The YouTube and Influencer Marketing Blog

The latest news and analysis of YouTube and Influencer Marketing For Top Brands,

YouTubers, Instagramers, Social Media Influencers, & Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Michelle Phan’s Ipsy Beauty Box

michelle phan ipsy

How YouTuber Michelle Phan Achieved Big Time Success With Ipsy Beauty Box Subscriptions

Ipsy beauty box, the makeup sample startup of YouTube influencer and entrepreneur Michelle Phan, just reached a significant milestone in its subscriber count. For the month of April, Ipsy beauty box will be sending out over 1 million beauty sample bags to it's subscribers. This is no small feat, as beauty subscription box competitor, Birchbox, who launched a year before Ipsy, is at 800 thousand subscribers.

But Ipsy has one thing Birchbox never will, a legion of devotee millennials who followed Michelle long before she was selling anything. As a YouTube creator, Michelle Phan has been using her influence to bring her audience everything they never knew they needed to know about makeup. For Michelle, the logical next step was to create the ability for her audience members to follow along with her beauty tutorials. As noted on the Ipsy's site, "Michelle Phan has inspired countless women around the world through her beauty video tutorials on YouTube. Every day, the question Michelle gets asked the most is: "What are the right products for me?' Ipsy beauty box is an exemplary extension of a YouTuber leveraging her brand and influencer marketing.

Through her pervasive beauty knowledge, Michelle saw that there's not a single product that works for everyone. Birchbox and Ipsy's model is to customize their monthly subscription boxes to each unique user through a style profile and quiz. "With infinite beauty product combinations in the marketplace, choosing the best items for your needs can be a challenge! That was why Michelle created Ipsy. Michelle and her team of stylists have selected products they love, for you to try." Through Michelle's devoted and steadfast audience, Michelle has been able to capitalize on the core of influencer marketing - the ability to authentically endorse a brand or product and the creative dexterity to market to her following (also see our post on the top haul videos of 2014). Michelle has what Birchbox doesn't - an unfeignedly unique voice and personality.

Michelle's audience are influencers in their own right. She has thousands of followers who are YouTubers themselves. A search for "Ipsy" on shows thousands of videos created by other influencers bestowing their own endorsement of the brand. Ipsy was born native to YouTube and grew through YouTube, the zenith of social content where brands and product endorsement are an intrinsic and integral aspect of the content. It's no wonder, they've grown so fast.

Back in May of 2007, Michelle posted her first makeup tutorial video to YouTube. Since then, she's reached 7.5 million subscribers, worked with Lancome as their official makeup artist, created a line of makeup with L'Oreal titled EM, created a multichannel network for women on YouTube titled FAWN, as well as written a book and worked with Cutting Edge group to launch Shift Music Group, where social media will be used to raise awareness for new and upcoming artists (also see our post on YouTube influencer Bethany Mota). All of this, along with Ipsy, makes Michelle one of the most successful YouTube influencer turned entrepreneurs in the space. With Ipsy beauty box alone, Michelle has created a revenue stream of over $120 million in annual sales.

image source [ 1 ]

in blog, Monetization, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Top 5 Best Branded YouTube Videos: Part 2

Best Branded YouTube Videos

The best YouTubers and YouTube influencers are as good at captivating their audiences through branded content as they are with their standard channel content. A priority of all YouTube creators is to maintain and entertain their audience through authentic means. So, anything with the potential to obstruct or impede that relationship interferes with the YouTubers ability to connect with their audience and grow. Audiences are an exceptional litmus test for branded content. Anytime they sense content being overly branded or branded content done in a clumsy way, they are quick to dislike and comment on the video with their vitriol.  The best branded YouTube videos come from an unequivocal match between the brand, the content, and the creator. If the creator is already a fan of the brand or a realistic potential user, branded videos will find more success with the creator's audience (see our post on three ways to create great sponsored content).

The best branded content comes from when the brand and advertiser relinquish control of the content, forgoing a script to allow the creator to captivates audiences in their own unique way. Scripts can leave a video feeling dry and out of place amongst countless other videos. Just a few "whistle blowers" can call a creator out on inorganic, or overly sponsored content, and create a major stir. When the influencer has control and a strong say, the content will feel more organic and accepted by their audience (all see our post on three things to remember when making branded content for YouTube). The goal is to create content the YouTuber's audience will enjoy and want to share. This drives shares, likes, views and comments and builds a wholly unencumbered connection with the brand.

Listed below are our picks of the top best branded content YouTube videos and brand sponsorships.

 Andreas Choice

Andrea, behind AndreasChoice, is a DIY, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle YouTuber with over 3.1 million subscribers. For this branded YouTube video, she collaborated with her YouTube friend Blaire, behind JuicyStar07 (with over 1.7 million subscribers herself) to give fun tips on ways to accentuate your smile. This video is sponsored by Colgate to promote their optic white tooth paste and the fun teeth whitening tips, integrating Colgate, was the perfect way to organically bring the toothpaste to her audience.


