Influencer Agency Guides

The Ultimate Guide to YouTube Influencer Marketing

Jul 2, 2024 | By Chris Jacks
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YouTube travel influencers showcase products in exciting locations. Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Way before TikTok started tearing up the social media rulebook, and even before Instagram put visual content front-and-center, YouTube was engaging audiences around the world. And you know what? It’s still here. It never went away!

With billions of users around the world, YouTube is still one of the heavy hitters on the social scene. And this means YouTube influencer marketing is a really big deal for businesses in 2024.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is all about using the popularity and prestige of content creators to promote your own product or service. Millions of people watch YouTube videos every day, tuning in for humorous content, useful tips, interesting information, or even just updates from the lives of their favorite online personalities.

When you partner with YouTube influencers, your products and services are exposed to this new audience. Not only that, but you are getting a direct recommendation from a respected content creator. The end result is an audience that is not only broader but is also more engaged with what you’re all about.

Why Use YouTube Influencer Marketing?

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Influencers achieve big engagement from YouTube video creation. Image by Broadmark from Pixabay

There are many different platforms and channels out there for influencer marketing. So what makes YouTube influencer marketing special?

  • We already touched on the millions of daily users – in fact, that number is 122 million daily users. Around 62% of American YouTube users watch a video at least once a day.
  • Around the world, 2.49 billion people use YouTube – this is a huge market.
  • YouTube influencers often transcend the platform and become mega-celebrities in their own right – Jake Paul, MrBeast, and KSI all made their names on YouTube.
  • People listen to what YouTube influencers have to say – Influencers with between 100,000 and 1 million followers have an engagement rate of around 3.4%. This might seem like a low percentage, but it translates to up to 34,000 engaged fans and audience members.

How Does YouTube Influencer Marketing Work?

Typically, YouTube influencer marketing works like this:

  • Brands find the influencer that best suits their product and their identity.
  • The partners draw up a contract – this contract defines the influencer’s rate and the brand’s expectations for the campaign.
  • Both the brand and the influencer work together to create the content – this might include holding tone meetings or writing drafts of the script.
  • The influencer hosts the content on their own channel.
  • The brand reaps the rewards of this exposure and promotion.

There are a few different strategies that brands can use here:

  • Micro-influence strategies – Working with influencers who have small but highly engaged audiences.
  • Macro-influence strategies – Aiming for maximum exposure from influencers with big audiences.
  • Product demonstrations – Working with an influencer to showcase your product and how it works.
  • Direct audience engagement – Asking your influencer to reach out directly to their audience, promoting competitions, giveaways, and feedback requests.
  • Ads and promo partnerships – Influencer campaigns are different from traditional ad campaigns. But you can still try a hybrid approach by placing an ad on your influencer partner’s video.

Examples of YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaigns

YouTube influencer campaigns can take many different forms. Here are just a few examples you might want to try.

Introductory Campaigns

These YouTube campaigns are aimed at audience members who have no idea who you are. The video content will introduce your brand and give your audience a taste of what you’re all about.

Maintenance Campaigns

Now that your audience knows your brand, you can use YouTube influencer marketing to keep your products at the forefront of the customers’ mind. This type of YouTube campaign shows your customers you are relevant and doubles down on your existing messaging.

Hashtag Campaigns

Hashtags are still an important part of social media marketing. If your brand is associated with a certain hashtag, then you are part of the broader online conversation. A YouTube hashtag campaign can forge and reinforce this association.

Branding Campaigns

YouTube marketing campaigns can solidify the public perception of your brand. This type of campaign showcases your identity as a business and demonstrates how your products solve key customer problems.

Tips for Successful YouTube Influencer Marketing

Launching an influencer marketing strategy on YouTube isn’t difficult. But with so much brand competition, and so many influencers to choose from, how do you make sure your strategy stands out from the crowd?

Identifying the Right Influencers

YouTube influencers are a diverse group. You’ve got video game influencers, health and fitness influencers, automobile influencers. You’ve also got fashion influencers, food influencers, travel influencers. On top of this, there are demographics to think of. Some influencers are great at connecting with Gen Z and the under-30s. Others pitch their content to a more mature audience.

Basically, you can’t assume that one influencer marketing strategy is necessarily going to work for all brands and all campaigns. Choosing the right influencer is going to be key to your YouTube strategy. Things like YouTube BrandConnect, and HireInfluence’s own matching services, can help you in your search.

Think about your market – what products and services are you hoping to promote? Then, consider your demographic – who are you marketing to, and what do they want to see from your content?

