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Influencer Marketing: Reaching Out To and Negotiating With YouTube Influencers

Influencer Marketing - Reaching Out to and Negotiating with influencers

In the last post in this series, we discussed How To Find The Right YouTube Influencers For A Campaign, and why it’s important to get this part of the process right.

After you’ve found the right influencers for your campaign, one of the next challenges is reaching out to them and negotiating effectively. So, in this post, we’ll cover Reaching Out To and Negotiating With YouTube Influencers. As always, we’ll focus on YouTube, as its the network that we specialise in here at Makrwatch. We’ll cover some of the most commonly asked questions, such as ‘Should you pay YouTube influencers for sponsored content?”, “How much should you pay a YouTube influencer for a sponsored video?” and “How to negotiate with YouTube influencers?

Getting an influencers’ attention is not easy, especially when you’re potentially competing with several other brands, with much bigger budgets. However there’s a few tips you can follow to help make sure your efforts stand out from the crowd:

Reach Out To YouTube Influencers via Email

Working with YouTube micro-influencers can be more successful because they are often easier to contact and have fewer marketers pitching campaigns to them. This means you can get their full attention and make the most of their flexible schedules and rates. 

Email is still the best way of contacting influencers, and most YouTubers share their business email on the ‘About’ page of their YouTube profile.

PRO TIP: Use Makrwatch to create a list of influencers who you want to contact, and instantly retrieve all of their emails with the click of a button.

Reach out to YouTubers easily by requesting their business emails on Makrwatch

You can use Makrwatch to request several YouTube Creators’ emails at once

When reaching out to micro-influencers for the first time, keep the following points in mind when crafting your email:

      • Introduce yourself and/or your brand briefly (No more than 1-2 sentences).
      • Briefly discuss the idea of your influencer marketing campaign and why you’re contacting them (i.e: You think they’re a great fit for the campaign).
      • Ask if they’re interested in participating
      • Ask if they’re available for your specified dates
      • (Optional) Ask them to send you their rates for the type of sponsored video content you are looking for*

*If you feel this step is too soon for the first contact, you can simply ask it at a later stage, but be sure to ask about rates early on in the negotiations. The benefit of including it in the first email is that you establish yourself as a ‘serious’ marketer who is willing to pay the YouTube Creator for their work. This is important because Youtube Creators regularly get petitioned for free content by brands; something very few of them ever agree to.

How often should you follow up with an influencer if you don’t get a response?

Influencers are usually quite busy people. Whether they’re working a full-time job to support their YouTube hobby, traveling, or trying to keep up with emails, social media, filming and editing, they’ve usually got quite a lot on their plate. If an influencer doesn’t respond to your outreach email in 24 hours, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested in working with you. After the first follow up email, keep the next few contact attempts to every other day, at a minimum.

We’d recommend following up with influencers at least 3-4 times before striking them off your list. Even if an influencer is interested in your campaign, sometimes schedules clash or they can have other commitments that prevent them from working with you. Whatever the reason, don’t take it personally (even if they say it’s because they don’t like the brand, it’s still not personal!), always be respectful, and remember that it’s their personal choice whether to work on your campaign or not.

Should you pay YouTube influencers for sponsored videos?

To put it simply….Yes! 

At Markwatch, we don’t believe there is much of a ‘grey’ area here. Creating video content is a hugely time-consuming endeavour which requires a lot of work. You’d never ask a TV station for free content production and distribution, so why should it be any different for a YouTube Creator who creates and distributes their own content, especially if it’s also promoting your brand?

Negotiating with YouTube micro influencers for a influencer marketing campaign

How to negotiate with a YouTube influencer for a campaign?

Negotiating is an art form, but it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with real people, who have built up their channels through a lot of hard work, possibly over several years. Coming to a fair deal for both the YouTube Creator and the brand will not only contribute to the success of the campaign, but leaves your options open for working with that influencer again in the future. 

Whether you’re a small business owner, or you work for an agency representing a large brand, make sure to discuss as much of the details up front as possible when negotiating terms with an influencer. It’s also not just about price either; don’t forget to discuss important factors like payment terms, content usage rights, how the content approval process will work, and how much coverage you want the brand to have in the video.

When negotiating on price, you can use CPM as a benchmark, although there still isn’t an official metric established for the industry. (See more about CPM below). 

How much should you pay YouTube influencers for sponsored videos?

This is the million dollar question, and it’s difficult to give a ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer. Yes, influencers should be paid for their work, but how much, and how do you know if you’re paying too much?

One of the best ways to gauge what a fair price to pay YouTube influencers is, is to use CPM (cost per thousand views). To do this, you first need to work out the influencers’ estimated video views per video.

PRO TIP: Use Makrwatch to see real-time YouTube analytics for any YouTube influencer, including their estimated YouTube video views and engagement rate. 

Once you have the estimated video views, and you’ve gotten a quote from the influencer, you’ll be able to estimate how much you’ll be paying per view, or per thousand views. From here, you can begin negotiating to a number that you feel is fair for both sides.

how to caluclate a youtubers estimated video views for a campaign

See a YouTube Creators estimated video views, among other metrics, on their Makrwatch Profile.

What is a good CPM for YouTube influencer videos?

Generally speaking, in the USA, you can expect to be quoted a CPM between $20 and $150 USD. That’s quite a large discrepancy, right? The problem is that there is still no standardized system to help influencers charge, and a lot of the time it’s just a guessing game. This can cause a huge difference in prices between two similar influencers, so it’s worth contacting a couple of different influencer options to try get the best price. Of course, only ask for quotes from influencers who are a good fit for your brand, i.e. they reach your target demographic and produce good quality content.

That being said, a ‘good CPM’ could be considered anything less than $50, or $0.05 per view, while a ‘high CPM’ could be considered anything over $100 USD. Again, the perceived value also depends on several other, more subjective factors that you need to establish for your brand. 

How to negotiate a lower CPM for a YouTube influencer sponsored video?

There are many ways to reduce the CPM when negotiating with a YouTube influencer. Some of the methods can involve offering:

  • A multiple-video deal, i.e: buying 2-3 videos sponsored videos for the brand, instead of just one.
  • Long-term partnership
  • Other perks and benefits, such as free products/access to your service
  • Providing additional exposure for the influencer. (If your brand has a large following, you can offer to provide extra exposure of the influencers’ content to your customers. However be careful not to offer this in place of monetary compensation. Instead it should be an additional ‘perk’ and help in final negotiations. Unfortunately exposure alone does not pay a content creators’ bills, and they’ve probably heard this ‘offer’ several times before).


Once you’ve managed to negotiate a fair deal with the influencer, you should confirm all the details of the campaign in an official contract, to be signed by both parties. We’ll cover the details of creating this type of influencer marketing contract in our next post.

Have you started reaching out to YouTube influencers for your campaign yet? Let us know how it goes in the comments below and don’t forget to use Marwatch to help you search for influencers, analyze their metrics, create lists of candidates, and request their emails.

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