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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

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

Native Advertising: The Downfall of Display Ads

Native Advertising Display Ads Sponsored Content

Native Advertising Solves Display Ad Problems

Ad Age published a post stating that close to 50% of online ads aren't ever seen. The post was vague about precisly which ads it was referring to (display, instream, search, etc.), but we can make some guesses at what's going on here, what's not working, and why native advertising is taking over:

  1. Display ads are commoditized, cheap and easy. No one's really checked if they work -- if display ads are amounting to real, branded engagement, awareness, and bottom-line boosting conversions. Everyone stares at their click through rate (CTR) and prays it's at least above average. When it is, the customer is happy but this prompts more ads.
  2. Most advertisers don't really know what they're doing. Many brands put out a massive amount of re-targeting ads at a PPC price, proceed to let them run amok on low quality sites, and at below-the-fold placements.
  3. Visitors have trained themselves to ignore display ads. We consume so much online content these days that everyone is trained to look in the usual places for the content and avoid the places where display ads lie (side rail).
  4. Visitors have trained themselves to multi-task. It used to be that an instream ad guaranteed a view. Now, a visitor can open a new tab or window, write an email, text a friend, and check back in 30 seconds later to watch their original video.

What's The Solution?

  1. Work Every Channel. Create great advertising with a multifaceted plan through multiple media channels including video, Twitter, Facebook, native advertising, and branded content. The Old Spice Campaign hit every aspect of this and blew it out of the water.
  2. Go Native. Whatever you want to call it, native advertising is taking off. Mashable debates whether the term is just another way to describe good advertising. For some channels and publishers, it means a native format that's templated. Buzzfeed consistently creates some of the best native advertising (which in this case is also branded content). Buzzfeed is now scaling up with a full-blown native advertising network.
  3. Market Through Influencers. Inherently native, influencer marketing is nothing new, but the space and scale have changed dramatically now that marketers can reach massive audiences through Twitter influencers, YouTubers, bloggers, Tumblrs, Instagramers, and every other social channel. Influencers have a profound impact on their audience because their audiences turn directly to them as lifestyle informants, trend setters, and tastemakers.

If you want your ad to be seen, build a native advertising strategy and marketing campaign that ensures premium visibility and ultimately, work with the right channels and brand influencers that will drive maximum viewer engagement.

in blog, Native Advertising With Influencers

Jason Calacanis Rants On YouTube Partner Pay, MCNs

Jason Calacanis How YouTubers Make Money MCNs Partnery Pay

YouTube Partner Pay: Will You Make Money? 

Jason Calacanis wrote a great article about YouTube Partner pay, producing online video content as a YouTube Partner, and  MCNs (multi-channel networks) as a threat to YouTube's current model. He points out the current, fundamental problem with YouTube: making money as a YouTube partner.

There are currently three ways to make money as a YouTube partner:

  1. YouTube Grant Program - as part of YouTube's grant program, the creator is paid directly by YouTube to produce content.
  2. Adsense Payout - payout is based on a revenue share. For most YouTube partners, the payout works out to be around $1.50 CPM (not the best Cost Per Impression in the world of online video).
  3. Advertisers - custom, branded content sold directly to advertisers and published on your channel.

As a participant in YouTube's grant program, Calacanis realized that YouTube will not pay him indefinitely to produce content. By analyzing his video views and search traffic, Calacanis came to the realization that his video content won't pay out enough (via Adsense) to support production if YouTube isn't paying. Many YouTube partners who were paid by YouTube to produce content have also come to the same realization.

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in blog, Monetization, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

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