The Power of YouTube Influencers

April 11, 2019 - 10:00am
By: 
Jennifer Alvord

Many of us know that Social Media Influencers have been on the rise since the early 2010’s, but maybe not all of us know how powerful these influencers have become – specifically YouTubers. It seems everyone has jumped on board with partnering with Instagram Influencers, but we don’t often hear about YouTube Influencers.

YouTubers are now considered to be celebrities. We can debate that if you want, but the attention and fan-bases that many content creators have is astronomical. Billions of views, millions of subscribers, and hundreds of thousands of likes, dislikes and comments. Just check any YouTuber’s SocialBlade to view their channel’s analytics - it’s impressive to see how much some creators grow so quickly. Honestly, all of YouTube’s statistics are pretty outstanding.

YouTube is the second-largest Search Engine in the world right behind Google, which YouTube is owned by. The reach YouTube has is enormous, reaching over 1.9 billion people globally per month. Here are some important stats to note:

  • 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (that is hard to wrap my brain around)
  • Over 90% of 18-44 year-old American internet users watch videos on YouTube
  • YouTube reaches more American 18 to 34 year-olds than any television network
  • More than 70% of YouTube’s watch time comes from mobile devices
  • People have watched over 50,000 years of product review videos

With all that content being uploaded, there are a ton of different content categories to watch, including; gaming, beauty, unboxing, technology, travel, cooking, conspiracies, cats, etc. You name it and there is a 99.9 percent chance there is a video on YouTube about it, just waiting for you to watch. Now, this is where the Influencers come in to play. YouTube has become a full-time career for so many creators, and of course, they have to earn their living somehow. YouTubers profit from AdSense, which is money they earn from ads in their videos that we’ll talk about later, brand sponsorships, merch, etc. The YouTube life is highly glamorized and may seem like an easy job, but it is definitely much more difficult than it seems. These creators not only have to worry about all the behind the scene events that go on off camera, but also building up trust, credibility and authenticity with their audience in order to make it.

YouTubers Influence Purchasing Behavior

Celebrity endorsements have been around for a very long time, and they’re still here to stay, but now YouTube Influencer sponsorships can be found left and right. These social media influencers are typically much more affordable for businesses and have a greater return on investment than a traditional celebrity endorsement, or even a traditional paid advertisement. Unlike traditional celebrities, YouTubers feel more accessible, relatable and authentic to consumers. By being a “friend” to their viewers, they have the power to influence consumers’ purchasing behavior. Influencers often make brands feel more trustworthy because of the relationship they have built with their audience. 70 percent of Millennial and Gen Z YouTube subscribers say they relate to Influencers more than they do celebrities, and 4 in 10 subscribers say their favorite Influencer understands them better than their friends.

Personally, I watch a lot of YouTube. According to my iPhone Screen Time, I spent an average of 7.5 hours on YouTube last week, and was my second-most used app, right behind Instagram (I know, I spend way too much time on social media. But hey - it’s my job.). The majority of the content I consume on YouTube are beauty and lifestyle videos. I have my go-to creators that I watch every time they upload to see their latest tutorials, vlogs, products they are loving, products they are hating and what they are getting in PR. I’d say that about 90 percent of the products I buy, I buy because a YouTuber recommended it. I know I am not alone in this, because studies have shown that viewers are changing products they were originally going to purchase to one a YouTuber recommended. When an Influencer builds up trust with their audience, trust for the brands and companies that an Influencer speaks highly of comes easily.  

Investing in YouTube Ads and Influencer Marketing

If reading everything above has not made you start thinking about how your brand can capitalize on this giant business, then you should be thinking about it now! Paid advertisements on YouTube offer a higher ROI than traditional television ads, which is a huge testament to the effectiveness of YouTube ads. YouTube mobile ads are 84% more likely to hold viewers’ attention than TV ads. Viewers also tend to accept ads more readily on YouTube than they do Facebook.

If you want to dabble in the Influencer marketing world, collaborating with YouTubers by sponsoring videos is an effective way to boost brand awareness. Influencer marketing also has the power to generate leads, drive conversions and generate a high ROI since your target audience will trust an honest testimonial by an Influencer over a paid advertisement.

YouTube and its Influencers aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and are only on the rise. The most common “dream job” for children these days isn’t to be a veterinarian or astronaut, but to be a YouTube star, which I think speaks volumes about how seriously YouTube should be taken. Putting your advertising dollars into YouTube is a good investment for your business, and if you need help setting up your YouTube ads or connecting with Influencers, feel free to reach out to the Texas Creative Social Media Team!

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