This is My YouTube with Sara Cox: How video made the radio star

Roya Zeitoune July 2019

In our ‘This is My YouTube’ series, we explore how users — with different backgrounds, jobs and interests — are connecting, engaging and using content on YouTube. In this episode, host of Radio 2’s Drivetime show Sara Cox shares how she uses the platform to source new material, learn new tricks and turn radio into a live stream experience.

Mixing up formats: Bringing video into radio

BBC Radio 1’s Innuendo Bingo is a great example, where they invite listeners to tune into their YouTube channel to watch while the show is on air. It’s been a huge success, their content often trends, and view counts and subscribers are soaring. Sara referenced this Innuendo Bingo with Gerard Butler — and it’s brilliant to see how they broke the mould of traditional Q&A interviews to promote his new film. Instead, they were able to mix things up; the clip then becomes evergreen content on their channel too.

Learning, rediscovering and igniting new ideas

In a study by Flamingo/Tapestry, 81% of people agree that YouTube is a place to discover new talent or new voices, while 80% agree it enables new ideas and trends to grow and 83% agree it helps them find useful tips or learn how to do something — and this really rings true with what Sara talks about.1

From learning how to fold a pair of jeans (take note at 4:08, it’s impressive) to preparing for her radio interviews: “When I’m planning to interview someone, I like to see how they move and respond, so I dig out footage on YouTube.”

She also mentions the joy of rediscovering content. For example, when David Bowie passed away last year, Sara was able to dive into his archives and to share with listeners. “What’s really special about YouTube, is it keeps people alive with all the footage that’s on there,” she explained.

It’s not only Sara Cox who is learning new things on YouTube. Take Lallalin Mahasrabphaisal.  Her Noodle bar was the talk of the town, until the head chef quit with just two days warning. Wanting to keep her business running, Lallalin put on a chef’s toque and taught herself to cook using YouTube videos. She’s now a celebrated chef, known as Chef May.

And 33 year old full-time mother, Briony Williams - who, having been inspired to bake by her grandma, took to YouTube to perfect the art of baking. Last year, Briony got through to the final of The Great British Bake Off.

These stories are driven by audiences who come to YouTube to learn new skills and fuel their passions. 

Making long-form ads that viewers connect with and relate to

Off camera, Sara told us this Scandinavian Airlines video is one of her favourite ads. It’s a stunning piece. The video’s caption says: “Have you ever stopped and observed the beauty of the arrival hall? Going places takes us places” — before I’ve even watched the video, I know I’m in.

Like this ad, it’s interesting to see how marketers are using different formats and themes in video. With that in mind, you should take inspiration from our latest YouTube Works winners — these brands and agencies who have set the benchmark for effectiveness with their strategic thinking and proven-results.

Discover more from our ‘This is My YouTube’ series here.

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