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YouTuber Marketing Campaign— A Strategy Involving Information Cascade

You are studying for a prelim, you’ve spent hours working on the same problem, you are tired, and need a break. You go to Libé and buy a fresh cup of coffee, close your blackboard tab, log onto your YouTube account, and start watching your favorite show or check out newly uploaded videos from your favorite YouTubers. By 2015, the time audiences spent watching YouTube videos has increased by 74%; YouTube’s become a gigantic information hub where people turn to for everything: from latest news, to fashion trends, and to hotel/restaurant ratings. With 60% people nowadays preferring online video platform over TV, there’s no wonder why big companies start collaborating with the rising celebrities of this new media, YouTubers, to market their products.

YouTube stars have substantial effects on purchasing decisions of millennials. It’s a pre-existing network shaped by viewer’s trust and aspiration. The relationship between audience and their favorite YouTubers is a one-way strong tie, where viewers, who’ve been watching a specific YouTube channel for a long time, actively seek out advice from the YouTube stars. This tight-knit relationship really comes in handy when advertising for a new product. In class, we learnt that cluster is usually an obstacle for the flow of information, if the density p of the cluster is larger than 1-q, with q being the threshold, the cascade will break and the behavior adoption will stop. However, when the products are introduced by YouTubers instead to potential customers (aka, their audience), the threshold for customers to accept the new product is lowered, and thus, the flow of information is enhanced. With a smaller q and a very large 1-q, “cluster” becomes way less a problem than it used to be, allowing the product to be advertised to different groups of people who have little connection with each other. (say people with totally different life styles, professions, education backgrounds, etc)

Just think about during the past year, how many times you’ve purchased a product just because it was advertised by a popular YouTube star? There’s more to the story. YouTubers, especially vloggers, are no longer just being passively involved in a marketing campaign, they are creating them. A whopping 62% of customers aging from 18-24 years old said that they would purchase products endorsed by a top YouTuber. These YouTube stars have become the trend-leaders, the trailblazers who shaped our aspirations and opinions on lifestyles, fashion trends, and even politics. With the help of network effects, these influence can be easily spread across groups with different social dynamics, and under the right time, become a viral marketing effect. Even politicians are now trying to borrow YouTubers’ audience. For example, in January 2016, President Obama launched the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama and invited three YouTube stars to interview him on topics such as community policing, investments in space exploration, and the future of LGBT rights in America.


[5 Types Of YouTube Marketing Campaigns With Influencers]
[YouTube Product Reviews Trusted By Majority of Millennials]
[What You Missed: President Obama’s Interview with YouTube |]


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November 2017