By Shannon Jameson
It is not a surprise that advertising plays a crucial role in YouTube revenue. Nearly every time a video is played, it is preceded by an advertisement. Once the video begins, there is generally an ad that pops up across the screen. However, these traditional forms are not the only ways in which brands market their products on YouTube.
Companies reaching out to YouTube stars is becoming increasingly common, rather than reaching out to Google, the mega-corporation owner, to form contractual relationships. These companies solicit their products to everyone–from gaming vloggers to beauty gurus.
In return for free videogames and hair products, YouTube stars agree to feature those items in their videos. Under these premises, companies reach an enormous audience. Some YouTubers such as PewDiePie and Michele Phan accumulate over a million viewers per video. The marketing sectors of brands capitalize on that unique exposure by offering these types of sponsorships.
YouTubers tend to respond to offers in several ways. Often times, the description of a video will feature a disclaimer by stating that their reviews on certain products are entirely their own opinions. Brands that seek advertising through YouTube run the risk of unfavorable reviews. However, companies do not only rely on product reviews to advertise their products.
Occasionally, companies employ more subtle tactics. For example, a YouTuber named Zoella was sponsored by Nabisco, and made an “Oreo Challenge” for her video. She was not reviewing the Oreos, but she was still sponsoring them through product placement. Google has not responded favorably to YouTubers taking business deals within their own hands.
For deals, YouTube urges users to rely on Google’s sales team rather than working directly with brands. Google is losing revenue when its users continue to accept their own contracts. YouTube is a revolutionary video-sharing website that has benefited brands in incalculable ways. They can reach millions of people in hundreds of worldwide markets. It is cheaper for brands to contact individual creators rather than advertise through Google itself, and this often results in a more favorable return.
It is interesting to see various ways in which YouTube can be used for advertising, and to predict where it will be headed next.