Although most marketers overlook YouTube influencer marketing, this strategy can power up your social media marketing calendar.
This guide will teach you how to run a successful influencer marketing campaign on YouTube from A to Z.
- What makes influencer marketing on YouTube different from other channels
- 5 ways YouTube influencers can skyrocket your business
- The 7-step YouTube campaign process
We’ll even build a whole campaign together because Blizzard Entertainment missed its glorious opportunity.
Keep reading below:
What is YouTube influencer marketing?
You already know that YouTube influencer marketing refers to running an influencer campaign on YouTube.
But that’s hardly the point.
YouTube is different than other channels, so YouTube influencer marketing is different too:
It’s a (not so) magical door to long-form content.
Compared to other social media users, YouTube users are there for longer videos
- The average YouTube video length is 11.7 minutes.
- The average watch time for a YouTube user per visit is 29 minutes and 37 seconds.
That’s plenty of time to interact with your audience, get their respect, and pitch your products.
It includes short-form content too.
YouTube shorts are becoming increasingly popular, with 30 billion daily views worldwide.
TikTok has redefined video content, and YouTube is keeping up with the shorter format trend.
You can include this format in your strategy to persuade your audience more effectively. More on that in a minute. First:
YouTube influencer marketing advantages for your brand
YouTube influencer marketing has several benefits:
YouTube influencer marketing gives you access to a captive audience.
The influencers you choose for your campaigns already have an audience base for the content they post.
This audience actively looks and expects this content.
That gives you a massive benefit:
When you select the right influencers based on your niche, you are tapping into the right audience for your product/service.
You get more exposure
Firstly, Google owns YouTube. Therefore, YouTube is a gem in retargeting campaigns if your audience has searched for:
- Your product
- Similar products in your niche
Secondly, Forbes says YouTube is the second largest search engine.
Although some sources claim that’s a myth, YouTube still has an impressive number of 2.1 billion active users per month.
And on this massive social channel, you have millions of influencer accounts to leverage.
It presents new products or new releases in more depth.
This strategy increases your visibility and even your conversion rates.
For example, a techy app with a high learning curve may have low download and high unsubscribe rates.
An in-depth tutorial or how-to video increases downloads and maintains active users. That’s because people:
- Find out what the app is about before downloading it.
- Understand how to use it.
It creates top-of-mind awareness.
When people see their favorite influencers present a product, they’ll remember it.
And they’ll remember it even if they’re not buying it the same day. Or even if they’re not part of your sales funnel just yet.
It creates engagement.
YouTube influencer marketing helps you connect with your audience intimately. Creators can:
- Discuss your values.
- Offer behind-the-scenes sneak peeks from your company.
- Paint you in relatable nuances.
Remember: People want to buy from real people, not companies. YouTube influencers can elicit that feeling, creating and strengthening customer loyalty.
5 ways YouTube influencers can skyrocket your business [with EXAMPLES]
If you read the two previous sections, you understand that YouTube influencer marketing is different because it blends long and short form content, giving you access to a captive audience. You also learned how YouTube influencers could technically benefit your business.
This section shows you precise ways to grow your business with YouTube influencers.
1. Increase your exposure with product placement
Product placement entails placing your product inside an influencer’s YouTube video. And it can be active or passive.
Here’s a neat example:
Driving instructor and macro-influencer Richard Fanders constantly creates helpful videos for people learning how to drive.
But he always mentions two insurance companies that sponsor his videos: Collingwood and Confused.
Note: Richard Fanders has affiliate links to these brands. Each time someone buys insurance using his code, Richard gets a payment.
By comparison, passive product placement means your products simply appear in a creator’s videos.
Sometimes they’re not even mentioned by name.
For example, someone looking for cleaning motivation videos might find the one below:
Curious viewers may notice the books featured in the background.
They can pause the video to read the titles. And if the books sound helpful, they can purchase them later.
Even if they don’t, the simple background placement endorses them.
2. Inform with product reviews
Statistics show that 55% of shoppers will look for YouTube reviews before making a purchase.
That’s because people don’t want to make a mistake before buying.
You can take advantage of that.
Influencers know how to persuade their target audience by using niche terms and slang.
And they’ll know how to present your product’s benefits in a unique manner.
As a result, you can get more purchases and app downloads.
Note: Influencers shorten the sales funnel from consideration to purchase and brand loyalty.
Just look at this video with Carter Sullivan talking about the budgeting app Mogo.
Carter is a very likable, relatable, and a trustworthy person. Besides, Carter knows how to use Gen Z slang even for budgeting matters.
