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In our previous post on why brands should consider partnering with YouTube gamers, we described our process of collecting and analyzing over 200 of the top YouTube influencer channels and more than 3,700 pieces of sponsored content in the first six months of 2015. While data showed that a large percentage of brand-sponsored videos took place on gaming or gaming-related channels, nearly half of all sponsored videos (1508 videos, or 42%) took place on non-gaming channels and through collaborations with non-gaming-related YouTubers.
To illustrate how non-gaming YouTubers can help brands achieve their marketing goals—build brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, boost product sales, etc.—we continued our analysis to uncover more insights about how the world’s best brands are marketing on YouTube.
As a recent Financial Times article highlights, time spent watching YouTube videos per person has increased 60% year-over-year, and the number of advertisers on YouTube increased by over 40% (Think With Google). Many consumers, especially Millennials, are now turning to their web-based channels for content instead of traditional television; a recent survey indicated that 67% of Millennials said that they couldn’t live without YouTube, while only 36% said the same for traditional television (Mediapost).
As young consumers are shifting from watching TV channel like MTV to YouTube, it comes as no surprise that more consumers are looking for digital entertainment content on YouTube and many of the brand-sponsored videos fall into the “Entertainment” category.
Related Post: 5 Different Types Of YouTube Marketing Campaigns
After analyzing the data, we found that a majority of collaborations between brands and YouTubers takes place on YouTube channels that don’t necessary match the brand’s advertising category. For instance, most sponsored entertainment videos (452 videos, or 95%) were created in partnership with brands that aren’t entertainment-related, while over 60% (or 129 videos) of the videos that appeared on “Education” YouTube channels were sponsored by non-education-related brands.
Related Post: Best Sponsored YouTube Videos From Tech Giant Samsung
While the brand and YouTuber categories don’t always align, it’s important to recognize that, for the most successful campaigns, target demographics and consumer interests must be shared between sponsored YouTube collaborations. Surprisingly, we found that when companies collaborated with “mismatched” YouTube channels, the campaign/video that resulted were often extremely creative/attention-grabbing and thus yielded high levels of subscriber engagement.
Related Post: How To Choose The Right YouTuber For Your Next Campaign
Andrew Hales’ (LAHWF) comical social experiments and creative pranks have made him one of the top YouTube influencers today. Tide was able to get exposure to the YouTuber’s 2 million subscribers by asking Hales participate in the Tide Pod Challenge & sponsoring Hales’ video of the star spilling a blueberry smoothie on random bystanders and putting the blame on the unsuspecting victims.
With over 2.8 million subscribers, YouTube channel Break collaborated with Nissan to participate in the brand’s #withdad campaign (which also aligned with Nissan’s Super Bowl commercial theme). This poignant, brand-sponsored content generated over 880K views and helped reinforce a positive brand image for Nissan.
With over 2.5 million subscribers and more than 600 million video views, Kipkay is a YouTube influencer well known for his how-to tricks, most of which are related to science, technological hacks, and DIY tips. Kipkay created a video for Naturebox by integrating a fun, create-your-own easter egg surprise project with the brand’s subscription box snacks. The video was extremely well-received, garnering over 300K video views to date.