Despite turning 10 last week, marketers aren’t fully realising the power of YouTube as a long-tail influence and brand advocacy tool, argues Timothy Armoo, founder of Fanbytes – a platform that connects brands with influencers.
Brands should look at influencer marketing as an avenue to do what they once couldn’t; create an army of advocates who spread their message within their audiences.
Brand awareness isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? Brand Advocacy.
Taking my marketer hat off for a second and slipping on my 20 year old millennial hat, it’s apparent that advertising used to be a one-way dialogue from brand to consumer. It was a world where there were only a few channels on TV, and radio and when the pages of magazines were littered with glossy pictures of brands’ wares. The conversation between brands and millennials was akin to the former saying to the latter, “Hey, take notice of me. Look at how cool I think I am. Ok Bye!” But, as technology has made it easier to deliver these messages thanks to the proliferation of social platforms such as YouTube, brands are still using the same “hey notice me” tactics.
This has to stop.
Rather than seeing an influencer’s audience as merely a way to get your message heard by a large millennial audience, brands should look at influencer marketing as an avenue to do what they once couldn’t; create an army of advocates who spread their message within their audiences.
A number of brands are using YouTube to co-create with influencers to reach young audiences.
19-year-old YouTube vlogger, Bethany Mota has built an audience of more than 8.5 million subscribers on her channel. She began her channel by uploading videos about clothing, makeup and hair tutorials, recipes, and do it yourself ideas. Her online recognition led to her partnership with American fashion retailer Aeropostale, and she has since launched her own fashion label with the brand. It was the partnership with Bethany Mota, as a YouTube influencer, that pulled the flailing retailer out of the red and saw it deliver $50 million in profit in just a few months following the partnership.
YouTube Influencers and the proliferation of social platforms have led to an opportunity which has not been accessible to marketers and brands until very recently. The onus now is on brands to respond. Not only is Youtube the second most popular search engine for consumers, it is the ideal platform the leverage influencers and build an army of brand advocates.