With social media on the rise and television advertising on the decline, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the new type of ‘celebrity’. YouTube creators, Jamie Genevie, Jenna Marbles, Jake Paul, Liza Koshy and Jacksepticeye are now household names, known to hundreds of millions of millennials and trend-setters alike.
Collaborations with YouTube creators are 4X more effective at driving lift in brand familiarity, than those with celebrities. These creators have built social networks across multiple channels, allowing them to engage with their following on a daily basis, building both trust and intimacy. One just has to read the comments on these creator’s latest posts to see how fanatical their viewers are about them. What I find a little odd about this is, these people are being paid and every time they ask you to ‘comment’, ‘like’ and ‘subscribe’, they’re doing it, 90% of the time, solely for the money and publicity.
You often hear about A-List YouTube influencers but you should also pay attention to ‘micro-influencers’. Micro-influencers are those creators who have channels of 10,000 to 100,000 subscribers. Although their audiences are smaller, micro-influencers are known to have higher engagement rates; their fans may feel closer to them, and their channels are much more personable. Influencers with smaller audiences may also be covering niche verticals, see above Jamie Genevieve.
She is a full time YouTube makeup artist from Scotland who has a very loyal subscriber base, she’s recently brought out her own T-shirt line which seems to be very successful. That means that instead of being a huge general channel, they could be considered authorities on more specific subjects such as makeup or gaming. This micro-influencer group on YouTube will continue to rise as more creators start growing their YouTube subscribers.
One of the big issues with influencer marketing from a brands point of view is, you’re never guaranteed a good review. This is a slight touchy subject for most YouTubers, as there is a severe grey area around whether they’re being paid/making profit out of reviewing products, which in turn creates insecurity as to whether the review is legitimate and honest. 99% of the time they do make money out of their YouTube channel but perhaps not directly from the brand.
To conclude, one fact I’ve seen bouncing around the Internet is that a YouTuber is now in the top 3 aspiring careers for kids. Don’t get me wrong YouTube has done a lot of people well in recent years, but nobody concentrates on how difficult it really is to become successful in the industry. Articles have been released recently that expose YouTube for making a conscious effort to keep small YouTube channels, exactly that, small. The best way to view this industry in my opinion, is not as a realistic career option, but as more of an unlikely aspiration. Almost all successful YouTubers say that the career came upon them, they didn’t expect it or force it. So keep your dreams to become an astronaut, designer, or if you have to, a maths teacher and if a lifetime of selfies and vlog channels chooses you, then so be it.