You’re trying to create a three-way partnership here. A partnership between your brand, your influencer’s content, and your audience. The only way to achieve this is by working with an influencer who really gets your campaign, and who has influence in your market.

Developing Compelling Content

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A YouTube influencer’s content creation setup. Photo by Stanley Li on Unsplash

It’s sometimes tempting to see YouTube influencer marketing as something very simple. You provide the brand and the product, and your influencer partner works their content magic. But the reality is often more complex than this.

You may have your own ideas about the content your influencer partner creates. While your partner is going to bring plenty of expertise to the table, your ideas are valuable too. After all, no one knows your products, services, and brand like you do.

This means YouTube influencer marketing is a collaborative process. You’ll need to work with your partner to create content that’s really going to resonate with your audience. Not only this, but the content will also need to fit into your marketing funnel. You need to make sure that your audience has the right response, and takes the right action, after they view your influencer’s video content.

Establishing Clear Objectives

So what exactly is the right response? What does the right action look like? Well, it really depends on your aims and objectives. 

  • Do you want your audience to buy your product immediately after viewing the content?
  • Do you want them to share the content with friends and family, or their own followers?
  • Do you want your audience members to like and follow your own social media?
  • Do you want them to form new opinions about your products and services?

All of these objectives can be achieved through influencer marketing. In fact, you might achieve all of them at the same time, to one extent or another. But it’s still important to have a clear primary objective in mind. Different objectives require different approaches.

  • Customers are only going to buy products immediately if they are already deep into the conversion funnel

Your product will need to solve a clear problem for your audience, or you will need to market to people who already have some awareness of your brand.

  • Audience members are more likely to share content that is funny, interesting, or valuable in its own right

Content shares are great for increasing brand awareness, but no one is going to share a straight-up ad. Working with your partner to develop content that is shareable in its own right is going to be key here. Mini-documentaries, fun humorous clips, or videos with actionable tips and hacks are much more likely to be shared than promo videos showing how great your products are.

  • Customers need strong and clear messaging if they are to follow your own social media

“Follow @BRAND for the latest updates on…” – It’s a simple message, but it’s effective. If you are looking to build your own social media following, you need to provide a strong call to action in your influencer’s content so your audience knows exactly what to do.

  • Your influencer can help your audience form new opinions

This last objective is difficult to quantify, but the impact is very real. Studies have found that things like credibility and influencer-brand fit do have an impact on buyer intention. In other words, if your audience believes your influencer is credible, they’ll believe your product is credible too. However, if they don’t think there is a good match between your brand and your influencer partner, this benefit can be undone.

The influencer-brand fit really underlines why choosing the right influencer partner is so important. Here at HireInfluence, we want to make this process a bit easier for you. This is why we offer our influencer matching services, linking the right YouTube influencers with the right campaigns.

Understanding What to Measure

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YouTube mobile app. Photo by Collabstr on Unsplash

How do you know if your influencer campaigns are successful? You need to check the data. But what do you need to measure?

As it is your influencer partner who will be hosting the video on their channel, you might not have direct access to their viewing data. However, they should be able to provide this to you. You might consider looking at:

  • The total watch time of the video
  • The average view duration and percentage.
  • When audience members are clicking away from your video
  • How often audience members are rewatching parts of the video
  • How many likes and shares the video gets

On top of this, you will also want to measure the direct impact of the video. This can include:

  • Direct revenue and sales increases
  • Growth in social media follows and shares
  • Increased traffic to landing pages
  • More brand mentions on social media
  • Shifts in brand perception

This last point might be quite difficult to measure. However, by reaching out to your audience with surveys and feedback requests, you can gauge how customers are perceiving your brand. Surveying brand perception before and after your marketing campaigns can provide valuable information.

Final Thoughts: Getting the Very Best from YouTube Influencer Marketing

YouTube was here at the dawn of the social media explosion, and it’s still going strong years later. With millions of daily users, a genuinely engaged audience, and a wealth of mega-success stories, YouTube represents enormous potential to businesses looking to launch influencer campaigns.

The key is to run your campaign in the right way. Find the perfect influencer, collaborate on your content, set your core expectations, and then measure the right metrics – all of this will help to make sure your influencer marketing strategy hits all the right notes.


Chris Jacks is an influencer marketing professional with over a decade of experience in the digital marketing sphere. As the Director of Growth Strategy, Chris oversees and drives strategic initiatives to fuel business expansion. With a keen eye for market trends and opportunities, Chris develops comprehensive growth plans and aligns business objectives across cross-functional teams. With a strong focus on crafting impactful, ROI-driven influencer campaigns across multiple sectors, Chris utilizes his expertise to enhance market positioning and maximize results.

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