YouTube creators, also known as YouTubers, are powerful social media influencers whose purchase advice is considered more valuable than that of celebrities by 6 in 10 of the platform’s subscribers. For businesses, working with YouTubers offers an incredible opportunity to connect with consumers. In the list below, we’ll take a look at the eight steps you must take when working with YouTubers to promote brands, products, and services.
Brands must first define the goals for their campaign. Whether it be sales, endorsements, creating brand awareness, increasing their social following, or establishing long-term relationships with brand ambassadors, the campaign goal should bring value and be achievable.
Once a specific goal has been targeted, ensure that all details of the campaign are planned and clearly defined. Successful campaigns depend upon brands and YouTubers being on the same page, so openly communicating budget, timelines, and expectations is key.
A business usually knows what kind of message they want to share with the world, but understanding how to get there can sometimes be less obvious. Collaborate with YouTubers on campaign strategy to develop the content style, video length, calls to action (CTAs), and launch dates that will deliver the best results.
Properly defining campaign attributes and outlining the steps necessary to get there will save time and confusion while maximizing campaign effectiveness.
Related Resource: A 10-Step Guide To Launching An Influencer Marketing Campaign
After campaign plans and expectations are clear, let YouTubers do what they do best. Most YouTubers have years of experience producing videos and know how to create content that speaks to and engages their audience.
In a 2017 report, 51% of surveyed marketers said that influencer content outperformed brand-created content. Giving YouTubers flexibility with their videos ensures that sponsored content will feel more organic and authentic.
Depending on the type of video being developed, YouTubers may require certain resources. Perhaps they need access to a specific model/color/version of a brand’s product; they’d like to interview someone from the company; they want to shoot at a specific location; or they have special production needs around equipment, extras, or props. See where your brand can offer assistance to make achieving the campaign goals easier for the YouTuber.
Businesses can also aid YouTubers by handling administrative and logistical responsibilities. Producing and launching a video requires people, paperwork, and coordination. See where your business may be more adept at handling certain tasks, and ask the YouTuber where you can add value to the organization process.
For businesses unfamiliar with planning and managing a campaign, a qualified influencer marketing agency can help from initial ideation to final execution.
Communication is key to any fruitful relationship or endeavor, so it’s vital that businesses remain available and attentive to YouTubers. During a campaign, expect and be prepared for questions and/or unforeseen influencer obstacles, and having a point person (or team) at the ready is important for times when clarifications or certain approvals are necessary.
The point of contact should also remind YouTubers of important dates throughout the campaign, including product deliveries and campaign launch. Additionally, any time there are changes to the agreed-upon plan from the brand side, they should be communicated immediately to the YouTuber.
A Mediakix study revealed that as many as 93% of celebrity endorsements may be violating the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) guidelines for sponsored posts. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just with a few large celebrities — many social media influencers also fall short of FTC compliance.
Businesses should also be aware that YouTube’s “Includes Paid Promotion” tag alone does not meet FTC guidelines. To ensure that sponsored videos are FTC compliant, please refer to our updated guide to the FTC’s 2018 endorsement guidelines here.
For brands that have had success in the influencer marketing space, it is important to maintain relationships with key YouTubers after campaigns end.
Businesses are encouraged to keep YouTubers updated on company news, as well as information about new products and services. Additionally, brands can send YouTubers “freebies” and discounts, as well as invite them to company parties and industry events. Keeping a YouTuber informed and excited about a brand is a key part of maintaining positive long-term relationships with influencers.
An influencer marketing agency that has strong relationships with small and large YouTubers is not only able to connect businesses to the right influencers, they can also assist in managing partnerships during and after campaigns.
Businesses and influencers are both entities with long-term goals and vested interests, so getting everything clearly defined in writing is imperative. Legal agreements between brands and YouTubers not only delineate roles, expectations, and deliverables, they also have the ability to protect both parties.
Working with an attorney familiar with YouTubers and influencer marketing is helpful in generating agreements that can avoid unnecessary miscommunications and complications. To learn more, please see our post on influencer agreements here.