means storytelling. He uses his life journey as a way of expressing meaning to viewers.
Conclusively, he is an influencer. Companies and businesses pay him to promote their brands. One specifically was a Turkish airline company that paid to fly him to New York City to use his creativity to show the entire city in a video and post it on his YouTube account where it would reach thousands of people. This would help market for the Turkish company.
Although Influencer marketing is sometimes noted as being a newer technique, taking advantage of the way social media has created individuals with online reach and influence it is an old marketing technique. Influencer marketing is about connecting a brand or product with individuals who have the influence to reach and engage the customers that would be the same target as your brand or product. When successful, it can be extremely beneficial for your campaign.
According to Reelseo, A Video Marketer’s Guide, “From its origins as a simple video sharing platform, Youtube has since changed the face of video consumption—Youtube viewers are seeking out engaging, compelling, entertaining video content that offers value in and of itself.” Some of the most successful YouTube videos are ones that have been creators. Brands are able to use this to fuel their business by directly working with YouTubers who already understand their network and fan base and bring focus onto the brands they are trying to represent. Until now, the only way that brands could connect with influencers online was through reaching out directly or using a multi channel network. However, now with the launch of FameBit, brands are able to collaborate with YouTubers to help them reach a particular target audience. Using this virtual marketplace, brands can request and receive influencer proposals and work directly with relevant channels without a need for a middleman.
It is interesting to note that there are hundreds of well-liked YouTubers out there in addition to Valentí. They are all making a difference, which benefits the lives of their fans and brands by doing something they are passionate about.