"If you are a YouTuber, you are married to YouTube." The words of Anna Gorse, who has more than 44,000 followers of her video channel, perfectly summarise the philosophy and way of life that exists in the surprising phenomenon of being a YouTuber. Thousands, and even millions, of young followers attract brands and bewilder those on the margins of digital trends or of a certain age.
Because one thing cannot be doubted: YouTubers are also part of a generational phenomenon, something that became clear during the Talent Marketing Day devoted to YouTubers, held at the Media Science faculty of the UIC in Barcelona.
The event brought together in the same debate the YouTubers Anna Gorse, Adriamusica96, Jordi Cor, Focusingvlogs, Julian Marinov and ProAndroid. All of them agreed that they live for and from YouTube and that their work of conceiving, making and sharing videos takes up every hour of the day. "You have to improve, create, think, something has to occur to you every week. If not, the followers will forget about you," they explain.
Some have even given up their studies to focus on this activity, as ProAndroid recognises. Yet despite the continual effort required, not all the best edited videos get the most hits, and it remains a mystery why one or another video goes viral. "A perfect video can be boring," says Anna Gorse.
The key to their success and popularity among young people is their capacity to create engagement, which can be defined as the commitment between the consumers and a brand or, in this case, the YouTubers themselves. That is according to Òscar Cumí, the organiser of the Talent Marketing Tour and expert in marketing influencers. According to Cumí, their role as influencers for young people is very important because they interact in reduced communities, in which engagement is much higher.
Despite the intensive dedication to the videos and the virtual community that surrounds them, these star youngsters reject the idea that they earn a lot of money. They insist that only YouTubers like El Rubius "make a fortune" with their videos. The rest "cannot live from it, merely survive," says Anna Gorse. "You do it out of passion; you don't see it as a business," says Julian Marinov, who has a photography channel.
Nevertheless, they do admit that beyond the advertising generated by YouTube videos, what is most profitable are external publicity campaigns for the products of firms who seek them out as allies due to their position as influencers. "Brands only use YouTube as a place to post videos, while YouTubers apply a strategy for the content," says Òscar Cumí, as another factor explaining the commercial influence that these young people wield.
|The UIC brought together different YouTubers. Ceded|
Continuing with the idea of engagement, Cumí points out that YouTubers "are seen as honest by their community" and brands are aware of the influence they can have when it comes to reaching their public.
As a result, they have had to learn to negotiate with brands and some, such as Mel from Focusingsvlogs, have even opted to put themselves in the hands of specialised agencies. According to Marinov, YouTubers "work like a small company with our own marketing department, media department, etc." even though in most cases all tasks fall to the same person.
For Jordi Cor, expert in YouTube and video marketing, most of these youngsters have "artistic" personalities and as such they have little interest in numbers or business matters. Nevertheless, he thinks that, if well focused, the experience can serve as an apprenticeship in the world of digital marketing.