If you’re a fitness-based brand interested in tapping into influencer marketing - you’ve come to the right place. There is much more to influencer marketing than just sending a creator your product, having them promote the product/brand, and waiting for sales. From choosing which influencers can best represent your brand and promote the product to understanding how to measure the success of the campaign, understanding how to promote your fitness-based brand via YouTube sponsorships can seem complicated. We’re going to take the weight off your shoulders and break down what makes a strong collaboration between fitness-based brands and influencers.
Let’s start with the basics - before creating your wishlist of influencers, make sure you understand who is your target audience. There are so many different categories and niches on YouTube - which allows your brand to reach a wide range of people (in this case, viewers that may be in different stages of their ‘fitness’ journey). By pinpointing all the niches you’d ideally like to reach, you are more capable of choosing the right influencers for your campaign - the creators that already have your ideal audience’s attention.
So, you now have a better idea of who you are trying to reach - now, it’s time to focus on who is going to help you reach them. There are a number of aspects you should keep in mind when creating your influencer wishlist:
As a fitness-based brand, there are key underlying values that you are trying to get across - whether the product/service specifically touches on these values or not. For example, Gymshark, fitness apparel and accessories brand, has successfully tapped into influencer marketing as a way to let fitness-obsessed creators show off the brand's sleek and comfortable gym wear. However, when deciding which influencers to partner up with, it is important for Gymshark to sponsor creators that promote body positivity and stay faraway from influencers that promote an unhealthy body image. It's crucial that you ensure the influencers you choose are able to not only promote the physical product/service, but also the brand’s values.
Great, the YouTuber is obsessed with working out and has quite the collection of gym wear. But, does this influencer actually have the need to use your product/service? Creators are able to best promote a product/service when they actually believe in it - meaning use it on a regular basis and feel that it has improved their way of life. So, if MyProtein, a brand specializing in protein powders, decided to start YouTube sponsorships and chooses to partner with a fitness-based influencer that does not use protein powders, the brand will most likely not see success from this collaboration.
When creating your influencer wishlist, you have to consider both the reach and authority of creators. YouTube is the second-largest search engine - people turn to YouTube, specifically YouTubers that have become authority-like figures on certain topics, when they want to understand more about a subject. In this case, there are a number of YouTubers who have become influencers on specific fitness-based topics - everything from ideal workouts to tried-and-tested gym apparel.
The key is to find these creators that are authorities of the niche your brand would fit seamlessly into. For example, NaturallyStefanie is a plant-based fitness influencer who shares with her viewers how she stays fit and eats well, while being a vegan - some might even say she has made a name for herself as a ‘vegan fitness influencer’. So, her past collaboration with MyVegan, plant-based products including protein powders and supplements, is a seamless integration.
Now you have a clearer idea of what kinds of influencers you are on the lookout for - but how do you find these creators?
A great way to start searching for potential influencers for your fitness-based brand is by scouring YouTube via fitness-specific keywords. For example, ‘workout’, ‘what I eat and train in a day’, ‘activewear’, ‘fitness tips’, ‘home gym’, ‘what I eat in a day to get fit’, ‘gym mistakes’, etc. Whether your brand focuses on protein powders or gym equipment, these keywords will definitely highlight a number of relevant creators you should be taking a closer look at. Obviously, after the initial search, you can add more specific terms that relate to your product - for example, a protein powder brand may want to check out ‘what to eat before, during and after training’, ‘protein to build muscle’, or ‘top supplements’.
While searching through specific keywords, it’s also important to keep an eye out for terms you wouldn’t want associated with your product and brand. Think about it - a
Of course, if you want to simplify the process, you could use our keyword feature on the ThoughtLeaders platform. Using our keyword search, you can see content that includes the specific fitness-related terms, as well as, clearly see all the creators who have created content with these terms and (more interestingly) the brands who have were mentioned/sponsored the content - why is this important?
It’s always important to keep an eye on your competitors - the types of videos they are sponsoring and being mentioned in can give your brand a pretty good idea about where you should be promoting your product/service. Keep in mind - these don’t need to be only direct competitors, for example PEScience vs. MyProtein - you should also keep an eye on brands that are targeting the exact audience you are trying to reach, although you aren’t focusing on the same product. For example, Noom, a weight-loss service, may want to check out where PlateJoy, custom healthy meal plans, has been mentioned because not only are these creators seemingly creating content about wanting to eat healthy, but their audiences are probably interested in this topic as well.
It’s clear we are focusing on fitness-based brands, but that doesn’t mean you only need to target fitness creators. Let’s be honest, activewear can be worn on errand-filled days and protein powder can be included in yummy dishes.
Here’s a great example - Lifesum is a healthy eating & diet app that has sponsored a number of fitness-based creators including Krissy Cela, Chloe Ting and Nikki Blackketter. But, this brand also sponsors creators in other niches on YouTube, such as lifestyle, travel and even those in the medical sphere.
After compiling a list of the channels that would best align with your brand, the negotiation process begins. Negotiating is a tricky business, so it's important to have all the information - both your KPIs and what they can offer - channel subscribers, average views, number of videos, and of course, the price. Download our YouTube sponsorship planner to arrange all of this data and work out which of the options will make the most sense for your campaign.
Once you have the channel’s offering sorted, you have a clearer understanding of the expected results that are possible to achieve - the expected CPV for each partnership. Our YouTube sponsorship planner will calculate all of this for you so you can easily see which publications are most likely to hit your campaign goals.
So what makes a successful YouTube sponsorship? Well, there is no cookie-cutter answer because each brand partnership is different. It’s important to determine your own goals for your campaign - what does success look like and how will it be measured?
There are so many metrics you can choose to measure the success of your campaign, but the key is to pinpoint the ultimate goal. For example, if the goal is to increase sales, you may want to offer the creator a promo code which can also help you track sales (and see if this creator helped lead the brand to success). If you are more interested in general brand awareness, then tracking individual conversions will be less crucial.
The key to creating a good, ROI-driven collaboration is setting the influencers up for success. It is important to communicate with the creators the goal of the campaign, even sharing data and results. This will cause the influencer to feel more driven towards reaching these results, and build the building blocks to a long-term partnership opportunity.
Aside from the basic explanation about the brand and product, it's important to stress any offers or discounts - even reminding the creator to repeat the offers/discounts a number of times to ensure it comes across clearly. You may also want to mention the tone of voice - would you like a humoristic twist or a more serious explanation.
However, it's crucial that the talking points are general enough to allow the influencer to put their own spin on the material. You chose these specific creators for a reason - so let them do what they do best. If your talking points are too specific, the influencer will end up reading it out like a script - losing the genuine, connecting-to-their-audience aspect.
The key to creating a good collaboration between a fitness-based brand and an influencer is remembering that this is a partnership. You as a brand want to promote your product/service to your target audience, and influencers, such as those focusing on fitness-content, can help you reach your intended audience. The best part is - we can help you scope out your ideal influencers for your next campaign. Let us help you pinpoint the best influencers that not only align with your brand’s values, but reach your target audience while sticking to your budget.