Influencer marketing continues to grow as brands recognize the value of tapping trusted sources to help communicate their story to already engaged communities. With an increasing number of products and services designed to facilitate this word of mouth marketing approach, choosing the right platform that will 1) resonate with your ideal customer and 2) convey your brand message clearly and consistently can be daunting.

While Facebook and Instagram are more predictable options for influencer marketing campaigns, YouTube is becoming one of the most interesting platforms to reach and activate new audiences.

One reason for YouTube’s appeal is that it runs almost entirely on user generated content, providing an authentic experience for users. According to Think with Google, 4 in 10 millennial subscribers believe their favorite creator understands them better than their friends. These YouTube-cultivated communities are the perfect environment for integrated marketing campaigns because consumers are seeking information, opinions and entertainment from trusted sources and thus may be more likely to take action on their recommendations. In fact, YouTubers resonate so well with their users that 70 percent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities (Source).

Not only does YouTube enable access to desirable demographics and loyal audiences, but the interactivity of the medium is key to its success. Like other story-based social media platforms, video offers a more personal experience for users, interesting visuals, and can convey brand personality in a matter of minutes. 51 percent of marketers say that video content produces the best ROI because it shows where, when and how often content is being viewed. (Source)

While there have been a number of successful YouTube campaigns over the past few years, one of our all time favorites is from the organization truth that advocates for ending teen smoking. The nonprofit recruited famous YouTubers and produced a music video called ‘Left Swipe Dat’ to show that people who were smoking in their Tinder profile pictures received fewer matches than other users. The video was shared by each of the YouTubers in the video who had a combined 34.54 million subscribers at the time of its release in 2015. The campaign was hugely successful at leveraging influencers to reach the organization’s intended audience and spread their message organically, with #LeftSwipeDat even trending #1 worldwide on Twitter.

Creating a successful marketing campaign on YouTube can be tricky since it requires different resources and budgets than text or photo-driven campaigns.

Here are some first steps you can take to start one for your brand:

  • Define the goals of the campaign, including metrics of success
  • Identify the target audience you want to reach with your message
  • Determine who is influencing this community and how
  • Select key influencers and collaborate on designing a campaign to creatively communicate your
    story and achieve your previously stated goals
  • Evaluate campaign effectiveness to inform future efforts

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