In light of the recent YouTube ad boycott, platforms like OpenSlate that aim to give advertisers a better understanding of and more control over ad campaigns on influencer channels are getting attention. OpenSlate recently announced its partnership with media investment group GroupM to ensure that the latter’s clients’ ads weren’t running on YouTube channels with offensive content.
Partnerships with YouTube influencers and social media stars are some of the most effective ways to reach engaged audiences, but deciding which influencers are the best fit for a campaign is a tall order. That’s why social analytics platforms like OpenSlate exist — to give agencies and advertisers insight into the audience demographics and behaviors behind top influencers.
As advertisers take a closer look at where their ads are being served, it’s worth a closer look at how platforms like OpenSlate function in the influencer space.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach loyal, engaged, and niche audiences with tailored messaging and authenticity that cuts through the noise of today’s traditional and digital advertising landscapes.
Ad blockers and declining TV viewership are carving sharply into the effectiveness of traditional advertising in the digital age. Looking to regain some ground, marketers have found success with influencers, who have unparalleled access to attentive audiences, particularly among younger demographics. Influencer partnerships take a variety of different forms, including product placement, sponsorships, endorsements, product reviews and more, and give advertisers a singular opportunity to interact with audiences through a trusted and authentic voice.
Given the amount of time that people (and younger demographics in particular) are spending on social media instead of watching TV, being able to reach consumers where they’re most active is key. YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, Twitter personalities, and bloggers aren’t just content creators, they’re tastemakers and role models. In using influencers, marketers have the opportunity to reach audiences in new and more genuine ways.
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OpenSlate exists to provide marketers and agencies with detailed social video analytics and data on influencers. It’s not a platform for negotiating contracts or setting up campaigns like an influencer marketing network. Instead, it exists to provide information so that advertisers can make informed decisions about where their brand messaging is being displayed.
Following missteps like YouTube’s, this is deeply important. In a crowded marketplace, brand reputation and image is everything. Brands can’t afford to be associated with offensive content or with entities that run in opposition to their brand ideals. OpenSlate’s analytics and social video data on channel topics, activity, and engagement work to mitigate the uncertainty that comes with handing over the reigns of an ad campaign to an automated system rather than a dedicated team or agency.
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OpenSlate deals in “social analytics” on YouTube. Existing to give marketers and agencies insight into some of the biggest influencers and channels on YouTube. Taking into account subscribers, publishing frequency, video performance, engagement, and other channel metrics and data, OpenSlate gives the over 220,000 YouTube channels that it measures a “SlateScore.”
The SlateScore takes into account three primary criteria: Consistency, engagement, and influence. Unique to OpenSlate, the SlateScore is meant to be a kind of metric by which to judge the quality and value of a channel on a scale from 1-1000, with higher scores being better and the average being just under 300. The top 5% of OpenSlate’s measured channels have a score of over 600.
In addition, OpenSlate can provide more in-depth data like demographic breakdowns of audiences by gender and age, primary topics and categories covered by the channel, publishing frequency, performance history, and social media stats for platforms outside of YouTube.
OpenSlate users can search the large database for information on measured channels, which allows them to get more information on influencers they’re already working with or considering working with and to discover new top influencers. The SlateScore ranking can also help marketers and agencies determine the actual value of an influencer relationship.
As with any platform, software, or service, there are benefits and drawbacks that marketers should take into account when considering using OpenSlate.
The degree to which it makes influencers searchable is a huge advantage for anyone looking to get insight into the top YouTube influencers. There’s a wealth of information that can help marketers and agencies better understand the data behind influencers. OpenSlate’s data and YouTube analytics are helpful and, in many cases, quite detailed.
But it’s worth noting that OpenSlate only provides information for YouTube influencers. While it takes into account other social stats, anyone looking to formulate a cross-platform campaign may only be getting part of the story with data from OpenSlate. Furthermore, there are some gaps in data for some influencers. And, as with any platform that uses an algorithm to give a qualitative link, there’s an inherent lack of context where the numbers are concerned, and that lack of context may leave users with lingering questions.