Think YouTube is just for cat videos and music? You might want to rethink your position because this video sharing platform could be the next big thing in influence marketing. Does Influencer Marketing work on YouTube? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Influence marketing is the practice of using a middleman – the influencer – to sell a product to its target market, rather than advertising the product to the entire target market through a widespread ad campaign. By advertising through an important member of the target market, the product will gain more credibility than it would through a traditional ad campaign.
It’s not enough to just have an advertisement reach as many people as possible. Without a connection, most people will ignore it. Influencer marketing instead focuses on using a person within the target market to use their credibility with the rest of the community to build trust and loyalty for a brand. YouTube is a uniquely strong platform for influence marketing.
It can be hard to know where and how to start influence marketing on YouTube. There are a few things you should know to start you off.
YouTube is a unique platform. Advertising doesn’t work the same way on YouTube as it does on television. YouTube is a far more personal experience than any television station, which means ads can be tailored to a specific audience much better than they can in other places.
This is because creators on YouTube interact with their followers significantly more than any station can. YouTube is a system where creators can regularly talk to their subscribers through comment and chat features, and many of these subscribers feel like they know the creator on a personal level.
With this level of close interaction comes trust that cannot happen on other platforms. Parent company Google has conducted multiple studies to find out just how much influence these YouTube creators have. In “The YouTube Generation Study” they found that six out of every ten subscribers would take buying advice from their favorite YouTuber over a TV or movie personality. This makes sense since according to that same study, 70% of teenagers using YouTube relate more to creators than those traditional TV and movie personalities.
This trust translates into influence over subscribers to buy a certain brand that doesn’t exist on other platforms.
YouTube is far from homogeneous. From beauty bloggers to gamers to prank channels, YouTube is built up of smaller communities to form a diverse and varied whole. So it makes sense that you would have to look for which community your target audience fits into, and then find the person in that community with the most credibility.
For example, a channel within the cooking community on YouTube would be a good place to put an influence marketing advertisement for a restaurant. A creator that had built up a reputation as someone experienced in working with food will have much more credibility than any pre-roll ad.
Choosing the right creator to act as an influencer is the first step in taking advantage of the trust they’ve built with their audience.
There are many ways to work with YouTube creators to advertise your brand to your target market. One common way is through sponsoring videos, and offering free products and services. The creator will then tell their audience that they have been sponsored by your brand, and why your brand is trustworthy in their eyes. Audible.com is one service that has sponsored videos across many communities, giving creators a code for a free trial of their service to give to subscribers. By having a trusted member of the community endorse the product and giving a free trial, they can gain new customers that might have never given them a chance before.
A good example of influence marketing in action is how Starbucks sponsored Rosanna Pansino, a creator known for baking. On the surface, her Starbucks-sponsored video fits right in with the rest of her content. She faced off with another YouTube creator to taste test Starbucks drinks blindfolded and see which of them could correctly guess what they were drinking.
The video was so popular that fans of Pansino’s channel requested she does the second video like it, which translated to more influence marketing for Starbucks. Her brand of light-hearted competition and excitement over the drinks she and her friend were trying gave a positive light to Starbucks as a brand than a traditional advertisement could not have. Hidden within the content that was par for the course on Pansino’s channel, a beautifully crafted influence marketing campaign was working with her subscribers.
Influence marketing is not the same thing as word of mouth, but it has the same kind of benefits. Word of mouth is considered significantly more likely to generate sales than traditional paid advertising. Likewise, influence marketing drives up sales better than a traditional ad campaign.
The best way to develop customer loyalty is to appeal to a customer’s loyalty to themselves. People are searching for brands that reflect their values and help express their individual personalities and will be loyal to brands that help them do so. By using influence marketing, especially on a site like YouTube with its many communities, it is easier to focus your advertising on the consumer base that aligns with your brand’s values.
Long gone are the days when the success of an advertising campaign was measured in views. Influence marketing focuses on quality of views, rather than quantity. What’s most important is whether the influencer drove their audience to visit your site to buy your product.
YouTube seems to offer that quality. In another study conducted by Google, “The New Influencers: How Fans Interact with Celebrity Video Online” found that YouTube videos generated two times more actions than traditional celebrity videos.
Taking advantage of this strong connection YouTube creators have with their community makes a platform ripe for influence marketing. By taking this advice as a starting point – and maybe subscribing to some of the more popular creators – you can build your business in a smarter way than traditional advertising.
Date: April 11, 2018 / Categories: Influencer Marketing, / Author: Rich Drees