Cultural Trends

In part one of our three-part series, “Parenting on YouTube,” ZEFR Insights explored pregnancy trends on the platform. Here, in part two, we delve deeply into the daunting days of early parenting to find the best of the endless video trends from baby showers to rocker reviews.

parenting on youtube trends zefr data

Baby Shower Decorations and Hauls

Some brands are catching on to the enormous potential of getting in front of new parents who are using YouTube, the second-largest search engine in the world, to find reassuring advice to quell the anxiety that often comes with approaching parenthood. Pampers has smartly started creating advice videos, including helpful tips about how to liven up a baby shower.

The platform also boasts of thousands of YouTube creators that brands would be wise to align with, such as The Mom’s View, which boasts over 350 thousand subscribers who have powered the channel to 57 million views. Here are hosts Sharzad and Kayli celebrating “Baby Shower Week” with an episode devoted to the popular “haul” trend.

Ellie and Jared are a couple who have attracted quite a following of their own, utilizing a more personalized approach. Less like a television show and more like the intimate vlog style content that thrives best on YouTube, it’s the authenticity of this Baby Shower video that is driving views and channel subscriptions.

Nursery Tours

Another thing ZEFR Insights discovered while exploring “Parenting on YouTube” is the nursery tour trend. On its surface, these would appear to be nothing more than an extension of house tours, with an expecting couple, or new parents, showing off their design skills. But imagine the reassurance these videos provide other couples looking to YouTube for some generous tips and simply an idea of where to begin. Again, YouTube delivers.

If your budget allows for more, you will find plenty of “celebrity” interior designers to help you create a space for your newborn that will wow your friends and in-laws and new grandparents (if not your new baby, who is unable to recognize the colors you’ve so carefully selected).

If the notion of hiring an interior designer only adds to your anxiety, well, YouTube is here to help once again. The Project Nursery channel promises you can have that “trendy” nursery you’ve dreamed up and achieve it on a dime.

“What’s In My Diaper Bag?”

Again, smart brands know that YouTube is a search engine. When people use YouTube, they are looking for specific things: from a favorite musician’s newest release, to how-to videos, to any bit of advice they can find to solve a particular problem. New parents are some of the most active viewers on the platform and Johnson’s Baby has created a channel to help. Here, Johnson’s has not only recognized that “What’s In My Diaper Bag?” is a popular trend on YouTube, but enters into that space with a helpful video dispelling myths about what needs to go into that bag parents lug around everywhere.

Similar to nursery tours, there is also a wide range of styles and budgets that can appeal to new or expecting parents of all kinds. For example, you might learn that in addition to its famous line of designer luggage, Prada also makes diaper bags.

If you are a brand looking for authenticity and want to align with YouTube creators who happily disclose how they found and why they picked the items they love, here are Cullen and Katie talking about their new diaper bag made by Jeep.

Baby Tech

If you haven’t noticed, we live in an age of continuously emerging technology. This fact, of course, includes innovative new ways to comfort, monitor, and get your newborn to finally fall asleep. First, there is this rocker made by Mamaroo that can be set to mimic a car ride or even a tree swing, as well as provide ambient sounds to soothe a restless newborn and give tired moms a well-deserved rest.

There is also Sproutling, who, from the looks of this video, is seeking to catch the attention of tech-minded hip parents whose appetite for gadgets extends all the way to monitoring the newest member of their family with this amazing device.

Technology does not always have to involve electricity. Nearly universal among new parents is the complaint, “Will I ever sleep again?” Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit thinks it has a solution, even if it transforms your newborn into a tiny marshmallow person.

parenting on youtube data chart

The final edition of ZEFR Insights’ three-part series investigating “Parenting on YouTube” concludes next week with toddlers, strollers, car seats, first birthday parties, and more. In the meantime, you can revisit Part One here.

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Record Store Day was launched in 2007 to remind those of us galloping headlong down a path toward all things digital, that stores and communities and tangible things still mattered. The mission remains the same nearly 8 years later. However, contrary to a common assumption, the idea of Record Store Day is not inherently anti-technology. In fact, Record Store Day has harnessed the power of social media and the digital space in such effective ways, other organizations with similar goals should take heed.

“I’m glad you’ve noticed our social media,” Record Store Day co-founder and manager Carrie Colliton told ZEFR Insights. “We work very hard at it, and take pride in its organic growth. We definitely feel that supporting, and indeed running, a physical store does not preclude anyone from using technology in many ways.”

The Record Store Is Social

Digital, as it turns out, is not the enemy of analog. In fact, both can work together—as the runaway success of Record Store Day can attest—to achieve what might otherwise have been perceived as opposing forces. For the past 8 years, music lovers and vinyl collectors have lined up around street corners to get their hands on that one limited edition piece of music they crave. And many of them not only found out about where to find that desired record via social media, but hurried home to boast of their finds on YouTube to the tune of nearly 7 million views across the platform, resulting in the “haul” and “pickup” trends that have become staples of YouTube culture.

record store day vinyl haul on youtube

Record Store Day also has hundreds of thousands of followers across their international Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. High-volume hashtagging is a staple of the day, tipping off fellow record hounds on the hunt to what shops have the most coveted releases in stock and announcing special live events.

record store day social media

The Ambassador Spreads the Word

This year, everyone’s favorite former drummer of Nirvana, Dave Grohl, was named Record Store Day Ambassador. The honor is a favorite of musicians who get to do things such as making this video where they reminisce about their own relationship to the format while convincing a new generation about the importance of their local record shop.

