Vlog has become the new theme of user growth competition on several video platforms in China. One of the new players who recently joined the arena is iQiyi.
iQiyi, whose main content is professional copyright videos such as movies, TV dramas and variety shows, has recently launched a Vlog application called “iQiyi Suike”, which is obviously intended to share a piece of vlog market with the leaders such as Kwai, TikTok, Bilibili, Weibo, etc.
Vlog can be regarded as a kind of “video log” with popular themes of travel, food, pets and so on. Its production is relatively simple, the creator uses the camera to record what he sees and thinks in his daily life, and then through later editing, with music, text or stickers, can produce a Vlog.
Usually, it’s a little longer than the 15-second short video on TikTok, and a little shorter than the professional copyright content on iQiyi. It’s a little more delicate than the food broadcasting on Kwai.
In order to encourage users to create Vlogs, the design of iQiyi Suike App is very simple, with only three interfaces: main feed, publishing, and personal homepage. There is no search function for vloggers or content, nor any categories of bloggers or content. Users can get content by pulling down feed pages and triggering updates.
Several video platforms have started promoting vlog since the second half of 2018. Bilibili’s vlog content upload has increased by 7.6 times in April 2019, compared with April 2018, according to 36Kr.
This month, Kwai began to test the long video, limiting the video length to more than 57 seconds, less than 10 minutes. A month ago, its competitor TikTok also started internally testing videos of up to 15 minutes long. In April, TikTok opened the limit for 15 seconds longer short videos, and the original Vlog with a duration of more than 30 seconds can participate in the “Vlog Billion Incubation Plan”.
Xigua, another video platform under the same company Bytedance as TikTok, also launched their campaigns to support vlogger this month. In comparison, Weibo’s vlogger growth mainly focuses on celebrities.
From Baidu search trend shown below, we can see a surge of interest in vlog since the second half of 2018:
However, Vlog’s current penetration rate is still very low. Nearly 60% of the users surveyed, conducted by Tencent’s Penguin Intelligence, have never heard of Vlog, and 70% of users claim to have never seen Vlog. Vlog users are currently mainly high-education female, concentrated in the first- and second-tier cities. The main platforms are Weibo and TikTok.
42% of Weibo Vlog users are post-95s (those born between 1995 and 2000) in Q1 2019, followed by post-90s (22%) and post-00s (20%), according to Eefung Software. The number of views on Weibo topic #VLOG# is 4.57 billion, and the number of users in related discussions is nearly five million.
Weibo Vloggers with over 1-million followers only account for 0.4% of the total; and, those with 10,000 or fewer followers account for 96%, according to Eefung data. The top topics covered by Weibo Vloggers are food, travel, celebrity, entertainment, and humor.
Marketing: Short Videos or Vlog?
Vlog contents, compared with seconds-length short videos on platforms like TikTok, are more difficult to create. Technical hindrance is not the real obstacle to its growth; video platforms will make it easier and more convenient for vloggers. However, high-quality vlogs take both delicate planning and good storytelling skills, which is much more challenging than creating short videos. It’s far behind short videos in terms of both quantity and quality.
Vlog is rising and trending, definitely worth marketers’ attention and experiments. The nature of vlogs is “log”, which can be easily boring, while the short videos focus on just eye-catching moments. So, it can’t be any serious threat to the popular short video content for reaching the mass audience but a very good complement to overall content mix.
To get you some sense what it could potentially do for marketing, take a look at the three videos below:
Vlog for Apple iPad Pro
In addition to feeling the atmosphere of the launch conference, experiencing the magnetic features of the new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, they also incorporate many daily elements of New York’s food and lifestyle in vlog and present the experience content of the conference from the perspective of life.
Vlog for LV Exhibition
Louis Vuitton held a large exhibition and invited some top vloggers. The look and feel of the scene were presented in different Vlog styles. Among them, LV also provides vloggers with branded products such as clothing, shoes, handbags, and ornaments, which were also recorded in the vlogs.
Hyatt Presidential Suite
A couple on Weibo, boy Sid is Chinese, girl Kat is from the United States. In this vlog, they received an invitation from Grand Hyatt Xi’an to experience the 31,000-yuan presidential suite. With the arrangement of the hotel, Kat and Sid followed the timetable and introduced the hotel’s room profile, double room spa service, and an Italian restaurant.
The most important thing about Vlogger sharing life is to resonate with free expression to attract people in the same circle. Compared with traditional TVC or celebrity endorsement ads, Vlog gives the audience a smaller sense of distance and is more realistic, in addition to its much lower production cost.