Pro tip: Scalenut can help you with keyword and search intent analysis to help you speak your audience’s language.
One of these phrases is “let yourself live” while still controlling your budget.
Being able to enjoy themselves and not completely restrict while still following a budget is one of her audience’s pain points. Carter knows how to leverage that when discussing Mogo.
Remember: Choose the right creator, and you can get a similar presentation style and engagement level.
3. Target the right audience with YouTube ads
YouTube ads allow a more precise targeting and monitoring of ad’s performance.
And yes, you can run YouTube ads with influencers.
In fact, influencer-generated ads can drastically reduce CPAs and ad fatigue because they’re more authentic.
Also, as we said before, people want to purchase from real people.
Even TikTok is doing it, so this strategy must work:
In this video above, TikTok is using one of its clients as an influencer: Annya from Natural Annie Essentials. The ad is centered around her business’s skyrocketing success thanks to TikTok.
Pro tip: Choose the right YouTube ad for your goals:
- Display ads: Appear in the upper right corner of your video and don’t have so much visibility.
- Overlay ads: Better for visibility because they appear as banners in the bottom half of YouTube videos.
- Bumper ads: Best for awareness and recall because they’re non-skippable.
- Mid-roll ads: Best for at-length information; they can be up to ten minutes long and appear in the middle of another video that your audience is watching.
4. Build desire with tutorials
Tutorials show people how to use a product or app from a practical standpoint.
But their purpose isn’t merely informational. These tutorials build desire thanks to a slew of factors, such as:
- ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) sounds, which are proven to elicit specific bodily responses
- Influencer’s facial expressions, tone of voice, and language
- Other products featured in the tutorial
- Influencer’s suggestions and power of persuasion
The video below is the perfect example:
Although it’s close to 14 minutes, this clip has 198,000 views and 4,800 likes. And it’s about a sponge.
This clip works because Andrea Jean uses:
- The before and after technique
- Fast vignettes
- Tips and tricks that focus on people’s most essential needs
5. Increase conversions with contests
Influencers who test your product or service in front of their followers don’t just elicit desire.
They can increase your sales and app downloads significantly.
For example, famous Twitch influencer and gamer Kripparrian tested Diablo IV in various videos (without actually having a sponsorship).
These clips appeal to old-school gamers who love the Diablo franchise and want to try new releases.
In the video below, Krip discusses the features of Diablo:
Five days later, he creates a video ranking Diablo IV classes after he and his followers played the game.
And his videos are so well done that even other influencers pick them up, building Diablo 4’s exposure for free.
Imagine how powerful this content would be if it advertised a contest or hashtag challenge.
People would be enticed to download and play Diablo IV, competing against each other for a specific prize.
So since Diablo doesn’t want to jump at this chance, let’s do it together in the section below.
7 steps for a successful YouTube influencer campaign
The sections above showed you the advantages of YouTube influencer marketing.
And the previous section took you through some excellent real-life examples to better understand what you want to achieve on this platform.
Now let’s see the exact steps:
1. Set your goals
Every campaign should start with clear goals; YouTube influencer marketing is no different.
To outline your goals:
1.1. Identify your objective: Focus on what you want to achieve through this campaign. Is it a sales increase, more active app users, or stronger engagement?
1.2. Outline your target audience: Build your Customer Value Profile (CVP) by shortlisting five important values common to your audience. Determine how you can meet these needs while also meeting your campaign goal.
1.3. Define success metrics: Choose the variables that measure your campaign’s success, such as engagement rate, impressions, click-through rate, or sales.
1.4. Establish your targets: Formulate your goal in a realistic, specific way. You can break down your goal into smaller targets and set a deadline for each.
Let’s pretend we’re launching Diablo IV. Our possible goal could be to increase the number of new and active in-app players.
We can set specific goals, such as:
- 10% new players
- 30% more active players
until May 4th 2023.
2. Choose the right strategy
Once you know your goals, it’s time to choose the right strategy. Here are the steps:
2.1. Research your competitors:
- See what other YouTube influencer campaigns they ran.
- Jot down all the details: the influencers they used, campaign type, and their goals.
- Analyze this data to determine unique insights or opportunities they missed.
- See if you can reverse engineer their strategy and implement it for your own campaign objectives.
If you’re Diablo IV, you’re competing against other old-school games, such as:
- Lost Ark
- Path of Exile
- Last Epoch
2.2. Research your audience:
- Analyze your current customers’ profiles. Outline five to ten basic characteristics these current customers have.