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in blog, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Influencer Spotlight – Blogger: Kath Eats – Kath Younger

kath eats blog collage

Kath Younger is the voice behind Kath Eats Real Food, a personal blog dedicated to healthy living with a focus on delicious recipes. Kath originally started her blog to document her journey to a healthier lifestyle, but it evolved into a full photo series of her recipe prep and meals (3 times a day!), until it settled into a daily blog with fitness, food, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Mixed into her native content, Kath seamlessly incorporates fitting sponsors that bring value to her readers, such as best work out tips to avoid blisters with Bombas, how to keep an organized home with Boxed, and a book alternative for summer with Oyster. Here's Kath's take on how and why her blog grew, and how brands can work with influencers to create the most meaningful and successful influencer marketing content.

How did you get started blogging?

After losing 30 pounds, I wanted to share my tips and recipes with friends and family who always asked me “how did you do it!?” I started with a free Blogspot blog, later moved to WordPress and rebranded as Kath Eats Real Food. I've been blogging almost daily for over 7 years!

What was your first blog post?

Just a simple recap of my meals for the day. My first blog posts read more like a weight loss diary than a blog. I started with just 5 readers who followed me over from Calorie King and then grew little by little until I had thousands checking in everyday.

What was your breakout moment?

My proudest moment was winning Best Food Blog at the Foodbuzz Festival in 2009. I was so humbled to win the award and flattered that so many nominated me. Those were the days when blogs were all fun and not taken too seriously!Read More>>

in blog, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

Bethany Mota Takes Stake in BeautyCon

Bethany Mota beautycon
image source 


Bethany Mota Takes Stake in BeautyCon

Since 2009, Bethany Mota, a beauty and lifestyle YouTube ingenue and sensation, has been uploading videos to her channel MacBarbie07. Six years later, Bethany has amassed over 650 million video views and over 8 million subscribers, making her the most subscribed to beauty channel on YouTube. Now, with a presidential interview and countless conference talks on her resume, Bethany has invested an undisclosed stake in BeautyCon.

BeautyCon is a live conference and symposium where fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite YouTube beauty gurus and see them give talks and participate on panels. Bethany has partaken on panels at BeautyCon since it's inception in 2012, and has said she loves the comaraderie she finds in the BeautyCon space. “I’ve seen up close that the BeautyCon team puts the fans first and creates the sense of home for me, a place where I can feel comfortable to be myself and talk to the fans in a truly authentic way,” Mota said in a statement (also see our spotlight on Bethany Moto).

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in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers

10 Stats You Should Know About YouTube

10 YouTube Statistics You Should Know

With 1 billion users and hundreds of millions of daily video views, YouTube is a content creating powerhouse filled with channels from the likes of music creators, to entertainers, to beauty gurus, to technology and gaming influencers and to every topic known to man in between from the commonplace to the esoteric (YouTube). YouTube is an absorbing social platform, bringing viewers together via all screens to create billions of video views every day. YouTube has become one of the leading social platforms for teens and millennials and is rapidly capturing every other demographic. YouTube has also become one of the most captivating ways to get your brand in front of millions of viewers (also see our post on top entertainment YouTubers of 2014). Below are 10 YouTube statistics you should know.

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Brands that Own YouTube: Red Bull vs GoPro

YouTube Marketing: Redbull vs GoPro

Since conception, YouTube has been the platform for brands to engage with ardent fans and market themselves. Although more than a million advertisers are using the Google ad platform to advertise their brands on YouTube through YouTube's TrueView ads, only a handful of brands have demonstrated mastery and prowess with their own brand channels. Brands are leveraging YouTube in new and creative ways. Recently it's become a platform to allow audiences to watch and view their ads. In 2014, people spent more than a billion minutes watching the top ten Super Bowl ads on YouTube (Social Bakers). But the best brands on YouTube, transcend the ad to producing salient content on their own brand channels.

Two of the key players in the YouTube space are Red Bull and GoPro. Both brands capitalize on fan's adoration for sports, extreme activities, captivating content, and user generated content (UGC) to drawn in audiences to their own and operated channels. More than 29 million subscribers tune into outdoor activities and adventure sports, resulting in an accumulation of 8 billion views; Red Bull and GoPro are able to absorb this popularity (Stream Daily). See how their YouTube channels compare and contrast below (also see our post on top YouTube channels you should be working with).

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

Top 5 Breakout Vine Stars


Top Breakout Vine Stars

Vine doesn't have the user reach of Instagram and YouTube, but as of 2014, it reached a milestone of 40 million users and is creating buzz within the advertising and entertainment industry(dexmedia). Over 1 billion Vine loops are played daily and 12 million videos are uploaded to Twitter daily. Vine stars are creating content snips 6 seconds at a time and in the course, attracting the attention of audiences and advertisers alike. Brands have started playing in the Vine game (see our post on how brands are using Vine) with their own channels, but the leaders are still the Vine stars.

