by Matt Weik
If you are like me, you spend a fair amount of time on platforms like YouTube either looking for educational content or entertainment. I have a good number of channels that I follow religiously to get various information. What I’m finding lately is that many of these YouTube influences once they get a good number of subscribers turn into sell-outs. They will make up some of the dumbest reasons for you to buy from their “sponsor” and it can severely backfire when it’s blatant. Let me explain.
Screw the views… Show me the money!!!
Years ago, everything was about the views. YouTube influencers would do anything, including clickbait (which still takes place today), to get views to make money from advertisements placed on their videos. Now, these YouTube influencers are being approached by companies to talk about their brand and peddle their crap – and I mean CRAP.
YouTube influencers can make thousands of dollars per video for sponsored content based on how large their audience is. Those who have over a million subscribers can pretty much name their price and get paid. But here’s where things go sideways and I really want to call them out for what they are… SELL-OUTS.
There are a couple lifestyle/fashion/fitness influencers that I watch on YouTube who are extremely flashy with their possessions and lifestyle. They talk about their Lambos, big homes, and fancy watch collections. Bottom line, good for them if they are doing well. More power to them. However, some of these YouTube influencers are working with a very inexpensive watch company whose name contains four letters (put the puzzle pieces together). And this one YouTube influencer (we’ll just say he’s pretty Alpha – read between the lines) has been known for promoting this four-letter word watch brand. Now, these watches are extremely inexpensive and while he wants people to believe they are quality, they aren’t. This YouTube influencer has also made several videos talking about his Rolex collection and why he loves the Rolex brand.
This Alpha YouTube influencer recently released a video about how for several reasons he thinks this four-letter watch brand is BETTER than… ready for it? ROLEX. You’ve got to be f*ckin kidding me…
I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. He literally went through and talked about how this small watch brand had better heritage and a bunch of other BS. If you watch his other videos and look him up on social media, he’s wearing a Rolex in just about all of his photos unless it’s a paid promotional shot for Instagram where he’s showing off this small four-letter word brand. This caused me as well as many of his subscribers to call him out for being a sell-out and bashed him for lying to everyone to get a fat check from this small watch brand. Will this stop him from producing these types of content pieces in the future? Probably not as he’s making thousands per promotion. But it got me thinking about YouTube influencers, in general, these days and how many of them are sell-outs just so they can make a living publishing videos on the internet.
Do your own homework
My recent experience seeing a YouTube influencer brings up a very important point – we cannot judge a product these days off of someone’s opinion (especially not an influencer who is being paid to promote products rather than buying products with their own money and reviewing/commenting).
If you look on the internet, there are a lot of paid reviews on various websites to help a brand sell their products by paying someone to say good things about their products. There’s a large fitness website who has been caught doing this which caused brands to take things to the next level. Now, you have brands who have people buy the product and they will either reimburse the individual by giving them their money back or they will send them another tub or bottle of the product for free to compensate them for a good review. What this does is allows the individual to put up a review and have it say “verified buyer.” This makes it appear like the review is coming from someone who was interested in the product and bought it with their own money. It’s extremely shady if you ask me.
The best thing that you can do these days is taking what influencers (such as YouTube influencers) say with a grain of salt and do your own homework. You can no longer accept what they are saying as being valid or true due to their bias for being paid/compensated for their “review.”
You should look at various sources about a product. If it’s a supplement, do research on the actual ingredients rather than the product itself. Are the ingredients legit and are there studies that back up the claims? If not, you’re buying a bunch of hocus-pocus junk and you won’t see any results from its use.
The good news is that consumers are getting smarter today, but yet there are still cult followers who hang onto every word that YouTube influencers spit out and will drop good money on the dumbest items just because this influencer said how “amazing” it is. Don’t be fooled. Do your research and get your information from multiple sources before forming your own opinion on whether or not you want to move forward with making a purchase from the YouTube influencer’s recommendation or not.