The Power of YouTube Influencer Marketing: 2X Brand Awareness Plus Customer Trust & Sales — What’s Not To Love?
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There’s a variety of influencer marketing tactics out there –– and many of them are highly effective.Whether you are paying influencers to promote your product, or working to build yourself a community of ambassadors that take on the micro-influencer movement, influencer marketing can help you tackle every part of your sales funnel.
Influencer marketing vs. YouTube influencer marketingAn influencer campaign can fit into multiple categories of your marketing spend.
- Interested in driving acquisition? Perfect. This is where discounts + influencer marketing can really help.
- Looking to build awareness? Even better. This is where Instagram excels. TV advertising & YouTube are great for awareness, too. Lots of dollars are flowing into pre-roll.
- Looking to do both? Now you’re really talking. This is where YouTube influencer marketing excels.
- Snapchat influencers work well for building awareness and creating buzz around real-time events like product launches or products targeting young audiences (think gummy bears).
- Instagram influencers make sense if you’re a particularly visual product or looking to build your following on social media, and can be especially effective when paired with Instagram ads.
- Twitter is useful if you’re working to engage in broader conversations online.
- YouTube is particularly special because it works well at every part of the funnel -- offering both visual branding opportunity and attributable traffic to your site.
4 examples of YouTube influencer marketing done rightUsing YouTube influencer campaigns for direct acquisition works well for mature brands and makes sense if you’ve nailed down your cost per acquisition and figured out what works for you on Adwords and Facebook.Here are 4 brands YouTube influencer marketing has worked incredibly well for –– and what you can learn from their strategies.
Warby Parker’s YouTube Influencer Marketing CampaignWarby Parker pioneered the home try-on model in the glasses industry.Now, they use YouTube influencer marketing to explain that model. After all, buying a pair of glasses from Warby Parker is more involved than just clicking “add to cart”.The lifestyle influencers Warby works with are easily able to share their experience with the brand in a way that feels natural, because so often they already share those types of details about their lives with their audience. Watch the influencer campaign below.In this example, Stephanie is able to convey Warby Parker’s value in a visual and participatory way, and promotes their low-bridge frames to an audience who cares about Stephanie's world-view and the products that are most helpful for her (and then likely, for them).Let’s look at another brand example to really drive this home.
KiwiCo’s YouTube Influencer Marketing CampaignKiwiCo partnered with Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day. The brand sponsored his adventure –– which if you haven’t, definitely watch! And, the brand was able to negotiate how much they paid for the sponsorship based on how many crates were bought.Check it out (the KiwiCo part comes at the end).Now, if the product you’re promoting is higher-consideration and you are primarily looking to bring customers into the top of your sales funnel, or just trying to get customers to look at you slightly differently than your competitor, dedicated content is a great addition to direct response ads.
Lowe’s YouTube Influencer Marketing CampaignHere is a piece of branded content Lowe’s created with a YouTube influencer. Lowe’s sponsored the content and also paid for the set and production.For doing so, they got high visibility on a video that received 5.5 million views, and got unique content of their own (in the form of behind-the-scenes content) for their own channels.
23andMe’s YouTube Influencer CampaignAnother great example of dedicated YouTube content is this one with 23andMe and AsapSCIENCE.In this example, 23andMe created a specific landing page for the show. You can easily do this by creating a web page on your ecommerce backend that uses the show’s handle as the URL. Here’s how you can do that in 5 minutes on BigCommerce (Using BombTech Golf as an example). OK –– now back to the 23andMe and AsapSCIENCE YouTube influencer marketing campaign. Check it out:23andMe partnered with AsapSCIENCE to have hosts Mitch and Greg talk about their experience with the product as a way of advocating for the brand.Of course, most influencer content drives both awareness and acquisition –– but it’s helpful to consider how your influencer campaign will fit into your attribution model.
Identifying and pitching YouTube influencersIdentifying YouTube influencers is a healthy mix of art and science.There are obvious markers of a good influencer partner –– namely a general brand fit, strong presence with your target demographic, and a rate that doesn’t blow your budget out of the water.
- For an outdoor apparel company, it’s natural to partner with hunting, fishing, and camping influencers
- For a scientific education company, it makes sense to partner with nerdy science types
Who maintains creative control? Hint: It’s not you.Once you’ve picked the right influencers, the key to a successful partnership is to let influencers do what they do best –– which is not being a puppet for anything, especially your brand.
Where to start when providing creative directionSharing 4-5 talking points is a good place to start, but what’s most important is being sure that the influencer is authentically excited about your brand.Send them product, let them talk to the people who are the backbone of your business, and make sure they feel connected to your message.Build a relationship. Ask what content they have planned in the coming months and how they think your product might be most naturally integrated.Remember: you’re working with influencers, not using them.
How to avoid the 5 most common pitfallsOne of the most frequent pitfalls is using an influencer as a celebrity endorser.
- Requiring influencers to focus on too many talking points, which draws them away from an authentic endorsement
- Requiring too many specific words or phrases from influencers
- Having specific time limitations on length of the post
- Focusing on product functions and features as opposed to how the product makes the life of the influencer better
7 ways to measure the success of your campaignIf it’s working, you’ll know.Most obviously –– YouTube influencer marketing done right generates new customers and increases brand awareness.What’s great about working on a platform like YouTube is that you’ll not only get the benefit of branding, but you’ll be able to track direct acquisitions thanks to a custom URL or promo code that’s easy to attribute...or at least the “final click” in the funnel is easy to attribute.Let’s repeat that:
Note that to be able to do this, you must be able to custom edit your category URL. This is not possible on all platforms, but does come out-of-the-box with BigCommerce on all plan levels. In other words, this is the difference between a URL that reads: www.flashtats.com/collections/beyonce and www.flashtats.com/beyonce. The second one is preferable.Other metrics you can use to gauge your content’s effectiveness beyond conversion:
- Video drop-off (i.e. what portion of the audience is actually watching the ad?)
- Click-through rate: 1% CTR is pretty darn good
- Increase in organic search traffic: YouTube increases search 2X compared to TV...and that’s not even factoring in the trust of influencers on YouTube
- Acquisition cost on other platforms, e.g. Facebook, decreases
- CPM / CPV: Aim to get <$25 CPM for your YouTube campaigns
- Engagements: Look for influencers who drive likes, shares and comments
Final WordWhile we’ve been evaluating influencers from the perspective of brands, it’s important to keep in mind that successful partnerships are a two-way street.
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