Actress Sofia Vergara or makeup vlogger Yuya? Athlete David Beckham or Minecraft master DanTDM? Millennials would choose the YouTubers hands down as their key persons of influence.
A new study from affiliate marketing company Affilinet shows that millennial shoppers are more likely to buy a product that has been promoted by a YouTuber, blogger or Instagrammer than a TV celebrity.
2,293 adults in the UK who are aged 18 to 30 years old say they prefer to buy something which was reviewed or discussed by someone they follow on social media than a celebrity-endorsed product.
That's pretty understandable as 63% of them watch more YouTube videos than television shows at varied levels of frequency.
According to the respondents, they have subscribed to 18 YouTube channels at the least, whose videos they watch once a week or more. Over 51% admitted to spending roughly £ 285 on items last year that were reviewed by someone whose channel or page they follow.
Affilinet's research data shows clothing items (44%) as the most common purchases, followed by make-up and beauty products (36%), video games (21%), home furnishing (16%) and kitchen appliances (12%).
Meanwhile, only 9% of the respondents said they bought an item that was endorsed by a celebrity.
The Power of YouTube
Although celebrity endorsement is a tried-and-tested strategy for brands, YouTube served as their gateway to younger and more affluent consumers.
Many millennials relate more to YouTubers and bloggers as their lifestyles seem more attainable than that of big-name celebs.
Unlike actors and TV personalities, YouTubers don't put on an act or get into character when facing their audience.
They record their videos wherever and whenever they feel like it, unmindful of their looks or background. So what if they're recording a video in their topsy-turvy bedroom, with their hair all messed up as they just got out of bed?
All they care about is getting their message across to the people who appreciate what they have to say and never get tired of tuning in to their channel.
Most importantly, they call a spade a spade; they praise, nitpick, or even swear if they feel that the situation calls for it.
That candor, along with their useful product information and advice, draws the trust of their multitude of followers and, ultimately, influences their purchasing decisions.
So you see, the success of any brand isn't hinged on the name and face of a famous movie, TV or sports personality.
You can dictate the shopping behavior of your customers by adding valuable content to your own blog, YouTube channel and Instagram account, among other online platforms.