Video content makes up 80 percent of the internet, and streaming services have replaced broadcast television for many viewers. Though many knew all the ad jingles back in the day, consumers now find ads intrusive. Close to 48 percent of Gen Zs and 46 percent of Millennials pay subscription fees to avoid ads—and that painful five seconds before you can skip them.
As marketing budgets tighten, advertisers turn to performance-based strategies for a better return on investment (ROI). Enter YouTube influencer marketing: a perfect blend of promotional material and authentic storytelling that captivates audiences. Instead of doubling down on YouTube ads viewers can’t wait to skip, YouTube influencers engage customers on their terms.
The right influencers for your brand open new revenue opportunities. But you need to nurture strong relationships with influencers for maximum results.
YouTube influencers changed the marketing game
Digital content consumption is at an all-time high, with YouTube racking up one billion hours of daily views. Compared to television viewers, 80 percent of people who stream videos online recall what they’ve watched, and half take action.
When working with influencers, follower count isn’t everything. YouTuber creators build brand familiarity four times more than celebrities. This demonstrates the value of authenticity and transparency to consumers. YouTube creators also cover various topics and niches worldwide, meaning you can target almost anyone.
What’s more, many creators professionally produce eye-catching content. Brands can use content to promote their products in creative ways. Collaborating with a YouTuber also helps brands hit many marketing objectives.
Amplify your reach through YouTube
YouTube influencers put your brand in front of a potential 87 billion monthly visits. These partnerships make your product or service more visible to users because many turn to trusted online sources to vet purchases. Helpful video content is shared, linked to, and referenced more often.
Build trust and credibility with viewers
Watch your favorite YouTubers to notice a trend. They encourage viewers to click every video’s “like” and “subscribe” buttons. These actions increase their viewership, which builds their trust factor. When you partner with YouTubers with a favorable following, you get access to a warm audience primed to pay attention.
Save resources and create evergreen content
YouTube affiliate campaigns are often more cost-effective than traditional marketing—especially with creators who film and edit their content. Unlike standard ads that only appear for the time you run them, evergreen content stays online until the content owner removes it.
Get to know your customers better
Target distinct audience segments and access campaign data that teach you more about your existing and potential customers—for current and future campaigns. Find out who’s:
- Interacting with your brand
- Buying from you
- Searching for your products
For an in-depth overview of influencer marketing, from its fundamentals to best practices, explore the Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing.
Practical steps for working with YouTube influencers
Before you partner with influencers, you should establish your campaign goals: who you want to target, what success looks like to you, and what returns you expect. Next, use these six tips to find your perfect influencer match.
1. Search and contact the right YouTube influencers
Partnerships should make sense to your brand. Search keywords and hashtags related to your brand, product, or industry to find videos with potential influencer partners. YouTube’s “Explore” tab has plenty of trending videos and influencers with a larger following. Find influencers that’ll speak to your audience by filtering topics in your vertical.
YouTube itself isn’t the only way to find partners. Use trusted online publications and blogs to find curated influencer lists. Next, research brand and creator events in your area to make in-person connections with potential partners. Finally, use a creator marketplace like impact.com or an agency to pair you with vetted influencers.
2. Consider smaller-scale YouTube influencers
Big names may draw large crowds online, but views don’t necessarily translate into action. There are different benefits to working with micro-influencers (10k-50k followers) including:
- A more engaged following
- A cost-effective influencer compensation
- A greater collaborative input
3. Assign unique promo codes to your partners
Promo codes are one of the most popular ways to boost and track campaign performance. You can manage codes easily through marketing and affiliate automation software. Promo codes are also perfect for limited-time offers and help you identify the promoter—compensating for driving sales to your site.
Influencers can share these codes in their video descriptions or mention them verbally in the video to highlight the deal.
4. Skip tracking links
Once an influencer marketing standard, tracking links are now less than desirable due to a data-intrusive nature. Avoid tracking links that redirect your customers through a hidden link to protect their data privacy. Instead, foster their trust, and create better user experiences. Instead, use direct tracking links to send customers to your site without an affiliate link.
5. Offer custom tracking domains
Promo codes work well as part of an effective influencer marketing strategy, but if you’re working with big YouTubers, there’s value in personalizing your efforts. Use custom tracking domains to configure a unique vanity URL for each influencer partner. These URLs are often a subdomain on your website, for example: “YouTubeStar.YourDomain.com.”
Custom tracking domains also help you measure video performance including views and engagement, and can help you adjust your strategy to maximize impact. Custom domains also boost credibility and help influencers in their promotional efforts.
6. Collaborate on original and genuine YouTube content
As YouTube grows, so do the new and unique promotional opportunities. It’s essential to stay ahead of video trends and collaborate with your YouTube influencer partner. After all, they’re experts at producing creative content and know exactly what will resonate with viewers. There are three main types of YouTube influencer campaigns:
- Product placement showcasing products in an obvious way
- Sponsored mentions like advertorials or short endorsements in the creator’s words
- Dedicated video for your product or service created for the target audience
Promotional video ideas to engage demographics:
Product reviews, hauls, and unboxing campaigns
These videos have become increasingly popular to get the anticipated ‘first look’ and educate viewers about a product before purchase. Consumers can get to know the product, learn about its features, and even get tips on how to use it. It’s also a great way to demonstrate the quality and features of products in a compelling, honest, and entertaining way.
Day in the life vlogs
YouTubers vlogging their routines gives viewers a glimpse into their daily lives. These video journals are charming and genuine. It’s also a good spot for YouTube influencers to promote things they use in everyday life.
A creator explaining how to use your product is a great way to avoid the regular advertising script. Tutorials are a novel way to merge promotional material with information that the viewer wants to know.
Go further with influencer automation tools
Finding and managing influencers can be a time-consuming process for most. Consider a partnership platform like impact.com to automate the entire life cycle from influencer engagement to recruitment, tracking performance, and more.
Check out more influencer content below:
- Discover untold treasures in 7 successful influencer stories [ebook]
- Influencer marketing trends to watch in 2023 [blog]
- Ultimate guide to influencer marketing [ebook]
- How the right content creator marketplace can supercharge your campaigns [blog]
- 5 steps to unite influencers with your marketing campaign: insights from WARC and impact.com’s research report [blog]