With Millennials spending about 11 hours a week on average streaming video content from sites like YouTube, it should be no surprise then that, in recent years, marketers have focused their attention toward digital media and, more specifically, on marketing to the 750 million American Millennials. So much attention, in fact, that Adweek recently reported that brands spend 500% more on video content targeted at Millennials, than on any other demographic.
However, before you jump to buy ad space on YouTube, consider this: The same article also indicates that 60% of Millennials prefer online videos because they feature ads that “are easily ignored.” In other words, pre- and mid- roll YouTube advertising is largely unacknowledged by a majority of the Millennials who frequent the site (therefore signaling that money spent on those ads may be wasted). As this comes to light, video marketers have been tasked with getting their message to Millennials in a meaningful and effective way.
Enter the YouTube influencer (“YouTuber”). We have already covered the vast number of ways that self-made, popular YouTube celebrities are changing the media landscape. Now, we would like to consider the direct impact that YouTube stars and their endorsements in YouTube product reviews have on what’s stylish, desirable, and interesting to their targeted niche audiences—and the purchases that follow:
Google recently published a study showing that, for large and medium sized businesses in the beauty, shopping, travel, and home categories (topics that are regularly discussed by YouTubers in their videos), social media is nearly always the first channel encountered during the online path to purchase. That is, many consumers hear about the products that they eventually purchase through social media. Now ascertained by a recent study, “60% of all the age groups questioned confirmed they would by a product or service from a brand endorsed by a YouTuber creator.” Among 18-24 year olds—a key buying bloc—a whopping 62% say that they trust endorsements from popular YouTubers.
“YouTubers” or popular YouTube vloggers (video bloggers) have become the tastemakers who shape the lifestyle aspirations for today’s younger generation and online consumer. More and more, millennial consumers are turning to YouTube for advice and reviews on what to purchase. In turn, YouTube is rolling out new features to make it easier for viewers to make those purchases. The Shoppable Ads that the company debuted in September, for example, make purchasing a product as easy as clicking on the video (for more information, check out our post about here.) Concurrently, YouTube launched “Awesome Stuff Week” to promote the new shoppable format.
Celebrities used to be crucial to a brand’s visibility (see Adweek’s article on how “Brands’ Next Big Celebrity Deals May Be With Social Media Stars“). Now, with the rise of the YouTube star, companies have greater access to large and eager audiences that are ready to buy. Consumers actively seek out product reviews, rather than ignoring them (as they do with traditional ads). YouTube’s recently-launched Awesome Stuff Week channel, which features only product review videos by prominent YouTubers, boasts an impressive 3.6 million total views to date. As we learn more about new consumer trends, it has only become more obvious that popular YouTubers wield great influence on the purchase habits of many significant demographics.