What YouTube creators know that brands don’t + Retail and the digital world + LMTD likes

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 42.

LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry.

Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

What YouTube creators know that brands don’t

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Why are YouTube‘s ‘native’ stars outperforming its brands? According to Observer Innovation, it’s all down to building an authentic identity, and using that identity to drive engagement and build a better audience.

The top 100 most subscribed YouTube channels shows off talent like PewDiePie (1st) and JennaMarbles (9th), while there’s not one single brand channel to be found. It seems no matter how much promotional and creative cash they can bring to the table, brands find themselves without the kind of organic engagement that gets you noticed in the online world.

And this engagement doesn’t just generate likes, comments and shares — it generates that holy grail of social activity: sales. Platforms like Patreon and Subbable have given content creators the means to make money from merchandise (among other things), and their audience seems more than happy to support them.

So what’s the lesson for brands? Don’t target an audience. Build one. If you look for quality engagement over just simple reach, you’ll be rewarded.

Movie buff and LMTD Executive Producer Andrew Richards shares his take: “It’s about being brand-supported rather than brand-forward. If audiences perceive a person to be real but who happens to be supported by advertising for brands or companies, then they are happy to watch, engage, follow. Brands are doing the supporting here. But when brands lead with themselves and try to create personalties to support them, then they are swimming in the wrong direction.”

Retail and the digital world

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The divide between customers’ expectations and retailers’ ability to deliver on them continues to widen, according to a new US survey from Deloitte Digital.

There are some staggering numbers here, but some of our favourites are:

– $2,200,000,000,000 in store sales ill be influenced by digital by the end of 2015 (nearly 64% of total sales: This should be a strong indicator of where retailers should be spending their marketing budget. Expect to see fewer posters advertising the new summer range in future…

– Shoppers are 29% more likely to make a purchase the same day when they use social media to help shop either before or during their trip: Is there a window here for ephemeral, location-based marketing? Could brands soon be Snapchatting those already in the store to suggest products to add to their trolley?

– 67% of consumers read product reviews during their path to instore purchase: it’s more important than ever to have customers on your side. Provide a quality product, enjoyable shopping experience or superior service and it could well lead to improved sales. Encourage customers to review your products — but be ready for to take the not-so-positive onboard as well!

For the full report, click here

LMTD likes

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LMTD‘s Arabic Content Manager Nicola Al-Assad is back…and he’s telling us to button up!

So, dimple.io seems to have somehow found a cure for Apple’s allergy to buttons (though this cure is only compatible with NFC-enabled Android devices…)

They use NFC and stickiness to create “Buttons Tailored by You”. Yes! They have brought back buttons as an ease of access option…

You can choose between either two or four-button stickers to be applied to the back of your gadget, and operating is as simple as installing their app and assigning a function to your buttons — whether you want to launch an app, open a link, or a host of other options. You can even take a pic without launching the camera app!

Interested? There’s more info here.

#ICYMI

Twitter is giving advertisers more user data…hoping for bigger spend

Millions of Facebook users have no idea they’re using the internet

Twitter now number 1 network for salespeople

Facebook brings ‘Click to Call’ to News Feed ads

KLM’s social customer service generates $25m/year

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