Recently while consuming my daily dosage of YouTube, one specific video was “recommended to me,” which I ended up attentively watching the entire one hour and 16 minute podcast by Lewis Howes. Jake Paul on Cracking YouTube and Building Influencers with Lewis Howes, is the podcast that engaged me and fuelled my interest in the behind-the-scenes of a social media influencer. Jake Paul is a 20 year old influencer, Disney Channel actor, comedian, and entrepreneur that has built (a continuously growing) social media empire. An Ohio-native, Jake Paul first found success in making 6-second videos on the then popular app, Vine (RIP). Garnering millions of followers, billions of loops, and brand deals, he then relocated to Los Angeles with his brother Logan Paul, who had also found similar success on Vine. At the present moment of writing this he has an audience of 5.5 million followers on Instagram, 1.17 million followers on Twitter, over 5 million likes on Facebook, and 3.9 million subscribers on YouTube. On top of this he has acted in a YouTube Red movie, written a movie with his brother titled Airplane Mode that featured all the biggest social media stars, released his book titled “You Gotta Want It,” became one of the first social media icons to be cast on a Disney show, Bizaardvark, and has built a company, Team 10 and Teamdom — which are even backed by investors. Now, at only 20 years old, he’s reached incredible success utilizing social media platforms and he’s just getting started.
What truly fascinates me about Jake Paul is the ways in which he’s innovating, figuring out ways to monetize social media, and “build a brand bigger than himself.” He’s strategic in the opportunities that he takes on that will set himself up for the future and I definitely think he’s playing a key role in shaping the future of media, paving the way of merging traditional media and success on social platforms. I think the way he’s building an entire network through business and converting and attracting a growing audience is incredibly brilliant.
Seeming his success has all started through online platforms, I will be analyzing his active social platforms and how it contributes to his growing success.
Jake Paul utilizes Instagram quite well. Being a visual platform he posts both photos and videos consistently while managing to get 400k+ likes on each post and thousands of comments. The photos are high quality and consistent
in their editing and visual appeal, him usually doing something active and surrounded by other social media people. In addition to photos Jake Paul further utilizes Instagram’s video feature by posting comedy skits, collaborating with (again) other influencers. Placing bold titles over the video thumbnails makes people click and watch the content, but although I despise that sense of humour and “Instagram comedy,” you have to give him credit because it works. It showcases his sense of humour and captivates and engages his target demographic — young millennial teenagers and the mainstream. There’s also a good balance between photos and videos on his Instagram. In addition, Jake Paul promotes his YouTube videos in his bio. Having a link to his newest videos engages both Instagram followers to support him on another platform and vice versa, while also diversifying his online portfolio. It’s also important to note that there’s hardly any sponsored ads selling teeth whitening kits or what have you which is actually refreshing considering how big his audience is. Even when there is an ad, it’s done tastefully and matches the overall feel of his feed, such as the MVMT watches post, for example.
If you’re active with the YouTube platform, you will notice the latest growing trend with daily vlogging. Many creators and influencers who have grown their online following initially through platforms such as Instagram or Vine are now dabbling in vlogging and participating within the YouTube space. Jake Paul is certainly no different. Within 4 months of focusing on YouTube and daily vlogging Jake Paul has gone from 200,000 subscribers to now over 3.9 MILLION subscribers. But, what is even more insane that showcases how strong his influence is is that each of his daily vlogs continuously reach over one million views. The ratio between the number of views he reaches on each video and subscribers is an impressive feat. Also not to mention, in his recent video “I PUT MY EX GIRLFRIENDS HOUSE UP FOR SALE (PRANK)” it is mentioned that his channel has been the fastest growing channel on YouTube for this month.
Jake Paul’s growing success on YouTube is certainly exposing him to a new audience, who may not have heard of him or followed him on his other popular social media platforms. All the titles of the videos are attention-grabbing, CLEARLY WRITTEN IN CAPS. They also aren’t necessarily clickbait because what is stated is definitely seen in the content of the videos. In addition, each videos’ description box has links to all of his other social media, merchandise, his book, Disney show, and to the previous vlog. Having this makes it much more easier for others who may not follow him on Instagram or Snapchat to easily add him and engage with everything else affiliated to him.
