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The YouTube and Influencer Marketing Blog

The latest news and analysis of YouTube and Influencer Marketing For Top Brands,

YouTubers, Instagramers, Social Media Influencers, & Influencer Marketing Campaigns

See How Top Brands Are Creating YouTube Sponsored Content

YouTube Sponsored Content Branded Influencers

Best YouTube Sponsored Content With Top Brands & YouTubers

Creating effective YouTube sponsored content videos with top YouTubers can be a challenge, especially when working with independent content creators. For brands, finding success on YouTube means thinking less like TV commercial-makers and more like independent viral video-makers and YouTube creators. The best YouTube sponsored content videos feel organic, natural in their presentation, and engages the audience like true content. Videos that feel scripted, over-rehearsed, and overly produced result in uninspired content which in turn draws negative reactions from viewers (for more information about creating the best-sponsored content, see our post on Three Things to Remember When Making Branded Content for YouTube).

The best YouTube sponsored content has been drawing the interest of big time brands. Walgreens, Old Navy, Target, and Maybelline have all worked with top fashion, beauty, and lifestyle channels to create YouTube sponsored content.

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YouTube Branded Content Spotlight: Dermablend Professional

YouTube Branded Content Dermablend Top YouTubers Influencers

An Inside Look At Dermablend's YouTube Branded Content

With over 1 billion unique users on YouTube each month, brands are looking to tap into their potential YouTube audience. But creating branded content for YouTube is an art and takes more than just shooting a traditional 30-second TV commercial and publishing thereafter to your company's YouTube channel. Some brands choose to work directly with notable YouTube channels and content creators (aka vloggers or YouTubers) to produce branded content (see our post on Things To Do When Creating Branded YouTube Content). Other companies build branded content directly through their YouTube channels (great examples include BlendTec and Old Spice). Dermablend is an example of a brand that has done a fantastic job of creating branded content for their fans (see our post on 5 Best YouTube Branded Content Videos) by utilizing native advertising to create a campaign that's engaging and full of emotional appeal.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

YouTube Influencer Spotlight: Cassey Ho of Blogilates

Top YouTube Influencers Cassey Ho Blogilates Instagram

YouTube Influencer Spotlight: Meet Cassey Ho of Blogilates

Top YouTube Influencer, Cassey Ho, is a certified Pilates and fitness instructor, and the creator of POP Pilates, an instructional Pilates workout system with a big focus on music in her energizing instructional videos. She is also the founder of both oGorgeous, a line of fitness and yoga accessories for the fashion-conscious, and BODYPOP, a brand new line of affordable activewear. Cassey's videos seek to help women work towards improving their bodies through clean eating and working out. As a top YouTube influencer, Cassey demonstrates the power of both a healthy perspective and healthy relationship with yourself.

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in blog, Bloggers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

3 Things To Remember When Creating Branded Content For YouTube

YouTube Branded Content Creators Influencers

Want To Create YouTube Branded Content With Influencers? Don't Make These Mistakes:

There is so much potential to capture part of your YouTube influencers' audience and build a connection back to your brand when working with an influencer (AKA YouTuber or Creator) on a branded content video. It's easy to allow brand objectives override the goal of engaging the audience and creating great content. Great branded content sponsorships are likely to get more views, comments, likes, and shares,  and will easily outperform traditional advertising campaigns. The content creators and YouTube influencers know their audience and thus, the entire process should be collaborative, unscripted, and organic with special emphasis on building longstanding relationships with the YouTuber.

Here are three things NOT to do when working with influencers for successfully branded content sponsorships:

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Five Ways to Collaborate with YouTube Content Creators

YouTube Content Creators Product Placement Influencers

The 5 Best Ways To Collaborate With Top YouTube Content Creators:

Just in the last month, over 186 million people in the US watched an online video. Google dominated this audience with over 150M viewers on YouTube alone. Online video clearly has a huge presence with viewers.

