YouTube’s Influencer Marketing Phenomenon

Digital Third CoastEver wonder what exactly it is that your kids are so fascinated by when spending hours on YouTube? It’s likely they have spent a big portion of their time watching YouTube influencers either discussing products in “haul” videos or unpacking and trying out products in “unbox” videos.

To understand the phenomenon that is YouTube Influencer Marketing, Shorr Packaging Corp. analyzed 3,000 of the most recently uploaded “haul” and “unbox” videos on YouTube, looking specifically at what these types of videos focus on, in terms of product categories and brands.

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Here are some of the most interesting findings from the report:

Haul Videos

During haul videos, YouTubers review a number of products that they purchased on a shopping spree. In our analysis, we determined that clothing haul videos were the most common (coming in at 59% of the total haul videos) but categories like toys, books, music and craft supplies also have lots of uploads. The top brand mentions in haul videos were typically discount brands such as Dollar Tree (which had the highest portion of the mentions, coming in at 26%), Zara, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Forever 21, Walmart, TJ Maxx, and H&M.

Unboxing Videos

Unboxing videos are similar to haul videos in that they review products, but they actually open the package and use the product, reviewing it on the spot. The top category of unboxing videos are toys (which make up 29% of the total number unboxing videos), but other popular categories are phones, computers, cameras, makeup, and gaming consoles. Interestingly, the top brand mentions in unboxing videos were a bit more high-end than the haul videos, which included Samsung, Apple, Google, Sony, Lego, Xbox, Disney and Nike. The most mentioned brand, however, was Ali Express, which is a Chinese online retail service.

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The Influencers and the Earnings

With increased popularity, more views and more subscribers, YouTube influencers become a powerful marketing technology tool for brands — and they also get paid (sometimes even in the six figures). On average, haulers are the more successful YouTube influencers, with an average of two million total views, 21,000 subscribers and earn less than $6,000 per year. A typical unboxer, however, has no earnings, 1,500 total views and about 40 subscribers on average.

And according to 2018 SocialBlade data, 40% of haulers make between $1,000­-$10,000 and 3% make over $100,000. For unboxers, the numbers a little more dismal, with 64% earning nothing, 18% making $1–$1,000 and just 2% earning over $100,000.

Our full report can be seen here.

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