The Ultimate Guide to YouTube Influencer Marketing

Recently, YouTube has started to become one of the most popular channels for influencer marketing. Due to the improvements in internet speeds over the years, video is an expected part of the online experience for most people. While it’s rue that there are videos on most social media platforms, and Instagram has even created a platform for long-form videos, YouTube is still where most people come to get their video fix. 

Watching videos on YouTube is basically a passive experience, but that doesn’t keep people from enjoying it. According to one poll, 73% of gamers on YouTube are there because they like to watch other people play- and 56% say that’s where they connect with the gaming community. 

Another thing you must remember is that YouTube is the second largest search engine, right behind Google. Incidentally, Google owns YouTube. In this article, we’ll explore how to do YouTube Influencer Marketing effectively. 

Why Should You Use YouTube Influencer Marketing? 

Since you’re reading this, hopefully you have an understanding of just how valuable influencer marketing can be. 

The basis for influencer marketing is that stars on social media develop and become experts on a specific topic/niche. Over time, people start taking notice and follow them on the various social media channels. As they build their reputation for their knowledge on a subject, as well as their authenticity, they become known as influencers. 

During this time, people start to listen to what they have to say and respect their opinions on a particular topic. Additionally, people begin looking to these influencers to provide them with ideas regarding products related to that topic. 

In addition to the increase on the importance of influencer marketing, there’s been an increase in the use of online video. When the internet was still a fairly new concept, most people didn’t have strong enough connections and/or devices to even think about watching videos. This has changed in recent years. 

Therefore, it makes sense for marketers to utilize YouTube Influencer Marketing. After all, it provides them with one of the largest audiences and their efforts are hosted by people that are trusted by viewers. 

As mentioned, most other social networks have video, but they are usually short. The videos on YouTube can be more in-depth and extensive. These vides are the best way to demonstrate a particular product, other than augmented reality or an in-person demonstration. 

You can look at photos of a product on Instagram and read Facebook posts or blog posts about it. However, when the product is being demonstrated on YouTube, the efforts are much more effective. 

How Does it Work? 

YouTube is a great place for influencer marketing because there are lots of popular channels and its more established than most of the other social media platforms. In addition, YouTube has a formal setup for advertising, which means that there are several ways that marketers can build their campaigns. 

Though you’ll find people of all ages on this platform, Gen Z and Millennials have a special place in their hearts for it. Many of them watch YouTube more than they do television. 

In many ways, YouTube is different than other social media channels. On most of the social media platforms, people see a “newsfeed” of posts made by friends, family, and those they are following. 

YouTube, on the other hand, is more like a giant TV. You choose the channels you want to subscribe to and watch videos on those channels. However, you do have the option to search for videos in other ways and expand the variety of videos you watch.  

Take a moment to think about the ads you see on videos on YouTube as compared to those on traditional TV. Brands pay to have ads shown on a certain channel/type of channel.

YouTube influencer marketing is a lot like brands making informal deals with TV channels to promote their products. In the case of influencer marketing, the brands are not paying the network/platform to promote their products. Instead, they are making deals with the influencers, often offering the product in exchange for a review. The TV equivalent to influencer marketing would be product placement in a show. 

While YouTube is different than other social platforms, there’s one sense where it’s the same. Fans/Followers expect influencers to be authentic and genuine. They are prepared to take notice of brand promotions that will be useful to them. This is the reason why unboxing videos perform well. People are interested in what is in that cardboard box- and whether or not it’s worth their money. 

Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns on YouTube 

Though influencer marketing is les formal than other marketing techniques, it’s still a valuable tool in a marketer’s arsenal. Good marketers create a variety of campaigns, based on the goals of the customer. 

Just like with other marketing efforts, the type of campaign depends on the stage of the sales conversion funnel you are targeting. We will explore 5 types of influencer marketing campaigns on YouTube below. 

Introductory Campaigns 

An introductory campaign is designed to introduce a new product to the market- or at least to the intended audience. An example of introducing a product to the intended audience would be targeting first-year students in a university. The product isn’t exactly new, but it’s the first time that group of students found out about it. 

In this case, the influencer will create an exciting, eye-catching video that includes the product. Reviews are a great way to introduce a product. Additionally, videos where the host uses/wears the product can be useful. For food items, influencers can prepare a recipe that uses a particular ingredient. 

Often, gaming companies will pay gamers to play new games. This works best on platforms that allow live-streaming, but these influencers often will do some highlight videos for YouTube. 

Maintenance Campaigns 

Often, brands will carry out maintenance campaigns, which are designed to keep a particular product fresh in the minds of their audience. Even long-established brands will undertake these campaigns, to maintain awareness and to generate new sales. 

These are the most common type of influencer campaign. Many times, the same type of videos can be used for maintenance campaigns as for introductory campaigns. The difference is, influencers don’t focus on the product being “new” but on how it can solve a particular need. 

