In 2015, the time audiences spent watching YouTube videos increased by 74% and, according to a study conducted by Google (YouTube’s parent company), mobile YouTube videos now reach more 18- to 49-year-olds that any broadcast or TV cable network. To capture the attention of consumers who increasingly rely on YouTube for everything from entertainment to information regarding purchasing decisions, brands have begun collaborating with the platform’s top social media stars, called “YouTubers,” to develop integrated YouTube marketing campaigns. Like Instagram influencer marketing campaigns, YouTube marketing campaigns help brands accomplish their marketing goals (increase exposure to large audiences, expand brand awareness, drive sales, solidify brand identity) oftentimes more effectively than traditional advertising strategies.
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Before reaching out to a YouTuber and launching a YouTube marketing campaign, companies should first establish their target market, determine what type of YouTube video/marketing campaign will generate the highest level of audience engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.), drive the most consumer action, and accomplish the campaign goals (i.e. what they hope to achieve through each influencer marketing efforts). For tips on developing, implementing, optimizing, and measuring your first influencer marketing campaign, companies can consult our article here.
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The type of YouTube marketing campaign a brand chooses to run will likely be determined by the company’s unique products, marketing goals, and target audience. For brands who have never developed an influencer marketing campaign or find the process too time- or resource-consuming, working with an influencer marketing agency can help companies strategize, implement, measure, and optimize their YouTube influencer marketing efforts. YouTube marketing campaigns typically fall within one of the following five categories:
Incorporating a brand’s product, service, or logo into a YouTuber’s video is one of the most common and effective types of YouTube video marketing campaigns. By collaborating with a YouTube star to recommend a service or showcase a company’s product in a favorable light, brands can leverage the attention of a YouTuber’s large, highly-engaged audience and benefit from the trust that a digital influencer has developed with their followers.
To learn why consumers trust recommendations from YouTubers over advertising with traditional celebrities, see our article here.
Hallmark partnered with lifestyle vloggers Wah & Weylie (creators of WahlieTV) to capitalize on the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday and creatively integrate the greeting card company’s products into their vlog-stye YouTube video. Because hundreds of thousands of YouTube channel subscribers look to the couple for purchasing advice and recommendations, the product placement was an effective way to expand brand awareness to over 100K engaged consumers with just one YouTube video.
For a YouTube marketing “unboxing video,” a YouTuber will literally unpack a new product (hence the term “unboxing”) and, in most cases, explore the product’s features and/or give a short tutorial on how to assemble or use the new item. Initially popular with technology brands like Samsung, unboxing-style videos have now become a favorite YouTube marketing campaign for most products and services.
To introduce Crock-Pot Cuisine (Crock-Pot’s new ready-to-cook meal service) to consumers that would be most interested in the convenience and simplicity of their new product, Crock-Pot partnered with family/lifestyle YouTubers Samika Vlogs to create an informative and entertaining YouTube marketing campaign. True to form, the unboxing video highlights the benefits of the products by taking Samika’s thousands of subscribers through the steps of making (and enjoying) the Crock-Pot Cuisine meal.
For more information about how brands can use unboxing videos for their YouTube marketing campaigns, see our post here.
Working with a popular YouTuber to develop a helpful tutorial, demonstration, or how-to guide is one of the best ways for companies to reach millions of engaged consumers while providing value to a YouTuber’s subscribers and global audiences. Because this type of YouTube marketing collaboration serves to educate audiences and/or provides a solution to a problem, how-to guides, demonstrations, and “life hack” videos typically see high levels of engagement and are a cost-effective way to influence purchasing decisions.
To market to Steph and Matilda’s (Primrose Makeup) large millennial audience, online consignment store thredUP partnered with the social media influencers to create a video entitled “Top 10 Weird College Life Hacks.” The video not only provided the YouTubers’ subscribers with valuable advice, it also introduced thousands to the brand, described the benefits/tenants of thredUP’s services, and included a promotional code to drive purchases.
See the most popular types of YouTube videos here.
For top YouTubers, documenting an experience and/or creating an authentic dialogue with subscribers through vlogging (or video blogging) is one of the most engaging, relatable, and shareable types of YouTube videos. For brands, leveraging a social media star’s attentive audience by developing YouTube marketing integrations within a vlog is one of the best ways to gain expose to millions of followers.
By developing a vlog-style YouTube marketing campaign with Louis Cole (FunFor Louis), one of the top travel and adventure YouTubers, Fairmont Resorts & Hotels was able to authentically portray the hospitality brand’s best features for Louis’ 1.7 million YouTube subscribers. To see how other hospitality companies are partnering with social media influencers, see our blog post here.
Creative YouTube marketing campaigns typically involve integrating a company’s product or service within or around a creative video concept. Because creative campaigns often feature a unique take on other types of YouTube marketing campaigns (e.g. product placements, tutorials, or unboxing videos, etc.), creative campaigns are likely to generate high levels of engagement (in the form of likes, comments, and social shares) among a YouTuber’s subscribers and have a greater chance of going viral.
To integrate an element of creativity into their YouTube marketing partnership with top YouTube gamer The War Owl, World of Warships captivated audiences by filming the intro to their Let’s Play video in front of an actual U.S. Navy battleship. In addition to showcasing World of Warships gameplay, the creative video also incorporated a promotional code to increase brand awareness and drive purchases of the new strategy game.
See the most popular types of YouTube Gaming videos here.