Top Vine stars and influencers share their comedy, music, acting, and more. These Vine stars are creative and innovative in ways of using this unique 5 second format. They've created a plethora of content and still continue to innovate with the format in ways that no studio or brand could have imagined or anticipated. Here are 5 of the top breakout Vine stars.

Us The Duo

Michael and Carissa Alvarado are the incredibly talented husband and wife behind Us the Duo, a folk-pop band that rose to prominence through Vine. When they first met, they were just two emerging solo artists. They gained traction on YouTube, but Vine is where they found their place in the spotlight and became some of the top Vine stars. Their #Us6SecondCovers of everyone from Destiny's Child to Taylor Swift caught the attention of Buzzfeed and other publications. In March of 2014 they signed with Republic Records, becoming the first Vine stars to sign with a record label. They've since gone on to release a full length album and headline a tour with sold out dates. Us the Duo has over 4.5 million followers on Vine and over 600 million loops played. Read More>>

in blog, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers

How Vessel is Poaching YouTube’s Stars

vessel video

What is Vessel Video?

Vessel, a video platform subscription-based site started by Jason Kilar formerly of Hulu, is looking to position itself as YouTube's first real competitor by signing over a dozen premium YouTube stars as launch partners. Vessel's strategy also includes other premium content such as Project Runway and traditional publishers including "Time Inc. and A&E for such brands as Sports Illustrated and the History Channel. It's also gotten Warner Music and other labels on board, representing a total of 3,000 musicians" (cnbc.com). Vessel videos officially launched its beta to an invite-only preview on January 21 of this year. For $2.99 a month, Vessel subscribers get exclusive access to new videos from dozens of content providers including some of YouTube's stars like the Fine Bros, Miss Glamorazzi, Shane Dawson, Good Mythical Morning and more (also see our post on Vessel vs. YouTube).

Vessel's hope is that the loyal and devoted fans of current YouTube stars will follow them to the new video platform, paying for exclusive early access to their content. It's a big bet (worth $75M in their Series A venture capital funding) that audiences, who are used to not paying to view their favorite content, will now subscribe to Vessel videos at  $2.99/month. Vessel's contract would require YouTube influencers to publish first to Vessel's video platform for three days of exclusivity before publishing to their YouTube channel.

Vessel's founder, Jason Kilar, believes video and channel enthusiasts will pay for early access to premium content. “That’s the kind of person we’re going after, someone who cares deeply about a creator or a brand,” the Vessel founder said. "We believe that they’re passionate about just good content, and it’s our job to deliver it to them early.” (Tubefilter)

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in blog, Bloggers, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Instagram Promotion Brand Spotlight: Converse

converse instagram promotion made by you

Instagram Promotion Spotlight: Converse

This spring, Converse launched their largest, most expansive and prescient campaign to date, titled, "Made By You." This campaign was created to feature both celebrity and consumer worn converse. The final result is a curated collection of Chuck Taylor All Star portraits from a myriad collection of wearers. In addition to this campaign and exhibit, Converse took to Instagram to utilize Instagram promotion. By pinpointing influencers who double as loyal Converse customers, Converse was able to beget organic, rich content, that also reached a massive audience in the millions beyond their own social breadth (also see our post on influencer marketing).

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

Influencer Spotlight: House Tweaking – Dana Miller

house tweaking - blog interview


Dana Miller is the voice behind House Tweaking, one of the top home, design, and lifestyle blogs that documents her home renovation. Along with being a creative destination for functional design DIY projects and recipe preparations, Dana is especially adept at integrating brands into her content in a very authentic way, always bringing value for her readers on more than a consumer level. In recent branded posts, she offered food photography tips while working with Blue Apron here, ran a high value furniture giveaway while educating readers on how to order custom Interior Define furniture here, and gave a look into her kitchen's pantry design while giving away NatureBox snacks here. We talked with Dana to learn more about why she started House Tweaking, where she sees the future of blogging, and how brands can succeed at influencer marketing with bloggers.

How did you get started blogging?

I started blogging as a hobby back in 2009 when I was working as a pharmacist. My husband, Steve, and I have always enjoyed making improvements to and decorating the houses we’ve lived in. The blog was originally an outlet for all of my home-related ideas and a way to share our projects with other like-minded homeowners. Once I hit “publish,” I was hooked. Steve bought me the URL I still use today as a birthday gift when I was first starting out.

What was your first blog post?

My first blog post was titled “Tweaking.” It was just a few short paragraphs (no images were included) sharing the purpose(s) of the blog. That’s back when I was still using a double space after each period and referring to Steve as “Handy Hubby.” It’s embarrassing to read now!

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in blog, Influencer Spotlight, Social Media Influencers

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