By Sarah Schroll
Each day, 1.5 billion viewers watch an hour or more of videos on YouTube. Over the last five years, YouTube has increased its viewership ten-fold and the different kinds of content has expanded. Because of this, companies are contacting popular YouTubers to showcase and promote their products as social media influencer relations has increased in importance. Below are a few ways that YouTubers have changed the game for public relations.
- PR Haul Videos
A trend with more popular YouTubers is having videos where the YouTuber strictly opens products that were sent to them from companies. With many of these videos reaching a million or more views, companies are seeing the value of sending an item to a YouTuber with the channel content in mind. This gives the company the potential of not only getting screen time for their products but also gives that YouTuber the opportunity to make a future video using their product.
- Trying products sent from companies in a video
Many companies have found it beneficial to send new products to YouTubers because it gives them visibility and credibility that advertisements and paid sponsorships do not. In the PR Haul video that is pictured above, YouTuber Tati opens a product that was sent to her by L’Oreal Cosmetics and says “I think I need to do a video on this actually, not sponsored, just sent to me.” Two weeks after the haul video was posted, Tati made a video using the product.
- First Impressions, Favorites and Haul Videos
These are videos that have little to no sponsorship attached. This style of video gives the impression that the YouTuber is providing their honest opinion of the product. If this product is liked by the YouTuber, it can be a powerful component in the consumer’s decision to buy. This is a doubled–edged sword, however, because many YouTubers will discuss products that they didn’t care for as well.
One of the oldest ways that companies have showcased their products on YouTube is through sponsorships. This could be showcasing products in a video and having a link to the product in the description or simply stating that the video is sponsored in the title. Sponsorships are mutually beneficial to both parties as both receive revenue from the collaboration. The content of these videos tend to have more of an advertisement feel and some people may not find it appealing.
by Evan Whittaker
For communication professionals, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on industry trends. It can help you get a feel for the current public relations climate and may give you new ideas for popular (or not so popular) ways to engage your audiences.
One growing trend is the use of social media takeovers, where an individual takes the reins of an organization’s social media page. Whether it’s Michael Jordan taking over the Charlotte Hornets’ Twitter account, CBS stars taking charge of their shows’ Instagram accounts or even students posting on behalf of their university, an increasing number of people are getting on the takeover bandwagon.
With so many examples of this practice taking place in recent months, you might ask, what makes them so popular? To answer that question, I’ve outlined a couple of reasons why the social media takeover has become such a popular choice for organizations.
Intrigue your followers and reach new ones
It’s no secret that engaging followers is key to the success of any social media page. Sometimes, though, it can be a challenge for an organization to find new followers to add to its roster. By allowing someone to take over your organization’s social media accounts, those who follow that person are also likely to follow your organization to keep up with its goings-on. What’s more, your current followers get a taste of something new and exciting when someone else posts on your behalf. This makes the takeover a great way to engage new followers and entertain those who already follow you.
A new, personal perspective
Another integral element of a successful social media page is providing new and interesting content. Since social media takeovers allow someone new to post for the organization, it’s a great way to break the mold and provide new content for followers. What’s more, takeovers often have a “see the world through their eyes” angle to them, which can seem more personal and relatable for followers. People like content that feels genuine and relatable, and the takeover provides an excellent way to bring that element into an organization’s social media.
With the growing popularity of the social media takeover, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing more of them in the coming months. Be sure to keep an eye out for the trend and learn what you can from it. Who knows? Before long, it could be your organization handing off the reins.