Influencer marketing is no longer a buzzword. We can recognize a lot of influencers who gain their popularity not only among blogs and vlogs but also popular social media platforms. What helps them in growing is a constant development of social media and introducing new features – and one of those platforms that shine the brightest is YouTube.
What is YouTube?
YouTube was introduced in 2005. It is a free-to-use video sharing service for uploading and watching videos generated by brands or users. It gives possibilities for interacting, too: videos can be liked, commented and shared, and the video views’ counter is also available.
YouTube is accessible on PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones via dedicated apps.
YouTube gained a considerable popularity thanks to an impressive database of videos (and it is still growing!) and features such as creating playlists to organize videos and group videos together, subscribing and following chosen channels and interacting with others via comments.
Why is YouTube a great influencer marketing platform?
- It is widely accessible throughout the world – you can both upload videos and follow beloved influencers. Brands know about it, and they are aware of the buzz generated around influencers – in this case, on YouTube, we should rather call them vloggers.
- It is fairly easy to start being an influencer and build a loyal following around you, with the support of other social media platforms.
- The form of video is widely recognized as one of the most popular forms of advertising. Short videos rock the world of social media, and YouTube is the platform where all influencers need to be if they focus on video.
- Videos are more accessible and absorbed (somehow “digestible”) for many followers who prefer this over plain text.
- There are already so many vloggers that brands have a variety of choice when it comes to choosing just one.
How to make money on being a YouTube influencer?
First, you obviously have to set up the profile – on YouTube, it is more often called “channel.” This is where influencers put info about their activity, an avatar photo or links to other social media channels or websites (this is an excellent spot for cross-promotion if a particular influencer has already established their online presence elsewhere).
Then, you can look at some ideas below:
Relying on Google AdSense
It can be tricky at first, but AdSense is still one of the easiest forms to implement as for advertising on YouTube. This is popular especially among those YouTubers who have just started their adventure with this platform, but the rates can vary between countries. For example, in the United States YouTubers can earn a little fortune while in other regions of the world it can be only 10 or 20% of this rate. Also, the rates vary when it comes to the industry: in the technological branch can be really high, while lifestyle vloggers can earn significantly less. YouTube gives a chance for vloggers to monetize their efforts everywhere in the world – so influencers can earn even more money getting into a collab with brands on markets paying better.
Even those vloggers who are not that literate with technical settings can be satisfied with the results. To start, you need the right configuration and a check-up of requirements for videos. This step is vital for those who publish controversial content – the violation of the terms and conditions of YouTube and appropriate videos won’t be available to be used for advertising. The link below may come in handy for checking the latest rules:
AdSense can appear in the form of a banner, pre-roll advert (this short, a few seconds long advert right before a video clip) or an advertisement standing in line on the movie (usually a plain text one). YouTube Analytics deliver statistics and earnings in real-time so one can keep track of their efforts all the time. This can be a good idea for those bloggers who are not known enough to collaborate with brands directly, on customized rules.
YouTube influencers also approach brands directly, asking them for possible collaboration if they can see things in common. It also works the other way round – brands can write and contact vloggers to find out if there is any possibility for cooperation. This kind of collab is getting increasingly more popular as brands are encouraged to make the most of influencer marketing, and they can see it really is cost-effective. However, the reality is that not every YouTube influencer is ready to be a star famous among brands.
What are the criteria for choosing Youtubers by brands?
- The reach of a selected Youtuber: it is essential for an influencer to… actually have influence. Usually, the bigger the reach is, the better – however if you want to target some niche groups you should look at other statistics first.
- The topic. Some influencers who are specialized in some areas can charge more for featuring a selected brand, even if they are not as popular as lifestyle ones. Brands pay for quality and narrow audience here, and they are willing to pay a little fortune for involving the right influencer.
- Commercial exploit. This factor is crucial when it comes to choosing influencers, but also brands. If influencers have already appeared in thousands of adverts, they may not be recognized as trustworthy and therefore lose some following and authority. Also, if that vlogger managed a campaign for one brand in a selected industry, other brands may not want to be compared with their competitors, and therefore they won’t be interested in collaboration.
- The influence overall, including other social media platforms.
Where do brands look for influencers? Where influencers can promote themselves?
- Groups on Facebook are quite popular among Youtubers – they are free and accessible, and Youtubers can advertise their services in details. Also, brands, agencies, and advertisers, in general, are often members of those groups. As connecting is easy, deals can be closed right there without involving any third parties.
- Both advertisers and YouTubers and use aggregators and platforms. This solution is cost- and time-effective and can save a lot of efforts for both sides. Publishers – in this case, YouTubers – specify the range of services they can offer. Advertisers browse offers and choose whatever suits them best in a particular campaign. Some examples of platforms are Whitepress.net, Linkhouse.co or Indahash – all of them manage hundreds of campaigns at the time.
- Representatives of brands or agencies often look at YouTube themselves and check some ranks to measure, track and analyze results. If YouTuber has a consistent and catchy branding (for example, beautiful design of video covers), it may be easier for brands to find him and strike a deal.
Go for affiliation
YouTubers can join affiliate programs and networks and work on commission from selling products. How to do it right? They can either sign up for an affiliate program at some websites, blogs, e-commerce sites, or use more extensive partner networks – and just to name a few: Convertiser or Lifetube. Vloggers work on various fees from products’ sale. This generated income can be really high if the native advertising works well.
To be successful in this field, the YouTuber should actually analyze their channel regarding the content and real value that can be delivered to a brand. There is nothing worse than starting too early and unprepared, and each YouTuber should ask themselves a question if there is any room for improvement.
However, strong influencers don’t limit themselves to YouTube only, and they keep using other social media platforms as well – to double their income and revenue from affiliate programs. YouTube can be a good start, though!
Investing in own brands
Some YouTubers decide to sell their own products, introduce their new brands or join a brand they worked for, with a brand new collection of clothes, accessories or healthy snacks. And it is only a drop in the ocean of possibilities for monetizing their brand. The potential is widely recognizable, and once YouTubers are past the period of successful external campaigns, they want to do more and monetize more, and they see potential in their own brands. What is not to like? They have a considerable following around themselves, and it can be regarded as a “warm” audience ready to purchase. They are not necessarily worried about popularity: those items are often sold out in a pre-sale stage.
Not every YouTuber can be a great manager or sales director! That is why some of them go rather for sponsoring a brand or making a collection with their “twist” instead of managing the whole brand and going solo-entrepreneurs.
YouTube can be a great way of making additional money for bloggers and amazing advertising spots for those who are looking for publicity and increasing traffic or sales of their services and products. Thanks to a very accessible form of video, YouTubers can build a group of subscribers in no time and keep them entertained and engaged. This is what brands cherish the most nowadays: target groups that are really in touch with influencers who continuously show their authenticity and original messages. This is easily achievable on YouTube, and increasingly more influencers are getting convinced about it. Also, it is worth considering to do something more with content created for YouTube purposes – repurpose it on Facebook or Instagram to get some new followers and increase the reach of a video or a campaign. This is important mainly because Facebook does not seem to support YouTube well and they rather invest in developing their own video format called Facebook Watch.
What is also interesting, YouTubers may grow online, but flourish offline – by being invited to join some TV programmes, series, shows. So even if it starts with just a channel on the Internet, the influence can be transferred to any other media – both influencers and advertisers should keep it in mind!