Does Brand Loyalty Translate To YouTube?

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As the YouTube space is quickly being conquered, the new rush is to mine gold. And right now, brand deals are YouTube gold. In signing up with SelectNext, a new branding arm from Select Management Group, the beauty creators Gigi Gorgeous, MyLifeAsEva and Tess Christine have managed to expand their reach and pair their brand with appropriate companies. Gigi has signed on to be an ambassador for Too Faced Cosmetics while Tess and Eva now shill for Vevo (also Eva has a gig with Proactiv+). But does that mean that their roughly 2 million followers (each) will become customers?

Obviously the big corporations are betting yes.

It might not be that simple though: Taco Bell signed up YouTubers to promote its brand two years ago. Much hoopla was made of the deal and suddenly there were YouTubers like Toby Turner, iJustine and Phil DeFranco appearing in Taco Bell commercials.

And then, just as suddenly, they were gone. And they haven’t come back. So did Taco Bell axe the deal or what? While Taco Bell is likely loath to talk about their inner workings and/or potential missteps publicly, the point remains that attaching a YouTuber with millions of subscribers to your project isn’t a slam dunk. On the other hand, Lets Plays have been shown to increase business for new video games. So what is that middle ground? How do YouTubers show corporations that they can influence their demographic to purchase without isolating subscribers and making them feel like they are just there to be sold to?

The answer right now is that they have to tread very, very carefully: reputation is everything. But in order for YouTube and its creators to achieve their final form, these are questions that will have to be answered convincingly. Adam Wescott, co-founder of SelectNext, for one, believes in the present and future of the system: “YouTubers provide brands immediate and proven audience engagement. Beyond buzz there is also great potential for click-through and direct conversion to sale of products these influencers love, use and promote.”

So maybe you can believe in it a little bit as well? At least, until someone gives us reason not to believe. Looking in your direction, Sam Pepper.


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