YouTube holds first workshop in the Philippines

Dozens of budding Filipino online content creators picked the brains of Google execs and local YouTube stars at YouTube’s first Pop-Up Workshop in the Philippines held Thursday.

The gathering, including a panel discussion with popular Filipino YouTube celebrities JamichTV, PaperbugTV and funny man Mikey Bustos, was packed with tips on not just building an audience but also a fairly lucrative business out of curiosities and hobbies.

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Below are some of the highlights:

1) The Philippines is a creative melting pot

Not only do Filipinos have an appetite for video content but they also have a knack at making the region’s most creative ones. All it needs is the proper guidance, says Ryan Morales, Google country marketing manager.

But while there is a huge talent pool here, Trixie Canivel, manager for content partnerships of YouTube Philippines, shared with Marketing that it is untapped.

“There is already a lot of activity in the social media platforms and the missing piece is that people don’t know that they can translate this talent on YouTube. That’s why we started the workshops to start educating people that this is the outlet for them.”

Morales said that plans are being finalized whether the Pop-up workshop will be an annual or quarterly event. Also, Google is thinking about bringing the workshop in other key cities like Cebu and Davao.

2) Don’t forget that you are a storyteller.

An NGO asked Canivel about brands, saying that it’s easier for the average content producer to be authentic and personal on YouTube. Businesses on the other hand need to answer to investors and not just to entertain.

It all boils down to telling a great story, said Canivel. For brands, it means finding what it stands for, the emotional hook that captures people and committing to that idea.

“Brands have their different brand story and how they want to engage with their consumers. Understanding who they want to relate to is one the key things they need to know before making a video and keeping them always in mind. You want to be quite upfront with what you want to say.”

3) Viralcy is not just about hits

Lately, the term "viral" seems to have infected many conversations on online content. Asking when did they feel they are on to something big, Dennis Lim, head of digital media services of ABS-CBN, said that views is a great barometer to check if your video is viral. For comedian Mikey Bustos, the man behind the funny Filipino tutorials, the revelation came in a different way.

“Not so much on the views but I remember waking up in the morning the third day to my Blackberry going pzzzt pzzzt pzzzt endlessly with comments from Twitter and social media. As soon as I saw that, I knew it was something big,” Bustos shared, saying that engagement in addition to reach can also be a way to judge viralcy.

Here is Bustos’ milestone video which has amassed 1.7 million views since 2011.

4) It's also not just about how clear your video is

Another from the audience asked details on video quality and how to look better overall on YouTube. Getting a good camera can help, but Bustos believes that “there is more value in the content.” He admits that most of his viral videos are made from Windows Movie Maker while the more complex parts were made by college students.

Jako de Leon and Marco Ho from PaperbugTV, creators of Bogart the Explorer, have grown to build a professional crew for their videos since they were originally TV content producers but they also recommend that creators should focus more on the quality of the show instead of making it just look pretty.

5) Think seasonally

Niken Sasmaya, YouTube Online Partner Senior Lead for Southeast Asia, recommends setting up a programming calendar and creating content around tent-pole events such as major holidays or big sporting events. In addition, creators can hijack big online trends to rack up an audience. Remember Gangnam Style? PaperbugTV created a parody of PSY’s monstrous hit staring Ho, aka Bogart the Explorer - PaperbugTV's most watched video at 1.5 million views.