Zoella? Tanya Burr? Jim Chapman? Never heard of them? Well, you can bet your bottom dollar your millennial based audience have. YouTube sensations are quite often the go-to brand ambassadors for organisations trying to engage with the digitally obsessed youth, notoriously hard to reach and even harder to convert. We’re taking a step back, asking the question ‘What can YouTube stars teach brands about marketing?’ and looking at what brands and marketers alike, can learn from the wise-beyond-their-years youngsters


Use real talk.


These vloggers don’t have any marketing qualifications, no “years of experience” in Adland, no content strategy. They connect with their target demographic because they are their target demographic. Millennials are constantly receiving orders from parents, teachers and older siblings. They don’t need another voice of authority telling them what to do. They need a peer showing them how a product is going to fit into their lives. Flashy marketing jargon may get their attention for a second but it’s not going to convince them. Get on their level – speak their language.


Listen to your audience.


The beauty of YouTube is that feedback is instantaneous, measurable and upfront. Vloggers take direction from this feedback, often using the comments section to inspire future posts as well as interact with their audience. By feeling like they’ve contributed to the content, the audience is more engaged, they feel like they’re part of something. Listen to your tech-savvy and opinionated audience – let them become part of your brand.


Be authentic.


The digital sphere has made ‘being transparent’ a key feature in any branding strategy. YouTube stars have nothing to hide behind, they are essentially selling their personalities and critique can of course be harsh, so it’s very important that they present themselves authentically, flaws and all. Brands must understand that their publicised values and identity need to be true to the everyday culture of the organisation in order to gain the trust of their audience.


Have a personality.


With one hundred hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s vital that these vloggers secure enough of a following that their videos continuously gain traction. How do they achieve this? They use their personalities to build relationships. Their fans take a genuine interest in their lives and activity because these YouTube stars are putting it all out there! Think of your brand as an individual with character. People want to engage with people and not corporate identities.


Go multichannel.


Whilst YouTube is the home of content for these vloggers, other forms of social media play an essential role in the marketing mix. Vloggers use Twitter to interact with their audience, Facebook to promote their work and Instagram to share pictures of their day-to-day life. They are easily accessible and (digitally) everywhere – unmissable in fact. The content is tailored to the social media format and, of course, always adding value in some way. These vloggers have become characters in the lives of millennials and brands should be looking to achieve a comparable status by seamlessly tying content into their everyday social media scrolling.