When YouTube was launched by PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in 2005, no one could have predicted the video sharing platform would one day become the third-most visited site in the world (behind only Facebook and Google). Within a year, YouTube was the planet’s fastest growing website, and soon a legion of magnetic YouTube personalities – known today as “YouTubers” – were amassing large, engaged audiences and creating videos that received millions of views each. As the platform emerged from infancy, companies began forming to help top YouTubers monetize their popularity and build an infrastructure to accommodate this new type of influencer-driven marketing, among them the YouTube influencer agency.
A YouTube influencer agency is a digital marketing and advertising company that works with brands and companies to concept, develop, execute, and manage high-ROI social media influencer campaigns by leveraging the relevance, reach, and engagement of today’s top YouTube stars.
YouTube influencer agencies work directly with brands and YouTubers to devise strategies that meet and exceed business goals/campaign metrics. Once the YouTube influencer agency has established a brand’s budget, KPIs (key performance indicators), expectations, and target audience, the agency develops sponsored YouTube videos (can be both integrated and/or dedicated) and other social media content from a network of carefully-chosen, proven-performance YouTube influencers across different social platforms and channels.
To ensure the success of an influencer marketing campaign, YouTube influencer agencies select and curate YouTube channels based on metrics including reach (how many subscribers/views a channel has), engagement (comments, likes, and shares), social amplification, demographics, and an influencer’s demonstrated ability to generate positive click-through rates (CTR).
A YouTube influencer agency acquires YouTubers from many different sources (MCNs, talent management agencies, independent), and because these agencies are not contractually limited or obligated to choose from a managed talent pool of YouTubers (as MCNs oftentimes are), they have the unique opportunity to formulate the best, most successful campaigns for each client.
Though YouTube influencer agencies and MCNs both work with top YouTubers, there are important distinctions that brands must understand before deciding which option is best for their social media marketing campaign.
Unlike a YouTube influencer agency, YouTube MCNs (multi-channel networks) who manage YouTubers signed to their network have a vested monetary interest in their roster because they take a percentage of the profit that the channel makes. In contrast, a YouTube influencer agency will provide channel and YouTuber recommendations based on a brand’s specific needs, goals, and audience, MCNs are limited to recommending only channels they exclusively manage.
Choosing a YouTuber that will result in campaign success can be a daunting task for brands. Collaborating with a YouTube influencer agency can help companies make informed decisions about which digital influencers to partner with and, once the right YouTuber has been chosen, how the influencer can best represent the brand within their content.
Penetrating the digital influencer space can feel foreign to many brands, but with the right team, approach, and influencer marketing strategy, companies can take advantage of a YouTuber’s audience and immense social reach to drive brand lift, engagement, and relevance with today’s consumers.