How YouTubers can make your brand grow
We all know and love YouTube for its incredible ability to provide us with – well practically anything we could want and think of to watch, whether it be entertainment, practical skills or news. What started as an amateur video outlet has grown into the world’s biggest video platform and second most used social network ever. The Google owned company continues to be used and loved by millions year after year, and that growth does not appear to be halting any time soon.
To better understand the platform and its creators we’ve gathered information and spoken to Kendall Creedon, Talent Manager at Scale Management, a talent agency based in Los Angeles to share why you should aim to work with YouTubers. Read along to gain insights about the platform’s success and how it ought to be utilised by those in the fashion and lifestyle industry;
Less about the aesthetics
No matter your interest you can be sure to find videos about it on YouTube. Though music videos and learning entertainment for kids are what gain the most views, product reviews, how-to tutorials, hauls, and vlog style videos are immensely popular and among those with the best engagement. YouTubers creating content of the latter mentioned type are oftentimes influencers, former bloggers, or socialites operating in and around the media and lifestyle industry who share lengthy intimate portrayals of their lives, with all that it entails.
Not only does the video format offer a calmer and softer impression, but the forum has been morphed into, and almost branded itself as a place where anything is given space, nothing needs to be too perfect, and where you are able to portray or talk about parts of your life that other platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest do not as easily allow for.
We spoke to Kendall Creedon, Talent Manager at Scale Management, an influencer agency with some of the most prominent US YouTube talent, such as Jackie Aina, Jess & Gabriel Conte, Nabela Noor, Summer Mckeen, and more, to better understand the platform. She highlights and confirms the above statements by saying that;
“Even with all of the developments of video on other social media platforms, YouTube is still the go-to for longer-form content. With longer-form content comes more time to be open, honest, raw, and vulnerable with your audience.
It allows for the creators to dig a bit deeper into themselves, show more aspects of their lives, and give audiences more moments with which to resonate“
Kendall Creedon, Talent Manager at Scale Management
Since thoughts about ‘rules’ and aesthetics are not as prominent on YouTube as on other social platforms the well-curated videos or channels are not necessarily the ones receiving the most views or subscribers. On YouTube it becomes less about the aesthetics and more about the authenticity. The simplicity of the concept has welcomed a large majority to create content and in turn attracted millions across the globe to view it.
More about the authenticity
This relaxed approach to YouTube proved true throughout the pandemic when many found comfort in its entertainment. When deprived of IRL conversation and connection, polished conceptualized content portraying “perfection”, which is often offered by other social platforms, was not as fit as jobs were lost, relatives became ill and people were forced into isolation. We craved entertainment that felt authentic, intimate, and easygoing. Which, as stated above, constitutes the essence of YouTube videos.
Aside from its entertainment-providing purposes, YouTube also acts as a tool to amplify voices to create tangible change and raise awareness of social issues in the offline world. Back in 2016, the platform launched the global initiative ‘Creators for Change’ to amplify the voices of role models worldwide. This meant the company provided influential creators with funding in order to create videos tackling certain global and social issues. This was done as both the platform and its creators recognized the weight and incredible spread YouTube has.
So, regardless of whether you watch entertaining content from the comfort of your home or present videos at the UN, the platform’s impact is universally understood across generations and working fields as one that makes a difference; for the individual as well as the community.
YouTubers and close relationships
Social media gives users the ability to become creators and producers of their own content. YouTube in particular has accelerated this blending encouraging content with sophisticated production and editing. Through videos and vlogs, YouTubers share their experiences as well as feelings and promote an affective and trusting connection with their audience.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that people feel they can easily connect and relate to these influencers. Creators share content that promotes authenticity and self-disclosure through these video diaries, by talking to the camera in a documentary-style way, which leads to closer and trustful forms of sociability with their followers, allowed into their daily life. Creedon attest to this when she explains that;
“Digital creators tend to share intimate and vulnerable parts of their lives, allowing their audiences to form deep connections with them. When you have a deep connection with someone, you are going to trust and believe in what they trust and believe in.
This is why brands see so much success with digital creator campaigns and why creators have become a lucrative aspect of marketing over the past several years”
This close bond becomes crucial for brands who are increasingly interested in getting immersed into consumers’ daily lives. YouTubers are perceived as more authentic and create content that resonates with followers who not only see them as approachable but believe them to be trustworthy.
YouTube being the world’s second-largest social media and search engine means incredibly high traffic and massive engagement. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of YouTube channels dedicated to fashion increased by 400% showing its steady growth that continued well into our recent ‘pandemic years’.
