/ Startup

Million Pound kid-marketers: How YouTube celebs are taking on TV with charm, games & gaffs

"With millennials spending more and more of their time on YouTube and on their smartphones, for 21-year-old Timothy Armoo, the shift away from TV ads looks certain."

This spring, Oliver Smith interviewed Tim about our recent Gojimo campaign, the rise of the social media influencer, and why video-based platforms are best for influencer marketing.


(Originally written by Oliver Smith for The Memo on April 26, 2016)

Fanbytes Team
Fanbytes' CTO Mitchell Fasanya, CEO Timothy Armoo (centre) and COO Ambrose Cooke.

SUMMARY
You've probably never heard of 'influencer marketing', but one young entrepreneur has used it to build a £1m business.

We’re all watching more YouTube than ever before, but today simple clips and videos are being used to push apps to the top of the download charts, leading to thousands of pounds in sales and helping companies find new customers.

Forget those annoying click-to-skip video ads, influencer marketing is a new type of advertising where YouTubers, Tweeters and Instagram users promote products or services to their vast fan-bases, and it’s booming.

Read more: What the heck is… influencer marketing

Global brands like Disney, Nike and Asos are all pouring money into this new form of advertising, in search of that young millennial audience who don’t watch TV, but spend all their time on YouTube.

At 21-years-old, Timothy Armoo is the CEO of his third business, Fanbytes, which is making waves in the world of influencer marketing.

Here’s an example of one of Fanbytes campaigns where a YouTuber met star footballer Ronaldinho for a kick-around to promote his swegways and hoverboards, the video has nearly 2m views to date:

Armoo’s Fanbytes, at just 15 months old, is on-track to have a turnover of more than £1m this year having built relationships with global companies like GoPro, Adidas and New Look.

We sat down with Armoo to find out just how Fanbytes is taking on the world of influencer marketing…

Oliver Smith: So how effective is this kind of marketing?

Timothy Armoo: We recently did a 2-day campaign with an education app called Gojimo and, along with a larger marketing campaign, helped them rise to the No.3 best app in education on the App Store.

Read more: Gojimo founder George Burgess on why our education system needs to smarten up with big data

Gojimo1

Gojimo wanted to target 16 to 18-year-olds, so we put them on our platform and connected them to influencers with that audience.

The influencers did a Gojimo challenge called Show Your Smarts where they took a random topic on the app, revised A-Level history for example, and showed this to their fanbase.

Then they asked their fans to download Gojimo and share their high scores. The winner got a Skype call with them to have a chat about student life.

That level of interaction and engagement between basically an ad and a consumer, that is something you cannot get over Facebook or Google because those things look like ads.

OS: Who can you target?

TA:In our experience, success has been in the 13 to 30-year-old audience – that’s probably because our team is fairly young. We know how to target that young audience.

That’s not to say that influencer marketing can’t be used to target a 40-year-old mum.

You work with YouTubers, but what about Facebook?

TA:We have a network of influencers on Facebook, but the interesting thing about Facebook is that the 13 to 30 audience, and especially with the under 21s, Facebook just doesn’t work well in engaging with them.

They are just spending all their time on video platforms like YouTube, Snapchat and increasingly Twitter video is becoming quite important as well.

That might change, but for now we’re using Facebook very sparsely.

Gemma Howe


So will influencer marketing on YouTube and Snapchat one day replace traditional TV advertising?

The Walt Disney Company, one of the largest entertainment groups in the world, seems to think so. Disney bought one of the leading influencer marketing agencies, Maker Studios, for $950m in 2014, a move that validated the influencer marketing industry.

With millennials spending more and more of their time on YouTube and on their smartphones, for 21-year-old Timothy Armoo, the shift away from TV ads looks certain.

UPDATE 2016-04-28 – Timothy Armoo’s comments have been amended to reflect the fact that Gojimo worked with Fanbytes as part of a larger multi-faceted marketing campaign.