Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in brands tapping into YouTube sponsorships and influencer marketing as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. Brands embrace YouTube sponsorships for a multitude of reasons - access to an ever-growing audience, building trust and authenticity, targeted marketing, engagement and interaction, and measurable results. And, according to the latest statistics, brands are seeing successful results through this marketing strategy. Reports have shown that 70% of viewers have purchased a product they saw on YouTube, 87% of viewers want to see branded content (viewers like the element of ‘try before you buy’ in the digital sense), and 55% of marketers use YouTube in their digital strategies.
Influencer marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy in which brands collaborate with individuals who have a significant and engaged following on social media platforms, blogs, or other online channels - for example, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. These individuals, known as influencers or content creators, have the power to affect the purchasing decisions and opinions of their followers due to their credibility, expertise, or popularity in a specific niche or industry.
YouTube sponsorships are collaborative arrangements between brands/companies and YouTube content creators (YouTubers). In a YouTube sponsorship, a brand collaborates with a content creator to promote its products, services, or brand within the content creator's YouTube videos.
Recommended read: Your guide to YouTube sponsorships
The internet is swarming with information targeted towards creators about YouTube sponsorships - how to get started with brand sponsorships, how to calculate your rate, YouTube sponsorship calculators, and which brands to reach out to. But, how do brands really feel about YouTube sponsorships?
The main aspect of brand sponsorships is collaborating with content creators that will spread the word about your brand and product. However, as a number of brands have shared, it’s not that easy. Brands must find the right creators - influencers that fit their budget, influencers who are reaching the brands target audience and influencers who believe in the brand and product.
Sudhir Khatwani, Director of The Money Mongers, Inc. reported:
“YouTube sponsorships can be a real game-changer for brands. They’re a ticket to creative collabs, getting your brand name out there, and potentially raking in the sales. But, let’s be real, it’s not always a walk in the park. You’ve got to pick the right influencer, because they’re essentially the face of your brand.”
Lexi Ivf from Elegear also noted that this was a challenge they also consistently faced:
“One challenge we encountered is finding the right influencers to collaborate with. It’s important to work with influencers who align with the brand values and have genuine interest in the products.”
As mentioned above, success comes with the right creators. And, this becomes even more difficult (and crucial!) for brands that are trying to reach a very niche market.
Paul Eidner, COO of CarnoGel, explains that his brand develops innovative sports gel for equestrian athletes - a super niche market. Through their experience with YouTube sponsorships, it has become clear that “there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ scenario.”
“Finding influencers who are genuine advocates of our brand and resonate with our unique audience has been both a challenge and rewarding journey…we noticed that partnering with influencers who genuinely understand and appreciate our product leads to more authentic engagement, boosting our credibility amongst our target market.”
It’s clear that brands can see major success with YouTube sponsorships if they collaborate with the right creators. With the use of ThoughtLeaders’ platform, we can pinpoint and even reach out to the content creators that are already engaging with your target audience - even the most niche markets. Our platform specifies the creators demographics, projected views (how many views the brand can expect to reach through a video collaboration), and past sponsorships. This information, along with a better understanding of the creators’ target audience, can significantly boost the brands confidence with YouTube sponsorships.
What’s for sure, brands across the board agree that the biggest advantage of YouTube sponsorships is the increased ability to not only reach a wider audience, but target a highly engaged audience.
Lexi Ivf from Elegear emphasized:
“One of the biggest advantages of YouTube sponsorships is the ability to reach a highly engaged audience. [Elegear] has seen great success with collaborations, with many viewers expressing interest in the product and purchasing them after watching the sponsored content.”
Valerie Nova from Ubunzo shared their own success story:
“[YouTube sponsorships] certainly enhanced our brand visibility and audience engagement. For example, a partnership with a design-centric YouTube channel drew substantial interest, boosting [Ubunzo’s] brand’s profile among potential customers.”
Today, more and more brands are trying to reach younger audiences - the Gen-Z’s - and this audience is heavily digitally active and influenced. Reports show that 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media. This clearly highlights that they are much more engaged with digital advertising channels as opposed to traditional advertising channels.
Israel Gaudette, CEO of Flawless SEO emphasized:
“A significant pro is access to a new, often younger, and engaged audience that brands might not reach through traditional advertising channels.”
Another key attribute of influencer marketing is the ability to spread awareness to wide range of audiences. For example, Olgam Life offer state-of-the-art treatment of donors while providing life-saving resources for the medical industry. Through YouTube sponsorships, the brand was able to increase its reach immensely, which ultimately helped Olgam Life expand its donor base and create awareness about its treatment of donors and life-saving resources.
The best part of content creators it that they are just like us - they look like us, they like the same things as us, and they speak our language (if you love gaming, and you follow a gaming channel, the YouTuber will likely use the lingo you are familiar with). So, at the end of the day, viewers will listen, contemplate, trust and likely engage with brands and products that were recommended by a content creator - as opposed to a brand recommending their own products. Just look at the stats: 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendation while only 38% trust branded social media content.
Kate Ross from Irresisitible Me shared:
“YouTube holds tremendous potential for brands. We have observed that longer-form content allows for in-depth reviews, tutorials, and storytelling. This fosters stronger connections with audiences. Additionally, YouTube offers a more established and diverse creator community with niche expertise, enabling us to target specific audiences effectively.”
Israel Gaudette, CEO of Flawless SEO, added:
“YouTube influencers have a unique connection with their audience, which can lead to higher trust and engagement with sponsored content.”
Overall, despite the challenges and difficulties, brands unanimously agree that YouTube sponsorships is a killer marketing tool and has the potential to completely transform your marketing strategy and goals. Olgam Life’s marketing manager even shared that, “YouTube sponsorships have played a vital role in [OlgamLife’s] growth and success. It offers a powerful platform to share our message, expand our reach, and impact the lives of countless individuals. We will continue to explore and leverage YouTube sponsorships.”
What is your take on YouTube sponsorships? Would you like to tap into influencer marketing? ThoughtLeaders depends on data to nail influencer marketing - everything from tracking industry insights to managing every step of your YouTube campaign. We can help your brand do YouTube sponsorships the right way and can help you find the creators that will bring you the results you are looking for. Don’t hesitate to reach out!