Party Lines, Identikit content and the incredible story of Stampy Longnose.

You’ve probably never heard of Joseph Garrit.

It’s also likely that you’ve not heard of the moniker he uses online…

Stampy Long Nose.

However if you’re still in primary school and have even seen or played a game called Minecraft it’s likely you’re quite a big fan!

You see…23 year old Joseph is actually quite a bit deal. So, what does young Joe do which makes him such a big deal?

He makes videos of him playing (and narrating) over computer games.

Personally I don’t understand the attraction.

I’d rather be playing a game I enjoy rather than watching someone playing a game I enjoy. However the videos aren’t really designed to appeal to me. But they have found an incredible audience…

With 83,200  twitter followers, over 103,000 Facebook likes, over 2 million Youtube subscribers and 30 million video views a week.

Let me be really clear. The last stat wasn’t a typo and is worth repeating…

His videos consistently get over 30 million views a week! 

I might not “get it” but Charlotte (my 10 year old does). So do her mates. and so do kids in playgrounds up and down the country.

Everywhere you go kids are not only talking about the videos but also Stampy himself. Through his regular consistent videos he has built a connection with his audience in a manner which never could have existed pre internet anywhere near the scale Joseph has built.

Also, it’s important to put the number of views he receives week in week out into a degree of perspective.

The 1966 world cup final, you know the one where those West Ham players and a couple of their mates  beat Germany, is the most watched TV event ever.

It had 32.3 million viewers…

…for Joseph’s videos those amount of views are standard and are occurring week in, week out!

I might not ‘get’ why kids watch Stampy. However one thing I absolutely ‘get’ is…

Creating content is incredibly powerful.

There are people who stand out as incredible content creators in our business. Interestingly some of the best in our profession knock around ideas, share best practice and discuss ideas on this very site!

I’ve been lucky when creating content. We don’t get stampy’s millions visit our sites but we do get a few thousand a month.

Creating content has been a commercial success and in addition to this provided me with a bunch of opportunities that I might not have had without starting to do it.

However I’ve heard plenty of stories of people spending hours creating content only to find it just didn’t catch on.

A lot of people just aren’t consistent enough when it comes to creating “stuff”.

However I reckon the mistake many make, and why their content never seems to catch on, is that it’s just way too slick!

So far in the past week, I’ve received a bunch of “budget updates” from accountants, financial planners and product providers. Guess what?

Most of them say exactly the same thing! and in the same way! with many in virtually the same font and colour scheme!

Is it any surprise that this sort of content doesn’t catch on when the content you want to share could have (and on some occasions has) been duplicated and white labeled as your report for firms up and down the land!

More often than not, I read stuff now based on an individuals (or firms) unique perspective.

I want stories. I want Authenticity.

I want someone telling me how they think it is not some saccharine diplomatic “party line” where all the edges are shaved off for fear of someone disagreeing.

I want to  hear what someone believes, not what they think they should tell me.

The problem is that many professionals see this sort of as a risk. I’d suggest that not being unique enough is the actual risk.

They must think that people want more of the same sanitised dull content wise. I reckon they’re wrong!

They must think that prospective clients will avoid them if they show too much opinion, share personal stories or actually admit they make mistakes! I’ve found the opposite to be true!

So, a few questions…

When it comes to creating content as a profession why do so many of us seem to feel comfortable to deliver identikit content?

Why are powerful personal stories and unique perspectives seen as a risk? and is that due to our regulatory environment? or  a perceived idea of what ‘professional’ should look like?

and

If a 23 year old gets the fact that taking a potentially dull pastime (watching someone play a video game) and turn it into an activity that kids are falling over themselves to spend hours watching by just adding a bit of personality, quirkiness and fun.

Why don’t people in our business, from product manufacturers to support businesses to IFA’s understand that too?

As always I look  forward to hearing your thoughts.