With over 1 billion users, YouTube presents marketers with a unique opportunity to reach large, targeted audiences through online video content. As the influencer marketing industry grows, video marketing with influencers is expected to become an even more dominant advertising trend in 2018.
YouTube influencers with one to three million subscribers earn an average of $125,000 per sponsored video, a figure that illustrates the enormous value they provide to brands. Top tech companies are capturing this value by turning to YouTubers to reach new and existing customers.
In the following case study, we’ll examine tech advertising campaigns from Google, Samsung, HP, Skype, and Xfinity Mobile to see how each partnered with top YouTube creators to drive results.
Popular YouTuber Alex Burris started his social media career on Vine, but has since created Wassabi Productions, a YouTube vlogging channel with 9.6 million subscribers. His lifestyle-focused account includes a wide variety of reaction videos, pranks, and vlogs.
In partnership with Google, Burris created a single sponsored video titled “Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree SURPRISE! (REVEAL),” in which he surprises his friends by decorating his apartment for Christmas with the help of Google’s Home Mini.
In the video, Burris calls to attention to one of the Home Mini’s special features by asking it to tell him a Santa joke. The device responds, “What do you call it when my helpers take pictures of themselves? Elfies!” which served as organic product promotion while delivering the humorous content Burris’s followers have come to expect.
Results: To date, Burris’s video has received more than 22,200 likes, 1,200 comments, and 350,400 views for an engagement rate of 6.6%.
Zoe Sugg, better known by her channel name Zoella, is one of England’s most celebrated YouTubers. Her fashion and lifestyle-centric channel attracts 12 million subscribers and features content ranging from tutorials to vlogs.
In collaboration with HP, Sugg created one sponsored video showcasing a new portable photo printer — the HP Sprocket. In the video, Sugg expertly incorporated the Sprocket into a holiday do-it-yourself tutorial entitled, “Easy Festive DIY Ideas.”
Sugg presented the brand integration in her trademark conversational tone, using invitational phrases such as, “I have a few little things that I have done this year that I really, really wanted to share with you.” By emphasizing her connection with subscribers, Sugg is able to relay her Sprocket recommendation in a uniquely charming and personable manner.
Results: Sugg’s video has garnered more than 76,600 likes, 432 comments, and 1.2 million views for an engagement rate of 6%.
Hilsenteger creates videos that express his exuberant personality while offering interesting and practical product information to his sizeable audience. In his Samsung sponsored video, Hilsenteger unboxed and tested the company’s new gaming monitor, the CHG90, using a combination of anticipatory drama and playful humor.
Hilsenteger is well-positioned to advertise the CHG90 due to his history of reviewing unusual and extravagant products. To hook viewers, Hilsenteger teased the unit’s extraordinary size before unboxing the monitor, and spent the last two minutes of the video highlighting specific product features.
Results: To date, Hilsenteger’s video has amassed more than 130,000 likes, 20,700 comments, and 3.6 million views for an engagement rate of 4.3%.
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Positivity and excitement are trademarks of Tyler Oakley’s widely-followed YouTube channel. Since starting on YouTube in 2007, Oakley has become one of the platform’s most famous stars, known for his challenge videos and collaborations.
In Oakley’s Skype-sponsored video, he enlisted a number of top YouTubers to collaborate on a video titled “Gossiping with YouTube Friends”. In the sponsored video, Oakley promotes Skype’s mobile app through fun and personable conversations with nine different friends and YouTube creators.
Though he never explicitly discusses the mobile app’s features, Oakley demonstrates Skype’s reliable connection and high video quality throughout the nearly seven-minute video. The promotion serviced Skype’s marketing goals, while simultaneously providing viewers with an engaging round-up of their favorite top YouTubers.
Results: Oakley’s sponsored video has garnered more than 36,000 likes, 2,500 comments, and 1.1 million views for an engagement rate of 3.4%.
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Since its creation in 2005, the sketch comedy YouTube channel Smosh has amassed 22.7 million subscribers. Fans eagerly anticipate the humorous skits, music videos, and reaction videos the channel posts each week.
One sketch format Smosh has become famous for is its “Every Blank Ever” videos — a series that parodies stereotypes within pop culture. In collaboration with Xfinity Mobile, Smosh created an “EVERY GRANDPARENT EVER” spot, which pokes fun at eccentricities associated with older generations’ use of technology.
During the first few seconds of the video, viewers are informed that the episode is “brought to you” by Xfinity Mobile. The branded voiceover, as well as the video’s text description, make Xfinity’s involvement in the humorous skit clear.
Results: To date, the video has generated over 36,000 likes, 2,500 comments, and 1.1 million views for an engagement rate of 3.4%.