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  Online Video Marketing

See the latest online video marketing campaigns, examples, and case studies with YouTubers & video creators. Learn how top brands & companies are marketing online by partnering with top YouTube content creators.

Top 5 YouTube Branded Advertising Videos of 2014, Part 1

Top 5 Sponsored YouTube Videos of 2014

With over 1 billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of video being watched daily, YouTube is a marketing powerhouse that with advertisers, agencies, and brands racing to capture audience, engage innovative ways, and collaborate with YouTubers, channels and creators. According to YouTube statistics, more than a million advertisers are using Google ad platforms to reach their audience. However brands that collaborate extensively with influencers, YouTubers and creators to conceive and design branded content and campaigns are the primary players in the industry (see our post on three ways to create branded content).  Below are some of the top branded content YouTube videos of 2014.

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

Vessel vs YouTube: What It Means for Advertisers & YouTubers

Vessel vs YouTube Video Platform

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Which Is The Better Video Platform? Vessel vs YouTube

A premium version of YouTube is soon to give the Google-owned video service a run for its money. Founded by Jason Kilar, the former CEO of Hulu, Vessel is the first subscription-based streaming-video service. For a monthly premium of $2.99, Vessel subscribers can watch videos from some of their favorite YouTube creators before it arrives on competing video platforms (see our post on How Vessel Is Poaching YouTube's Stars). This new experience elevates short-form videos into the same category as TV or movies where users willingly pay a much higher premium to view TV shows live or movies in at a theater. Alternatively, Vessel offers to have free ad-supported videos for those who choose to opt out of the subscription.

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, YouTube Influencers

3 Ways to Create Great Sponsored Content With Social Media Influencers

Sponsored Content With Social Media Influencers

Top 3 Ways To Create Standout Sponsored Content With Social Media Influencers

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing digital and social media marketing channels. With the rapid growth of social media publishing channels like blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and others, everyone from Samsung to Target to Tiffany & Co. is working with digital influencers to create brand sponsored content. Brands like Mountain Dew with extreme sports or Jamba Juice with fitness have created campaigns featuring YouTube channels and influencers to build brand awareness and engagement.

Here are the 3 steps they took to create the best brand sponsored content with influencers and YouTube channels:

1. Put Content First

Start with creating great content. If the content is great, it will get shared, liked, commented on, and engaged with throughout social media. Audiences have a low threshold for what they feel is "selling-out." You can instantly spot it on YouTube, because the comment thread will erupt with negative comments and dislikes. By and large, great content comes from the YouTube channel creator and the influencers. They know what their audience likes -- let them lead the way. As a stellar example of great sponsored content, check out Jamba Juice's video with Blogilates star, Cassey Ho.

2. Allow the Creator to be Authentic With Your Sponsored Content

Most influencers will vet out the brands they might consider to remain authentic to their audience (see our post on Steps to Picking the Right Influencers for your Brand). If they are considering working with you, it means you're a fit for both them and their audiences. Allow them to keep and build on that authenticity. Create a campaign and brand brief, but don't give them a script. Ask them to provide an outline of how they're envisioning building in the brand to the content, but don't get overly controlling on each and every aspect. Authentic content allows for social validation and positions the brand in great favor with the audience.

3. Keep the Audience in Mind

What may be most interesting to the audience from both the creator and audience's perspective may be completely different than what you envision. Brand sponsored content is not a scripted commercial. Being flexible in working with the creator can allow them to highlight what they like most and find most relevant about your brand/product/service. This is likely what the audience will like most about it as well. Audiences aren't adverse to advertising, but they do want it to be relevant, and a fit for the content and who they are. Today's savvy consumers look to influencers that resonate with them to find the newest brands and products. By offering something valuable, such as a a well-integrated post that is in harmony with the influencer's writing style and content, or an exclusive promotional offer to their loyal readers, audiences will engage and respond in a more positive way.

Also See Our Posts On:

Top Instagram Accounts: Fashion & Beauty

Best Social Media Influencers 2015 Series

How Brands Market With Top Instagram Influencers

Mediakix builds strategies and campaigns around online influencers on blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and emerging social media channels. Great sponsored content has been part of the highest driving ROI channel among advertising media for our clients including Birchbox, Blue Apron, Sleep Number, Hallmark, HauteLook, NatureBox among many others.

in blog, Influencer Marketing, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, Sponsored Content With Influencers

YouTube Influencers vs Celebrities: Who’s More Popular With Teens?

YouTube Influencers vs Celebrities Popular Social Media

YouTube Influencers Beat Celebrities In Recent Poll For Popularity, Relevance & More

Whether it's through celebrity endorsed products or branded content on a YouTuber channel, it's clear that both celebrities and influencers have a say in what we do. According to a new survey by Variety, YouTube influencers and creators are the ones with the real pull when it comes to teens. It may seem surprising to find that certain top YouTube influencers hold more sway than Jennifer Lawrence or even Seth Rogen, but YouTube is drawing in teens by the masses and starting to become their first viewing platform of choice (also see our post on fashion celebrities vs. digital influencers).

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in blog, Online Video Marketing, Social Media Influencers, YouTube Influencers

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

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

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

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

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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