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:
Look for number of subscribers, numbers of comments per video, and ratio of likes to dislikes. All these criteria demonstrate the quality of audience and level of authority a YouTube channel has with their audience. The best YouTube content creators got there for a reason, by creating the best content and will know the best ways to adapt your brand to their content. Tubefilter is a great resource for YouTube creators and they regularly list the top subscribed to channels.
Be authentic, and most of all – be interested in the creators. Top YouTube creators get approached by hundreds of brands to do videos and collaborations, so they tend to only want to work with the brands that are the best fit and seem genuinely interested in them. So find the creators, watch their content, look how they’ve collaborated, follow them on social, and then reach out to talk.
Brands tend to want commercials, which is exactly what audiences don’t want. Work with the creator to allow them to come up with the creative brand integrations for the videos. Check out other examples of great branded content to see what’s worked well in the past. Have the creators send you examples of what they’ve done in the past. But the mantra is, the more it looks and feels like the YouTuber’s original content, the better the audience will engage with it.
YouTube channels and creators are not ad agencies or production houses. They tend to have a very rough sense of deadlines. Loosen your expectations and get a reasonable timeline in place, allowing the creator to provide the dates. Build in a buffer period. If you have a hard deadline, set a delivered deadline for the creator a couple weeks in advance to allow for a buffer. Stressed out creators don’t make great content.
One-off sponsorships work, but creators tend to prefer working with brands on a longer term basis. It allows them to build and create the best content and introduce their audiences to a product or service they like and use in a genuine, authentic manner. A series of videos also builds brand credibility and brand lift.
Lastly, don’t ask or expect for anything “viral.” It’s a term that frequently turns off YouTube creators, is over-used, and really takes a digital marketing miracle to happen.
For instance, Castrol uses Austin Evans in their #VirtualDriftCampaign to advertise its virtual reality setup. The video is produced in his style, making it accessible and authentic to his followers.
Top YouTuber Kandee Johnson For Glamour’s “Facial Fitness” video
Likewise, Glamour selected Kandee Johnson, a beauty and lifestyle blogger with an audience of women ages 20-30, to demonstrate facial fitness exercises for women looking to sculpt their faces.