Day after day, the TMKF chair is growing and participating with more and more projects. During the 3 – 6 April 2018, Patricia Núñez was in Angoulême at the Child & Teen Consumption Conference presenting her research that she wrote with Victoria Tur, on the relationship between Brands and YouTubers. The conclusions that they got from their research are about the strategies used by influencers to ensure better engagement.
We all know that children are less able to identify advertising online compared to traditional television advertising (Kunkel & Castonguay, 2012; Panic, Cauberghe & Pelsmacker, 2013).
Nowadays, influencer marketing is more effective than traditional advertising because it is made to look like “authentic content” rather than advertising.
Consumers motivation to create UGC is growing, so brand – related UGC is growing too. Brands use influencers to engage with their users emotionally and for credibility. This type of marketing is more effective and results in more purchase interest as the Brand is perceived as being entertaining and an experience.
Now we have to deal with the Generation Z, what that means that we have to deal with hyper – informed, intensely loyal, yet critical and demanding, global consumers that use fresh content, human connection and trusted by their peers. Brands know how to take advantage of the amount of views these children have on their YouTube channels.
There are two ways to advertise through YouTubers or content creators on YouTube. One is through advertising actions taken at the company’s behest, and the other is through announcements made by consumers themselves.
There are several ways companies can advertise through YouTubers, the most common being Branded Content, Promoted Content, Sponsorship and Product Placement.
To identify common practices carried out by influencer children aged under 14 in their YouTube channels they decided to analyze the strategies used by children to obtain more followers, such as the language they use, video content and creativity, and developing indicators. Also, they analyzed the strategies used by brands to obtain more exposure.
The channels selected to analyze were: La Diversión de Martina (1.8 million subscribers), Los juguetes de Arantxa (1.1 million subscribers), MikelTube ( 81,400 million subscribers), Los Mundos de Nico (41,4000 million subscribers) and Juguetes Maryver (16,000 million subscribers).
The conclusions that they came out with after analyzing a total of 25 videos from these channels are:
1.There are common characteristics throughout all young Spanish YouTubers’ channels. As engagement strategies, these common characteristics include, directly requesting audience participation, encouraging viewers to subscribe and urging them to like and share the content on other social networks.
All channels have interconnections with other channels, either by sharing content or creating videos together; toy brands are always advertised simultaneously on the channels that interact with each other
The channels Diversión de Martina and Mundos de Nico offer prizes and hold competitions to motivate their viewers. These prizes can even be digital prizes such as shout outs to a user on the YouTuber’s channel.
2.Regarding Author interaction with the Audience, common characteristics include using the same introductory phrase and a corporate channel phrase. The authors generally always thank their fans for watching the channel and three of them have referred to specific individuals. Parents always participate in four of the five channels, and in certain ones they are very active: they use their presence and voice to assist their child in using the product and comment on where it can be purchased.
3.The style of voice is emphatic and when they mention a brand their voice becomes louder, resulting in an artificial, unnatural effect. The audio becomes even louder in two certain channels when using sound effects (canned laughter) or making strange voices.
4. Regarding Editing Complexity, its use is regular in most cases, producing a more natural effect that is familiar to the audience, except in one channel which is more professional. In this sense, clips or slides are used to introduce and end the videos in most cases, but they do not have much impact.
5. In regard to Branding Content Analysis, all children exhibit various brands in each video, except Juguetes MaryVer, which only exhibits a single product. The other channels advertise one or two products but have others visible in the background or in different spaces as Brand placement. The videos show them using these products and showing all their features; they mention which stores have given them those products, their web pages and other products related to the brand such as films and other merchandise.
6.Opinions about the products are always positive, explaining the different ways of using the product and its detailed characteristics. They also offer information about the brand’s different products and display and test the products. Advertising communication is present throughout the video with direct incentives to consume through terms such as “buy” “purchase” and “toys reviews”.
7. Although the children try to remain natural, their attitude is aimed at getting more followers and gaining popularity, while also focusing on the brands.
8.It is interesting to note how the video content continues into offline activities. We must also emphasise that advertised products are the same products traditionally advertised for girls and boys; no new products have been identified.
For future lines, a more in-depth study is required to research more channels and more variables related to the brand which should be investigated more specifically, such as how long the brand appears on the video, plans on how to focus on the product, how acknowledgement of advertising will appear, planning the words used, hidden advertising techniques and parental help in making the video, among others. The context in which the videos are created, the narration, type of language used and attitudes should also be considered.