• My Cupcake Addiction founder Elise Strachan on traditional v digital media
Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has given birth to a new generation of celebrities and content creators, some of whom are making a living out of it.
Elise Strachan, a small cupcake business owner-turned-YouTuber located at the Gold Coast, is one of them. She is the creative brain and baker behind the sweet delicacies on the My Cupcake Addiction channel.
“When it comes to advertising through people like me, Australia’s only just catching up,” Strachan told Mediaweek. “While people like me have been busy building a global brand, I know a very few of my dealings fall here in the Australian market.”
Australia has been slow in keeping up with this change, Strachan said. “In the US, people are realising that rather than traditional and digital competing against each other, they can work incredibly well hand in hand. I am not seeing that here in Australia.”
With over 2.6 million subscribers to her channel and over 328 million views on her videos as of March 2016, Strachan is one of the biggest YouTube content creators in Australia.
She started her channel in October 2011. “We started with a Handicam and few cheap lights that we got on eBay,” Strachan recalled.
In the beginning, the videos showed the ingredients used to make a certain recipe with Strachan’s hands demonstrating the steps of a recipe accompanied by a voiceover. The quality of the videos has improved since then, with Strachan now in the frames interacting directly with the viewers.
The process of making the videos hasn’t changed for Strachan – her husband still films all the videos. It’s the equipment that has.
“We have reinvested and reinvested. Now we having amazing lights and four cameras. They are much better than our initial Handicam.
“We did incorporate me as the face of the channel about two years ago, which was a conscious choice for not just creating videos for people to watch, but also creating a brand within the YouTube channel and beyond,” Strachan explained.
“YouTube is like another business,” she said. “If you approach it with a goal in mind, nurture it, and reinvest in it like any other business, it will grow and reward you just the same.”
Strachan hasn’t become a YouTube success story overnight.
“The benefit of the type of content I upload is that it is evergreen. Thousands of people will be looking online for ideas for a first birthday cake [every day], or an Easter cake. That is something very strong that I have going for me,” Strachan pointed out.
“I wasn’t doing a million views overnight by any stretch on any of my own videos.”
When asked about what has changed in terms of production, Strachan said, she now makes four different edits of the same content instead of one.
“We think about content a lot differently than we ever did. We just used to shoot with YouTube in mind. Now I shoot with YouTube in mind, along with Facebook and Instagram.”
Google Australia works with content creators by putting them in touch with opportunities around the globe, hosting networking events, as well as advising them on how to maintain their channels.
“We do a lot with Google, whether it’s panels, introductions to brands that are looking to advertise, or just support with the day-to-day running of our channel and the way in which we can do what we are already doing better.”
YouTubers provide brands with a way to get their message across in an authentic way, Strachan said. “I am a brand in my own right.
“If what the [advertisers] are looking for is a genuine, engaged, authentic voice, then that is why you get in touch with someone like me. You are not just throwing ad spend at the masses. You are getting a direct personalised message out there to over eight million avid home bakers around the world.”