There is growing niche within the influencer marketing space that is seeing early adopters command millions of pounds of budget and savvy retailers maximise the initial rush of interest – influencer marketing on YouTube.

A new report, ‘Analysis: YouTube’s Influencer Marketing Phenomenon’ carried out by Shorr Packaging Corr says the two staples of this emerging marketing practise are unboxing and haul videos. Put simply, YouTube stars filming themselves unboxing products they have been sent or showing off the results of a huge shopping spree, often in a particular store.


Unlike traditional influencer marketing which has largely been confined to macro and micro influencers thus far, YouTube marketing adds a third option, according to the analysis; the nano influencer. A macro influencer is classed as someone with one million or more channel subscribers, a micro has 10,000 + subscribers and a nano influencer between 1,000 and 10,000 subscribers.

Most popular haul video categories

There’s no denying that video is an incredibly powerful content format for brands thanks in no small part to voracious consumer appetite for the medium. According to HubSpot figures:

  • 95% of people have watched a video to find out more about a product or service
  • 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands
  • 76% of marketers say video has helped them increase sales
  • 81% of consumers have been convinced to buy a product after watching a video

As a brand, the problem often lies in creating new and interesting video content – but the emergence of influencer marketing on YouTube may hold the answer to this. The Analysis: YouTube’s Influencer Marketing Phenomenon report says haul videos are thriving. Amongst this, there is a huge influencer and audience appetite for showcasing a huge range of products – some of which may surprise you.

The report says that within this area of influencer video content, clothing forms the largest chunk of the category with 59% of all haul videos showcasing new apparel. General discount goods (items purchased from discount stores) form 11%, while beauty and makeup accounts for 9%. Home groceries, toys, pet products and even books also feature.

Most popular unbox video categories

It seems that YouTube viewers love an unboxing video – where an influencer unwraps a box on camera and shows its content. Toys rule in this category, accounting for 29% of all content produced, followed by phones and accessories at 16%.  Computers, games, cameras, men’s watches, trainers and even car parts all feature.

In terms of views, the majority of unboxing videos will accrue anything from 100 to 10,000 video views, while 13% will accumulate 10,000 – 100,000.

YouTube Influencer Marketing and Brands

As a brand, the emergence of this type of video and its unexpected popularity provide a number of interesting possibilities. It relieves a lot of creative pressure and frees up content creation resources, given that the extent of brand requirement is simply to ship a product to an influencer. This type of video also has an authentic feel, especially when shared by the nano and micro influencer. The key to success, as with any influencer activity, is to ensure the right influencers are selected. Judging audience can be tougher on YouTube than other channels such as Instagram but the rewards for getting it right at this early stage include a large audience share, very targeted views, little creative investment and the conversion power of video.

View the full infographic and analysis here.