Chances are you have seen the video with a couple of friends “dabbing” during The Olympic Games at various events. But who’s the guy behind the mega-viral video? That would be Logan Paul, an Internet content creator and brand influencer.
Paul, who describes himself as “pretty crazy,” started creating videos when he was 10 years old. From the get-go, creating aesthetic on screen was exhilarating for Paul. However, it took quite a while for his career as an Internet content creator to launch. At age 18, Logan only had 4,000 subscribers. The break-through came when the six-minute video platform, Vine launched. Paul found his niche on Vine as a “crazy college kid from Ohio.” After around a year, a video compilation of all his six-second Vines went viral and Hollywood came knocking on his door.
Paul moved to Hollywood and got a manager for his brand, though he admits he had no idea what was going on when he first started going viral. Today, he says his work is very professional and he barely sleeps because he works so much on his social media platforms. Along with his Vine account, he has around 850,000 subscribers on YouTube, almost 13 million likes on Facebook, 6.5 million followers on Instagram and one million followers on Instagram where he shares his content.
Marketers have dubbed Paul, like many celebrities as an influencer. He creates videos and posts partnered with many different brands like Haines and Aereopostale. Instead of going to brands, he has brands come to him to pitch partnership ideas for social media. He choses his brands that align with his goals and his voice. Obviously, if you’ve ever seen one of Paul’s videos, a conservative brand would not be the right fit. Paul tends to choose brands that are fun and risky, just like his personality. He says that the brand has to trust him and let him do his thing, and in return they will get the views and exposure. Haines is the favorite brand Paul has gotten to work with because he was able to express himself in his own way for the brand. “They let me do whatever I wanted. I got to ride a bull!” says Paul.
Recently, social media platforms have places more limitations on brands partnering with content creators. For example, Logan says you have to use the hashtags #ad and #sponsor in their posts. On Facebook, you have to disclose within the first five seconds that a video is in partnership with a brand. Logan says this has made it more difficult to create organic content, but he gets around the challenges.
But why do brands enjoy pairing with content creators like Paul? Ketchum’s EVP of Entertainment, Marcus Petezell, says brands are asking for real engagement and real narratives and they want to be part of the conversation. It’s not always an easy formula to do, but picking content creators like Paul or actresses like Meg Ryan help. Meg Ryan, who started acting in commercials in college, says there is a radical change in branding today. In the 1980s, some actresses would fight for positions as a brand spokesperson. Today, actors and content creators, like Paul, can partner with brands more often on social media platforms because of social’s accessibility to the market.