With over 2 billion active users, Youtube is the second most visited social media site globally, and with good reason. It is not just a platform for entertainment; it’s a search engine in its own right, with many people turning to YouTube for information.
Tutorials, Demonstrations, Reviews, Logs, Hacks, Tours, Entertainment, Education, Investigations, and more- YouTube is a goldmine for versatility when it comes to content topics, types, and styles.
Yet, in their Benchmarking Report for 2023, Influencer Marketing Hub recorded only 38% of brands using YouTube as their preferred influencer marketing platform.
So what’s holding marketers back?
While TikTok has been the platform on every marketer’s radar for the past few years; YouTube, a mature platform by comparison, remains a steady, reliable platform for lasting, measurable impact.
In this article we break down everything you need to know about Influencer Marketing on YouTube and how to make it work for your marketing goals.
What is YouTube Influencer Marketing?
YouTube Influencer Marketing simply involves a brand-content creator collaboration where the YouTuber serves as a credible messenger for the brand and/or product amongst their viewers, who are the ultimate target audience for these brands.
Morning Consult reported 50% of Millennials trust influencers’ product recommendations. Compared to the 38% who trust celebrities’ recommendations, this suggests influencers have a greater credibility amongst consumers than celebrities.
YouTubers’ unique mix of aspirational and relatable qualities, adds to the credibility of their recommendations. In fact, influencers’ product recommendations are considered more credible than celebrities’ recommendations! The result? A greater influence on viewers’ purchase intentions.
So how exactly does YouTube Influencer Marketing work?
In exchange for a fee, influencers include a segment into their regular content where they display and talk about your brand/product. This segment is supplemented with links to the point of purchase and other offer information embedded in the videos’ description and comment boxes!
See a YouTube Influencer Marketing example here.
What are the benefits of YouTube Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing Managers are increasingly recognising the engagement & storytelling benefits of video formats. But what makes YouTube videos different from TikTok or Instagram reels?
Capture Attention and Improve Recall
TikTok and Instagram reels offer a tempting opportunity to jump onto viral trends and challenges. But their value in influencer marketing lies largely in creating brand awareness.
TikTok users have shorter attention spans and a higher frequency of content consumption. Shorter, snappier content is the norm, with most videos ranging from 15-60 seconds, accounting for an approximate average of 37.5 seconds.
But here’s an interesting statistic to consider. In 2023, the average monthly TikTok usage was recorded around 27.3 hours. Considering the average video length we established above, this means the average TikTok user could be watching over 2,500 videos per month!
This suggests creating a sizable impact on TikTok may heavily depend on volume, reach, and quick response.
Let’s compare this to YouTube. An approximate average monthly usage of 24.7 hours, and average video length of 11.7 minutes, suggests an average of approximately 127 videos are watched per month.
Even if we consider this an understated approximation and generously doubled the average number of videos watched per month, the competition for attention and recall on YouTube still remains significantly smaller.
In a digital landscape with increasingly smaller attention spans, a smaller competitive pool could make it easier to establish visibility and recall amongst target audiences!
Go Beyond Brand Awareness with YouTube Influencer Marketing
The consumer psychology associated with different platforms also presents interesting benefits for achieving objectives beyond brand awareness.
YouTube usage often involves deliberate searches for content. Its algorithms work based on factors like watch-time, engagement, and keywords.
Assuming you strategically select your influencers and content verticals, your influencer integration will reach audiences who already display an interest in some aspect of your offering, placing them further along in the marketing funnel.
YouTube influencers also have more loyal communities that have been cultivated over time, which suggests a greater parasocial and influential power, particularly when it comes to higher-investment purchases.
The longer-form content also allows influencers to explain features, benefits, and other key selling points in greater detail. A strategically placed integration will keep audiences engaged in anticipation of the remainder of the video content and reduce chances of the promotion being skipped.
In comparison, paid collaborations on platforms like TikTok or Instagram Reels often take up the whole duration of the video due to the shorter format. These platforms also make sponsored content easy to identify through hashtags, making these videos easier and more prone to being skipped.
