How to Find and Work with YouTube Influencers in 2022

Everywhere you turn, brands and advertising gurus are talking about how essential it is for marketers to incorporate influencers and creators into their channel mix.  For some marketers, that is easier said than done.  While there have been great strides in advancing the practice of influencer marketing through technology, influencer networks, and social platform enhancements - it is still a bit of the wild wild west out there.  The following guide focuses specifically on YouTube creators and some best practices that you can start using today.

A YouTube creator is someone with one or more dedicated channels that they produce content for with the intent of influencing, educating, entertaining, or otherwise engaging their audience.  They receive modest, all the way to considerable, revenue for their collaborations with brands and their share of their ad revenue that their videos produce.

There is an astounding 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE and over 51M YouTube channels1.  That is a lot of content to sort through to try and find the perfect partners for your brand to work with.  

From the user’s perspective, there are over 694,000 hours of video being streamed every minute on YouTube - which is even more than Netflix who averages a mere 452,000 hours every minute2.

So it is no wonder that marketers are excited by the potential of YouTube creator partnerships but intimidated by the platform’s complexities and vast amount of options.

Part 1: Develop a Strategic Framework

Know your Target Audience

Take a look beyond the demographics of your target audience and look at where they consume content and what they are interested in.  Some important data points to evaluate are:

  • Interests & Affinities
  • Purchasing Patterns
  • Web Browsing Behavior
  • Streaming & TV Consumption
  • Social Media Influencers They Follow
  • Common Search Behaviors
  • Device Usage

You can use these various data points to begin developing your strategic framework.  Remember that the best YouTube creators for your brand don’t look and act like your audience - instead, they appeal to and influence your audience.

Understand where YouTube Influencers are going to fit within your overall marketing plan.

Next, clearly articulate the desired role that YouTube creators will play in helping to achieve your marketing objectives.  It is important to leverage them for what they are particularly good at that brands often struggle to accomplish alone:

  • Reach
  • Relevance
  • Incorporation into Culture
  • Meaningful Connection
  • 3rd Party Credentials
  • Testimonials
  • Personal Storytelling

Allocate your budget

To establish an appropriate budget for your YouTube creator collaboration, it is critical to discuss current marketplace rates with experts that work frequently in the space.  The experts can include influencer networks, talent managers, or specialist agencies like Ad Results Media. You want to be able to allocate enough budget resources to the creation of the content as well as to secure additional rights to the content and potentially use paid amplification techniques.

How to Find YouTube Influencers to Promote Your Brand

We know that finding the right individual creators to collaborate with can seem overwhelming with all the different options.  Use these steps as a good starting point to narrow down a list of prospects.

Search by Keywords

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and is well equipped to surface YouTube Creators simply by using native search capabilities.  Take the list of your target audience’s affinities and interests and begin your search using those as keywords.

Review Content for Style, Brand fit, and appropriateness

The best predictor of future brand collaboration content is looking at what they have done with previous partners.  Take a look through at least 10 - 12 videos in the past 12-24 months to determine if they are the correct stylistic fit for your brand and audience.

Review Past Videos for Success driving Key Performance Metrics

When reviewing the past content of creators, taking a look at their typical performance metrics on sponsored video is key.  Take a look at the following to ensure they have a propensity to drive your KPIs:

    • Average Video Views
    • Subscribers
    • Likes
    • Comments
    • Comment Sentiment

How to Find YouTube Creators That Amplify Your Podcast Advertising Success

At Ad Results Media, our core business has historically been in the audio and podcast advertising space.  When we want to help our clients find YouTubers that will continue the success they enjoyed while working with their podcast shows, we start by extrapolating key learnings from a brand’s previous success with specific podcast hosts and apply those to their content or channels on YouTube.  In combination with those past learnings, we also look at two other key factors to pair brands with YouTube creators: brand’s target audience profile and current topical or cultural trends on YouTube.

How to contact YouTube Creators

There are several ways to contact YouTube creators to inquire about brand partnerships.  Here are the most common methods:

  • Send a Business Inquiry Email
    • Go to the YouTube Channel you want to email.
    • Select the About tab of their channel.
    • If a Business Inquiry Email is given, select “View Email Address.” If you don't see a Business Inquiry Email, then the channel owner didn't give one.
    • Use the email to send a message to the channel.
  • Use the contact form on their website
    • For some channels that do not offer the option to send a Business Inquiry email, you can use their website’s Contact form to send an inquiry.  In the subject line or top of the email body, please indicate that you are inquiring about brand partnership opportunities.
  • Reach out using their other social media channels
    • For some channels that do not offer the option to send a Business Inquiry email, you can contact them using their other social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.  All of these apps provide a mechanism to send a message to the account holder.
  • Leave them a comment under their video
    • When all else fails, or for more casual inquiries, you can also leave a comment in the comment section under their YouTube video(s).  Most channel admins review the comments and will likely see your inquiry.  Do not include the details of your request in the comments, please keep them topline and try to bring the conversation into a private communications channel.

In Conclusion

At Ad Results Media, we believe that future-proofing your brand and marketing strategies start with focusing on creator-based advertising across podcasts, video, and emerging audio. 

When brands and creators come together to co-create a brand experience it is really one of the most powerful and effective ad mediums marketers can leverage.  As a global leader in podcasting advertising, we've found that many of the best practices we established while working with podcast hosts over the last decade can be translated into working with established and burgeoning YouTube creators. This understanding and expertise have helped set our clients up for continued growth as we lean much deeper into creator-based video medium.

Please reach out to the Ad Results Media team to help plan your next YouTube Creator collaborations.
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Sources:

1https://sproutsocial.com/insights/youtube-stats/

2https://blog.hootsuite.com/youtube-stats-marketers/