“We definitely feel that supporting, and indeed running, a physical store does not preclude anyone from using technology in many ways.”

Former Record Store Day Ambassador Jack White (who is no stranger to using social media in interesting ways to generate interest in his music) went a step further, orchestrating and filming the recording of the World’s Fastest Record and posting the result to his label Third Man Records’ official YouTube channel during last year’s RSD.

The Conversation with RSD

Record Store Day is now an international event, occurring annually (along with a special Black Friday edition to entice holiday shoppers to their locally owned record shops, instead of the usual big box retailers) on the third Saturday of April. On the occasion of this year’s RSD, ZEFR Insights spoke with the UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association CEO and Record Store Day administrator Kim Bayley about the near-miraculous (and still growing) vinyl revival occurring in the midst of what is supposed to be the digital revolution.

ZEFR Insights: Was the original idea of Record Store Day simply to help a quickly disappearing cultural meeting place (the local record shop) to survive the sudden and disruptive rise of digital music delivery? Was there a moment you can recall that triggered the notion that an intervention was necessary?

Kim Bailey: In the years leading to the establishment of Record Store Day we had witnessed a gradual decline in the number of independent record shops. RSD was created to celebrate the culture of those left and to introduce a new generation of buyers to the joys of vinyl which they may not have been aware of before. More than 10 years after the introduction of mp3s and digital files, 50 percent of music is still consumed on physical formats.

“We have never considered that music buyers need to be pigeonholed into physical or digital customers.”

ZEFR: A lot of what makes Record Store Day so successful is the use of social media tools. There is a lot of activity on YouTube as well, with vinyl fans boasting about their hauls, or music aficionados offering previews and suggested picks. How do you reconcile this seeming contradiction, or is it a contradiction at all?

KB: We have never considered that music buyers need to be pigeonholed into physical or digital customers. Customers who buy both types of product and enjoy shopping in shops or buying online make use of both mediums. Digital has always served the market well in terms of immediacy and public relations whilst Record Store Day products capitalize on the joys of visiting indie retail, as well the tangibility and physicality of collecting vinyl.

ZEFR: Some in the music industry have responded to the rise in vinyl sales by calling it a “fad.” Is the vinyl revival a fad, or do you think it is saying something more about our culture and its response to the digitalization of all media?

KB: It is definitely saying something about culture. Lots of consumer research demonstrates that customers like the tangibility, physicality, and large format artwork which digital services simply cannot offer. Record Store Day only accounts for around 10 percent of the year’s vinyl sales so one would conclude that this is a bigger trend than just Record Store Day. We also know that young people are coming into the market and that will drive future sales. In 2014, UK sales of vinyl passed the 1 million mark for the first time since the Britpop era [the early to mid-‘90s], so it really doesn’t show any signs of abating.

Record Store Day 2015 is Saturday, April 18th. For more information about participating stores and a list of the day’s limited edition releases, visit:


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Thought Leadership

There is a rough consensus among brands and media franchises about what earned media is and means. It is frequently grouped with PR and word-of-mouth marketing, and it generates a kind of traction that is great for building communities around campaigns. But, when it comes to finding and targeting specific examples of earned media, can you recognize any or all of it on YouTube? Depending on your products and audiences, the way earned media is described, tagged, organized and found on YouTube is different. And, in order to leverage it properly, you need to know where to look first.

Earned media manifests in three major ways on YouTube. Within those categories are all sorts of videos.

Wholly Original Earned Media

For every culture on YouTube there are different terms and categories for the earned media about the brands in that space. Beauty and Lifestyle have particularly strong and established cultures on the platform, so the earned media in that space has more unique language and visual styles than other verticals. Their language is so developed that sometimes brands won’t even know that people are talking about them without actually being on trend.


OOTW (outfits of the week)

Whats in my…

First Impressions

Take a look at our in depth guide, Beyond Reviews, for more categories of earned media affecting brands.

Re-mixed Earned Media

For media companies (film, tv, music, sports, etc.) this is a more likely form of earned media. These often appear as reviews, or in vids. For a more comprehensive look at fanvidding, what it means, and kinds of vids out there, check out ZEFR’s Taxonomy of Fanvids.





There is an equally diverse and deep well of earned media featuring intellectual property. Remix culture occasionally means that one video on YouTube is earned media for more than one rights holder. Sometimes there are remixes made with commercials but not nearly as frequently.

Re-uploaded Earned Media

Not all brands are aware of this, or count this as earned media. When brands come across a re-uploaded video they paid to make, sometimes they assume it falls into owned or paid media but it also counts as earned media. It is not the video itself that distinguishes its owned or earned media status but the channel that uploaded it. Official videos on official channels are Owned Media. Official videos running in advertising slots are paid media. Official videos on unofficial or fan channels are earned media. Re-uploads introduce content to the fans of the fans, rather than the fans of the brands, thus potentially reaching new audiences. While embedded here, there might not be anything out of the ordinary with these videos but it is the channel, not the video that makes this a kind of earned media.

Old/Historic Content

Promotional/Anticipatory Content

For media franchises, re-uploads might directly compete with their bottom line, but, lucky for them, copyright is on their side. Sometimes, the digital distribution rights for commercial use are in question, but, if the content is desirable enough, fans will bypass any thought of rights issues to upload it on their own.

Key Takeaway

For a brand to understand its viewership, it is necessary to know as much as possible about the fans driving the focus of their audience. The best way to accomplish this is to learn about the communities surrounding the brand, and the many different kinds of earned media they create.


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