Recently, I’ve been watching a number of YouTube videos, the creators of whom have made it their career to create media content. The content ranges from haul videos to personal vlogs to lifestyle videos and just normal children unboxing their new toys and activities.
Many of these vloggers and content creators are given a massive privilege of being sent PR boxes of different kinds of items, depending on the video they are creating.
In return, they are called influencers, as they market the products given to them by providing their honest review and opinion of the product.
Also, many of these YouTube channels that unbox toys and products have over four million subscribers with over 700,000 views, even where the content of the video is just of children (or their parents) unboxing trendy toys.
As far as I’m aware, these content creators have to join the YouTube Partner Program to monetize their videos, allowing advertisements to be featured on their videos.
According to a website, in January 2018, YouTube announced that channels must have reached 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers to be eligible for the program.
As the money is made through advertisements, these content creators can earn according to per thousand views or per click.
It is also said that per view, advertisers on average pay USD 0.18, and that Google keeps 45% of what is made.
With the ongoing trend of creating content on YouTube to make money, many of these influencers were also criticized for asking for free items in return for exposure.
Just last month in the US, a storeowner criticized a social media influencer for requesting hundreds of doughnuts for their followers attending a meet-and-greet event, in exchange for exposure.
Yet in general, companies would be the first ones to reach out to these influencers.
This is a trend that many marketing departments would rather go to promote and advertise their products as they could be dubbed as celebrities.
According to the 2019 Influencer Marketing Survey, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective, and 89% of these marketers say that the return on investment of influencer marketing is as good or better than other marketing channels.
In Macau, I am not aware of anyone who creates videos full time for YouTube, and I think it’s because it’s more challenging to reach a wider audience in the city.
Yet, I’ve seen quite several ‘influencers’ that are more active on Instagram, showcasing the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants.
They are the ones that are also invited by the city’s integrated resorts whenever its restaurants launch a new menu, with hopes of further promoting their cuisine by posting on social media.
I remember speaking to an influencer from Taiwan who runs a food page on Instagram and was invited by a gaming operator to attend a lunch at their newest restaurant.
According to her, she was just in the city for three days, primarily for that purpose.
Influencer marketing nowadays has become more effective than ever, simply because of their huge following on social media and the influence they have on their audience.
Thus, many businesses are resorting to this kind of collaboration or ways to strengthen their brand messaging through these endorsements as it reaches more engaged audiences.