Simultaneously, the formats that work best on the platform (vlogs, product reviews, etc) can also be directly correlated with what fashion and lifestyle creators do, which again points to people’s will to take part in fashion-related content through YouTube.
Creedon delves into this when explaining the role and work of talent managers, like herself, as they work closely to help YouTube talent create strategies with tangible goals to advance their careers and challenge them to think outside of the box. “You want to shoot for the stars? Do it. And then let’s work backward to figure out how we get there.” As she puts it.
How brands can utilise the platform
Though it’s clear that individual creators and viewers both want to promote and experience fashion through YouTube, it may not be as obvious that brands could (and should) too. Not only do almost 90% of YouTube users under the age of 25 say they look to discover new brands on the platform but its efficiency and impact have, though unintentionally, been put to the test throughout 2020 when many fashion brands were forced to go digital in order to showcase their creativity.
The CFDA, for instance, partnered with YouTube Fashion to share how the platform could support designers and brands through their shift from in-person events to virtual experiences, and brands like Louis Vuitton, Balmain, and Saint Laurent opted for creating virtual front row YouTube seats to showcase their new collections and invited both fashion and non-fashion people to participate.
Across their channel, VOCAST client, London Fashion Week was among the first to take place exclusively online last season and 68 brands launched their latest collections on YouTube. A lot of brands also took the opportunity to highlight issues far beyond fashion. Halpern, for example, paid tribute to front-line workers and Bethany Williams replaced the traditional catwalk show with a YouTube video highlighting the work she does with homeless families.
Brands are increasingly gaining a bigger presence on the platform by creating original content but also through collaborations with creators. When we asked Kendall about what YouTube collaborations usually hit home that brands could have in mind she said:
“Every creator is different in what feels natural for them to promote. On the brand side, it’s important to do your research on the creators you think would fit well with your campaigns and give the creator the creative freedom to integrate the product in a way that feels natural to them.
Occasionally brands who are new to the creator marketing space try to treat these integrations like they would treat any other ad, which ends up coming across to the creator’s audience as rigid and unnatural. Creators know their audience best, trust in that!”
Youtube across different markets
Since Denmark is a relatively small market, the YouTube segment is dominated by Lifestyle Youtubers, and doesn’t include many YouTubers who only focus on one segment. The age range of the contacts in the danish Lifestyle Youtubers List is 18-30
Sarah Friis – Danish Lifestyle Researcher
27% of Swedish media consumers are using Youtube daily for streaming entertainment, watching instructional videos, and how-to series. The content published is within the lifestyle segment where outdoor adventures, challenges, travel, and daily routines have the most views. What stands out is that 59% of youtube viewers in Sweden are male.
Josefine Forslund, Swedish Lifestyle Researcher
YouTube is a prevalent social platform in Norway. Some of the biggest media houses/companies (like NRK) have caught on to the influence of Youtube, and push their content through the platform and its influencers. In the lists you will find influencers within the lifestyle segment. Most influencers create content that combines fashion, beauty, lifestyle and their daily life. The majority of the biggest lifestyle YouTubers in Norway are young and cater for a younger audience.
Sara Linvåg Næss, Norwegian Lifestyle Researcher
Youtube is one of the biggest social media platforms in Italy, popular among different generations and age groups. In the italian lists you will find the most relevant contacts for beauty, home interior and fashion. Most youtubers focus on the lifestyle segment, however the beauty sector is the most prevalent one.
Federica Manzi, Italian Lifestyle Researcher
Kevin Pretzel, German Lifestyle Researcher
Ema Laurenzana, French Lifestyle Researcher
THE UK 🇬🇧
Georgina Juel, UK Lifestyle Researcher
THE US 🇺🇸
Youtube is by far the most used video platforms in the United States and many heavyweight influencer names have their bases there. Vlogs and sit-down videos are what gain the most traction and although millennials is the biggest consumer group, 92% of Americans say the use the platform weekly.
Cerena Kulego, US Lifestyle Researcher
Federica is the Italian Market Coordinator at VOCAST, responsible for Italian Fashion and Lifestyle research. Along with her work at VOCAST, she studies Brand and Communications Management at Copenhagen Business School.
Cerena is the Lifestyle Researcher for the US market at VOCAST. She has a degree in Media and Communications and has previously worked with fashion PR. She cares for inclusion within the industry and when not working she’s a dedicated snacker and music listener.
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