- Analyze your prospects, focusing on their CVP. This will help you reach a broader audience than traditional socio-psycho-demographic segmenting, which is narrower. Find five to ten values to focus on.
- Based on the insights above, shortlist two to three pain points to focus on.
- Choose the pain point that helps you meet your marketing goals more effectively.
Diablo IV’s audience is:
- Male, 30-40 years old
- Nostalgic for older games
- Favors high-complexity, action role-playing games (ARPG)
- Tolerant to frustration
Here are our insights:
- Diablo is a large franchise with plenty of social proof.
- There haven’t been any new good releases in the ARPG genre in a while.
- Gamers also like that the new releases come in the form of subsequent episodes.
- Diablo elicits nostalgia.
2.3. Set your creative brief:
- Choose the right message that helps you address the customers’ needs: Use this approach to pinpoint your unique selling proposition: “My customer is [current situation] and wants to [desired situation]. They dislike [current pain point]. My product can help them with [your USP].”
Pro tip: Scalenut’s free USP generator is an excellent tool to outline your selling point.
- Choose the right type of content: Depending on your goals, you may need a slew of unboxing videos, a contest, or influencer-generated ads.
- Pick the format: How you disseminate this content is vital. You may need an:
- YouTube short
- YouTube video
- YouTube live
More on those formats in a minute.
For now, let’s see what format we’ll choose for Diablo IV:
The right content angle is: Diablo IV takes you back in your childhood’s immersive fantasy adventure, offering a thrilling challenge.
We want to:
- Let people explore and interact with our content.
- Get more conversions.
For those goals, live videos and shorts work best.
3. Set your budget
Your campaign budget depends on several factors, such as:
- Type and length of the videos
- Number of deliverables
- Influencer’s number of followers
The rule of thumb is $100 for every 100 followers. However, you can negotiate:
- A rate for every 1000 views in an exposure campaign.
- A commission each time someone purchases via a UTM link in a sales campaign.
- Free products, access to unique events, or exclusive deals.
We’re Diablo from Blizzard, so we’ll set our budget at a $882 million, which is what they spent on marketing in 2022.
4. Identify YouTube influencers aligned with your brand
Remember: Set your goals, creative strategy, and budget before choosing relevant influencers.
You want these creators to produce the right content for your marketing goals and strategy. You can’t simply adapt your messages after picking your creators.
- Their niche
- Number of followers
- The type of content they usually produce (whether it’s authentic or polished, long-form or shorter, unboxing or reviews)
- The brands and products they discuss
- Their values
Pro tip: Not all influencers are created equal, and bigger is not always better.
- Macro-influencers or mega-influencers with larger followings may be better for awareness.
- Micro- and nano-influencers are shown to have the highest engagement rates, so they’re best for creating relatable content.
- Nano-influencers have more conversations with their audience, so they can accelerate your sales.
Let’s choose an influencer for Diablo IV. We need someone who:
- Is an old-school gamer with a massive audience.
- Has lots of experience.
- Is charismatic.
- Has reviewed video gamers before, maybe even talked about our brand.
- Thinks outside the box.
- Can show gamers innovative strategies and combinations they can test/improve.
We’ll choose Krip because he meets all that criteria and calls himself a Diablo fanboy.
5. Conduct outreach
Outreach is essential to getting the influencers you want. So, start with a personalized outreach message, but:
- Keep it short, below 100 words.
- Sound human.
- Relate to your influencers, using something unique they like or have done.
- Present your proposal clearly, highlighting mutual benefits.
- Follow up a maximum of two times.
One potential message for Krip would sound like this:
Let's Team Up to Promote the Exciting Release of Diablo IV!
I’m [Name] from Blizzard. I love your in-depth game reviews – your take on Animate Guardian Build in your latest Path of Exile buildcase clip was top-notch.
Yes, I’m a nerd like that – I also play my competitors’ games.
But I also know you are a huge self-entitled Blizzard fanboy. So I would like to propose a collaboration to advertise Diablo IV.
- 2 Live videos
- 2 Shorts
All you have to do is reply to this message if you’re interested, and we’ll review the details.
6. Implement your campaign
After hiring the right influencers, it’s time to implement your influencer marketing campaign on YouTube.
Pro tip: Create a system to keep track of all the content pieces, possible edits, and deadlines.
Ensure your content creators deliver content on time, respecting your briefs.
- You can implement a gamification system to keep them interested.
- Keep in close contact with them to let them know you care. This person-to-person connection will work wonders on their productivity & creativity.
