What We Can Learn from Teens and Slime

Taking the internet by storm last summer, slime accounts have since become an established part of Instagram, and to a smaller extent, YouTube. Searching #slime, #slimerecipe, #slimevideo or similar hashtags will give you so many results you may not even know where to begin.

What is Slime?

The most basic versions of slime are made from a mixture of water, glue, borax and food coloring, while some of the more fancy products are now multicolored, and can include any combination of glitter, foam beads and even confetti of varying shapes and sizes.

Clockwise from right: heart confetti slime, slime with multicolored beads, galaxy slime

Nothing is perhaps more satisfying than watching slime of different consistencies, colors and materials poked, prodded, folded, squeezed and pulled to form a single polychromatic mass. But slime’s appeal is not just visual–it is also auditory. Turn the sound up on your system and you will be treated to the therapeutic squish, crackle and crunch of the semi-solid play-toy.

Entrepreneurial teenagers of today, many of whom are digital natives, have since made their own businesses out of this opportunity. Successful slime accounts do not only contain slime videos uploaded for the pleasure of their viewers, but also offer opportunities for viewers to purchase the slime on Etsy, Shopify, Mercati and other e-commerce websites. Some slime entrepreneurs, such as Alyssa J., who owns @craftyslimecreator, have even published their own books on how to make different types of slime.

YouTuber Karina Garcia, who has over six million subscribers, and whose YouTube channel teaches viewers how to make slime and other DIY arts and crafts, even held her own tour recently.

Other than their enterprising nature, brands have several things to learn from these young, independent business owners.

Get to Know Your Social Media Platforms

A quick search for slime-related content on Instagram and YouTube reveals several differences between the two platforms.

Content on Instagram is simple. More often than not, viewers are presented videos of slime from a bird’s-eye view, with the slime placed on a single-colored (usually white) background for contrast. If you turned the volume up in the previous video, you might have noticed that the only sounds you heard were from the squish of the slime. On Instagram, slime is the focus and slimers seldom speak in their videos.

Content on YouTube, on the other hand, is more complex. While there are also Instagram-style videos available, because YouTube supports videos of greater length, YouTube slimers tend to upload instructional videos on how to make or DIY your own slime, unboxing videos, hacks and slime-related challenges.

YouTuber Karina Garcia reviewing slime from several shops

YouTuber Talisa Tossell, trying out various slime trends

In the same way that these teenagers have either adapted their style to the nature of the platform, brands too should do so in order to reach their target audience with greater success. Since success on one platform does not always equal to success on another, brands on tight budgets in particular should always take note of the type of content their audience prefers and work on advertising and/or monetizing from that platform.

Don’t Walk Alone

Since slime is relatively cheap and easy to make, many slimers do try to produce their own slime. But is that the only way to go? Certainly not.

Slimers do also post videos of themselves playing with, and sometimes reviewing, slimes made by other people. This sort of arrangement is beneficial for both parties: the Instagrammer posting the video gets new content for their account while the Instagrammer whose product was used gets promoted.

While established brands may not want to work with their competitors, small-scale brands may want to consider working with like-minded companies so that both of them achieve boosts in their profile.

Other examples of colaboration include Instagram slimers Nicolette (@glitter.slimes) and Christine (@slime_og), who are working together to hold a meet-and-greet.

This increases the likelihood of a greater audience turnout, which will make the event more successful than if both participants had decided to hold their own session.

If you’re starting out small and find it difficult to produce original content on your platform all the time, do considering collaborating with other small brands to save costs or work with other brands in the business to promote each other.

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