What if you could generate millions of views without shooting a frame of footage? What if you could get your promotional message dropped in the lap of your ideal audience with an ad spend of $0?
When it comes to social media campaigns, “What do we need to create?” is often the initial question. And that’s certainly not wrong. You should be creating valuable content.
But with the rising costs of distribution on social platforms and the massive competition for attention, “breaking out” can be a difficult and expensive proposition.
When Sony Pictures Entertainment hired us more than a year ago to concept social campaigns and Comic-Con stunts for Spider-Man, Men In Black II, and Charlie’s Angels, we filled page after page with ideas of what they could make. But we also wanted to take advantage of today’s new media opportunities, which is why one of the ideas we heavily pitched to Sony was getting a “Charlie’s Angels” cast member on Hot Ones (and a few other popular YouTube shows). And as you can see, it was a success!
Kristen Stewart (and the other Angels) appeared on Hot Ones on Nov. 14, and the show is already up to 3.1 million views, which would be at least a $125,000 ad spend if you were paying for views (and that doesn’t include the cost of producing a video).
We’ve seen creators on platforms like YouTube build up massive audiences who regularly tune in to watch their favorite personalities. These creators get millions of views every time they upload a video, generating numbers that even a production like “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” can’t match in spite of having a massive network promoting it.
Collaborating or getting on a popular YouTube show can be an immense success provided you have the right exchange of value in the partnership.
In this case, Sony has the celebrities who need to promote a movie, and a massively popular YouTube show needs famous people to come on and answer questions while eating chicken wings covered in the hottest of hot sauces.
If you haven’t seen Hot Ones, it’s a brilliant interview show on YouTube that gets celebrities to answer questions while eating increasingly-hot chicken wings. It’s become a cultural icon, and guests have included Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman to rappers, comedians, and YouTube stars. The videos get millions of views.
So why the focus on YouTube creators? Why not an influencer on Instagram or Snapchat?
Being good at YouTube immediately makes you better on other platforms. Why? Because 500 years of YouTube videos are watched on Facebook every day. More than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.
The popularity of YouTubers is undeniable and as the following statistics suggest, the public has even demonstrated a preference for YouTube influencers over celebrities.
- 6-in-10 subscribers report they would follow their favorite YouTuber’s advice on what to buy over their favorite TV or movie personality.
- 92% of consumers trust influencers more than ads or traditional celebrity endorsements.
- 58% of 13-24-year olds report watching influencer made content, but 58% say they’d skip pre-roll ads and 74% say they’d skip TV ads.
- 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.
- 4-in-10 millennial subscribers feel their favorite YouTuber understands them better than their friends.
- YouTubers are 17x more engaging and 11x more extraordinary than celebrities according to a survey comparing the 10 most subscribed YouTubers and 10 most popular celebrities.
In a recent Beats By Dre campaign, YouTuber Liza Koshy received FOUR TIMES the number of clicks Tom Brady earned for a comparable spot.
So forget creating anything, right? Just use popular creators to get in front of people! No. Not quite.
For one, these collaborations exist outside of your company’s ecosystem. Second, this is primarily a branding/top-of-funnel strategy. You’ll want to have your own video assets running to keep the customer journey moving.
But leveraging an existing audience can be an amazing way to amplify your efforts without requiring extra resources.
Would you like advice about video production or social strategy?
Indigo Productions is an NYC video production and social media strategy company that offers a comprehensive suite of services.
To learn more about us please visit our contact page or call us at 212-765-5224.