The YouTube and Influencer Marketing Blog

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

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

The Different Types Of Social Influencers

Different Types Of Social Influencers Viner Logan Paul

image via popular Viner Logan Paul's YouTube channel

The 5 Types Of Social Influencers You Must Know

"Social influencer” may not yet be a household term yet, but its usage is growing exponentially. This is especially true in the world of digital, social media, and influencer marketing, where many top brands are teaming up with social influencers in order to effectively market to consumer audiences online. Social influencers are also referred to as digital influencers (digital superstar Bethany Mota recently referred to herself as such during her speech at BeautyCon 2015), creators (as termed by YouTube), or social media influencers.

According to a Nielsen report, “92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007.” With the rise of social media sharing and video publishing platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, online consumers follow select social influencers for the latest news, trends, and lifestyle recommendations. Interest from today’s biggest brands is growing, too—60% of marketers are upping their spending on social influencer marketing, according to a recently published AdWeek article.

Here are five types of social influencers worth paying attention to right now:

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Snapchat Influencers, Social Media Influencers, Vine Influencers, YouTube Influencers

3 Ways Social Media Stars Are Changing How Brands Market

Social Media Stars Changing How Brands Market Tuula Vintage

image via Tuula Vintage

With Top Social Media Stars, Brands Are Now Marketing Online In An Entirely Different Way

Social media marketing has long been an important element in the success of major brandsfor most, a proactive, well-thought through social media strategy means the difference between mass consumer renown or obscurity. Techniques may have changed with the rapid development of new and emerging social media channels, but getting the word out remains crucial. Even the best products and services will fail if no one knows about them. Since the rise and rapid proliferation of social media sharing and publishing platforms including YouTube and Instagram, there has been an intense shift in the direction of digital marketing. The newest trend? Marketing with social media stars.

Top social media stars (YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatterscollectively known as social media influencers) are gaining a great deal of attention from today’s top marketing houses, due in large part to the amount of influence they hold over many different sectors of the Internet. In a 2015 article published in Adweek, a study found that influencer marketing produced an average return of $6.85 for every marketing dollar spent. According to an iMedia Connection article noting the marketing differences and results between YouTube star Ryan Higa and traditional celebrity Robert Downey Jr., Google paid top YouTuber Ryan Higa $75,000 per appearance to promote products such as the company’s Nexus One smartphone (a fraction of Downey's $12 million). 

Here are 3 ways social media stars like Higa are changing how brands market across all channels online:

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Snapchat Influencers, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

Instagram Sponsored Ads vs. Influencer Marketing

Instagram Sponsored Ads vs Influencer Marketing Who Wins

How Do Instagram Sponsored Ads Fare Against Influencer Marketing?

Instagram is quickly becoming the most effective tool on the Internet for brands that are looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level. According to a recent AdWeek article, Instagram is projected to bring in $1.6 billion in ad sales in 2016, and $2 billion by 2017. It’s no secret that brands across all industries are looking toward Instagram as the next big thing in digital marketing. But many brands are asking the same overarching question:

What’s more effective: influencer marketing or Instagram sponsored ads?

To answer this difficult question, it’s important to develop a strong understanding of what both of these tools bring to the table. Instagram sponsored ads are designed specifically to be inserted between real user posts on a feed. The intention is to create brand awareness without coming off as a blatant advertisement. In many ways, Instagram sponsored ads are similar to advertorials, which cleverly disguise advertisements as journalistic pieces. (For more information, see Digiday's article on "Native Ads or Advertorials?").

Yes, Instagram sponsored ads can boost awareness and get a brand’s name out there, but just how well are they really going over with users?

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

The Rise Of YouTube Unboxing Videos

YouTube Unboxing Videos

YouTube Unboxing Videos May Hold Secrets To Viral Video Marketing

Launched just in time for Q4 2015 on September 29, YouTube’s new Shoppable Ads rollout proves that the video-sharing hub is shaking things up as the holiday season approaches. Central to this shift for how influential YouTube content creators are connecting worldwide audiences with brands is the rise of a very particular type of video — the unboxing video. It’s taking the site by storm and is a prime example of the type of video that YouTube is focusing on.

What Is A YouTube Unboxing Video?

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, the popularity of YouTube unboxing videos may come as a fairly large surprise.

