Street interview videos are huge on Instagram and TikTok right now. From stopping people to ask about their rent, to getting strangers off the street to dance or double up money, creators are banking big on this format.
One of the leading content creators who’ve mastered the format is SoonBros – or Austin and Ashley Soon. With over 50k followers on Instagram and TikTok, they take our creator spotlight this month, as they share more on their approach to creating content.
How did your journey as a content creator begin?
We started off with our Chinese Hackers account, which gives Chinese hacks to students as we are Chinese tutors! From there, we started to explore different formats during the December school holidays, as we know our viewers had no real interest in learning composition hacks during their breaks! This led us to do more skits and street interviews, and from there, the brand deals started pouring in. It was weird for us to insert ads while giving Chinese hacks at first, so we created SoonBros to focus mainly on street interview and skits for better brand integration!
How hard was it for you to enter an already established space on Instagram or TikTok as a creator?
Instagram was not an easy place to build our following! That is also why we focused on TikTok, where the attention was huge but there weren’t as creators two years ago. This led to our video views soaring as compared to Instagram, and our followers quickly increased!
It is often hard to divert followers from TikTok to Instagram but I guess everyone is trying and we are building up our Instagram following slowly but surely. We started getting more views on Instagram – with some of our Instagram Reels even reaching millions of views. We rode the waves and doubled down on our content.
Tell us about your biggest social media mistakes and lessons.
Our biggest social media mistakes were a lack of clear intentions at the start! So, every video now has an intention behind it! What we’ve learnt is to start by thinking about the dream client, products or service, then find a winning format and execute that. Never ever create content for the sake of content!
With no cash inflow, it was difficult to sustain or create better-quality content in the long run. For example, any time we had more money coming in, we put that back into our content by purchasing better camera and audio equipment, and hiring interns to join us on our interviews. Improving the content and production quality is important.
How do you maintain your authentic voice in your channels while still partnering with brands?
Our content sticks to certain formats like skits and street interviews, so the people we interview are random strangers too. This adds to the authenticity of the channel! Usually, we wouldn’t give personal experience or advice in the content. Rather, we’d explain the benefits of the products and how the audience can benefit from it! This is also why we do select our clients, and we have reject some clients if we feel that we cannot authentically bring out their brand message.
Street interviews are a huge content trend right now on social media. Why do you think people love it so much?
It is relatable, funny, and raw! Street interviews also tend to get higher views, which in turn incentivises more creators or brands to try this strategy.
How do you actually get strangers on the street to be so ‘garang’ and take part in your street interviews?
Mostly people will reject, so it is a waiting game. Sometimes, we give them a cash incentive so that they are more willing to join and give funny answers.
What’s next for you as an artiste and a content creator?
We are creating more TikTok accounts with different talents, and this is already in progress so watch this space! We wouldn’t be fronting these accounts personally, but we are handling the entire account’s content from behind the scenes. These accounts are mainly for brand partners that wouldn’t necessarily gel with SoonBros or Chinese Hackers’ branding, like fashion or makeup brands for example.
Any words of wisdom for other aspiring creators?
Be intentional with your videos! Know what you want, explore different formats and execute it well!