From Youtube Influencer to seller; influencing purchasing behavior as a close friend.

By Alexander Byham


Youtube influencers are becoming experts in marketing as they meet an audience that is extremely receptive to their content, thus being the perfect targets for selling products. Indeed a co-study of Youtube and Google stated that 66% of beauty product buyers were influenced by Youtube as well as 62% of smartphone buyers and 72% of auto-vehicles buyers. Therefore, Youtube is a powerful marketing channel but why?

The focus will be mainly powered towards how viewers see Youtube influencers’ advertising and why they purchasing behavior is influenced.

Many youtube viewers are millennials who are a generation born in 1980-1995, becoming adults in the years 2000. This generation is the first that was born in the technological boom of the late 20th Century and having an important purchasing power in the first decades of 2000. Thus, millenials build a community or are living in ones where influencers are the trend-setters for millions of potential customers.However, they do not present themselves as sellers but as friends of their subscribers, thus transforming a script directed by a brand into a friend advice, a much powerful marketing tool. This behavior is easily foreseeable in data collection showing where the costumers came from as well assmall surveys asking for the main influence of the purchasing decision. Many scientific researches already pointed out the power of the social media tool (e.g. Douglas Rushkoff).

The main challenge for this investigation will be to find youtube influenced buyers and direct the interviews such as they responders will answer truly and without shame of being blurred by influencers.

I personally think that people do not always keep in mind that Youtube Influencers have directed information that must be disclosed when presenting the product, thus working more as an intermediate or brand ambassador than a friend that suggests you a great product to buy. As a consequence, viewers can be blurred and vulnerable against powerful staged product demonstrations and advices.