In a typical unboxing video, the YouTube content creator or "YouTuber" will focus on a specific product, with the goal of unpacking the boxed-up, shrinkwrapped item to show the entirety of its contents. Often, “unboxers” go further by putting what’s inside the box together and demonstrating how the product works. Though unboxing may have started with YouTube content creators bragging about their latest purchases, it has evolved into an entire genre of its own. According to The Guardian, “its origins lie in the gadget and fashion world, where “vloggers” unbox everything from Xboxes to video games, phones, clothing, trainers, coffee machines or Uggs, so consumers can get a preview of what they're buying.”

Read on to see some of the best unboxing examples and how brands succeed big time with YouTube unboxing videos.

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in blog, Branded Content With Influencers, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers

Inside The World Of YouTube Content Creators

YouTube Content Creators World iJustine

image via Gage Skidmore

How YouTube Content Creators Created Their Very Own World

It’s hard to believe that YouTube first made waves on the Internet a decade ago. In its infancy, the video-sharing website was viewed by many as a mere time-waster for students who needed a break from studying. With each passing year however, the community has carved out a greater chunk of how people spend their time surfing the web (see our post "Digital Media Taking Billions Away From TV"). Just last year, the company was valued at upwards of $40 billion, according to a 2014 AdWeek article — a far cry from when it was purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

One of the most interesting trends for the self-published video platform is the rise in YouTube content creators (also known as "YouTubers") over the past half-decade. It's significant enough that some major cities have established dedicated YouTube Spaces, for these individuals to meet and collaborate. Movies Ant-Man, Terminator Genisys, and Trainwreck all collaborated with top YouTubers for their movie promotion. Some of these content creators bring in more cash each year than anyone would have imagined; for example, according to Business Insider, Swedish YouTube sensation PewDiePie brings in an estimated yearly income of $825,000-$8.47 million after the company takes its 45% cut.

So, just how are these YouTube content creators creating new revenue streams and changing how generations stream content online?

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in blog, YouTube Influencers

New YouTube Shoppable Videos + Awesome Stuff Week Channel

YouTube Shoppable Videos Awesome Stuff Week GiGiGorgeous

YouTube Shoppable Videos Promise Benefits For Both Brands And Content Creators. Is It A Gamechanger Or Will It Flop?

With YouTube's new Shopping Ads, every YouTube content creator can now make their video "shoppable." On September 29, 2015, YouTube announced on their official Google AdWords blog their latest ad development after assessing the significant growth of channels and videos featuring product reviews (up 40% as cited by Wired magazine). To better connect advertisers with top YouTube influencers and shorten the path to purchase, YouTube's new Shopping Ads overlay an icon over each video that redirects viewers to an advertiser's external site when clicked.

YouTube Shoppable Videos Awesome Stuff Week Brad Hall

Promoting YouTube Shoppable Videos With Top YouTubers On New "Awesome Stuff Week" Channel

In an effort to promote and raise awareness for the new YouTube Shoppable Videos, YouTube launched their new channel "Awesome Stuff Week" Monday October 5th complete with a blog post explainer on the official YouTube blog. YouTube cites Think With Google case studies to support the importance of how YouTube product reviews influence purchase decisions and to provide the specific "I-Want-To-Buy" point solution (Step 4 here in their case study) with YouTube Shoppable Videos.

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

3 Best Instagram Marketing Tips

Best Instagram Marketing Tips With Instagram Influencers

Looking for more tips on how to market with Instagrammers? Subscribe to our industry digest newsletter: the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars!

Best Instagram Marketing Tips For Brands Working With Top Instagrammers

Although Instagram has progressively unveiled more ad options and user targeting tools for brands, many top brands in the automotive, fashion/beauty, food, subscription-based (see this Forbes article "How Birchbox, Blue Apron, and BarkBox Are Creating Connected Experiences With Millennial Consumers"), financial services, travel/hospitality, and more are actively marketing on Instagram with social media influencers (Instagram content creators with hundreds of thousands of followers) in order to execute strategic high reach/return marketing campaigns.

To provide a jumpstart on how best brands market on Instagram, here are 3 best Instagram marketing tips for brands creating sponsored content with top influencers:

First, find the correct influencers:

For an in-depth step-by-step look at "How To Find Instagram Influencers," check out our dedicated post here

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Bloggers, Fashion Influencers, Influencer Marketing, Influencer Marketing Examples, Instagram Influencers, Social Media Influencers, Sponsored Content With Influencers

YouTube’s New Shopping Ads: What You Need To Know

YouTubes New Shopping Ads

image via ThatsHeart 

YouTube Debuts New Shopping Ads For Video Creators, Et Al.

