Any eighteen year old with a fire under their tuchus, can go out and open a trader account on Robinhood, find a website that shows what stocks rich congressmen are investing in, and go and start a YouTube channel claiming to be a total financial guru. If they get lucky, they will rack up a bunch of subscribers and a ton of viewers will tune in and take this advice to heart. The best part is that on every episode they make sure to share “this is not trading advice” which tends to follow their November short stock projections. If it's not trading advice, then what is it?! I digress…
To quickly cover monetization of YouTube and these “financial gurus” let's start by saying that a majority of their income does not come from YouTube’s ad monetization. If this YouTuber means business, and they are racking up views, then the content creator will then reach out to brands that they believe would want to partner with them and sponsor one or more of their videos.
Now if I am a digital marketer that handles influencer marketing partnership for my personal finance brand, these “gurus” seem like low hanging fruit. They have a good amount of subscribers and rack in more than 40,000 views on their videos. I say why not? I throw some cash at the creator and hope for the best. Many may be surprised to hear this, but a vast majority of creator partnerships are initiated on the basis of the creators reach, and the category of content the creator publishes. Well I am here to tell you that this is not the right strategy to go about these things.
As an influencer marketer, I would want to nail down a few questions that would make me feel a whole lot more comfortable with handing out my budget, not just the potential amount of people that this ad will reach.
Knowing my brand very well, I probably have a good idea of who my direct and indirect competitors are. I want to know who has worked with them, and even further than that, how did it perform from these brands. In a nutshell, will I get the bang for my buck?
yes, I did my homework, and a couple pieces of content that I tuned in to align someone with my brand's messaging, but what if there are videos published on their channel that go completely against my brand’s code of ethics. This is not a risk my brand is willing to take over a few thousand dollars. So does this channel truly align with my brand’s messaging?
As a vast majority of influencer marketing platforms tend to look at the size of channels and their reach, and sometimes demographics. It is GOSH DARN DIFFICULT to nail down the answers to these ever important questions, and without these answers, decisions feel like a shot in the dark.
Thankfully ThoughtLeaders exists, an influencer marketing platform that is dedicated to understanding digital content in context. It shows exactly where and how brands are being featured across YouTube, podcasts, newsletters, and Twitch, in order to deeply understand creator performance. Want to see which brands have sponsored this channel? No problem. How did this channel perform for these brands? It CLEARLY shows if it was a success or a total flop. And what about if the channel aligns with my brand's messaging? ThoughtLeaders allows its users to dive deep in the channels transcripts and hone in on the messaging that matter the most, good or bad.
Instead of navigating a world of darkness with high hopes and a blank check, it's time to start putting those dollars to work on channels that are proven to be successful, even before partnering. This allows any influencer marketing team to stretch their budget and bring in a much higher volume of new users, and build long lasting relationships with creators that mean business, not just say that they do.