Reach Higher-value Customers with YouTube Influencer Marketing
24-35 year olds form the majority of YouTube’s viewer base compared to the 18-24 year olds who dominate TikTok’s viewership. Typically, older consumers tend to have more purchasing power, making YouTube the ideal platform to reach more valuable consumers who are willing and able to make higher involvement purchases.
Measurement and Attribution for YouTube Influencer Marketing
Platforms like TikTok and Reels rely on discount codes, pinned comments, and links in bios for limited time periods for tracking. But these links are not always easily visible or accessible.
In comparison, YouTube’s description box allows tracking links to be instantly visible and remain there forever, driving brand discovery and awareness even after the campaign run is complete.
Ensuring the links are inserted in the top line of the description box and as a pinned comment also minimises the effort viewers need to go through to get more information about the brand or product, which can help move them further along the marketing funnel.
The longer duration, and landscape orientations of videos also allow QR codes to be embedded in the picture, providing another source for tracking and engagement for desktop and TV viewers.
The longer format also allows integrations created for a YouTube Influencer Marketing Video to be created in the context of a larger theme and broader topic. This means most viewers interested in the broader video’s theme will be exposed to the promotion, even if they do not have any immediate purchase intentions or needs.
However, on TikTok, Reels, etc, sponsored content is often standalone, and transparently so. This means these videos may be skipped by several viewers who form an important part of your target audience if they do not have any immediate purchase intentions or needs, which can affect the campaign performance.
The longer format of YouTube also allows room for creators to integrate your brand, product, or service into their videos in a creative format that still adds value to their viewers. This may not always be possible in the time-constricted formats of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
How can brands make the most out of YouTube Influencer Marketing?
Influencer discovery for YouTube can be challenging. Many brands look at whether an influencer has promoted a similar product in the past before deciding to collaborate with them.
While over 60% brands are now using third party tools for Influencer discovery, most common discovery tools are unable to differentiate between sponsored and organic brand mentions on YouTube. This is because YouTube influencer marketing does not involve heavy hashtag usage or consistent formats for making sponsored content explicit.
This is where collaborating with Influencer Marketing agencies can be valuable. Performance driven agencies like Media Bodies have advanced data analytics tools which make differentiating sponsored and organic brand mentions possible.
Influencer Marketing Agency tools and databases are also far more robust, with more Performance data and analytics tools. Utilising this data at every stage of campaign planning and delivery- from budget allocation to influencer selection and creative briefing can significantly improve the outcome of your Youtube Influencer Marketing campaign!
Navigating the YouTuber pricing landscape can also be challenging for new industry entrants. Pricing and Average CPMs can vary based on different factors like Engagement Metrics, Geography, Content Verticals, and Target Audience.
However, securing a good CPM is still critical to the success of a performance oriented YouTube influencer marketing campaign. This is another area where working with an Influencer Marketing Agency can have tangible, positive, impact.
Agencies keep up with pricing trends and are able to judge fairness of a quoted fee, providing a significant advantage in negotiations. Since agencies often recruit influencers for multiple campaigns over the course of a year, they are able to create economies of scale, which can significantly drive down CPMs!
Understanding the value of YouTube for Influencer Marketing comes down to being able to attribute organic traffic. Working with a data driven influencer marketing agency can also help you build attribution models and track and measure the true impact of your campaign.
See how Media Bodies can optimise your YouTube Influencer Marketing Strategy.
Summarising YouTube Influencer Marketing
This is not to suggest YouTube is a superior platform to TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, or Podcasts. Each platform has its unique advantages. How one should choose the right platform for their Influencer Marketing Campaign depends on their product/service, marketing objectives, target audience, pricing, timelines and budgets, amongst other factors.
But YouTube’s sheer size, engagement potential, audience profile, and versatile content formats make it a valuable resource to build a brand and grow business.
With careful strategy, performance tracking, and data-driven decisions, it’s possible to deliver measurable ROI that goes beyond just views or likes, translating into actual conversions and sales.
So, if you’re eyeing a thriving engagement avenue that drives ROI, YouTube influencer marketing might just be your golden ticket to success!
Are you ready to step-up your YouTube Influencer Marketing Strategy? Get in touch today!