Influencers on YouTube: Who are They and How Do They Influence Us?

The last decade saw an explosion in a new form of online marketing that employed the power of social media influencers than it made celebrities. Celebrities, due to their popularity, have always had the following that traditional advertising and marketing have always tried to leverage, but the advent of social media has turned the tables in the marketing world.

Part of the reason for the changes in how things are being done lies in the fact that celebrities are a lot less relatable than the influencers who are taking over from them. While the celebrities might come across as being affluent and coached in their attempts to deliver certain brand messages, influencers tend to seem more genuine.

It also helps the cause that their following on whatever platforms they occupy is due to their ability to initiate engagement and conversations with their followers rather than on any sort of screen occupation.

This isn’t to say that celebrities are no longer being considered as a marketing tool but, more and more, are starting to break the mould of conventional advertising and marketing while taking a claim in the industry.

One of the biggest platforms through which motivators are making their mark and spreading their messages is YouTube, the largest video-sharing platform in the world. The popularity of the platform has risen with this generation, with YouTube replacing television as the biggest video provider and, hence, the most efficient medium of advertisement.

As a result, YouTube followers and views are consequently replacing television numbers as advertising metrics with websites like make a business out of this and provide great value for such a following. 

How do YouTube influencers influence us?

While celebrities continue to captivate audiences and fans alike, they have always acted as brand ambassadors from a position of affluence and churned-out coached impersonal adverts.

While it is refreshing to see your favourite celebrity recommend to you a product, it is way more effective to get the same recommendation from someone you can relate to and this is why these people are so influential. They can relate to their followers on a personal level.

They drive engagement with people and nurture online relationships that make them a more trusted adviser than an impersonal advert; even one coming from a loved celebrity.

YouTube motivators tend to take this a step further with many designing contents to match the wishes of their viewers and even scouring the comment sections to interact with them better. This has probably factored in the preference that many people, mostly Millennials, have for videos posted by individual influencers as opposed to those created by brands.

What do YouTube influencers do?

At the heart of an individual influencer’s trade is not just an ability to communicate and build online relationships but also the acquisition of the relevant expertise.

At the end of the day, having followers would only truly be possible if you know what you are talking about. Expertise, in this sense, would include the traditional knowledge of certain products, knowledge of the needs of your target audience, and the ability to make sound deductions on the relevant issues.

You would agree that it would be really difficult to drum up a following for oneself on YouTube without possessing relevant information or knowledge on how that information should be best used.

This, along with the nature of the platform, makes it easy for influencers to do what they do. The video-sharing platform means that they have both a voice and a recognizable face.

As such, YouTube influencers can create loads of content, sharing their opinions and experiences with certain products and services directly with their viewers and followers. This personal means of marketing has the dual benefit of helping to advise while putting a face to the words to drum up viewer loyalty.

Thus, it is not surprising that some of the most popular niches for YouTube influencers are those that are more interactive. Examples of these are:

  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion
  • Gaming
  • Skincare
  • Fitness

A particular hotbed that has seen a lot of influencing and brand development from YouTube influencers is the fashion industry, with skincare and fitness not far behind.

Honestly, the best way to answer such a question is to look at the advantages they bring for both the companies employing them and the individuals following them.

  • One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of social media influencers with companies has been their ability to improve sales. This might seem like what you’d expect from advertising but motivators have shown better results than traditional advertising methods.
  • Individuals that tend to listen to and follow influencers trust them. This trust is usually due to a track record of honesty and openness with their opinions, while still providing good advice. The trust people have in their favourite influencers is most exemplified by the loyalty they show to their personal brand.
  • Most corporate brands are starting to prefer the services of an influencer to those of a celebrity. The increase in influencer marketing budgets over the past three years lends credence to this. It isn’t very unpopular nowadays to see celebrities following the trend and lending social media influence on platforms like YouTube.
  • People find advice more accessible on YouTube than the television. Traditional ads would be shown during a break from your favourite show but it isn’t going to be accessible at all times. Advice from influencers can be gotten by simply picking up our phone and opening the right app.

As earlier stated, the rise of YouTube influencers hasn’t led to a complete rejection of traditional advertising and marketing mediums but rather, they tend to work hand in hand with influencing and securing more of a market share by the year.

This is partly because older generations are still more likely to be convinced of products merits via TV adverts. However, the popularity of influence as a marketing tool is gradually coming to stay with even accomplished celebrities like Jessica Alba joining the movement.

Leave a comment