No matter how many whizzy new social media platforms, or filters that make you look like a hamster, come and go YouTube has always been (and probably always will be) the heartbeat of effective influencer marketing.
And the very best content creators (both micro and megastar) on YouTube are the ones who audiences listen to, trust and turn to when they’re making purchase decisions.
So much so that a collaboration with a YouTube content creator is four times more effective at raising brand familiarity than working with ‘traditional’ celebrity.
But, while the decision to allocate some marketing budget towards video – and YouTube collaborations in particular – is an easy one, there are two very, very, very important things you need to remember to make your campaigns a success.
As tempting as it might be to rush out and press record on your first piece of video content, it’s worth remembering that the YouTube audience are notoriously quick to spot, and dismiss, shoddy efforts to win their attention.
And while it may seem totally obvious to anyone with an instinct for marketing, it’s surprising how many brands miss/forget/ignore some of the most basic and fundamental rules of successful YouTubing.
One of our favorite guides for a good video plan is Google’s ABCD model (after all, who doesn’t love a trusty acronym).
Very simply, Google suggest that you should plan your YouTube content with these four principles firmly in mind:
Attract – give your viewers a compelling reason to watch your whole video (and give it to them quickly).
Brand – find the most natural and impactful way to integrate your brand into the content.
Connect – find a human, emotional way to connect with your viewer. Tell them a story they’ll remember.
Direct – think carefully about what you want to the viewer to do next. What’s your call to action?
Having a clear communication strategy and ultimate objective for your YouTube content is essential. But if all you’re doing is handing a script to your content creator then you might as well be broadcasting a video of your marketing budget slowly being blown away in a strong breeze.
Just because you’ve been smart enough to plan out what you want your content to achieve, doesn’t mean you can ignore the golden rule of all influencer marketing which is that you’re paying for imagination, not a mouthpiece.
As Bruce Hoos writes for a blog on BigCommerce.com: ‘When you engage with YouTube influencers, successful companies remember that they are participating in an existing community that already has its own modes of interaction and norms. It is crucial that you treat creators and their audiences with respect. They have an audience for a reason, and they know what will work’.
After all, according to a study commissioned by Google, 40% of millennial YouTube subscribers say that their favorite content creators understand them better than their friends. So, however tempting it may be to impose too many talking points, rigid time limits or (the worst) a big bag of clunky buzzwords, brands get way more from videos that focus on how your product actually makes lives better.
Get these two elements right – a clear and focused plan and an empowered and authentic creative partner – and there’s no hamster-face filter in the world that’s going to beat you.