Why brands are using the most famous people you’ve never heard of to promote their products

Monday, 18 July 2016, by Hannah Jones

To some people, the idea of someone earning thousands, sometimes millions of pounds just by posting videos of themselves reviewing the latest mascara or playing computer games is ridiculous, however brands are working tirelessly to pal up with them and so, the rise of the “YouTuber” is upon us.

Defined in the Oxford dictionary, a YouTuber or vlogger is a frequent user of the video sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site. The term ‘vlog’ is essentially shorthand for ‘video blog’ and anyone can do it as long as they have a camera, an internet connection and something to say.

Being a YouTube creator is now a bona fide business and as young online creators blossom into savvy entrepreneurs, brands are willing to pay over the odds to get that YouTuber to endorse their product. The key to a vlogger's success is the trust they build with their audience and that relationship is what makes them valuable to advertisers.

In fact, a survey by BlogHer found that bloggers’ endorsements are more influential than celebrities. 20% of women using social media will consider products promoted by a blogger, 53% of blog readers have purchased a product based on a blog recommendation and one in four readers visit blogs to help make a purchasing decision.

Just to give an idea of the power of a successful vlogger, Zoe Sugg – known online as Zoella - has amounted a following of over 10 million subscribers to her YouTube channel and has had a very busy year. Her years of service to the YouTube community has meant she has been able to; release her own beauty product range, “Zoella Beauty”; be made into a waxwork at London’s Madame Tussauds; appear on the celebrity (yes, celebrity) Great British Bake Off; release a record breaking novel, Girl Online, a sequel and is in the process of writing the third. She was also recently the first female creator to be awarded the pivotal diamond YouTube play button in honour of her 10 million strong army of followers – the only other female with this award is Adele!

So, when it comes to influencing purchase decisions, celebrities simply don’t make the cut anymore. For most companies, it’s far more valuable to hire an affordable spokesperson with a track record of good ROI, a built-in community of fans and a huge social reach.

So have we seen the last of George Clooney sipping coffee, does Usain Bolt need to stick to his own high speed instead of Virgin Media’s broadband and is Cheryl Cole really worth it?

Here at Kenyons, we believe that the needs of each business are different and take into account all forms of marketing and advertising. We conduct thorough research to ensure the right choice is made for your business and deliver the best results. If you’re thinking about trying out something new for your business and want to hear a bit about what we can do, get in touch with James Dunningham on james@kenyons.co.uk.

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