By Laura Garcia

YouTube isn’t just TV on a smaller screen – it’s a multimedia platform that creates a much more personal experience that enables targeted marketing to improve its aim, hitting the bullseye instead of the board. The viewing experience is controlled by the viewer who searches for content in which they are interested in. Marketers can then directly target viewers who match their products. Food marketers target foodies viewing food-related content, this is the bullseye.

Videos make you laugh, scream, cry, and question while inspiring, helping, and educating. Perhaps even more importantly, through features like comments and chats, they can bring you into the conversation, making you part of the community, or the “tribe.” As such, influencers are building ‘leadership’ on the back of earned credibility, trust, and forged relationships. With this comes increased online engagement, views, and action. 

Move Over Hollywood, There’s A New Power Player In Town

Google’s YouTube Stars Influence report states that videos created by the top 25 YouTube stars received three times as many views, twice as many actions, and 12 times as many comments when compared to traditional celebrity videos.

The report further states that six in 10 YouTube subscribers say that their purchases are more influenced by video creators than they are by TV or movie personalities, demonstrating that it is a relationship built on ‘personal connections’ that attract and retain followers, not just name recognition. Viewers are looking to creators to shape culture and set trends. Increased viewing time, improved aim, and a stronger purchasing influence–now that’s powerful marketing.

Here are a few of Singapore’s biggest YouTube power players:

JianHao Tan 

Corporate sponsors are hitting their mark via big-name influencers, and JianHao is a big name. There seems to be little doubt that the reigning king of YouTube in Singapore is the young silver- (or blue?) haired fox, JianHao Tan, with his always perfectly coiffed, side-swept ‘do, and his seemingly sincere teen-girl-heart-crushing smile. As of this writing, Jian Hao has amassed nearly 3 million YouTube subscribers with over a half-billion views.

JianHao posts funny skits, gives relationship advice, jokes about locals and knows how to deliver sympathetic and funny videos that land exactly where intended, pulling at teenage hearts and parents’ purse strings. At 25 years old, he’s both charming and endearing, and it’s making him serious bank with sponsorship deals with giants like Sketchers and Domino’s, and at his own online shop shophaohao.com, where teens can drop serious daddy coin. 

This past March, heartbroken Singaporean girls everywhere slammed bedroom doors and lamented in their diaries when a video of JianHao’s proposal to his influencer girlfriend, Debbie was posted. JianHao not only made his special girl one very happy woman but he also he brought his sponsors, Sketchers One Piece Sneakers, exactly what they paid for–viewers. The proposal amassed a mammoth 1.7 million views in under 3 days.

Wah!Banana

Produce a channel that gains a large following and then use your success to promote your services–it’s a brilliant idea. Wah! Banana is the brainchild of co-founders Xiong Lingyi and Jason Hau who use Wah! Banana’s popularity to promote their advertising, digital marketing, and content creation services.

These guys are seriously funny, and it’s bringing in some serious numbers. Their aim is to bring a smile to everyone’s face. With over 1.1 million subscribers and 300 million views since joining in September 2012, it appears they’re doing a pretty good job of it. Their videos make light of Singaporean life and everyday issues, cracking jokes about just about everyone and landing a staggering 11 million views on videos with relatable content like “Morning Routine: Boys vs Girls” and “Mother vs Mother”.

Millennials of Singapore

While corporations and small businesses alike are utilising the power of YouTube influencers to reach target audiences across the globe, it’s not all about making money. The reach and popularity of this ‘connection’ platform are also making waves in the public services sector as well.

While they currently have only 138,277 subscribers and a total of 17 million views, Millennials of Singapore may not yet have the impressive numbers to woo in the big sponsorships, but we don’t think it will be long. Awarded Google’s number-one spot as “YouTube’s Top Rising Creators in Singapore” for 2018, they simply can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. These guys are pumping out content, focused on influencing mindsets rather than the wallets of millennial Singaporeans. 

This is “real talk” for the up-and-coming generations, and with videos with provocative titles such as “Does Size Matter?” with nearly 1.5 million views, and “Dirty Talk” with over 1 million views, Millennials of Singapore isn’t pulling any punches as they disseminate meaningful and timely content. And the viewers are showing up for it. These are deep conversations that won’t get aired on TV–these are conversations normally reserved for best friends and for people you trust. 

The content covers such topics as unplanned pregnancy, smoking, plastic surgery, insecurities, and relationships. They are putting it all out there, no holds barred. And if you check out their website, millennialsofsg.com you’ll find content that goes a little deeper still with articles like Fighting For Control—How I Dealt With 28 Personalities Within Me and Dealing With Cancer By Running And Being Called ‘Chao Keng’ For It

These are important conversations, a good use of influence, and a great use of a medium that allows creators not only into their audiences’ living rooms as TV was once so proud to do, it also reaches Singaporeans in their everyday lives with everyday content. And with strong content like this, these influencers have the power to work their way into the minds and hearts of their viewers, influencing their ideas, morals, decisions, and, in some part, moulding a generation of Singaporeans and the future of Singapore. 

Singapore’s YouTube Influencers are a powerful bunch, creating brands and content that educates, entertains, and connects with its audience. They influence not only how we spend our dollars, but how we spend our time and our lives, and in some part who we will be tomorrow. Now, that is influence.

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