By Kevin Bobowski, CMO, Siteimprove
Spending time with my 12-year old son over Christmas, he introduced me to MrBeast, the world’s most successful YouTube star who is famous for his high-end programming and crazy antics. With videos costing $10,000 each to produce, creative contests and cold hard cash, MrBeast has built an audience of nearly 100 million subscribers and an empire worth $54 million.
My passive interest took on a more serious note over the past few months as my son and I immersed ourselves in everything MrBeast. From watching video content to ordering Beast Burgers to buying “merch,” I quickly developed genuine respect for what MrBeast has accomplished.
The more I watched him and engaged with his platform, the more I realized how much I could learn from him as a marketer. Behind his elaborate pranks and eye-popping giveaways lies a real genius and formula for marketing success. On the surface, this is an unlikely place for B2B marketers to be searching for best practices, but what ultimately drives the success of MrBeast success should not be overlooked. In fact, there are valuable takeaways – a routine of success – that every function and member of the marketing team can replicate.
Know your audience. Every marketer needs to know their audience to understand what they truly want and need. MrBeast knows his audience inside and out. He defined his Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), understands what motivates his customers and knows how to track viewership. Like the savviest product marketers, he is also skilled at leveraging big trends in the market. For example, when Squid Game was at the height of its popularity, he re-created the entire series, awarding the winner a $456,000 prize and racking up more than 225 million views.
Authenticity matters. Authenticity is key to building trust and connection with your audience. In fact, according to this white paper on Nosto, 88 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. When you watch MrBeast’s videos, there are some rough edges and a fair share of bloopers, but this only adds to his authentic approach. His tone and style is extremely genuine and engaging, which is likely why he’s close to amassing a loyal following of viewers and willing participants in his stunts.
Creativity counts. Many marketers are understandably focused on data and analytics, but may overlook the role of creativity. Perhaps now more than ever, creativity can help brands stand out in a crowded environment. The themes MrBeast chooses are definitely creative– some would even say insane – yet he sticks to what he knows will resonate with his audience. For example, he recreated the set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, featuring a chocolate waterfall and even a toilet made of cake. He also used this as an opportunity to launch his new chocolate business, Feastables, integrating his new product line into his video.
Spend to perform. The best marketers know that you need to spend money to make money, even in B2B. Marketers buy revenue and need to do so at the lowest cost. MrBeast is not afraid to spend mind-blowing amounts of money (there’s a reason he has a warehouse to hold $1 million in cash!). Whether it’s giving out extravagant cash prizes or new cars, he knows that his monetary investment will drive performance. He’s not afraid to push the limits with bigger prizes and promotions to expand his viewership and strengthen his brand. While these big events are expensive, he uses them as a brand halo to bring more people into his franchise and then uses his reveal channel to monetize. Even with his merchandise (aka “merch” or “swag”) he knows the more people that see it, the more brand awareness and demand he can build.
Leverage the distribution channel. In an ever-widening market, distribution channels are key to creating additional points of connectivity with your audience. MrBeast’s ghost-kitchen chain, MrBeast Burger, a delivery-only restaurant with 1,600 franchises throughout the country, is now one of the largest restaurants in the US. His Feastables line of chocolate bars earns an estimated half a million dollars per month in merch. He has done an impressive job in leveraging his many channels to expand to new audiences.
Tap the power of influencers. A recent study conducted by Content Marketing Institute found marketing campaigns that include social media influencers show a 10x increase in conversion rates. Not only has MrBeast proven himself to be a top influencer himself, he’s also leveraged relationships with other social media influencers, identifying ways to include them in his contests and programming to appeal to their audiences as well. In his Willy Wonka contest, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay judged a chocolate dessert making contest. MrBeast knew that Ramsay’s critical approach to judging would attract even more eyeballs to the content.
Performance with purpose. Modern audiences want to feel good about the brands and creators they support, and they expect marketers to deliver. MrBeast has figured out an effective way to infuse his work with purpose, balancing his wacky antics with a charitable spirit. He launched the MrBeast Philanthropy channel in 2020, which contributes 100 percent of its revenue to a warehouse that operates mobile food donations throughout eastern North Carolina. He also launched the #TeamTrees campaign, in which he set a goal to plant 20 million trees all over the world after raising $20 million in donations; and #TeamSeas, which aims to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean. He encourages his viewers to donate to different charities as well. In fact, my son came to me for the first time and said he wanted to give back because of MrBeast’s request.
At his core, MrBeast is a brilliant marketer who knows how to appeal to his audience, using authenticity, creativity, big money and philanthropy to build enduring loyalty and connectivity. While every marketer has a few tricks up their sleeves, MrBeast teaches us what it’s like to be a marketing magician, masterfully combining channels and functions to meet the needs of his growing audience.