YouTube is the new Hollywood – spawning humble celebrities from all around the globe. The shift is palpable. We’re moving away from Clean & Clear and L’Oreal ads featuring the latest A-listers, towards sponsored YouTube videos hosted by famous social influencers.
The beauty, tech, food, and other “guru” YouTube communities have been growing for a while. We’ll give you a little crash-course on how it works.
A YouTuber shares their current products, daily routines, and other life details through a series of channel videos. They offer product reviews through “Monthly Favourites”, “Unboxing”, and “Most Used” posts. This consistent reviewing, and personality showcasing builds up an influencer’s ethos (or trustworthiness), and engages their audience in a fluid conversation. After watching a few videos, a follower can gauge whether the influencer shares common interests, preferences, budget, and needs. After this (sometimes subconscious) decision, a follower seeks an influencer’s advice on products (which one to buy, what offers the best value, etc.). The experience is gratifying for both audience and influencer. Below are some examples of some influential YouTubers and their videos:
This sharing of opinions is an excellent development out of social media – it’s opened the world. People from different backgrounds and countries have access to one another, all through a few taps of a keyboard and clicks of a trackpad. While the constructed ethos of each influencer depends on honest and unbiased reviews (the YouTube community is very alert to disingenuous or “sponsored” content), there is a space for brands to take part in this conversation. Here are our tips on how:
Choose the Right Fit
Rule number 1: pick an influencer that matches your brand’s personality. This seems simple, but it’s key in delivering messages to your target audience. If you offer high-end skincare, don’t reach out to a teenaged influencer; pick someone who appeals to a more mature audience – one that has more disposable income and values sophisticated skincare in their daily routine. Finding someone who matches and perpetuates your brand’s identity is key developing the desired atmosphere around your label.
Here is an example of a casual-style ad from Lily Pebbles – she goes zip-lining through a sponsorship with Kinder Bueno. Although zip-lining and chocolate isn’t an obvious partnership, this form allows the brand to be part of the content, without feeling too advertise-y.
Send Samples for Influencers to Try Out (no forced reviews)
As mentioned earlier, the YouTube community is very very sensitive to insincerity – they’ve grown up in an advertising world, and have learned to be wary of it. As a brand, you want to receive honest feedback on your products – and you want this authenticity to shine through to your customers. Even a hint of “curation” could be damaging to both the YouTuber and your brand. This is why sending sample products to influencers (with no obligation) might be a good idea. If they love a product, they will talk about it in their unique voice (through a try-on haul, vlog, or favorites video), and their loyal followers will add your product to their shopping lists.
Below is an example of a haul video from Arden Rose. She takes followers along on a shopping trip, providing her favourite brand names as she showcases her new additions.
If a sponsored video is still the route you would like to take, refer back to rule number one. Picking the right influencer will be key in keeping the sponsorship in the authentic zone.
Invite Influencers to Product Launches and Events
Let’s say your brand doesn’t offer a tangible product, per se, but a service or event. Invite influencers to the launch. They can share their experience through a vlog (a portmanteau word, meshing video + blog). It’s not uncommon territory for YouTubers to visit new hotels, festivals, product launches, etc. By doing this, a brand invites an entire follower-base to their exclusive event – allowing everyone to engage with a company’s personality in an authentic space.
Tanya Burr was invited to a beautiful resort in the Maldives – where she shared her experience with viewers and had us drooling over the hotel’s amenities, breakfasts, and suites.
We know… there’s a lot to consider when dealing with YouTube partnerships. Experts give your brand access to influencer databases and the knowledge to do partnerships well. When you don’t know where to start, we’ll be your sidekick – providing strategies and plans to help you pull it off effortlessly. Boom shakalaka – it’s that easy!
So there you have it! A little crash-course in YouTube and the influencer community that has emerged. Now is the time for brands to engage most intimately with their audiences – bye-bye unattainable and pedestaled brands, hello to intimate brand best friends.