YouTube influencer marketing guide to boosting brand awareness

YouTube is the second most popular platform for influencer marketing, with 70% of marketers agreeing it’s an important part of their influencer marketing strategy. This means that if you’re looking for a new outlet for your brand’s influencer marketing strategy, YouTube is a great place to start.

However, because YouTube is a video-only platform, working with influencers will be a bit more involved than it might be on a platform like Instagram.

Throughout this article, we’ll walk through the benefits of YouTube influencer marketing, how it works and how you can set up your own successful campaign.

Why use YouTube influencer marketing?

Not only is YouTube the second most popular platform for influencer marketing, it’s also the second most popular website in the world, reaching over 2 billion users each year. This massive reach makes it the perfect platform for putting your brand in front of a large audience.

While YouTube is a platform traditionally dedicated to long-form video content, the introduction of YouTube Shorts has opened another avenue of short-form influencer content, similar to that of Reels or TikToks.

But with YouTube, your brand is able to get more in-depth reviews, tutorials and use cases from the influencers you choose to partner with. This can be even more valuable for your brand and even more persuasive for the influencers’ audiences.

6 types of YouTube influencer marketing campaigns with examples

There are many different ways that a YouTube influencer marketing campaign might present itself and different outcomes you can get as well. Some are better for brand awareness while others may be good for lead generation and conversion. We’ve covered six different types of influencer marketing campaigns that perform well on YouTube.

1. Unboxing videos

An unboxing video can be a haul (more on this below) of multiple packages, but what we’re talking more about here is a single brand’s shipment getting opened on-screen.

We have the perfect example of this below with this sponsored Quirky Crate unboxing video by YouTube CurvyHipsAndTintedLips.

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She includes a disclaimer in her video description that this video is sponsored, meaning that not only did Quirky Crate send her these two subscription boxes for free, they also paid her fee for a solo sponsored video.

2. Hauls

Hauls are similar to unboxing videos but they tend to be much larger and can include several different brands. These often include brands who simply send free products to influencers but haven’t paid for their own brand-specific video. This means it’s a great option for brands looking to get started in YouTube influencer marketing and may not have a big budget yet.

Take a look at this example from YouTuber Laura Lee:

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She moves from box to box by introducing the brand and showing off each item that came in the package. This gives each brand a small feature for only the cost of free products.

3. Product Reviews

Another great type of campaign is to ask influencers to review your products on a video. This helps to introduce your business alongside a trusted influencer and their positive review of your product.

We have an example of this below from health and fitness professional Renee McLaughlin, reviewing “Amazing Amino Acids” that she whole-heartedly loves and recommends.

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We see that this YouTuber also offers a discount code in the video description. Although the video description doesn’t say sponsored, an influencer-specific discount code tends to indicate some sort of partnership. This is also a good way to get people interested in buying right off the bat.

4. Day-in-the-life vlogs

Many influencers post day-in-the-life vlogs that showcase their typical workday or weekend. This type of content is popular with their audiences—and as a brand, you can take advantage of this.

Take a look at this example below from influencer Katie Musser. She’s created a video that follows along with her typical workday.

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While this particular video is not sponsored, she has included affiliate links in her description for specific products that she’s mentioned. If you’ve pinpointed an influencer that you want to work with who posts day-in-the-life videos or vlogs regularly, consider reaching out to see if they will include a product placement or mention of your brand in their video.

This is a much more organic way to put your brand in front of a new audience, rather than having an obviously promotional video created all about your brand.

5. Tutorials

Have influencers show their audience how to use your product. This is great for complex products, but it can also work for showing the different use cases that your product may have, providing viewers with even more reasons to make a purchase.

This video from Cynthia Dhimdis isn’t sponsored, but still shows a great example of what your tutorial video could look like.

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Reach out to influencers to ask if they’re interested in partnering and if they could teach viewers how to make the most out of your product in a YouTube video. Include a discount code to entice them to go ahead and make a purchase.

Tutorial videos are also a great way to move users who are already on the fence about your product towards clicking that product link and deciding to buy.

6. Contests or giveaways

A contest or giveaway is another great way to partner with an influencer. In an instance like this, they can do a tutorial or review in conjunction with a product giveaway.

In this example below by YouTuber Anissa Jones, she’s doing an unsponsored giveaway for reaching 5,000 subscribers—but something like this would also be the perfect time to partner with an influencer to help them do a giveaway of your product for one of their big milestones.

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How to create a successful YouTube influencer marketing campaign

Ready to create your own YouTube influencer marketing campaign? It’s simple—just follow these four steps.

Step 1: Set clear goals

What’s the goal of the campaign and KPIs for success? With influencer marketing, the top objective tends to revolve around brand awareness and reaching new potential customers.

This means you’ll be checking out KPIs like:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Unique views

Set up UTM parameters or short links you can track for each influencer campaign to make tracking your goals even easier.

Step 2: Set a budget

Influencers don’t partner with brands for free! This is their job, which means you need to set aside a budget specifically for paying each influencer you partner with. Rates vary from influencer to influencer and are also based on their total reach. This means that partnering with micro-influencers will cost less than with influencers with millions of followers.

Influencer Marketing Hub has laid out the following averages on how much you should pay YouTube influencers:

  • Nano-influencers: $20–$200 per video
  • Micro-influencers: $200–$1,000 per video
  • Mid-tier influencers: $1,000–$10,000 per video
  • Macro-influencers: $10,000–$20,000 per video
  • Mega-influencers: $20,000+ per video

To get an idea of how these different tiers break down, they also offer the following explanation:

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers

Step 3: Find YouTube influencers

The next step is to find YouTube influencers who align with your brand and your campaign goals. Make sure their followers align with your potential customers so that the people you reach are more likely to have an interest in your brand.

During your search, start by researching which influencers your competitors are working with. That’s a good signal these influencers and their audience are likely to use your product. You can also browse YouTube videos by searching for keywords related to your industry and see which YouTubers pop up.

In addition, consider using Sprout Social to help with your search. By honing in on different online conversations with the social listening feature, you can see which popular users are talking about your industry and similar products—or even mentioning your brand.

Screenshot of a social listening world cloud in Sprout Social for a Starbuck/Coffee competitive landscape.

Step 4: Measure YouTube influencer campaign success

Finally, you can’t launch any type of marketing campaign without having a plan for measuring success. The same goes for your influencer marketing campaigns.

While it can be difficult to measure the success of someone else’s social media channel, there are a few things to set up for each campaign:

  • As we mentioned, you’ll want to create UTM links that will help you track all link clicks and traffic
  • Create an influencer-specific discount code so you can track purchases from each campaign
  • Ask the influencer to send you reports from their end every month or so to track performance

You can also take advantage of Sprout’s Cross-Network Tag Performance Report to keep track of how all influencers are doing and what products are being mentioned. You’ll set up these mentions as tags you want to track within your Sprout account.

Screenshot example of the Sprout Social Tag Performance Report.

Launch your own YouTube influencer marketing campaigns

Working with influencers is a great way to create content that promotes your brand and its products much more naturally. It also is one of the best ways to reach younger generations—also known as digital natives. If you’re trying to appeal to Millennials and Gen Zers, learn even more ways to reach digital natives.