Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing digital and social media marketing channels. With the rapid growth of social media publishing channels like blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and others, everyone from Samsung to Target to Tiffany & Co. is working with digital influencers to create brand sponsored content. Brands like Mountain Dew with extreme sports or Jamba Juice with fitness have created campaigns featuring YouTube channels and influencers to build brand awareness and engagement.
Here are the 3 steps they took to create the best brand sponsored content with influencers and YouTube channels:
Start with creating great content. If the content is great, it will get shared, liked, commented on, and engaged with throughout social media. Audiences have a low threshold for what they feel is “selling-out.” You can instantly spot it on YouTube, because the comment thread will erupt with negative comments and dislikes. By and large, great content comes from the YouTube channel creator and the influencers. They know what their audience likes — let them lead the way. As a stellar example of great sponsored content, check out Jamba Juice’s video with Blogilates star, Cassey Ho.
Most influencers will vet out the brands they might consider to remain authentic to their audience (see our post on Steps to Picking the Right Influencers for your Brand). If they are considering working with you, it means you’re a fit for both them and their audiences. Allow them to keep and build on that authenticity. Create a campaign and brand brief, but don’t give them a script. Ask them to provide an outline of how they’re envisioning building in the brand to the content, but don’t get overly controlling on each and every aspect. Authentic content allows for social validation and positions the brand in great favor with the audience.
What may be most interesting to the audience from both the creator and audience’s perspective may be completely different than what you envision. Brand sponsored content is not a scripted commercial. Being flexible in working with the creator can allow them to highlight what they like most and find most relevant about your brand/product/service. This is likely what the audience will like most about it as well. Audiences aren’t adverse to advertising, but they do want it to be relevant, and a fit for the content and who they are. Today’s savvy consumers look to influencers that resonate with them to find the newest brands and products. By offering something valuable, such as a a well-integrated post that is in harmony with the influencer’s writing style and content, or an exclusive promotional offer to their loyal readers, audiences will engage and respond in a more positive way.
Mediakix builds strategies and campaigns around online influencers on blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and emerging social media channels. Great sponsored content has been part of the highest driving ROI channel among advertising media for our clients including Birchbox, Blue Apron, Sleep Number, Hallmark, HauteLook, NatureBox among many others.