Everyone uses YouTube.
It’s easy to say that some social media platforms are generational. Just look in the social media landscape and you’ll see that Gen X and Boomers are the keepers of Facebook, while Instagram is owned by the Millennials, and TikTok has been taken over by Gen Z youth.
What is the one content platform that they all use?
With over 1 billion hours of video watched each day, it holds a premium spot as one of the top 3 search engines in the entire world.
And it could be the channel that can take your brand from lackadaisical to lucrative if you started working with YouTube influencers.
Want to learn how?
Here’s the Ultimate YouTube Influencer Marketing Guide
What is YouTube influencer marketing?
YouTube influencer marketing is when brands partner with YouTube creators that have substantial followings to promote their products or services to their audience.
YouTube influencer marketing is like all other influencer marketing except, these influencers focus on longer-form content. These influencers have built a following over time by creating content about their specific topic/niche and gaining subscribers that like, engage, and promote that content.
YouTube influencer audiences are invested in the creator and the brands that they associate with. That’s why when you look in the comments of most YouTube videos, subscribers are always putting positive messages.
One thing you need to know about YouTube influencers is that they are a little different from Instagram and TikTok influencers when it comes to content. Here’s why:
YouTube is more in-depth than IG and TT.
Both of those platforms prioritize short-form videos which only allows users to see a certain amount of an influencer. On YouTube, influencers are sharing longer videos that often contain more stories and anecdotes that develop a deeper connection with the audience.
YouTube is a storytelling platform.
While Instagram and TikTok are great places to tell stories, they are also used to share straightforward content that is easy and digestible and often promotional. YouTube content—not all of it, but a lot—is meant to educate, inspire, or entertain. Audiences are there to invest more than 30 seconds or a minute of their time to watch a video.
YouTube has influencer experts.
Again this doesn’t go for all influencers on YouTube, but many are considered experts in their niche. As the second most searched platform on the internet behind Google, YouTube is the hub for endless information, including some of the most knowledgeable individuals about the most micro subjects on the planet. Sure, you can find these folks on TikTok and Instagram sometimes, but YouTube is filled with them! Not to mention YouTube has been around longer than both platforms.
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How does YouTube influencer marketing work?
We don’t need to give you the birds and the bees talk about influencer marketing. If you are looking for that, click right here.
Just like all influencer marketing channels, YouTube influencers have brands that approach them to partner. These brands vary, but most of the time they are related to the subject or niche that the influencer focuses on.
A great example of this is Casey Neistat’s video with Nike to promote their 2012 fuel band, which went on to become a 32-million-view video. Which you should definitely watch if you’re looking for some mid-day inspiration.
Anyway, once a brand has signed a deal with an influencer, they then go and create video content that is to be shared on their own YouTube channel promoting the brand's products or services. Sometimes these are in-video advertisements that cut away from the main video. Other times the influencer uses the product in the video and talks about it.
Sidenote: influencer partnerships is that YouTube requires that creators disclose if a video is sponsored.
While Instagram and TikTok influencers work on campaigns with brands that include multiple posts and a range of content, YouTube influencers usually work on one video promoting a product or service that is long-form.
Many times brands will find influencers that produce consistent content, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly and sponsor a series of videos that the influencer makes. You see this often with health influencers and food influencers.
Why use YouTube influencers?
YouTube influencers convert the highest.
27% of people said that YouTube influencers led them to purchase a product compared to Instagram (25%) and TikTok (15%)
YouTube influencers have an audience that follows them closely and listens when they speak. If you are partnering with them to promote a new product coming out, chances are if they mention it, you’re going to see an impact.
Because TikTok and Instagram are quick-hit content, audiences aren’t always sold when a product is promoted, but when a YouTube influencer features a full video about a product on their channel, it automatically is going to peak the interest of their followers.
YouTube influencers have diverse audiences.
Because YouTube is so deeply tied to Google and gets over 1.7 billion monthly visitors, influencers have a very diverse audience base. More traffic leads to more subscribers, more subscribers lead to more exposure, growth, and conversions. It’s really simple math when you think about it.
Many influencers have followers all over the world who are interested in their specific niche. If you want to target the widest range of people who would be interested in your product, an influencer could help you do it on YouTube.
Influencers reach deep into the corners of a niche and often overlap with other subcategories, it’s easy for them to attract people to your brand that would have never seen it otherwise.
YouTube influencers are not platform-bound.
Making YouTube content is no easy task—it’s not like an Instagram story or TikTok dance that can be filmed on the spot and ready in less than 30 minutes. As such the effort that goes into YouTube videos accomplishes two things: better content quality and the opportunity for repurposing.
Most YouTube influencers have other social media channels—99% to be exact. So it would make sense that they could repurpose the content they already made on YouTube and cut it into Instagram Reels and TikTok clips, right?
On the other hand, if you worked with an Instagram or TikTok-specific influencer, they might make content that is only 30-seconds long. This is still helpful, but it now makes that content a single-use piece of content rather than a dual purpose.
What kinds of YouTube influencer campaigns exist?
Youtube is a great platform to start building brand awareness and here’s why:
Youtube influencers have wide audiences. If you’re looking to expand your brand's reach into new smaller niches within your marketing, YouTube influencers are going to help you find them and bring them into your ecosystem.
People who are searching “how to grow a pumpkin in the backyard” could find videos from an influencer who focuses exclusively on DIY gardening and another who is a professional farmer at a pumpkin patch—both of which cover the same topic but have very different audiences.
The point is that awareness spreads on YouTube faster than lice in elementary school so if you want to win on the platform influencers are the ones who can make it happen.
Here are 3 types of brand awareness campaigns you could run with a YouTube Influencer:
Sponsored content is simple. You (the brand) collaborate with an influencer to create content (posts, videos, pictures, etc) that is shared on their (the influencer) channel.
In the case of YouTube influencers, sponsored content usually shows itself as a cut away from the main video to promote the product or service.
Just watch the first two minutes of this video from mega YouTube influencer Strictly Dumpling and you’ll see a perfect example of sponsored content with the brand Tokyo Treats.
Contests & Giveaways
We all have seen giveaway content or two, but YouTube influencers make them better. How you may ask? Consider this, influencers have fans, and when you tie that influencer to a brand, those fans are going to go wild for it no matter what because their favorite influencer is promoting it.
By partnering with an influencer for a contest or giveaway, you automatically bring their fans into the fold and increase the overall awareness of your brand to new potential customers.
Let’s say you were releasing a new product this week and you wanted to promote it to the most people possible. Would you rather stand outside your house with a sign or in the middle of Times square with a megaphone? The answer should be easy.
YouTube influencers are your megaphone, shouting your brand name to the ends of the platform, telling subscribers and searchers all about why your new product is the best in the game.
Influencers on YouTube have reach and when it comes to getting your product into the hands of the most people possible, their good word can get you there.
Want help running a successful YouTube influencer campaign?
There you have it, the Ultimate YouTube Influencer Marketing Guide. The basics are there for you to get started on your first YouTube influencer campaign!
If all that sounds great, but you just don’t have the time to manage all the grunt work of running a badass YouTube campaign, allow us to do it for you.
We’ve helped hundreds of brands launch successful influencer marketing campaigns on YouTube, and are eager to help you start winning today. Click right here to schedule a call with our team and we’ll be in touch!