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Drones are really taking off, with global spending on commercial drones expected to increase by nearly 700% from 2014 to 2020 (from $609 million to $4.8 billion, according to Fast Company). The Dai-Jiang Innovation Technology Company, or DJI, commands a staggering 70% of this burgeoning industry, making it the largest drone manufacturer in the world and pacesetter for all other tech companies, including GoPro (Popular Mechanics).
While developing the best tech in the business at an affordable consumer price point is one of the big reasons for DJI’s success, the brand’s collaborations with well-known influencers like Casey Neistat, iJustine, and others helped make DJI a household name for marketers, content creators, and YouTube audiences alike.
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Working with today’s top YouTubers to create drone videos, either as part of the filming process or by asking digital influencers to review the drones themselves, is a logical strategy for DJI, especially since YouTubers are now defacto filmmakers/directors who regularly use drone footage in their videos.
Many of YouTube’s most popular channels feature demonstrations and “unboxings” of new products as well, making the video platform well-suited for highlighting each of DJI’s drones’ features, capabilities, and the types of video produced by each model.
In addition to commanding the attention of millions of YouTube users, YouTubers are viewed as more trustworthy than traditional celebrities (especially among younger audiences) and are capable of swaying the purchasing decisions of their subscribers. According to a recent survey, 60% of YouTube subscribers would take the advice from a YouTube star about what products to buy and/or where to shop (Think With Google).
Even when a YouTube video isn’t explicitly endorsed by a social media star, YouTubers who use DJI drones when filming a video (top YouTubers like Casey Neistat often list their A/V gear in the product description for anyone who wants to replicate their production quality) help to increase brand awareness and showcase what DJI’s drones are capable of.
Although in the above video YouTube star Casey Neistat explicitly says that DJI did not pay him to promote their new drone, the Mavic Pro, simply giving him the product to review (along with making sure their tech was top-notch) was enough to elicit a glowing endorsement from the filmmaker. Because Neistat is an experienced videographer, putting their new drone in his hands was one of the best ways to highlight its functionality and showcase the beautiful aerial photography it produces.
With over 3 million YouTube subscribers, Justine Ezarik (iJustine) is one of the world’s most popular social media stars and an exceptional choice for DJI’s influencer marketing efforts. In this sponsored video, Justine compares the Mavic Pro to DJI’s earlier drone models (“there’s a drone in my purse!”) and engages followers with stunning, drone-captured aerial footage. The video even includes a “shop now” YouTube annotation that lets viewers easily navigate to a retailer website where they can buy the DJI Mavic Pro.
Asking a trusted YouTube star to review a product is a great way to increase brand exposure and boost sales, and that’s exactly what DJI did when they enlisted Jonathan Morrison better known as “TLDToday” to feature the Mavic Pro on his 1.6 million-subscribe strong YouTube channel. To date, Morrison’s video has received 450K views in only two weeks and helped to solidify DJI’s new gadget as a truly innovative piece of technology.