Ryan Kaji is an 8-year-old who started his YouTube channel at the age of 4. Since the inception of his channel the young YouTuber has managed to gather a total of 22.6 million subscribers and 33.6 billion views. In 2018 the YouTubers earnings were said be at $22 million according to Forbes.
His earnings were more than Logan Paul’s brother, Jake Paul ($21 million), sports entertainment group Dude Perfect ($20 million) and Minecraft player DanTDM ($18.5 million). Ryan’s is the life most influencers can only dream of.
Harris Poll/ LEGO conducted a survey in the United States, China and Britain, asking children what they aspired to be. 29% of children ranging from the age of 8 to 12 chose to be a YouTuber while 11% chose Astronaut.
According to a survey based on 2,000 interviews conducted by Morning Consultant, 54% of Americans aged 13 to 38 years old would choose to be an influencer if an opportunity came knocking, while 12% already consider themselves as influencers. Other surveys, polls, and studies have shown the same, teenagers aspiring to be influencers via YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms in search of fame and a big paycheck.
Marketing’s New Influencers
Marketing has changed a lot over the years. It revolves more around social media now than compared to conventional media. As more people move to social media, advertisers are hiring these influencers to promote their brands and products to reel in more customers.
Kylie Jenner is one of the most renowned social media influencers out there. With 151 million followers on Instagram, she is reported to take $1 million for one sponsored post.
In 2017, it was estimated that $570 million were spent worldwide on influencer marketing.
Staying Active And Maintaining Your Presence
Estee Lauder one of the top cosmetic brands has been one of the few brands out there heavily invested in social media influencers. This year in August the company spent 75% of its advertising budget on social media influencers, ‘ they’re revealing to be highly productive’ said chief executive Fabrizio Freda.
While the company spends 75% of its budget on influencers a small portion is spent on micro-influencers, who have a following of 10,000 followers or less. The majority of it is spent on deals with bigger names, brand ambassadors and models like Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, and Anok Yai.
The Old And New Economics Of Marketing
Although marketing has changed over the last decade the economics tell a different story.
In every industry, acting, beauty, modeling, and entertainment there is a small number of Tier 1 or A-list influencers who bring in millions. Then there are Tier 2 or sometimes called B-list influencers, they don’t make millions but make more than the average person. But the vast majority of influencers are earning so little that they would be better off doing an ordinary job.
Mathias Bärtl, a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, issued a statistical report of YouTube channels. His report highlighted that 85% of traffic went to just 3% of channels, and that 96.5% of YouTubers wouldn’t make enough money to reach the US federal poverty line ($12,140).
Cornell University professor Brooke Erin Duffy suggested that the urge of being a social influencer is part of a larger illusion surrounding the digital economy and the false image it provides about finding fame and fortune while doing what you love through your own brand.