[By: Heather Saul] [Independent UK] [Read More]
Zoella’s manager has described what brands will ask YouTubers to do as the influence exerted by social media stars continues to rise exponentially.
Zoella is one of the best examples of how social media can lead to a bankable career after building a following of 11 million, releasing a best-selling book and a successful cosmetics range.
Along with her YouTuber boyfriend Alfie Deyes (5.3 million followers), who collectively are known as 'Zalfie', the 26-year-old has become one of the most popular figures for Generation Y, surpassing many A-list celebrities in terms of follower count. In March, it was reported Zoella earned up to £50,000 a month, making her one of the most successful fashion and beauty vloggers in the country.
This success is carefully managed by Dominic Smales, who also represents fashion and beauty vlogger YouTuber Tanya Burr (3.5 million followers) and 26 other influencers. Smales is responsible for managing their lucrative endorsement deals while trying to maintain a sense of authenticity between his clients and their attentive fan base.
He told The Guardian brands can often insist on “too much control” and their audience has noticed.
“In an effort to please the talent has said exactly what the brand has wanted them to say, and the audience has realised that it is slightly more scripted than it would normally be.”
He said this could be particularly damaging for a social media influencer, who builds up a rapport with their fans by presenting their own self and lives.
“The audience that engage with these guys has a kind of tangible relationship with the talent,” he added. “They’ve always known them on a two-way platform. It’s a much more engaged relationship than what Nicole Scherzinger will have with her three million followers. A lot of traditional talent, [the relationship] on social media is a lot more voyeuristic than the digital-first talent’s relationship with their social media followings.”
He said rejected suggestions from brands have including asking a YouTuber to pretend their toothbrush is a phone for a week.