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:
Commercials are a one-way street. Fortunately, with the help of YouTubers and influential content creators, brands have the unique opportunity to create an interactive, two-way conversation with a YouTuber’s channel subscribers. Instead of simply telling your viewers what to think for 30 seconds (i.e. the traditional 30-sec TV spot), your branded content can reach out and proactively engage them with resonance. The content creator and YouTube influencer can create an authentic dialogue with your target audience consumer, and can also help make your brand relevant to their audience. If the video feels overly branded, audiences will be quick to admonish your brand directly in the comments. At the minimum, your ideal target audience won’t be sharing with their friends. At the worst, your brand may be subject to heavy consumer backlash that ruins your company’s delicate reputation.
The goal is to make enticing videos with great engaging content that can be instantly turned into an on-going conversation (also see our post on five ways to collaborate with YouTube content creators). You want to make branded content that elicits audience participation and prompts viewers to hit the “like” button or immediately share with their friends and family.
Simply put, YouTube content creators know their audience better than you do. They’ve grown their audience through great content, years of trial and error, and connecting with the audience. Make sure you listen carefully and take their experienced feedback into consideration when making branded content videos. If you want your YouTuber collaborations to be credible, you need to let content creators figure out the best ways to integrate your brand into their content. If you’re not open and collaborative, you’ll make it especially difficult and frustrating for the content creator to do their best work (also see our post on five questions to ask yourself when choosing an influencer).
Ultimately, people subscribe to people and their on-going, relatable stories. Because of this, they want to hear the honest, sincere opinions of their favorite YouTubers. Generally, a content creator won’t collaborate or partake in a YouTube sponsorship with your brand unless he or she is genuinely interested in it. Nevertheless, it is critically important to give the content creator maximum freedom in how they present information about your brand.
There isn’t a known formula to make a video go viral, so don’t expect it to happen. Instead, work diligently with the creator to build and create great content. Giving them the freedom and support to do so will allow your brand and the branded sponsorship video the best chance of getting traffic, comments, click-throughs, and shares. More than 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so the likelihood of your video going viral is slim. A successfully branded YouTube video sponsorship is one that reaches the right audience in the right way, and gets shared. If you are focused on creating great sponsored content in conjunction with your YouTuber then it doesn’t matter whether or not your video has reached a million views (also see our post on the five best branded YouTube content videos).
Mediakix builds strategies and influencer marketing campaigns around digital influencers. Our clients include: BeachMint, Blue Apron, Combatant Gentleman, NatureBox, Nordstrom, among many others.