As for our example, we’ll let Krip do his job of creating and posting his YouTube clips.
We’ll also contact him after each clip with a short email or phone call, praising him for specific unique takes.
7. Measure campaign effectiveness
The last step in your campaign is measuring campaign effectiveness.
- Keep track of the KPIs you outlined in step 1.
- Conduct split testing throughout your campaign.
- Find the best-performing creatives and keep honing them to maximize their results.
- Keep track of your influencers’ performances; jot down your top performers to work with them on future campaigns.
In the case of Diablo IV, we’ll follow variables such as:
- New number of players
- New active players
- Bounce rate
- Cost per acquisition
We’ll also keep track of:
- Number of views
We want to analyze the quality of Krip’s interaction with his audience as well. After all, we need the right insights for future campaigns.
3 types of YouTube formats for your sales funnel
Now that you’re here, you know how to create and implement your YouTube influencer campaign step by step.
But we promised to discuss these three YouTube formats and what each is best for:
1. YouTube videos: best for the top of the funnel
YouTube videos are a great choice for:
- Lengthy and engaging content
- Demonstrating products or services
- Providing information to potential customers
2. YouTube live: best for the middle of the funnel
YouTube Live offers a unique live-streaming experience. This format is ideal for:
- Hosting Q&A sessions with influencers
- Adding an interactive element to campaigns by connecting with viewers in real-time
3. YouTube shorts: best for the bottom of the funnel
Youtube shorts are designed to be quick, creative snippets of video content that catches viewers’ attention while they scroll through their feeds.
They’re an effective way to convey your message in just a few seconds, so they’re best for:
- Retargeting campaigns
- Reiterating key points from a lengthier video
- Creating curiosity
Which format to choose
Choose the format that makes the most sense for your campaign goals, audience profile, and sales funnel.
In the case of Diablo IV, we chose two live videos and two shorts because we wanted Krip to bring his point home.
That’s why we focused on the MOFU and BOFU stages.
5 YouTube trends that can make or break your influencer campaign
Whether you like it or not, social media is about trends.
And we’re not just talking about a boost in “Get Ready With Me” videos or trending sounds.
The trends you have to keep an eye on YouTube are:
1. YouTube Shorts are becoming increasingly popular.
Use YouTube shorts not to compete with TikTok or Instagram but to drive your point home. YouTube Shorts are particularly useful in a cross-channel promotion.
Especially if you’re using this kind of format in other media.
2. More brands are reusing influencer content for paid ads.
This trend will help decrease your CPAs and broaden your target audience.
3. YouTube Live takes the front lead compared to Twitch
Live streaming can help you engage more with your audience and get in front of them with unique deals. YouTube Live allows viewers to easily embed streams into other websites and boasts a broader user base. On the other hand, Twitch is a haven for gamers and, therefore, gaming companies.
4. SEO is thriving on YouTube.
YouTubers have learned to leverage SEO to increase organic searches and traffic.
They now know how to choose the best keywords and hashtags, time their videos for a higher click-through rate, and use link-building for promotion.
5. Creator comments are gaining wind.
The comment section on YouTube is your gateway into a tighter relationship with your audience.
YouTube influencers engage their followers in the comments with plenty of tips and info. And you can do that, too. Receiving a reply directly from the brand:
- Impresses your audience.
- Makes your products more memorable.
- Increases your organic traffic as more people will engage with your comment.
10 best practices for YouTube influencer marketing
If you’ve read so far, you’ve done all the heavy lifting already.
This section won’t be too much effort – we’ll systematize some best practices to remember before starting your campaign.
Let’s jump straight into it:
1. Start with your marketing goals.
2. Conduct audience research, outlining your customer’s value profile.
3. Choose relevant influencers after honing your creative brief.
4. Offer clear guidelines to your influencers without breaking their creative spirit.
5. Let your creators include complementary products in their videos if that makes sense.
6. Have a clear contract that outlines your expectations, necessary deliverables, and payment.
7. Monitor and improve your campaign continuously.
8. Follow SEO best practices to get more views.
9. Engage with your audience in the comments.
10. Reuse these YouTube videos in other media, from social platforms to marketing emails.
Now that you’ve finished this massive guide, you’re ready to implement your influencer marketing campaign on YouTube.
You know all the steps, have seen beautiful real-life examples, and we’ve even built an entire campaign together.
Diablo will thank us later.
Remember to focus on your audience’s pain points; the rest will come. Scalenut can help you with awesome solutions along the way, with tools that help you manage your entire content life cycle, from planning to publishing.