On September 29, 2015, YouTube announced its latest advent: YouTube Shopping Ads. Leading up to their announcement at IAB's (Interactive Advertising Bureau) 2015 MIXX Conference, YouTube had previously begun offering mobile-optimized "Cards," replacing video annotations designed to boost viewer engagement, and subsequently Trueview for shopping. Now with their new YouTube Shopping Ads, YouTube offers what it believes will be a home run hit for viewers, advertisers, and creators alike.


YouTube's announcement comes at a particularly interesting time for brands, advertisers, publishers, and video content creators (YouTubers, vloggers, social media influencers) -- while the vast majority of publishers who derive revenue from display advertising are reeling from the uptick in ad blocking usage, YouTube content creators, YouTubers, and other prominent social media influencers are enjoying new added revenue streams as brands cultivate deeper collaborations for sponsored and branded content on influencer channels. Brands including Apple, Castrol, Hallmark, Mercedes-Benz, and Blue Apron are all marketing with top YouTubers. This year's 5th annual Streamy Awards featured brand campaign nominations from Pizza Hut, Nissan, Purina, and more.

With YouTube's new Shopping Ads, YouTube joins both Pinterest and Instagram in an effort to provide shoppable ad options for brands and advertisers. Furthermore

especially YouTubers who vlog extensively on products, reviews, DIYs, demos, and produce "unboxing," "haul" style videos.

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in blog, Influencer Marketing News, Monetization, Native Advertising With Influencers, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

6 Top Lifestyle Bloggers

Top Lifestyle Bloggers A Beautiful Mess

image via A Beautiful Mess

6 Top Lifestyle Bloggers You Should Know

Lifestyle blogs cover categories that portray a blogger's everyday life; often including style, travel, food, and decor. A lifestyle influencer curates and produces content that is specific to their own interests, as defined by Kissmetrics, "Influencers are people who are active on social media and blogs. They also are brand advocates and niche promoters."

Top social media influencers can have a reach of hundreds of thousands to over a million followers. Total audience reach coupled with high levels of social media engagement (see our post here on "Why Social Media Engagement Matters For Sponsored Content") makes top influencers and digital content creators especially attractive to companies seeking to brand and message to their dedicated audiences.

In order to elicit the maximum levels of engagement and brand affinity in a successful influencer marketing campaign (see our post here on "How To Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns" and access our checklist), brands allow influencers to retain creative control in order to maintain authenticity. Brands must also understand the top lifestyle blogger, their audience, and how they interact with their audience in order to ensure the proper brand message integration.

For a quick overview of how brands should not interact with social media influencers, check out this vlogger's video.

Here are our top lifestyle bloggers:

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in blog, Bloggers, Influencer Marketing Top Lists, Lifestyle Bloggers, Social Media Influencers

Instagram Marketing Strategy With Social Media Stars

Instagram Marketing Strategy With Social Media Stars

Today's post is part of our ongoing Instagram influencer marketing series -- check out the rest of the series here.

Developing An Instagram Marketing Strategy

Ever since first released to the public in October of 2010, Instagram has been poised for real success. The app’s acquisition by Facebook in 2012 gave it the kickstart it needed to reach mass market appeal, growing 20% more than its parent company Facebook that year. According to Forbes, Instagram now boasts over 400 million monthly active users as of this week, and, “this year, eMarketer forecasts Instagram’s global ad revenue will be $600 million.” Yes -- Instagram is surpassing most other social media channels in popularity, and the trend isn’t likely to slow down.

As brands and advertisers, heading into 2015 Q4, strategize on the best ways to leverage Instagram marketing, it is helpful to reflect on the successes of last year's top Q4 campaigns. In Adweek's article "Brands' Next Big Celebrity Deals May Be With Social Media Stars," the advertising site details how Dick's Sporting Goods partnered with several social media stars to create branded and sponsored content generating "more than 130,000 clicks to Dick's website, 6.2 million engagements, 27.5 million impressions, and 4,000 new Twitter followers."

As told to Adweek, Jay Basnight director of digital at Dick's notes the following with regards to executing multiple year-long influencer marketing campaigns,

"It's not just one and done -- it is a relationship that we've developed with social media influencers."

Clearly, there’s never been a better time than now for today’s top brands to focus on developing an airtight Instagram marketing strategy, and partnering with social media stars can be the key for seeing measurable success.

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in blog, Bloggers, Branded Content With Influencers, Fashion Influencers, Instagram Influencers, Native Advertising With Influencers, Social Media Influencers

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