YouTube Invests in Artists to Bolster Marketing Efforts

YouTube, over the past year, has quietly invested in musical artists, in an effort to bolster marketing for the platform. And the success, so far, may inspire others. It’s nothing new for brands to deploy stars as ambassadors: What YouTube is demonstrating is the potential for brands to develop celebrities, and raise their own brand profiles at the same time.

Most recently, the video-sharing website invested in Korean pop star, CL, whose videos went viral on the free site in 2015.

In August, YouTube invested in a variety of marketing efforts to support the release of CL’s first single and her tour. YouTube bought advertising in music publications, helped land her song on FM radio, and paid for a documentary and photo spread in The Fader magazine. It also produced several videos including a primer for new listeners called “Meet CL,” and another of a plane writing her name in the sky.

The 25-year-old Korean singer and rapper is one of several acts that YouTube has invested in this year as it seeks to help artists increase their fan bases and achieve success—which in turn can boost video and ad views on its site.

“We are continually discussing what we can do to further the amplification of the promotion we are providing,” said Vivien Lewit, global head of artist and label relations at YouTube, to the Wall Street Journal.

Since YouTube began its promotional efforts for CL in August, the number of subscribers to her YouTube channel has grown by 51,000, or 20%, while 99% of her videos’ views have come from non-subscribers.

YouTube, according to WSJ, has intensified its marketing initiative in this area, by meeting directly with major record companies and artist-management firms, to find artists to promote.

This marketing strategy of investing in those who invest in you is one other websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, could consider. It needn’t be restricted to media brands either. There are opportunities for fashion, retail, and other verticals to promote artists who can act reciprocally as brand ambassadors. The move would engender engagement between the users and brand, while also raising the artists’ profiles. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, a brand investing in its best performers can only create greater visibility for all.

Watch in 2017 for more websites to invest in brand ambassadors to bolster marketing efforts.

Image by Di?u Linh, shared under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic, modified by Cl;nintendods and shared under same license.

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