Influencer Marketing on YouTube

Updated: January 2021

Within the influencer marketing industry, YouTube has emerged as one of the top two social media platforms in 2021 along with Instagram. But, unlike Instagram, YouTube prevails against all others for long form content. This is extremely valuable for marketers wanting to place advertisements since the user naturally has their attention focused on a single piece of content for much longer when compared against scrolling through a never-ending feed of Instagram photos or tweets on Twitter. The depth of the audience attention and data is a large reason why YouTube influencers/creators were the initial and largest focus here at CreatorDB.

Beyond the form of the content on YouTube and the audience attention that comes as a result of it, advertiser's interest in YouTube can be much similar to Google's original interest in YouTube when Google decided to acquire the platform. Which was, YouTube is actually the second largest search engine in the world only behind Google itself which shows the influence and massive scale of the platform.

But getting started doing influencer marketing on YouTube can be daunting if you feel that you don't have anchoring or any previous experience. So our goal with this page was to answer some basic questions you may have about getting started:

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What to prepare for an influencer marketing campaign?

Influencer marketing campaigns have a lot of similarities to marketing campaigns through other channels that you may already be more familiar with. There are standard things to prepare such as KPIs, marketing copy, tracking links for your site, and the like.

Some things to prepare which are unique to influencer campaigns could be materials that can be sent for the influencer to voiceover in their videos or images for static content, special packaging for products which the influencer can open as part of the collaboration, an understanding of which influencers are relevant to your niche, a target list of influencers based on statistics, and an overall idea of your budget per influencer as well as the campaign as a whole.

How do I find the best influencers for my campaign?

I would be remiss if I did not mention CreatorDB as this is one of the specific problems we developed CreatorDB to solve. Though beyond ourselves, there are several influencer marketing platforms and discovery tools which can be incredibly helpful in this process. If you are seriously interested in beginning to do or upgrade your current YouTube influencer marketing process, it is worthwhile to invest in these tools.

It is possible but difficult and time consuming to identify the best possible creators for yourself but the following tips could assist in doing the process manually:

  • Identifying keywords relevant to your niche and doing searching through YouTube for top creators
  • See what creators your competitors have worked with
  • View relevant creators in a private browsing section to see related channels

Beyond these steps you are able to do manually, further research and work must be done. This includes calculating average views and engagement rates at least so you can see what would be payment for their videos. Also, many YouTubers will include a business contact email in the About section of their page, but YouTube hides these behind CAPTCHAs and limits users to only getting 5 emails per day.

How do I decide how much to pay the influencers?

We have full guide to YouTube CPM and making payments to influencers here. But in short, there a few key factors that can impact the cost to collaborate with an influencer on YouTube (each of these have their own mini-chapters in the aforementioned guide):

  • Content niche
  • Country of creator & audience
  • Integrated vs. dedicated content
  • Topical vs. evergreen content
  • Channel production quality
  • Product or service being advertised
  • Engagement rate
  • Agency involvement
  • Asking for exclusivity
  • Time of year
  • Longer term collaboration
  • Cross platform promotion
  • Celebrity status

How should I manage the actual campaign?

The initial contact to the influencer should be brief and intriguing. Also, in our own experience our response rates to initial outreach increase 30-50% when we include an actual quote for what we would be willing to pay for the particular type of collaboration we are proposing. The initial outreach should include at least the influencer's name for personalization and give a pitch of the thing that the influencer would be advertising.

After interest is confirmed from both parties a basic contract should be exchanged which outlines the expectations, details and payment for the proposed collaboration. After both parties have signed, the YouTuber should create the integration that will go later into one of his or her videos. That integration should be shared and approved by you, the advertiser, before it us uploaded publicly.

There are different schemes for how YouTubers are compensated and the one you prefer will change the logistics of actually paying the creator. But, to use a common example of an average view based 50/50 payment, 50% of the payment would be sent following contract signing with the remaining 50% sent after the integration is uploaded.