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With over a billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours each day, many companies are partnering with influential and popular YouTubers to help drive awareness, engagement, and conversions for products and services. Top YouTubers and channels can consistently receive hundreds of thousands of views per video and feature millions of avid subscribers who tune in for the latest video content direct from their favorite YouTubers.
Although many advertisers and publishers are currently being adversely affected by the rising use of ad blockers (ad blockers prevent many forms of display, banner, and also pre-roll video ads), savvy marketers are turning to sponsored content with influencers as a viable, well-targeted, and high return alternative to digital ads.
Acquired by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion in April 2015, online learning company veteran Lynda.com advertised prolifically with popular YouTubers throughout 2015 to help drive sign-ups, conversions, and awareness for their service. Collectively, Lynda’s sponsored content with popular YouTubers reached a subscriber audience of over 46 million.
See sponsored video examples and how Lynda marketed with popular YouTubers and channels including Rooster Teeth, Good Mythical Morning, The Fine Brothers, The Game Theorists, Veritasium, and many others here:
Popular gaming and machinima channel Rooster Teeth featured Lynda as their sponsor throughout the first two quarters of 2015. In addition to a sponsor call out at the onset of the video and end credit, Rooster Teeth links to Lynda in the video description. Oftentimes YouTube brand sponsors will provide customized URLs and/or bit.ly links in order to track the traffic driven from each individual channel.
With over 2 million views on this video alone, popular YouTubers Rhett and Link from Good Mythical Morning thank Lynda as their video sponsor (10:05) and present a well-animated visual call out with adjoining free trial offer to their 8+ million subscribers.
One of the most prolific and popular YouTubers, The Fine Brothers feature channel sponsor Lynda throughout 50+ videos from January to April. As more brands partner with digital influencers, we are beginning to see more and more long-term collaborations emerge in place of the simple one-off sponsored post.
In this sponsored video, Matthew Patrick of The Game Theorists presents a humorous call to action for Lynda (15:15). By relating his own early experiences with Lynda.com (Patrick first began his YouTuber journey by learning how to film and edit on the site), he provides contextual relevance for his audience to the brand sponsor.
As one of YouTube’s most popular learning channels, partnering with MinutePhysics provides Lynda a targeted opportunity to reach viewers who are already keen and proactively searching for online learning content. More than just advanced user targeting, marketing with popular YouTubers provides brands and advertisers a way to reach targeted demographics who are highly engaged. To see why social engagement is important for sponsored content, see our post here.
Similar to MinutePhysics, top YouTube channel for learning Veritasium creator Derek Muller gives targeted examples of how he uses sponsor Lynda.com to learn the animation skills needed to create his videos.
In addition to the prominent sponsor callout at the onset of the video, Kip Kedersha (creator of the popular DIY and how-to channel KipKay) relates how he has used sponsor Lynda to brush up on his video editing skills.
In a particularly editing-heavy video, Jack Douglass of Jacksfilms shares how his audience can learn to make similarly edited videos on Lynda.com. Additionally, Douglass also integrates Lynda into his recurring user-generated/sourced channel content by asking viewers to learn a new skill via Lynda and share the content with him — winner’s creation will be featured on video at the end of the 30-day contest. Jacksfilms sponsor integration creatively drives viewers to try out Lynda.