How to Partner With YouTube Influencers: 6 Tips for Success
Do you team up with influencers for video campaigns?
Potential customers turn to YouTube influencers to discover products and get reviews, tips and tutorials on everything from makeup to their next mattress purchase.
In this article I’ll share six tips to help you partner with influencers on YouTube to get the word out about your company.
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#1: Find Authentic YouTubers
The beauty and power of word-of-mouth marketing is in finding the right influencers for your brand, and then allowing them the creative freedom to position your product organically in their videos.
When a video feels fake, forced or scripted, potential customers can’t click on the Back button fast enough. Find YouTubers who already embody your brand and truly love your product, and then let them do what they do best: be themselves.
Remember, most YouTubers are not actors. People don’t go to YouTube to watch commercials; they go to search for information and see their favorite video personalities give advice and offer interesting information.
#2: Hire by Fit, not Followers
When hiring YouTubers to work on a campaign, it may seem enticing to simply go for the ones who have the largest following or view counts. While this makes sense in theory, if you don’t have the right fit, your message and product will likely go unnoticed.
The YouTuber behind Secret Life of a Bionerd is a natural fit for beauty-related products and services.
Brands working with small- and mid-sized influencers tend to have more success, because those personalities have a tight-knit community as the target market for the brand.
In particular, smaller influencers who have a highly engaged audience around a niche subject are invaluable. They have greater impact and are often more cost-effective, due to their audience size.
#3: Track Response to Links
To determine the success of a campaign, create and provide a custom tracking link for each influencer, which leads back to your website, blog or product page. This may seem like common sense, but it’s a mistake brands frequently make.
When you track activity in this manner, you can see which influencers were most effective, and determine which ones you do and do not want to work on your future campaigns.
Ask your campaign influencers to add your tracking link to the top of their video description, so viewers can easily find and click the link. YouTube allows minimal space for text before a viewer has to click Show More to see the rest of the video’s description. You want your link to appear in that prime real estate.
#4: Offer Coupon Codes
It’s notoriously difficult to track video conversions on YouTube. For example, viewers search for your company organically by opening up a new browser tab, which doesn’t show up in your campaign results. Or they watch your video on certain devices, such as Apple TV, which don’t allow you to click description links.
A coupon code is an excellent way to track ROI and entice customers to take immediate action. If a potential customer isn’t sure about your product or service, especially if your brand isn’t well-known yet, a coupon code helps sway them, while giving you a video conversion to track.
Since YouTubers have established relationships with their audience, when they provide a “special code” to use at checkout, it proves to their audience they’re true ambassadors. YouTubers also get more excited about promoting products with special discount codes, because they want their audience to see that they’re getting them a great deal.
#5: Create Titles That Drive Views
Come up with an interesting and catchy title for the video in your campaign, just as you would write the title of a blog post or book.
Work with your influencer to create a headline that makes sense for your product and fits seamlessly with the type of titles and content the YouTuber is known for. If you can work your brand name into the title, all the better.
Often, companies doing influencer marketing for the first time push to get their brand name in the video title. But unless your brand is already an established household name, this strategy may backfire and lead to fewer views. Having your brand name in the title of the video may also scream “commercial,” and further drive down the number of views of your video.
#6: Optimize Video for SEO
SEO is incredibly important, and every little bit helps. Make sure your YouTube talent includes your brand name and any other keywords associated with your product or company in the video description and tags. This tactic works great for products for which people seek reviews or tutorials.
Remember, Google owns YouTube and often gives preference to YouTube content in their search. Take the time to include keyword tags and a keyword-rich video description to increase your ranking in search.
Over to You
When people look to make a purchase, they’re more likely to listen to someone they trust than traditional advertising. People prefer to gather recommendations from family, friends and peers rather than strangers or brands. When that’s not an option, they turn to YouTube.
Always work with, not against, the talent you hire for your influencer campaigns. Ask questions and get their creative thoughts throughout the process. Pick influencers who you feel are already on-brand for your company, as this increases chances for a successful video campaign.
What do you think? How do you feel about working with YouTube influencers? Have you run video influencer marketing campaigns? Which YouTubers have you worked with? What types of video campaigns were most successful? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.