With the niche approach that digital influencers bring to their global platform, it is clear that the definition of “mainstream celebrity” has changed.
Especially for millennials and Gen Zers.
Variety Magazine conducted a side by side study that compared the positive Q-scores of top traditional and digital stars, a score that utilizes celebrity familiarity to further show respondent’s “favorite personalities”. Unfortunately, among all respondents, digital influencers still continue to be no match in the awareness category to upper echelon Hollywood starlets.
For digital influencers, overall awareness does not have to be an immediate goal. What matters most is the segment that they resonate with the most: age groups 6-12, 9-14, and 13-24 year olds. The non-traditional content that digital influencers produce attracts these young media message skeptics, plain and simple.
This group had an appeal to their youngest viewers that their overall Q-score doesn’t exactly reflect. What is clear by the Q-scores, is that those that are familiar with these digital influencers also consider them to be their favorite personalities and for many of these top influencers, they are equal to some well-known traditional celebrities. There are several digital celebrities that are finally reaching the same positive feedback as critically acclaimed actors such as Brie Larson and Jeremy Renner.
Unfortunately, a truly precise way to measure the effectiveness of digital influencer brand interaction is still in its infancy. As the industry climate shifted away from a traditional approach, we took a deeper look at the influencers that paved the way as a new breed of celebrity.
Based on the Variety Magazine study, here is a current list of 2016’s top six digital influencers who continue to use YouTube to leverage their brand image across multiple channels:
- Pentatonix: This five-member a cappella got their break on NBC’s The Sing-Off, which awarded them a recording deal with Sony Music. The group has amassed 14.5 million YouTube subscribers by covering iconic songs and adding their own unique flare that appeals to a younger audience. Riding off their victory at this year’s Grammys, Pentatonix is one of the most desired influencer groups for brands that want to portray youth and vibrance.
- Ryan Higa: This 26 year old comedian began his career as lip-synching YouTuber in high school. After experiencing difficulty with copyright issues, Higa has been able to transform his brand, owning an impressive 20 million YouTube subscribers. Now Higa spends most of his time in the parody K-pop band Boys Generally Asian, a group headlined by YouTube’s five most influential Asian YouTubers.
- Bethany Mota: This lifestyle vlogger loves to show off her fashion purchases and has been doing so via YouTube since she was just 19. Since then, Mota has started her own perfume and clothing line at Aeropostale, essentially saving the brand from extinction. Recently Mota broke the coveted 10 million subscriber threshold, unconventionally positioning her as a dominant force in the fashion market.
Please stay tuned for influencers 4-6, as these three have a knack for comedy that allows users to feel heightened connection to the content they create.
photo credit: www.marketingland.com