By: Tawanda Carlton, PR Account Executive

Earlier this month, Forbes listed their highest-paid YouTube stars for 2018 and a charming, seven-year-old topped the list. With earnings to the tune of $22 million, Ryan of Ryan ToysReview has garnered more than 17 million subscribers and 26 billion views.

Many communications experts may find themselves questioning what they can learn from someone who has mastered the art of creating engaging content at such a young age.

Taking Ryan’s unique approach to leverage YouTube to millions of viewers worldwide, here are a few key observations we can all learn from him:

He Follows His Passion
Most would assume a 7-seven-year-old wouldn’t have their passions all figured out, however, Ryan has debunked that way of thinking with his YouTube channel. Under the guidance of his parents, Ryan reviews his love and admiration for toys, novelty gadgets, games and even slime by interacting with and then critiquing the items. He has a true interest and passion in what he is doing, despite the simplicity of the act. When creating content, my passion lies in crafting stories that interest people in unique and intriguing ways. I aim to remain curious about how to bring words to life – both in new and thoughtful ways.

For example, I have a client who frequently travels internationally. To connect my client’s passion for traveling within our thought leadership efforts, I recently used his globe-trotting adventures to help craft an article exploring international business and why it was important to his company’s bottom line. The piece eventually piqued the interest of national business media and was recently published.

In short, passion is a transmittable emotion. When you are passionate about the work you are creating, you stand out from the noise and it resonates with your audience. It’s about authenticity which, in many cases, derives from passion.

He Knows His Audience
As content creators, we can all agree knowing and understanding your audiences is critical. If you aren’t between the ages of 5-9 years old, you don’t fall in Ryan’s target audience, and he’s quite content. Why? Because he’s already found 17 million subscribers who are loyal and interested in his content.

Most recently, our team worked with a major enterprise solutions provider craft messaging around their core audience for their monthly newsletter. Our goal? To ensure the content and messaging aligned with the client’s value proposition to attract the appropriate customer for their business. Our job was to ensure the content we crafted resonated with our customer’s client, which is their internal workforce. We had to be mindful of topics, themes, and the company language they were familiar with while creating new and engaging content simultaneously. What we realized in the process is the importance of being mindful when creating content around a product, cause or subject. When your audience is unaware of, uninterested in, or unmoved by what you create they will simply tune you out.

The Process is a Team Endeavor
While effortless in theory, content creation is not for the faint of heart. There are many moving parts behind the scenes –  from writing and shooting to editing and uploading. From conception to completion, the road to a finished piece of unique content should not be traveled alone. You should have a team to support your efforts. On YouTube, you will find while some YouTubers create solo videos, others, like Ryan, have a support team to get the job completed.

When our team is thinking about the type of content we want to create and how it will be executed, the content creation process becomes a collaborative effort. Currently, I am working alongside our marketing team to help turn some of our most-read blogs into a video series as a way to break up the monotony of communicating through the written word. This collaborative approach will help us to simultaneously create and repurpose content in new ways.

As PR professionals, our goal is to tell stories in interesting ways that expand awareness, educates, inspires and moves audiences into decision-making modes. With the role of PR professionals evolving, we are charged with taking an integrated and fresh approach to content creation. Whether you are an industry veteran or a pint-sized YouTube mogul, having a passion and innovative mindset for what you do will always yield success.