YouTube is the breeding ground for new celebrities, and the most influential YouTubers have learned to co-op brands to bring in additional revenue streams via their popular channels. Brands are quickly learning how to leverage these YouTube influencers to endorse their brand, gaining more exposure for themselves and spreading their brand message to a very wide target audience. Essentially, with the power of an influential YouTube celeb endorsement behind your brand, everybody wins. But how do you get a influential YouTuber to endorse your brand? Read on to find out…
Get Them Onboard with Collaboration
Oftentimes, YouTube creators are skeptical of brands. Some worry that brands will try to exploit their channel’s popularity, but it is important to stress that as a brand, you are looking to collaborate together to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. These “collabs” can be very lucrative for both parties, with the brand offering the influencer money and/or more exposure in exchange for their endorsement. But you must be able to persuade influencers that your brand is there to help them, not hijack their channel or audience.
Influential YouTube stars are business-savvy and many even have agents to conduct their interactions with outside brands, which increases their leverage (and payout). Yet there are also some – including the most popular YouTube star, PewDiePie – who refuse collabs with brands in order to retain complete creative control over their channel and, ultimately, their own brand. And PewDiePie’s hardline refusals of collaborating with brands hasn’t seemed to have hindered him one bit from making millions off his insanely popular channel. (He is currently the highest-earning YouTube celebrity to date, earning approximately $17+ million a year!)
Let Me Help You Help Me Help You
Just like prospecting your target audience, finding the right influential YouTube channel to collaborate with means aligning your brand with theirs. To start the conversation, you’ll want to assure them that your collaboration will be genuine, that is to say that you will not be pushing your brand message down their audience’s throats. Today’s generation of audiences can spot a disingenuous, marketing-centric message faster than you can click play.
This is a serious turn-off for viewers and you run the risk of hurting the YouTube channel and any chance at collaboration. The key is to create video content that builds a relationship between your brand, the YouTuber and their audience, which will foster your brand message while adhering to their already established model. Remember your brand is lucky to be endorsed on their channel, with access to their audience and influence, not the other way around.
Be Creative, Be Fearless
When collaborating with an influential YouTube star, you won’t entice them with some run-of-the-mill videos that they can just slap up on their page. Dig into their brand to see what you can bring to the table. Propose a series of videos that emphasize their channel with mentions of your brand. It’s also wise to have a few different pitches ready to go, as ongoing content will sustain your collaborative relationship.
Overall, your brand must remember that your collaboration with influential YouTubers is a two-way conversation, so you must listen to what the influencers are doing as well as asking of your brand in exchange for their endorsement. The audience will always go through the creator; your brand stays onboard quietly in the background. If you produce quality video content that exemplifies the YouTube channel, the creator will endorse it and their audience will crave it.