Influencer Marketing on YouTube: How to Find the Right Channels
This article comes to us from the Speaking Human University Program, which gives voice to the opinions and perspectives of the next generation of consumers and marketers…
The digital marketing landscape has seen some significant changes over the past decade. From the onset of social media marketing to the recent boom of influencer marketing, companies need to fully understand the tools they have available and use them to their best ability.
Influencer marketing is something I’ve seen touted as a sort of “awakening” in this new landscape, yet I fail to see companies utilizing this asset in the most effective ways they can. I’ve noticed lately that YouTubers in particular have been a big piece of the influencer puzzle, with tons of channels now incorporating some sort of sponsorship within each of their videos.
Identifying Ideal Influencer Opportunities on YouTube
For an opportune example of influencer marketing, look at the channel “Kinda Funny”. While that name probably falls on deaf ears to many, they are making great strides within the YouTube space. What makes the channel so special is the personalities that fuel it.
Main co-hosts and co-owners of the company (Greg Miller, Tim Gettys, Nick Scarpino, and Kevin Coello) bring an infectious chemistry that has helped them develop a strong, tight-knit community that exemplifies what really makes YouTube a great place for content creators and businesses.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for YouTube Influencers
After doing a little research and discovery, I believe that there are three key principles that companies should take note of when looking for influencers to make a genuine difference for their brands…
1. Don’t Be Wary of Smaller Subscriber Counts
Despite the channel’s relatively smaller subscriber count (200,000+ compared to the various channel’s in the same category with around 1,000,000+), Kinda Funny’s personalities have managed to drive revenue and traffic in ways that rival even the big dogs.
How Kinda Funny drives most of its revenue is through two methods: Patreon and sponsorships. Through the former, the company has two accounts for the two channels it operates, and through each they have a combined revenue of around $40,000-$60,000 per month from over 11,000 patrons. While the success of their sponsorships is more difficult to track, it has been noted by the company that their community drives a heavy amount of traffic to their sponsored brands. And this brings me to my next point…
Even though a business or an ad agency may look at the subscriber count of a channel like Pewdiepie and decide instantly that they would be a better utilization of their resources over someone like Kinda Funny, that isn’t always a safe bet. Just look at the fallout that surrounded Pewdiepie and Logan Paul in the past year, where several key advertisers pulled away (either willingly or due to YouTube preventing ads from being shown) after each channel grew shrouded in controversy.
2. Go for a Community, Not a Following
The biggest driver of Kinda Funny’s success has come from the community it founded itself on when the company started in 2015. Greg Miller and his team have made it their main effort to be as involved with their community as possible, even going so far as to call their supporters “best friends” instead of “fans”. This continued relationship with their audience has given their community a strong sense of trust with the faces behind the company—and they’re willing and eager to support others within that community.
For an example of the strength of Kinda Funny’s community despite it’s relatively small size, early in the year a member of the community asked the channel to sponsor his daughter’s girl scout fundraising. Before the channel mentioned anything, the member’s daughter was at 33 boxes sold with hopes of reaching 100. Just a couple of days after being mentioned on Kinda Funny’s daily news show “The Kinda Funny Morning Show”, they reached over 2,100 boxes sold.
While large subscriber numbers and video views may sound like a better opportunity for success, marketers should be looking to see what sort of actual engagement these audiences have with the content creator and the videos they produce.
3. Find Good People
Something that has also helped to make them stand out as a pillar of YouTube is their aversion to controversy. While numerous YouTubers much larger than Kinda Funny have gotten dinged in the past due to releasing content unfavorable to both advertisers and their audience, Kinda Funny has managed to stay very consistent and clean throughout their nearly three-and-a-half-year tenure on the internet.
Finding content creators is like looking for fish in the sea—it’s easy to find an abundance of them, but to find the truly great gems it takes dedication, research, and a desire to only settle for the best. As mentioned earlier, larger channels like Pewdiepie and Logan Paul may seem like safe bets at first sight, but if due diligence is done to fully understand the kind of content that each channel has made in the past you’re going to find a lot of cracks underneath the surface.
Channels like Kinda Funny help to promote a thriving and positive community in the YouTube space, and utilizing them is going to be a marketer’s key to success. Instead of diluting your brand by throwing sponsorships at every channel that fits your target market, find the ones that will actually help to grow your brand and connect you with people who will actually want what you’re offering.