How can you leverage this massive audience and built in engagement of online video to build your brand? Brands are increasingly working with YouTube content creators to build brand content, drive brand awareness and engage with audiences in new and innovative ways (see our blog post on the top 5 branded YouTube videos and brands that do YouTube well). How can you collaborate with popular YouTube content creators to get the word out about your product? Here are our best practices:

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Blogger For Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer Marketing Campaigns Finding Bloggers

Influencer Marketing Campaigns: 5 Questions You Must Ask To Find The Right Blogger

1. Is the blog/blogger relevant to my brand?

The first thing you need to do when looking for potential bloggers for your influencer marketing campaign is to make sure that the blog and its content are relevant to your brand or product. Is the content relevant to the lifestyle you imagine your target audience living? Can you imagine your brand seamlessly fitting in with that content? Note that if any of the blogger's content directly contradicts your brand message, you'll want to keep looking.

2. How often does the blogger post new content?

The next thing you need to do when looking for potential bloggers is to make sure you don't waste your time looking through blogs that don't post content often enough. If a blogger doesn't  blog often, readers are less likely to check their blog on a regular basis. Therefore, sponsoring a blog with consistent and recent content is key to running a successful influencer marketing campaign. Additionally, when a blogger posts often, it shows that they take their blog more seriously and will be more likely to respond to your business inquiries.

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

YouTube Advertising Bests Facebook For Top Brands

YouTube Advertising Facebook vs YouTube

YouTube Advertising: Infographic Shows YouTube Outperforming Facebook 20X For Engagement

Do you remember how excessively you used Myspace in 2006? Then, do you remember switching over to Facebook and never looking back in 2008 because it was suddenly cooler? Well, if you are looking for the social platform with the most engagement for your brand, it looks like YouTube is the new Facebook.

Brendan Gahan found that YouTube subscriptions are 20 times more valuable and drive more engagement to your brand than Facebook after two weeks of research. Ironically, you'll notice most companies have more likes on Facebook then subscriptions to their channel. There was a time when Facebook's page was an advertiser's dream. Facebook brand pages seem to have no limit to growth and engagement. Every brand had to be on Facebook, but then something happened. The algorithm changed and engagement plummeted. Facebook was guilty of it's own success: recent posts show that the average user has over 1,500 individual items running through their news feed. Furthermore, many brands have reported huge drops in engagement.

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in blog, Facebook, Native Advertising With Influencers, YouTube Influencers

The 5 Best YouTube Sponsored Videos

YouTube Sponsored Videos YouTubers Influencers

YouTube For Brands: 5 Best YouTube Sponsored Videos With Top Influencers

Branded content is as much art as science. It can be even more so when working with YouTubers. Brands have taken a variety of approaches from working directly with YouTubers to engaging with YouTube influencer agencies. YouTube creators are fiercely independent and conscientiously protective of doing anything at all to avoid alienating their audience by "selling out." YouTube audiences with a high component of millennials have a low tolerance for branded content that doesn't match the authenticity of the YouTuber. Included in the lexicon of describing sponsorships are terms such as branded content, YouTube sponsored videos, native advertising, native sponsorships, and more. Regardless of the terms, the goals of engaging the audience are the same (see our post on top YouTube channels to work with).

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in blog, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

The Rise of Top Fashion Bloggers at New York Fashion Week

Fashion Bloggers NY Fashion Week

Top Fashion Bloggers Sit Front Row & Center At New York Fashion Week

As expected, this year’s NY Fashion Week was rife with stylish trendsetters and fashionistas, however there was one noticeable change in attendee demographics. No longer are the top fashion designers, print magazine editors, and worldly socialites the first names invited to the biggest-name fashion shows. A new set of industry leaders, the stylish fashion bloggers, sat in the coveted front row seats.

Whether it was the modelesque personal style influencers, the editors of top online style publications, or the well-known YouTuber beauty gurus, these top fashion bloggers were placed front and center, fully decked out in the brand’s newest designs. The strategic seating chart guaranteed that these top fashion bloggers had access to shoot and share those perfect Instagrammer photos.

