With an 18-49 audience reach bigger than any U.S. cable network (YouTube statistics), YouTube’s global video publishing and sharing platform has helped many top vloggers “YouTubers” launch brands. While many top YouTubers make their sizeable incomes from YouTube advertising (see our post “How YouTubers Make Money” for more detail), many other popular YouTubers leverage their online notoriety to partner with brands (e.g. Bethany Mota’s partnership with Aeropostale) or to become or launch brands themselves (e.g. Michelle Phan’s Ipsy).
Here are 4 examples of how top YouTubers become brands:
As one of the top YouTubers for men’s lifestyle, Aaron Marino has leveraged both his channel reach and engagement of nearly 1 million subscribers to drive awareness for his brand, I Am Alpha M. With YouTube’s massive reach, Marino is able to connect with millions of viewers worldwide on topics ranging from grooming to fitness to personal image and style. From YouTube, Marino’s global audience is able to search further for men’s lifestyle topics on both his branded site, IAmAlphaM.com, and personal site.
Marino’s top YouTube videos (many with over 1 million views each) include “How To Choose The Best Hairstyle For Your Face Shape,” “How To Flirt Without Being Creepy,” and “Number 1 Fat Burning Tip.”
Top YouTuber Olga Kay launched her video channel in 2006 featuring her skills as a professional circus juggler and various comedy sketches. Since then, her YouTube channel has grown to over 800K subscribers with several videos featuring over 2 million views each. Kay’s YouTube exposure and reach has allowed her to build her own brand “Moosh” which includes both MooshWorld and MooshWalks.
MooshWalks, Kay’s branded sock line, recently was featured in Forbes. Kay frequently sports her MooshWalks in her videos including her popular recurring video series, “Will It Juggle.”
Better known as her YouTube channel moniker “Superwoman,” Lilly Singh started her YouTube journey in 2010 with a video that got only 70 views. Now with over 1 billion total views across her entire channel, Singh’s channel features more than 7.5 million subscribers. Her most popular videos include comedic sketches on parents and cultural themes including “The Difference Between Brown And White Girls” and “Types Of Parents” with 10 million and 9.4 million views, respectively.
Singh, who frequently refers to herself and fans as unicorns, recently embarked on her branded tour, A Trip To Unicorn Island. Tour merchandise, including t-shirts, hoodies, and apparel accessories, is available on her branded site, UnicornIsland.ca.
As one of the 10 richest YouTubers, Rosanna Pansino has capitalized on her YouTube notoriety with her cookbook, Nerdy Nummies. The book, named after her popular YouTube video series “Nerdy Nummies – Geeky Cooking Show,” features recipes based on popular comic, sci-fi, gaming, and movie themes. With over a billion video views across her YouTube channel (and over 22 million video views on her Nerdy Nummies playlist alone), Pansino is one of several top YouTubers who are leveraging their online notoriety to drive and build brands.
In addition to Pansino, top YouTubers John Green, Gracie Helbig, Joey Graceffa, Zoella, and many more have penned their own books.