Since the 18-to 24-year-old demographic relies heavily on the opinions of their peers, glossy, over-produced commercials aren’t going to click with YAYA consumers–they’re looking for authenticity. That’s why they’re more willing to purchase a pair of shoes based on their friends’ opinion as opposed to a sponsored ad on their newsfeed.

These ‘friends’ go beyond the traditional friend group marketers may have in mind as social media influencers, such as beauty bloggers or YouTube personalities, have more pull with this demographic than ever before. According to Business Marketplace, the millennial demographic values endorsements from influencers, whom they consider their peers. According to Shopify, 60 percent of the YAYA market would buy a product endorsed by a social media influencer, such as a YouTuber.  

For example, YouTube sensation Michelle Phan started her beauty YouTube channel in high school and has since gained 8 million subscribers and recently launched a new cosmetic line with L’Oreal. Or take Smosh, a web-based sketch comedy duo. Ian Hecox and Daniel Padilla make up Smosh who got their start back in 2003. Today they have 22 million subscribers and nearly 6 billion video views. Tubular Insights tells us, YouTubers like these resonate with an age group that watches less TV, but spends an average of 11 hours per week watching videos via social media.

That’s not to say throwing content on a popular social media platform will always work. It’s important to find the right social media influencer who aligns with your brand’s values, rather than choosing the influencer with the biggest follower base. Brands should ask themselves, “What makes this influencer a credible source for my brand?”

That’s why companies like Insightpool work to identify these people for you. They monitor conversations people are having about your product in the digital sphere, uncovering key thought leaders who are using products similar to yours to build and authentic relationship between an influencer and your brand.

So, marketers, we believe the Spice Girls said it best when they sang “now don’t go wasting my  precious time.” You can reach wannabe YAYA consumers effectively and quickly with just the right kind of influencer friends.

you tubers with the most subscribers

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Written by: Breckyn Crocker, Faith Vickery and Kylie Bixby