Influencer video has broken new ground this week. Today it was announced that PewDiePie (otherwise known as Felix Kjellberg), a YouTube star known for his reviews of video games, grossed over $7 million in 2014. Yes, you read that right.
Given the press surrounding his income, Felix decided to put out a video to tell his side of the story:
So what does this mean for the world of influencer video as a whole? Well, it’s certainly a watershed moment. What was once a strategy that was laughed at by large brands, has now become an integral part of any marketing strategy.
HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY PEWDIEPIE’S $7 MILLION IS A GAME-CHANGER FOR INFLUENCER VIDEO:
#1 INFLUENCERS CAN ACTUALLY MAKE A LIVING
Though it’s not easy, and many struggle at first, PewDiePie proves that all a video creator needs is a camera and a great presence in order to make it. PewDiePie got to where he’s at without an agent, an editor, or professional acting background.
There are many naysayers who will tell you that there is no money to be made as a YouTube creator. PewDiePie proves them wrong.
As with anything, creators will have to pay their dues and work their way up to the top. However, with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.
PewDiePie also has shown that influencers’ incomes can sustain growth. In 2013, he made $4 million, meaning he nearly doubled his earnings in a single year – an impressive feat by any standard.
#2 REAL VALUE TO BRANDS
PewDiePie has 38 million subscribers (as of July 2015). These are not just faceless numbers, they are highly engaged fans who look to him as a huge influencer on their purchasing decisions.
In years past, brands paid very little mind to YouTube creators. We are now seeing a huge shift in budget away from more “traditional” forms of marketing towards influencer programs. PewDiePie has now definitively proven the need for this kind of investment.
#3 IT’S NOT A FAD
Pogs were a fad; skip rope was a fad; Tamagachi was a fad – influencer video is not a fad. In the one week prior to this post being written, PewDiePie’s community has increase by 3 million subscribers! This goes a long with an overall upward and sustained trend of the community growth of influencers.
Engagement, too, continues to increase.
A variety of top marketers have predicted a significant growth in engagement with online video. The biggest reason for this is that video, particularly influencer video, is an inherently engaging experience. It’s easy to share, allows the viewer to get a 360 degree view of a product being used in context, and conveys the trust that today’s consumer requires.
#4 BUDGETS WILL INCREASE
Budgets are set based on projected ROI. If a marketing strategy has no tangible proof of its effectiveness, no money will be put towards it. Influencer video has now proven itself to be not only a tool for social reach, but a tool for direct impact on sales and brands are taking notice.
In fact, a recent study indicates that nearly 60% of marketers plan on increasing influencer marketing budgets.
Why are they doing this? Because the numbers prove it to be necessary.
For example, studies show that video placed on product pages increases sales by up to 30%.
#5 AUDIENCES CONNECT MORE WITH PEERS
The modern media consumer is more empowered than ever before. The currency with which brands must work today is trust. Consumers of media can do research on products and get more information than ever before; they have also realized that they can’t believe everything they are told.
Influencer’s are so important to brands because they convey the kind of trust that no professionally made advertisement can. A recent study indicated that millennials trust media created by their peers (like influencer video) 50% more than brand-created.
Where do you see influencer video marketing going in the next 5 years? Leave your comments below!