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These days, there aren’t many pies Jamie Oliver hasn’t got a finger in. Whether it’s being the face of a major UK supermarket, running a chain of Italian restaurants or taking up a huge slice of the world’s TV chef and cookbook market, Oliver has been there, done that and got the splattered apron to prove it.

How many food-inspired puns are we on so far?shutterstock_176457944

We’ve all learnt a thing or two from The Naked Chef, and it’s somewhat remarkable to see the transformation the young floppy-haired Essex lad about town has undergone. Oliver is now one of the most prolific and successful food personalities, with an enormous media empire and a world-renowned brand that drives his mission to transform the way we eat.

Aside from raw talent and a passion for food, a key ingredient to Oliver’s success is his recognition of valuable content marketing. One of the most recent mediums to emerge from the chef’s brand are his YouTube ventures, FoodTube and DrinkTube, which he’s been using to partner with brands, celebrities and passionate chefs.

FoodTube is now YouTube’s third biggest channel with over a million followers and hosts all manner of recipes, tackling budgeting, healthy eating and family meals. Videos are short and concise (usually around five minutes long) and perfect for quick consumption on the go, making them the go-to product for people without the time to watch a full cookery episode or browse a book.

YouTube in general is a massive platform for brand exposure and has even conceived a new generation of stars with their own successful brands. Vloggers, as they’ve come to be known, command a huge online presence, with some progressing into the world of TV presenting and book deals.

Alfie Deyes, creator of Pointless Blog, is just one, if rather impressive, example a someone who’s conquered the form. The 21-year old is famous for nothing other than his online presence and his video diaries, which he’s been recording every day for the last five years in his bedroom. Doing little more than discussing everyday life, Deyes has garnered nearly three million followers and 136 million views.

So what’s the secret to you YouTube success?

From the success of “stars” like Alfie Deyes and his contemporaries – Deyes’ girlfriend Zoelle is a famous beauty blogger and vlogger who rivals her BF in terms of followers and fans — the answer seems to be relatively straightforward. Keep things simple and give your audience want they want. Both Deyes and Zoella have achieved success with nothing more than a webcam and an instinct for what’s popular, with the former now publishing a book and the latter her own beauty range.

Food mogul Jamie Oliver similarly places an emphasis on delivering valuable content that that a target audience will find useful. Speaking to the Guardian, he said:

“All these clever strategists and CEOs think I have a master plan and I haven’t really. All I know is that I want to get really good content out there […] these tutorials and how-tos are really, really popular. People want to know how to skin a rabbit. They want to know how to make a pie. They want to know how to make a hot water pastry, puff pastry, sugar crust pastry. They really, really do.”

There’s a recipe for success right there, in Oliver’s no nonsense way of putting things. Keep it simple and give the diners what they want.  It’s also worth bearing in mind the power of timing and the potential of well-planned marketing ideas that coincide with topical issues – Nissan pulled out a corker when news of the second royal baby hit Twitter, earning them some serious attention on social media.

If your brand’s got something to offer, YouTube could be the perfect way to share it. Granted, you might not be able to do this with the minimal costs of vloggers like Alfie Deyes. Oliver has admitted to ploughing a substantial amount of money into YouTube, as reported in the Drum, but it’s an expenditure that’s contributing to his already mammoth brand presence.

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