How to Run a YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaign

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Being a frequent user of YouTube, I can easily say I have watched a number of influencers who keep me constantly engaged.


These are everyday people who create content on what they are passionate about and inspire others who share those same interests.

That is why YouTubers are some of the best people to work with when marketing your new product. With YouTube having over 300 hours of content uploaded every minute and 30 million visitors per day, that is a great amount of exposure.

I am lucky enough to have had the experience of working on a couple of YouTube influencer campaigns. One with ISM helped improve the traffic of the product’s website and assisted in increasing the company’s revenue.

So here are some steps on how to make these campaigns successful.

Step 1: Figure out your target audience

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This is important to do before anything related to the influencers you will be targeting.

Figuring out the personas and demographics of your customers means you know who you are marketing your product to. Your product might be great, yet is it

relevant to everyone?

Identifying your consumers helps establish the types of influencers you want to work with. That way you are reaching the right people to collaborate with to help grow your online presence.

So how do you find your target audience? This guide by Inc. is a good source to help you figure it out. Also, read this article on The Daily Egg by Tommy Walker, it’s a detailed piece covering the process.

Step 2: Set the tone

Before you start searching for influencers on YouTube, you need to have an idea of your company’s tone.

As not all YouTubers are the same.

For example, in the consumer tech space, two of the most popular YouTubers are Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and Linus Tech Tips. Each channel boasts over 7 million subscribers and counting. The way each of them connects with their viewers contrasts each other as you’ll see below.

MKBHD carries more informative content, analyzing the product and providing his own thoughts and feedback. He is a little playful in his videos and provides pleasing cinematography. Yet his overall goal is to educate while entertaining on the side.

MKBHD Hands-On of The OnePlus 6T

Linus, on the other hand, has a more comedic approach. He informs his following very well with product information and analysis. Yet he does this while poking fun at the nuances of the tech world through sarcasm.

Linus Tech Tips Hands-On of The OnePlus 6T

These two create content that may be similar in concept, but the experience they provide their audiences with are completely different. So discovering the feeling you want your brand to give your consumers is meaningful.

Step 3: Search away

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Now here is my favorite part of all this; the search. Make sure to set some guidelines on the influencers you are searching for. If the queries are too broad, almost anyone on YouTube could be someone you work with.

For example:

This person focuses on consumer technology. S/he needs to have at least 25,000 followers and 12,000 views per video. S/he posts three different videos per week, one unboxing, a vlog, and a review.

And be realistic about the YouTubers you are targeting to work with.

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but some of these major influencers are not going to work with you immediately. Especially since you’re just starting out and you are barely known.

Unless you have the money to pay for a quick mention, the return on investment may not be worth it quite yet.

As a smaller company, start with micro-influencers. All because they’re smaller does not mean they will not have a reach. In fact, there tends to be even more engagement with their followers as they are just getting started.

Because if you reach them early, as their following starts to grow, so does your presence.

Step 4: Reach out

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Luckily on YouTube, there is an about section on the YouTuber’s channel. A lot of them have their email for business inquiries present. You just need to prove you’re not a robot.

Seems easy enough.

But what if you found a multitude of influencers you want to collaborate with?

I am not the biggest fan of this, but a template is not the worst thing to write. If all those YouTubers you are interested in working with fit your guidelines, your company’s product should tie each one in a similar manner. They are not all going to react the same, but you would not need to explain it any differently.

The most important aspect of your pitch though is why they want to help you. Mention things that you like about their videos. Something that you took away and how it has affected you. There has to be something or there would be no interest at all.

So if they do not respond, it is not the end of the world because it was not like you ever sent it. Down the road, it just creates an opportunity to send another one out, maybe when you’re more established.

Or when you have figured out how to get your influencer campaign going.

If you are having trouble reaching out, these templates are a good way to get started.

Step 5: Collaborate on the content

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Now it is time to start piecing everything together. A number of the people you have reached out to are interested.

So now what do you want to do with them?

If a single review is all you are asking for, it is sometimes as easy as sending them the product. All you would have to do afterward is just communicate shipping and timelines and wait for the video to come up.

Yet if there is a desire for more than just one piece of content, it is time to really negotiate. Sometimes it requires paying them for the number of posts your product is mentioned. Or maybe turn them into an affiliate and give them 15 percent of your sales if you notice the traffic is coming from their channel.

If you discover a trend with them and believe the opportunity is worth it, plus you have runway, why not go for it?

Step 6: Keep track of everything

The whole purpose of starting a campaign like this is to market your product to people you may have not reached. So after connecting with the YouTubers of interest, now it is time to pay attention to everything.

Keep note of the timeline s/he has stated to have a video up and what type of video it is. Is it a review, a teaching video, a vlog? And notice the trends that are happening with each type of content.

How many views is it getting, what is being said? Are they being repetitive?

Because if the teaching video has thousands of views and your website is gaining traffic, that is great. Yet not everyone wants to see and hear the same thing over and over.

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Having that variety is good for your campaign, and will help your company stick out in the YouTube space. Which should lead to more traffic to your product’s site and generate more conversions.

To summarize here are six steps on how to run a successful influencer campaign:

  1. Figure out your target audience
  2. Set the tone
  3. Search away
  4. Reach out
  5. Collaborate on the content
  6. Keep track of everything

Follow this guideline, and it should lead to a positive impact on your company.

Many thanks to Edwin, Isabel Tarrab, Joann Kuo, Will Glynn and Zach Spain for reviewing and providing edits.