YouTube celebs interviewing the Commander-in-Chief is a content marketing win for everyone involved. Obama reaches a young audience, and a creator gets newfound credibility.
By day, he’s an engineer. By night, he’s a YouTube sensation with millions of followers.
Destin Sandlin, creator of the hit YouTube channel Smarter Every Day, was one of three YouTubers who had the chance to interview President Barack Obama a few days after the State of the Union address.
Here’s what Sandlin had to say about the experience:
When you heard you were getting the chance to interview the President in person, what was your reaction?
I was pleasantly surprised! I was both humbled and honored at the same time. I knew it was important to do a good job so I instantly started doing research.
What was the highlight of this experience? What surprised you?
I enjoyed being able to “connect” with the President instead of simply interviewing him. I was surprised that they allowed me to ask the President my questions without him being told my questions in advance. This transparency was very refreshing.
Before you went, you collected interview questions from your audience. Why is this kind of engagement important to you and the success of your channel?
I’m not actively trying to make a large channel, I’m just exploring the world and sharing my experiences with others. The people who watch “Smarter Every Day” are partners in this learning towards understanding along with me.
I didn’t ask them questions in an attempt to create engagement…. I engaged the audience because I had to ask questions. In other words, they’re intelligent, respectful people who have a wealth of knowledge and different life experiences from my own.
I would be foolish to not reach out and draw from this collective wisdom. I know this isn’t the kind of answer you were expecting with this question, but it’s the truth.
You have amassed 3.5 million followers on YouTube. To what do you contribute your rising success?
I’m a real person. I don’t fake anything. Because of this, people are often gracious with me and allow me to explore different topics that I find interesting, even though they might not. I think people can tell when they’re being “sold” something. I just be real and upfront with everything and people seem to appreciate that.
For those looking to utilize YouTube to promote a product or brand, what advice would you give them?
Don’t be fake. Be honest and upfront. Talk up to people, not down to them.
Check out a breakdown of the interview on the Smarter Everyday YouTube channel.