By: Kendall Kriska
Influencers have become key players in the social media word, especially YouTube. This free platform allows these people to create content and post literally whatever they want. It starts as a simple idea, which turns into a video that people begin to see and from there they spread like wildfire. These influencers begin to gain followers and are presented with sponsorship deals, which is the point where their life shifts from being a simple video creator to an influencer. Being an influencer comes with a lot of pressure of having to continually put out content that gets not only good engagement, but growing engagement. Engagement is the most important thing a YouTuber can have to be successful. This is how they begin to make money from this platform and start their career as a “YouTuber.” People oftentimes think that being a YouTuber is not a real job, like how people would say cheerleading is not a real sport. However, being a YouTuber is much harder than people would think. Having to constantly come up with new exciting content, having to see millions of negative comments on projects they worked so hard on, and having to produce and edit multiple videos a week so they can remain a constant trend.
YouTube influencers are different than the ones on Instagram in the sense that they start off as video creators. Instagram influencers usually start off wanting to become influencers and are more about the glitz and glam of photography. This platform is viewed as more materialistic and “fake.” Yes, YouTuber’s almost always have Instagram’s, but it is their secondary platform, as their main focus is on their video content. I have always been drawn to YouTube because of that creative authentic side, which is why these people make for such great influencers, especially for the categories that their videos are on. For example, the makeup industry is sky rocketing as men are starting to be more vocal about wearing makeup. Both men and women have been creating channels that are either makeup tutorials, reviews, new looks, trends, etc. Since these “gurus” go through so many products, it only makes sense that they would know which ones are the best, which is a huge part of why people watch them.
James Charles, for example, is a fully modernized version of a YouTube influencer as he is one of the first popular male makeup users at only nineteen years old. He got his first big break at seventeen when he was named CoverGirl’s first male ambassador. Since then he has become a major makeup influencer because not only does he produce videos about makeup, he wears it and has gone through so many different products people are drawn in to see what he has to say. He is one of the fastest growing YouTuber’s in the industry and is passing up people who have been doing this for double/triple the amount of times he has. Charles gains around 46,544 followers a day on Instagram and YouTube, which is about 1,396,320 a month. He started off creating his videos all on his own and now he has a full team, advanced technological equipment and a full content calendar schedule of upcoming content. Charles also has his own makeup products, as he came out with makeup brushes and his first palette this past November called the Artistry Palette. He partnered with Morphe Cosmetics, which is an extremely well known makeup brand. This launch was extremely successful and sold out in less than ten minutes with record breaking results. Aside from the makeup, Charles has a full clothing line called Sisters Apparel that is thriving as well. Not only is Charles a makeup artist and video creator, he is becoming a full business man before he is even twenty with an estimated net worth of eight million dollars.
Influencers are the same in the sense that they all endorse products for their fans, however, YouTubers start off in the business as video creators, whereas Instagram influencers typically just want followers and fame. The creativity in the YouTube world is unmatched and growing by the second. Producing interesting content that gets people excited is a daily challenge, but one YouTubers have to do if they want to remain successful and trending. The more quality videos they put out, the more engagement and sponsorships they get, which will make them rise as an influencer even further. It is understandable that people put influencers all under the same microscope, but if you take a step back, they really aren’t all the same.