Ever since its beginning in 2005, YouTube has grown to be a powerhouse in the digital world with its ever-growing opportunities for video. With that growth, has come “YouTubers,” a niche segment of people who are self-proclaimed vloggers.
They are considered influencers for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic and that’s what allows them to have millions of subscribers and thousands of video views.
Companies are seeing the success that these people get and are beginning to capitalize on it. Many bloggers – especially in the beauty and fashion category – have gotten the opportunity to collaborate with brands such as TRESemmé, COVERGIRL and Maybelline to showcase their products in sponsored videos.
YouTubers are engaging in content marketing but with a multimedia spin – producing something their viewers want to see such as a makeup tutorial – but with all products from one brand.
The reviews are mixed for this approach; to see viewers’ reactions, just look in the comments of their sponsored videos. The comments are not always positive. Some of them are very negative, claiming that all that particular YouTuber does is produce sponsored content and nothing original.
Ironically enough, the YouTubers getting these comments are the ones who started off by producing original content to build their fan base in the first place.
Ethics also become an issue. YouTube influencers have solved that problem by only working with brands they personally like. That way, the credibility of both themselves and the brand stays in tact.
“I only work with those I really like, otherwise it could negatively affect both my credibility and the brand’s,” said influencer Lorey Lane in an article by the New York Times.
Many will put a disclaimer in the description box or say it at the beginning of the video. However, they will not put it in the title of their video, which can be seen as deceiving for some.
This has become an interesting opportunity for influencers to make money, some making up to 50 percent of their income from doing sponsored content.
From a business perspective, it is a smart move. By reaching out to one influencer, you have the potential for your products or ideas to reach millions of people.
As a YouTuber, it creates opportunities for you to potentially work with your favorite brand. And get paid for it.
YouTube has not only proven to be an outlet for creative expression via video, but also in the way in which brands can digitally promote themselves.