The reason why influencer marketing, and in particular, YouTube, wins

16 Jan The reason why influencer marketing, and in particular, YouTube, wins

winner-1182937_1920The audience determine who wins.

I’m defining “wins” as putting the advertising message in front of prospective customers and creating an emotional connection. It’s not the distributor of the past anymore. The internet flipped the old TV and newspaper model on its head.

It’s the content, which is why influencer marketing continues to eat away at marketing budgets.

The advertiser has little choice but to go where the demand is.

Users go to Facebook. Users get news on Facebook, not the news sites. At least they used to, before the recent announcement (include link to FB decision re newsfeed). Advertisers used to give large budgets to news sites to reach readers but have been giving that budget to Facebook for many years. It’s why news sites have been dying slow deaths and the timeline to the end will only increase now: because Facebook has taken their attention, and thus advertising revenue, and monetized it for their benefit, not the creators of the content.

The aggregators’ algorithm ultimately cares about engagement, not what is the content receiving that engagement. Just the same, ads that the audience doesn’t engage with go nowhere; they get promoted for a dollar amount and that is it. It doesn’t resonate, and it’s not seen by additional eyeballs organically.

The audience engages with creators (ie Influencers).

Users are cord cutting cable TV for streaming content (ala Netflix), meaning advertisers no longer enjoy the reach they once did on TV. Especially Millennials. So, advertisers begin looking for ways to get in front of those customers and look to the dominant video aggregator, YouTube, where many cord cutters can be found. Users watch YouTube videos and they willingly give creators their attention. They find content by searching for what they are looking for in the YouTube search box (2nd most used search engine). From there, they may either just consume information from the video results, or, if they really liked a video they found they may opt to subscribe to that person’s channel. Over time, they’ll see more and more of this person’s videos and begin to trust them more. People also share YouTube content they like with their friends and likeminded tribes on social platforms like FB and twitter, which can also lead to discovery of channels to subscribe to.

Advertisers have no choice but to be there. Sure, they could give their budget to YouTube and tell them to run pre-rolls and banners around content, which they certainly do and is effective, but the audience doesn’t come for the ads that are placed around the content. And the experience on YouTube differs too much from traditional TV where the viewing audience is trained to take a few minute commercial break during 30 minute shows.

Most skip. How many? A recent study suggested 70% of people skip the pre-roll before the video.

Why? The audience wants the content.

And this is why YouTube influencers’ win. They integrate the advertiser message into the video which becomes a part of the content.  That leads to engagement, which as highlighted above, yields more views and wider distribution.

The message is authentic and pre-qualifies the audience, and the brand can place a link at the top of the description so success – whether measured based on sales or website hits – can measured quickly.

And honestly, this is how it has to be.

Unless it’s the Super Bowl, people rarely ever tune into a show at one time in large numbers. That in turn kills mass market advertising. As has mobile and our consumption habits. We all have a personal experience unique to ourselves with our mobile devices and content that you see, I won’t. And vice versa.

So brands that want to reach specific audiences will seek specific vertical content creators that reach said audience in sizable numbers and integrate their advertisement in order to do so.

And if branded campaigns we’ve run for clients are an indiciation, they’ll see substantial ROI.

Which is why YouTube influencers will win.

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