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YouTube Influencer Marketing: A Complete Guide to Success

Discover the power of YouTube influencer marketing in boosting brand awareness and driving sales. Explore effective strategies for reaching your target audience and maximizing growth opportunities on the world's largest video platform.
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YouTube influencer marketing has become one of the most popular methods companies use to promote their brands and increase the sales of their products and services. Given the number of people conducting searches or watching video content on YouTube, it makes perfect sense for big and small organisations to test various strategies to reach their target audience on this platform.

This article explores how YouTube influencer marketing can help your business grow.

What is YouTube Influencer Marketing?

YouTube Influencer Marketing

YouTube Influencer Marketing is the art of using the power of video content posted by influencers on the platform to increase brand awareness and credibility, establish a reliable connection with potential and existent customers and explore new opportunities.
YouTube is an appealing platform for businesses because:

It has 2.5 billion monthly active users, is the world’s second most popular social media platform and second most popular search engine (behind Google);

These figures prompted companies to acknowledge the enormous potential of YouTube for their business performance and growth. That is why 96% of marketers state that video is an essential element of their advertising strategy, and 62% of organisations use the platform to increase brand awareness and educate their audience.

What Differentiates YouTube From Other Platforms of Influencer Marketing?

Like on other social media platforms, companies collaborate with influencers to achieve specific deliverables, from making their new products known to an established base of viewers to boosting brand awareness.

Unlike other social media channels, YouTube has a definite advantage: long-form content enables users, hence influencers, to load up to 12 hours of content.

Another advantage is its extended audience, particularly the younger ones, with Millennials and Generation Z viewers watching YouTube more often than traditional television channels. 

Because YouTube is a video-based platform, influencers need to be more involved when conveying their message to an audience, considering that they need to deliver appealing and catchy videos and not just ask people, for instance, to leave a comment.

Moreover, 82% of customers say they follow influencers’ recommendations, making influencer marketing a powerful tool for increasing the brand’s visibility and credibility.

There are several ways that social users use to get the interest of viewers (potential customers), from reviews and contests to unboxing videos, giveaways and tutorials.

How Many Subscribers do you need to be an Influencer on YouTube?

How Many Subscribers do you need to be an Influencer on YouTube

Usually, a social media account with more than 1,000 followers is regarded as an influencer. Influencers have extended knowledge and are experts in their field or niche. They create a friendly, non-formal connection with their followers, which leads to high engagement. By posting catchy content, they reach, gain and retain more followers.

For many companies, ROI (Return on Investment) is the main KPI used to measure financial performance and why they select the influencer that will promote their brand very carefully. Working with social influencers with millions of followers is the recipe for success for some organisations.

For others, partnerships with influencers with only a few thousand followers represent the optimum solution since they tend to have a higher engagement and a more open and friendly connection with their followers.

Who is the Most Popular YouTube Influencer?

Based on the number of subscribers, the Number 1 position on YouTube has been disputed for years between T-Series, India’s largest music record label and a film-production company and PewDiePie. With 29 YouTube channels in its portfolio and 251 million subscribers, the Indian social account managed to secure the top position by releasing more content than others due to its increased popularity. 

Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, is an American YouTuber, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Indeed, if you look at the About tab on his channel, you see that he has raised $20,000,000 to plant 20,000,000 trees, given millions to charity, donated over 100 cars, and even gave away a private island. He is credited with pioneering the genre of videos showing expensive stunts. His videos include expensive challenge videos that reward thousands of dollars.

He won YouTuber of the Year in the 12th Annual Shorty Awards 2020.

Subscribers – 204M

Youtube platform

How Much Does a Top YouTube Influencer Earn?

Becoming a YouTube influencer is an attractive opportunity, especially for the younger generation. Research shows that 54% of Gen Z and millennials would become influencers if given the opportunity, and 86% welcome the opportunity to post content for cash. YouTube influencers often pick a niche they’re passionate about, work flexible hours and get paid to interact with their audience. It’s not hard to see the job’s appeal.

