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Brands To Watch
February 22, 2023
min read
Noam Yadin

How does Skillshare show off its skills? 

Skillshare is an online learning platform that allows curious minds to expand their educational horizons across various disciplines and topics of interest. Its primary mission is to make education available and accessible for anyone who wants to learn something new - and, boy, do you have a lot of courses to choose from. Skillshares courses are organized into advertising, business, design, fashion and style, film and video, food and drink, music, photography, gaming, technology, and writing and publishing. And, the best part - the courses are taught by industry leaders, including creators, entrepreneurs, and professionals. 

Skillshare is based in New York City and was founded back in 2010 by tech entrepreneurs, Malcolm Ong and Michael Karnjanaprakorn. Since its inception, Skillshare has reached an impressive $136.8M in total funding, with no intentions of slowing down. 

With Skillshare at the helm, we are noticing a surge of ed-tech, online learning solutions being promoted across digital marketing formats. This shift in market trends became particularly apparent during the outbreak and aftermath of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which encouraged and highlighted the importance of online learning. Unlike many other brands and services, Skillshare saw a rise in success during the pandemic period - causing them to exponentially increase their sponsorships. 

Skillshare Thought Leaders

It’s clear to see that in the midst of 2020, the number of YouTubers Skillshare sponsored peaked, and by the time 2021 rolled around, the company more than doubled its sponsorship strategy. It’s interesting to note that before the pandemic (late 2019), Skillshare mostly sponsored Technology channels, as well as, How-To & Craft channels. However, since 2020, the brand has changed its strategy and has mostly been sponsoring Lifestyle channels. 

Skillshare YouTube sponsorship 2017 vs. 2020

Over the last year, Skillshare has sponsored over 2,800 YouTubers, receiving over 1B views (that’s a lot of exposure!). Their most successful sponsorship partnership was with I Did a Thing (3M subscribers), specifically on his video - Can I Jump Rope Fast Enough To Stop the Rain?. This video has over 13M views!  

It’s also important to note that Skillshare’s influencer marketing strategy includes long-term partnerships with creators. For example, the online learning platform has sponsored: Plant Based Bride (135K) 26 times, David Pakman Show (1.45M) 79 times, and Linus Tech Tips (15M) 24 times - I mean, there is no limit to what you can learn, so Skillshare is constantly relevant.  

How does Skillshare remain a leader in the online learning industry? 

If it's not already obvious - influencer marketing is ensuring Skillshare stays top-of-mind when it comes to learning something new. By partnering with a wide range of influencers, each creator can promote courses that relate to their content (and courses that will obviously interest their audience) - easily allowing Skillshare to flaunt the ever growing variety of courses available. 

For example, Jeff Nippard is well-known in the fitness industry as a pro-bodybuilder that has a growing passion for science (he even has a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry). So, a partnership with Skillshare is quite natural (he loves to learn and his loyal viewers turn to him for his added knowledge) and that is also how he presents it during his ads - “I get asked all the time how I edit my videos. Sometimes people are surprised to hear that for the last several years I've done all the editing on this channel myself. I think a lot of people who do creative work or want to have a creative career are a little too eager to outsource things, rather than learning the skills for themselves. I think that having that knowledge yourself is what gives you the most power as a content creator and Skillshare is easily the best resource for this type of learning - whether you're just starting out or you're looking to elevate your craft to the next level.

Skillshare’s strategy has succeeded in both increasing its brand awareness and converting more impressions. Skillshare is on the radar of any company looking to make an impact in the digital marketing ad space and should continue to be an excellent guide brand on a successful sponsorship strategy.  

Check out these brands with a similar sponsorship strategy to Skillshare to see how they compare: 

Squarespace - provides software as a service for website building and hosting, and allows users to use pre-built website templates and drag-and-drop elements to create and modify webpages

Audible - Audible is an online audiobook and podcast platform owned by Inc. The service allows users to purchase and stream audiobooks and other forms of spoken word content.

NordVPN - a virtual private network service provider. It has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as an application for Android TV

These brands are using similar marketing tactics or are appearing in similar content, both organically and sponsored.

Next steps

Are you a creator interested in working with Skillshare or other similar brands? Click here to connect with brands on your radar and start scaling your brand partnerships. Are you a brand interested in learning more about Skillshare’s strategy and what you can learn from this for your own sponsorship initiatives? Click here to learn how to get more from this data. 

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