Educational videos about the product fall into this category. Influencers can create “How-To” videos to show their audience how to use the product or get the most out of the product. The focus should be on the benefits of the product, not features. After all, viewers are familiar with the product- they don’t care so much what it’s all about, but how it will help them. 

Hashtag Campaigns 

These are a major piece of social media marketing. Though hashtags are not as prevalent on YouTube as they are on Instagram, Twitter, or even Facebook, they are still used to find/group videos on particular topics. Ideally, when creating a marketing campaign, there should be some hashtags. 

Contest Campaigns 

One thing that will never change, regardless of the platform you’re on, is that people love contests. Often, if there’s a contest on their favorite channel, viewers will jump right in on it- especially if the prize is related to the niche of that channel. 

Branding Campaigns 

A branding campaign is one that features videos about a particular brand/product. You must avoid the campaign becoming too commercial because it will cause the cynical viewers to turn it off and will question the authenticity of the channel. 

After all, most people will actively avoid watching commercials, and there’s a fine line between a branding video made by an influencer and a paid advertisement. 

Tips for Successful Influencer Marketing on YouTube 

As a brand, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when it comes to influencer marketing on YouTube. Below, we’ll take a look at 5 tips for successful influencer marketing on YouTube. 

Set Clear Goals 

The truth is, YouTube influencer marketing is not much different than other forms of marketing. The process begins by establishing clear objectives. The choice of influencers, campaign type, and KPIs to focus on will be determined by the goals of the campaign. 

A brand must be clear with their influencers about the goals of the campaign. These goals will affect every video that is made as part of this collaboration. The goals will affect the influencers that are chosen. You want to make sure that you choose influencers that will help meet your goals- not those with the most followers. 

Choose the Right Influencers for Your Campaign 

The secret to success is to choose appropriate influencers for your product. This is a lot like what is done with TV advertising. For example, fashion items are not typically advertised on ESPN. Typically, KFC is not promoted during Master Chef or other cooking show. 

This same approach should be taken when choosing influencers on YouTube. Think abut where your ideal audience would be spending their time and approach those influencers first. 

Budget is also going to have an effect on the influencers that a brand works with. Focus on finding influencers that make videos for your ideal audience and that you can afford to pay. 

Make sure the influencer shares your values. For example, Disney is not likely to work with influencers that are not family friendly. Don’t just choose influencers that are well-known with a large following- they may not feel the same way about certain things as you do. 

If you’re struggling with finding a influencer to work with, consider using a platform or agency to help. 

Pay Influencers Appropriately 

You don’t expect to get free promotion on TV, so why expect influencers to promote your brand for free? Create a budget for influencer marketing just like you would any other type of advertising. If you’re a small business with a small budget, you’ll have to focus on influencers that don’t have as much reach. 

Interact with Influencers’ Followers 

You can’t just sit back and relax after you’ve chosen your influencers. You need to be interacting with the followers of your influencers. After all, you want them to convert to customer status, right. You need to have conversations in the comments. Share the videos to your social media platforms. Be available to answer questions when needed. 

Don’t Micromanage Influencers 

Keep in mind that, on their channels, your influencers are the experts. Their subscribers watch them, not you. Therefore, you should not pay influencers to share your pre-made ads. They won’t be watched, and it’ll ruin the credibility of that influencer. 

You must allow them the freedom to run their channels the way they want. You can collaborate with them, but they need to have creative control. If you don’t care for the way they do their videos, consider finding another influencer. 

Finally, you must keep in mind that influencer marketing is not the same as hard-selling a product. 


As we begin to wrap things up, here are a few frequently asked questions regarding influencer marketing on YouTube. 

Should you use YouTube influencer marketing? 

This marketing technique can be quite effective. After all, there are lots of people online watching videos on a daily basis- and, due to the connection and device quality, it’s much easier to watch. Keeping all of this in mind, it makes sense to use YouTube influencer marketing because they have access to an extensive online audience. 

How to choose the right influencers on YouTube. 

There are so many factors that come into account when it comes to choosing a YouTube influencer. Take some time to consider where your ideal audience will be spending their precious time. Then, take that information and create a list of potential influencers. Review their channels and see which one has a decent number of followers that you can afford and shares your values. 

What are some best practices for YouTube influencer marketing? 

When getting started on your journey of influencer marketing on YouTube, there are some things you need to consider. First, identify your objectives, as these will have an effect on every video that’s created. 

Once those videos are created/uploaded, be sure to interact with the viewers in the comment sections. Also, share the videos to your own social channels. Finally, allow your influencers to have the freedom to run their channels the way they want. 


Hopefully, this guide will help you with YouTube influencer marketing. This is definitely a viable way to market your products because there are lots of people who are watching videos each day. Keep all of this information in mind and you will have success with influencer marketing on YouTube. 

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