Influencers on most social media platforms can earn money in many ways. As more brands start collaborating with smaller content creators like nano and micro-influencers, building a career as an influencer is no longer a pipe dream.

YouTube influencers charge an average of $2,102 per video

YouTube allows influencers to earn a cut of ad revenue through its YouTube Partner Program. YouTube gives influencers 55% of the profits and keeps 45%. For Shorts, influencers get 45%, and YouTube keeps 55%. 

What Does that Equate to in Cash?

 It’s estimated that influencers make about $18 per 1,000 ad views. So, to make this lucrative, creators need a fairly large audience.

There are certain eligibility requirements to meet to start earning revenue. These include:

How Much Does a Top YouTube Influencer Earn

There are other ways to monetise content on YouTube: Sell a subscription, sell merchandise, or Super Chat and Super Stickers, where fans can pay a small amount to have their comments or images highlighted during a live stream. It’s a nice addition to existing revenue streams.

It’s important to understand that an influencer’s salary is often made up of different revenue streams, and it takes time to get each one set up. For example, a YouTuber earns money from ad revenue from the YouTube Partner Program, merchandise sales, and brand collaborations. 

First, they’ll need time to grow an audience and establish trust with their followers. They’ll need to apply for the YouTube Partner Program and continue to grow their audience to boost revenue. 

They could set up a store, create and secure merchandise, and have a distribution plan. They’ll also need to identify brands to work with, reach out and start cashing in on brand collaborations. All of which takes time.

Four Tips for a Successful YouTube Marketing Campaign

Here are four tips to help you create a successful YouTube marketing campaign.

Find the Right Influencers

Your YouTube influencer marketing campaign starts with finding the right influencer. Select an influencer who represents your brand values and reaches your ideal customer.

The influencer’s follower count shouldn’t be your only deciding factor. You’ll also want to examine the influencer’s average engagement rate and past branded content performance.

Tips for a Successful YouTube Marketing Campaign

Compensate your Influencers

YouTube influencers can generate a significant income from their videos, which may be a full-time career for many. In addition to advertising and subscription revenue on YouTube, many influencers will receive additional compensation from branded content sponsorships:

Most influencer campaigns on YouTube are fee-driven, given the time and cost involved for the influencer to create a sponsored video segment or dedicated piece of branded content. Expect to pay each influencer based on their number of followers, the type of promotion you’re requesting, and the time and work required to create the video.

Give your Influencers Creative Control

Creative freedom allows the influencers you work with to tailor the presentation of your brand to their followers. They know their audience best, so they can incorporate natural language and produce a video that matches their style.

This level of artistic expression typically results in the best content and helps build trust with the influencer’s audience. As a result, your product integration will feel less like a sales pitch and more like your influencer’s other content – that their followers have grown to know and love.

Measure your Results

You can only know if your influencer campaign is working by tracking your progress. So, how do you measure success? The metrics you use will depend on your business objectives. For example, an e-commerce brand using influencer marketing will want to calculate how much its sales have increased.

Here are some of the most useful YouTube influencer marketing metrics:

YouTube influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most compelling ways for business leaders to boost their visibility, connect with new audiences, and increase sales. 

With the right influencer marketing strategy on YouTube, you can showcase your products and services in unique and engaging ways, attracting customers and building stronger relationships with buyers.

As YouTube grows in size and reach, its potential for marketing leaders will only grow. Take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your brand with YouTube influencer marketing.

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Picture of Janet Podham

Janet Podham

Janet Podham is the owner of Openbox Marketing Limited. She has a post-graduate diploma from the University of Otago, majoring in Data Science. She has spent two years studying website design and SEO in the Champions Masters Program at the eBusiness Institute in Australia. She loves helping people and knits for local foster children in her spare time.

Connect with Janet on LinkedIn.

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