According to eMarketer, 48% of advertisers plan to leverage YouTube for influencer Marketing in 2021. As celebrities’ engagement rates are dwarfed by local content creators in the industry, micro and nano influencers continue to muscle out their more famous counterparts.
Content creators who are given creative freedom outshine dry, dull scripts created by copywriters and edited several dozen times by compliance.
Advertisers like Gymshark, who crafted an entire business model based on Influencer Marketing, have endlessly proven the obscene power of this type of content.
Marketing agencies are finding value in long-term, collaborative relationships with established influencers, but many have struggled to create value beyond organic content. Profitably adding paid media to an influencer program is a puzzle with lots of moving parts.
At Empower, we’ve cracked the code.
What Makes YouTube Influencers Valuable?
While most think of influencers as Instagrammers, influencers have cropped up in every realm of social media.
Trailing only Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, YouTube boasts the fourth-highest influencer budget in 2021. Additionally, TikTok and YouTube are the only two of this list that saw an increase in influencer-planned budgets in the last two years.
Consumers want to see a product in action! In fact, 65% of online buyers claim that they’re likely to purchase after viewing the product on an influencer’s YouTube video.
YouTube is long-form content. This means that, unlike Instagram content creators, YouTubers hold their audience’s attention for longer periods of time.
Imagine being able to celebrate your brand with a cold audience…for several minutes at a time! You could train skeptics to become loyal advocates for your brand in one video.
While some businesses have tapped into this ocean of video creators, many categories that YouTube influencers excel in go unnoticed. Stand-Up Comedy, Gaming, DIY, & Music are all influencer-saturated YouTube spaces that rarely get attention in the world of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
What Benefits Come from a YouTube Influencer Program?
At Empower, our Influencer Team identifies different creators using a mix of science and art. Metrics like audience demographics and engagement are just as important as metrics like tone and creative uniqueness.
Influencers know how to develop attractive content for the audience you are trying to reach, so capitalize on their expertise. Their content might turn into your best piece of creative, so be militant about getting the usage rights to that content and the video file itself in your desired format. This includes both on and off-platform.
This can be a tough negotiation since the content creator often feels as much connection and ownership to that piece of content as the advertiser. However, the value of amplification across the internet is too valuable to pass up.
From an organic perspective, your influencer might also be proficient with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on YouTube, so they’ll be able to optimize content appropriately to get the most organic magnification. This is true at video launch and in perpetuity. In fact, we have videos from different brand partnerships still generating views and traffic a year after publishing.
SEO is a growing trend among content creators on YouTube, so hold them to that optimization expertise for your collaborative content.
A YouTube influencer collaborating with your brand should send audiences to two places:
- First and foremost, to your website. Tracking that audience for remarketing will be an invaluable tool for later
- Second, to your YouTube page. Some users would rather stay on YouTube than go to a foreign website and, if given only one option, may not engage with the post at all. You can still remarket from your YouTube channel so let your audience engage where they feel comfortable
Finally, have a strategy for managing comments. This is a huge miss when advertisers neglect comments. The last thing you want is unnoticed and unmanaged negativity right below your video.
How To Attach Paid Media & Repurposing Your YouTube Influencer Content
When it comes to repurposing, you’ll need to lean on your investment team. Empower’s Search, Social, Digital, and Programmatic teams are experts at generating high engagement on any given day.
Put this content into their paid ads, and it’s game over for your competitors.
The two things you MUST do to push this content across different channels is to secure the video file and secure the rights to the content.
While YouTube Ads rely on only a YouTube URL, social, digital, and programmatic media won’t get anywhere without an actual video file to upload.
When you run paid ads to supplement influencer content on YouTube, your most valuable asset is your tagged audience. By taking audiences to your website or YouTube page, you’ve enabled paid ads to retarget those engaged audiences in two ways:
- From your website, you can tag the landing page with Google Ads code or tag with a UTM code. With a UTM code, you can link Google Analytics to Google Ads and import audiences from a specific traffic source to your website
- To retarget YouTube channel visitors, link an owned YouTube channel to Google Ads and import audiences in the same way
At Empower, we’re constantly A/B testing different types of content for your brand. YouTube content creators tend to gravitate toward un-boxing videos, how-to videos, product reviews, and various other video types.
As we learn which types of content are most profitable, we can refine our influencer list according to who specializes in that type of content creation.
Some things we can run on YouTube to supplement your YouTube influencer program are:
- Video segmentation and optimization, where we take 15sec and 30sec clips from the influencer content and see what performs best in the paid ad space
- Remarketing, using our website tags and uploading that audience list to YouTube
- Audience-layering, where we choose to show ads only to influencer audience members who also fit our target audience
- Video sequencing in a separate campaign, where we show a segment of the influencer’s content, then show a video on your page addressing a comment that was made.
Our influencer and media teams collaborate to find the right partner to create authentic recommendations for your brand and then deliver your media KPIs through paid amplification.
Before you know it, we’ll have a highly engaged, highly loyal audience to drive through your marketing funnel, with potential for enormous customer advocacy and a huge upside for new customer LTV.