Influencer Marketing on YouTube – Introduction to the Series
Influencer marketing continues to be one of 2016’s biggest marketing trends, and 2017 sees no signs of that slowing down. As more and more brands clamour to get onboard the influencer marketing train, we’re seeing both bigger budgets and more team members being allocated to influencer marketing campaigns from Fortune 500 brands, all the way down to new startups. No one wants to be left out.
And the results don’t lie. So much so that startups in the B2C market, which began the year dabbling in influencer marketing, are closing the year by building their own in-house influencer marketing teams to deal exclusively with brand partnerships and influencer collaborations.
Agencies, in the meantime, have seen many of their clients requesting a larger focus on influencer marketing for 2017, resulting in even the most traditional media agencies adding new influencer marketing divisions in order to keep up with the demands of their clients and the changing market.
These movements in the industry help to further solidify the idea that influencer marketing is no longer just a ‘trend’. It’s clear that influencer marketing is now a firm staple in many marketers’ set of strategies.
If you’re one of the many people working for an agency or brand who has increased influencer marketing efforts recently, then this series is aimed at you. It can be a steep learning curve if you’re entering the area for the first time, so we’ve designed this blog series to get you up to speed on all things influencer marketing; we’ve no doubt you’ll be running your own influencer campaign in no time.
From Influencer Discovery and Analysis, Outreach and Negotiations, to Campaign Execution and Reporting, we want to pull back the curtain and show you everything it takes to run a successful campaign with influencers.
Part 1. Influencer Discovery
By the time you reach the Influencer Discovery stage, you should have already defined your campaign goals, the networks you want to focus on and have a budget in place. We won’t go into those details right now.
A successful influencer marketing campaign depends heavily on finding the right influencers for your brand. This process has a few steps (searching, analysing, comparing and selecting) and can take some time, but it’s worth getting right from the get-go. A well matched brand and influencer in an excellently-executed campaign can have huge multiplying effects on its results.
How to Search for YouTube Influencers
YouTube is an excellent platform for reaching very targeted audiences for your brand. However finding these YouTube influencers who have direct access to your target audience can seem like a daunting challenge when you don’t know where to begin, but it’s not as hard as it may first appear. Fortunately for you, the world is full of micro-influencers who have highly engaged audiences and are rapidly growing their follower-base. And these content creators are eagerly looking for brands to partner with.
One of the major mistakes that newcomers make in influencer marketing, is assuming that they can get huge YouTube influencers to work on their relatively small campaign. It’s important to remember that YouTube influencers who reach millions of people with their videos have a right to charge just as much as traditional media which also reaches millions of viewers and potential consumers. Their influence is just as powerful, if not more powerful than traditional advertising methods, as they can engage and speak directly with viewers. However, for many smaller brands and campaigns, their high costs make collaborations an impossibility.
Instead look to micro-influencers for the value and ROI they can bring to your campaign. Find out how we define micro-influencers here. Teaming up with highly engaging micro-influencers is a great way to break into the influencer marketing world, without the huge financial investment often needed to work with more established influencers.
Micro-influencers are easily overlooked, but they can often be more open to working with brands, more flexible, produce great quality content at a fraction of the cost, and have more reasonable rates, as they try and get established with brands.
Going to YouTube’s homepage to try and find these types of creators is extremely difficult and time-consuming. You can spend hours trying to find the channels that hit the sweet spot – those which are growing fast, have an established and engaged audience, and consistently post great content. But looking at any channel from YouTube’s site, its almost impossible to tell if it meets these requisites.
The best option is to use a YouTube influencer search engine like Makrwatch, which allows you to filter by views per video, engagement rate, subscribers and even an estimated price that can expect to pay. Using a YouTuber search engine is the easiest way to find this kind of valuable information and quickly analyse which YouTubers will provide the most value to your brand. But what exactly should you be looking for in an influencer?
How to Analyse Influencers
Analysing influencers is one of the most important parts of the job for a marketer running an influencer campaign. Weighing up the pros and cons of subscribers versus views, engagement vs likes and dislikes, and content quality vs. reach, it can be difficult to know which to prioritize for your campaign. An ideal influencer should perform well on more than a couple of these metrics, but when it comes to narrowing down what is most important for your brand, you need to take your campaigns’ goal into account and go from there.
When looking for good YouTube influencers, here are some handy things to look out for:
- What is their channel about – does it cover a range of topics, or focuses strongly on just one?
- What is the channels’ viewership demographics?
- How often does the YouTuber post – daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? Are they consistent?
- How many views do they get on average per video – is it consistent?
- How much engagement do their videos get on average? Is this also consistent?
- Have they had a lot of sponsorships on their channel? How did the sponsorships come across? What was their audiences’ reaction to the sponsorships?
- How long are their videos? Do they have a regular format?
- Is their production quality consistently high?
- Finally, you can also consider more objective things like the content style, tone and language. For example, does the language they use (maybe a lot of slang, or swear words) align with the brand, or does it go against your brands image?
These factors will really help you to narrow down your search to YouTube influencers who really align with your brand and make sense for a collaboration, on both a practical and conceptual level.
As you can see, checking these aspects of every YouTube channel can take a while. It becomes easier with experience, however in order to save time on influencer analysis, use a tool like Makrwatch to do the calculations for you. Find out how Makrwatch can help you analyse YouTube influencers here.
How to Compare Influencers
After you’ve made your first list of preferred influencers, you may need to narrow it down in order to comply with your budget. To compare influencers, focus on the 2 or 3 metrics which are most important for the goals of the campaign. If your main goal is reach and impressions, optimise for video views, or if your goal is to generate very high-quality content for your brand, focus on the YouTubers who you feel can best deliver on that.
For the simplicity of this guide, we’ll focus on metrics, since more subjective measures like ‘quality content’ or how a YouTuber aligns with a brand is something more personal that needs to be defined by the brand.
As mentioned previously, many people mistakenly focus too much on subscriber numbers, rather than other metrics like video views and engagement rate. Does the influencer you’re considering have a lot of subscribers but low video view numbers? Perhaps not such a good sign for their levels of engagement. Meanwhile not-so-high subscriber numbers vs. very high video views could signify that the influencers’ content frequently gets shared and the reach often extends further than the currently subscribed audience.
There are many factors to take into consideration when analysing a YouTube creator and comparing two options. Again you will need to decide on the factors that are most important for the campaign. If there is little difference, the decider can often come down to the influencer themselves.
When you reach out to influencers, you could find that they are uninterested in the collaboration, that they’re unavailable for new sponsorships, or they are simply more expensive than you expected. Reaching out will help you to come to a final decision between two or three great options, and create an agreement with the chosen influencer/s that you are both happy with.
We’ll cover more about YouTuber outreach and negotiating in an upcoming blog post.
It can seem like a lengthy process, but searching for influencers, analyzing their channels, comparing them against similar options and making your final decision is all about ensuring you create a great campaign that makes sense not just for you and the influencer, but for the audience that it’s targeted towards. When everyone feels they are getting a good deal, that comes across in the YouTubers video/s.
Don’t forget to check out Makrwatch to help make the process of searching for influencers and analyzing their a lot channels easier and quicker.
Stay tuned for the next post in the series on Reaching Out To and Negotiating With YouTube Influencers.