Content-wise, it’s easy to see why Jake Paul’s able to maintain over millions of views each day he posts a new video. His content is focused on having fun, hanging out with his friends in the “Team 10” mansion and pulling harmless jokes such as duct taping his brothers entire bedroom or putting a celebrities house up “for sale,” such as Drake’s Los Angeles home. Although the videos are fairly long in length, with some being over 20 minutes long, they’re engaging to watch because of Jake Paul’s personality and the overall positive attitude that’s consistent throughout each video. It’s easy to become engaged and feel connected to Jake because his positivity feels genuine and it’s infectious. He has a great attitude in everything that he does on his vlogs and this just results in easy to watch, friendly content — which, not to mention, further strengthens his brand and business. I’ll also be quite honest. I disliked his content on Vine but after recently stumbling on his YouTube videos it’s easy to see how he’s able to cultivate and hold such a huge fanbase where now I oddly (and sort of embarrassingly) find myself intrigued with the videos.
Facebook and Twitter
Aside from having over 5 million likes on Facebook and over 1 million followers on Twitter, it’s evident that Jake Paul doesn’t engage with his audience on these platforms as much as he does on Instagram and YouTube. Cross-promoting his YouTube videos onto Facebook and Twitter he is still able to get many shares, likes, and people tagging all of their friends. Not putting the same amount of effort as Instagram and YouTube I think is smart because of his target demographic and the dwindling popularity of Twitter. He’s continuously strengthening his audience on the platforms that younger generations are attached to but still being visible on Facebook and Twitter where he’s still having a huge reach (also probably using Hootsuite😉).
Now, moving along from these social media platforms, what I find truly unique about Jake Paul is the way he’s able to utilize his massive audience and online influence to build an entire network around him to essentially fill the holes between social media and traditional media space. The entrepreneurial drive in him is what is really separating himself from all the other influencers with similar massive followings in my opinion. An interesting point to add that really made me say “wow, so true” was how Jake Paul mentions on Lewis Howes’ podcast that landing an acting role on a Disney show has opened him to an entirely new demographic where kids 6–7 years old now know him and come up to him in public. Further mentioning that because these kids don’t have access to social media now, they are already aware of him and once they reach that age where they’ve become active online it’ll further increases his influence and reach. This type of foresight is a key indicator as to how Jake’s so successful in dominating the Internet and will only become even bigger.
Additionally, to further monetize social media and build his network he has created two businesses — Teamdom and Team 10, which are backed by investors such as Gary Vaynerchuk who’s fairly well known. Teamdom stands for “Teen Entertainment and Media Kingdom,” where they “strive to be at the forefront of entertaining and engaging the teen market. Teamdom is “a modern-day media conglomerate focused on building powerful brands, stories, celebrities, and businesses around teen entertainment and media.”
Under this, Team 10 has been established as sort-of a ‘social media label,’ which creates an entire network of influencers that is like a family. This is seen through the fact that the majority of creators signed to Team 10 all live in the same house (or mansion), and create content together. A network and business like this is incredibly smart. This allows for even more exposure to potential followers or fans, more influence and an even stronger brand and Jake is the catalyst behind all of this. Mentioning on the podcast, Jake Paul states that Team 10 was created because “influencers were too competitive and weren’t helping each other — this is dumb, everyone can gain from this” by partnering and working together. Having this web of influencers together with millions of followers, “the combined power of the entire label provides an unparalleled distribution stream for any major brand or company.” With the increasing power of social media and as marketers and businesses are beginning to realize this Jake Paul’s beginning to fill in all the spaces.
At only 20 years old Jake Paul has evidently reached incredible success through social media in combination with his go-getter, entrepreneurial mindset. He has a massive and engaged audience, captivating the entire teen demographic. He’s able to use his audience and influence to go into traditional media, which gives him mainstream credibility, while still building a powerful brand for the future. He transcends platforms and is putting in work now that will certainly pay off in the end with the rapidly changing landscape of media, online platforms, etc. Jake Paul’s building an entire social media empire and it’s exciting to see where it’ll take him. His positive attitude, business smarts, social media use, and work ethic are unquestionably inspirational.
Sidenote: I highly recommend watching or listening to the Lewis Howes podcast! It was interesting to learn more about the behind-the-scenes and mind of a huge social media powerhouse 🔥
extra sources used: