April 11, 2019

Rise of the Vlogs: How Video Can Change Consumer Behavior

Marketing has always been a huge concern for companies that deal in CPG, but the internet has given rise to a new type of information transmission: videos made by consumers for consumers. What exactly does this newfound communication entail and does it, in fact, have an effect on purchasing behavior?

@Inc. reports: 74 percent of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their buying decisions.

Consumer to Consumer Video Communication

It’s important to understand that there are two reasons creators may address their audience as consumers. The first is because CPG is an integral part of their content, which is true of the following:

  • Unboxings
  • Review videos
  • Comparison videos
  • Certain types of vlogs

The second reason is because the channel requires an additional source of revenue, which sponsored content can provide.

Content that falls into the first category requires the creator to directly address the viewer as a consumer. For example, Safiya Nygaard, a major YouTuber in the beauty and fashion genre, has a long-running series called “The Internet Made Me Buy It,” where she purchases a particular type of product under certain conditions, as illustrated in her “I Bought a Full Face of Makeup From Facebook Ads” video. Creators then review the products candidly, or are assumed to do so – genuineness is highly prized to these audiences, and creators who seem to favor a brand or product in exchange for monetary compensation may be called out for being “fake” or “a sellout.”

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, some creators make videos paid for by a company in exchange for positive advertising in the video. This has become increasingly common in the past few years as large platforms like YouTube have been rocked with advertiser concerns regarding what kind of content their ads are running on. This has resulted in sweeping monetization changes, leaving certain creators in need of additional revenue streams. Two such examples are the veteran YouTuber Phillip DeFranco, who runs a news channel that sometimes shows upsetting clips, and the more recently popular CinemaWins, who creates video essays examining popular films and therefore utilizes copyrighted material. Both frequently partner with corporations to offset demonetization.

Influences Over Purchasing Behavior

Online videos, much like traditional television advertisements, are a great way to generate awareness of your brand or product. However, you may have little control over how your company is portrayed.

How Consumer Videos May Influence Potential Customers

Influencers have the power to make or break a brand, depending on that business’s buying power. For example, Brittani Louise Taylor’s memoir leaped hundreds of spots on Amazon’s Best Seller’s list after being featured in YouTube titan Shane Dawson’s conspiracy video. Conversely, consumers shied away from the Morphe Me beauty subscription box after gossip and beauty channels alike spread the word of customers having their credit card information stolen after signing up.

How You Can Leverage Video to Your Advantage

It makes sense for businesses to take advantage of the power influencers have over consumer behavior, but how to do so? You can take the beaten path and offer sponsorships to prominent creators or send public relations packages, as is common in the beauty industry.

Or, if you have the talent and know-how, you can create your own videos. Remember the “Will It Blend” series by Blendtec? A simple, yet interesting premise paired with an awkward, but welcoming presenter garnered tens of millions of views. You have the power to influence audiences just as thoroughly as social media celebrities – you must adapt to their strategies.