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in blog, Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Lifestyle Bloggers, Social Media Influencers, Sponsored Content With Influencers

YouTube Influencers Move Beyond Sponsorship Problems

YouTube Influencers Sponsorships Partner

YouTube Influencers Confront Sponsorships, Partner Progam Issues

Several YouTube influencers have recently called out YouTube's monetization problem (i.e. very low CPMs for partners), most prominently Jason Calacanis (we've written our own response to Jason's post). Calacanis brings up several good points around channel monetization. Calacanis shares that with a mere $1.50 CPM rev share standard for most channels no one, save the few Jenna Marbles of the world, can make enough money getting paid directly by YouTube to sustain production costs and produce great content. Some YouTube influencers do get an unspecified higher CPM and large networks are able to sell some of their inventory directly to advertisers at a higher CPM (usually coupled with branded content ad buys or integrated YouTube sponsorships).

Paid Content in the meantime suggests that YouTube influencers may be able to sufficiently monetize via affiliate style tools (something bloggers have been doing for years). And for the top YouTubers, they're able to easily monetize off of merchandising, affiliate commissions, and branded content deals. However, the overwhelming majority of YouTube influencers do not have brands approaching them on a regular basis for paid YouTube sponsorships, and don't get enough views to monetize well from affiliate-style commissions. Affiliate-style deals work well only in specific categories like fashion and beauty when YouTube influencers has a sizable following and publishes frequently. They don't work as well for general audiences. 

Getting YouTube Influencers Paid: How YouTube Can Fix Their Partner Program Problem

  1. Build An Affiliate Network. YouTube builds their own affiliate network that allows YouTube influencers and channels to link out via in-video product links. Though it was shut down earlier this year, Google already has built their own Affiliate Network. They already know the space, have the framework, and have engineered the product. Google is missing out on millions of affiliate commissions when YouTuber channels post their own links in description boxes. This would all work much better if viewers could click on the video. Brands sell their products and services, Google takes a cut, and the YouTube influencers get paid.
  2. Allow Channel Advertiser Skins. These are commonly used by publishers all over the web. Google/YouTube would probably argue that it gives the site a more MySpace-y feel, but they're everywhere already. Create a marketplace for channel/video skins that sets the specs, approves the advertisers and creatives, and let them have at it. YouTube channels would get bids from the advertisers (or put their own stats and price out in the market place). Running an advertiser would be as simple as clicking a button.
  3. Create Category Curation. Who really follows their news feed with all the likes and comments that goes on? This isn't Facebook. Entertainment necessitates curation. YouTube can't expect audiences to go and find The Best of YouTube via search and playlists. Create Pinterest-style curation pages and have category level pages where YouTube editors pick the best (yes, YouTube used to previously do this). With category curation, there would be a fashion home page, a humor page, a tech home page, etc. and no need for those pesky algorithms. And yes, with this model, influencers wouldn't be paid directly, but it would enormously help discovery, and make new/upcoming channels easier to find.

How YouTube Influencers & Channels Will Benefit

  1. Creates an easier path to monetization for channels. YouTube influencers talk about how much money they're now making. Jason Calacanis stops writing bad PR for YouTube.
  2. Google/YouTube makes more money. There are $10's of millions of dollars or more on the table in affiliate commissions. It's even better than the rest of the web because YouTube can dictate that they're the only vendor/provider. It's surprising that they haven't done anything here yet.
  3. Advertisers are happy. Advertisers want high impact ads. We all skip the pre-roll. Or open another tab when it's running. It's not to say that audiences won't avoid the site skins, but when they're done right and coupled with instream, skins will be a great combination for advertisers.
  4. Smaller channels getting the exposure they need. With greater exposure, YouTube enjoys more breakthrough success stories. In turn, more clever, funny, interesting, attractive, and innovative influencers create content for YouTube = no more cable.

in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

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