YouTube Influencer Marketing: Expert Roadmap for 2024

VLOG of young adult asian owner entrepreneur review cafe coffee shop and live for online marketing with smart phone in cafe

Quick links:

Get hand-matched with the best
Get hand-matched with the best
Get Started

YouTube influencer marketing strategies are quickly emerging as one of the most popular ways for companies to heighten brand awareness and sales. As the world’s second most active search engine (just after Google), YouTube attracts millions of visitors.

In fact, every day, YouTube viewers watch more than 1 billion hours of video on the platform. This means businesses have an exceptional opportunity to reach a gigantic audience through YouTube. 

Match YouTube’s phenomenal reach with the growing impact of influencers, and you have the perfect recipe for success. With influencers on YouTube, companies can create a variety of engaging videos, from “how to” to “unboxing” content, ideal for moving consumers through the sales funnel.

The only problem is that working with influencers on YouTube is a little different from creating a campaign for other social channels like Instagram or TikTok

Today, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about YouTube influencer marketing, from how it works to how to create your own campaigns. 

What is YouTube Influencer Marketing?

A female beauty vlogger recording a video for YouTube marketing

Influencer marketing is the art of working with influential online figures to promote brand awareness and increase sales. YouTube influencer marketing simply focuses on leveraging the power of influencers in the video landscape, creating content for YouTube. 

Companies work with YouTube stars, such as MrBeast and PewDiePie, to capture the attention of customers, increase their credibility, and unlock new opportunities. 

Interestingly, YouTube was one of the first social platforms to drive the rise of Influencer marketing. Back in the early days of YouTube, a handful of creators amassed an online audience that rivaled television and earned as much fame as standard celebrities. 

Savvy YouTube marketers noticed the pattern and began investing in the YouTube influencer marketing platform. Since then, the environment has given rise to a new wave of creative talent, and influencer marketing has exploded in popularity. 

YouTube Influencer Marketing in Figures

YouTube influencer marketing can deliver phenomenal results for businesses. Not only does it allow companies to leverage the growing power of influencer connections, but it also benefits from the evolving impact of video in the marketing space. Around 96% of marketers now say video is a crucial part of their advertising strategy. 

Here are some more facts and figures that demonstrate the impact of YouTube influencer marketing:

  • YouTube has over 2.5 billion monthly active users as of 2023. It’s the world’s second most popular search engine and the second most popular social media platform.
  • 70% of YouTube viewers have purchased something after seeing it advertised on YouTube, according to Google. 
  • 59% of viewers say YouTube ads are more relevant and appealing to them than the ads they see on streaming apps or television. 
  • Around 80% of shoppers say they watched a video at the beginning of their shopping process, indicating YouTube is at the forefront of the buyer journey. 
  • 26% of people say they discover new products and brands directly through YouTube advertisements. 
  • 62% of companies now use YouTube as a crucial channel for posting content to boost brand awareness and educate customers. 
  • YouTube is one of the most appealing channels for micro-influencer marketing. Statista found influencers with fewer than 15,000 followers have the highest engagement rates. 
  • 82% of customers say they follow recommendations from influencers, which makes influencer marketing far more powerful than celebrity endorsements or brand content. 

How Does Influencer Marketing Work on YouTube?

Two YouTube influencers collaborating for a content

The YouTube influencer marketing platform is similar in a lot of ways to any other environment for influencer-based advertising. Just like on other social media channels, companies work with reputable figures on YouTube to boost visibility and form relationships with their audience. 

However, there are some slight differences between YouTube influencer marketing and other forms of influencer content. For instance, while YouTube has its own “Shorts” solution for short-form video, it’s one of the top channels available for long-form content. 

Creators can upload videos up to 12 hours long. This means companies have an excellent opportunity to showcase their products in detail. 

Additionally, though YouTube has quite a broad audience, it’s particularly popular among younger viewers. Millennials and Generation Z consumers say they watch YouTube channels more frequently than traditional television channels. 

Since YouTube is a video-focused platform, this also means working with influencers is a lot more involved. You’re not just asking people to post images; your influencers need to create captivating and engaging videos that connect with a specific audience. 

Types of YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaigns

YouTube offers companies a variety of ways to connect with customers through influencer content. There are numerous ways businesses can showcase their content and capture attention throughout the buyer journey. Some of the most common types of campaigns that perform well on YouTube include:

1. Unboxing videos

Unboxing videos aim to increase excitement around a product by showing customers exactly what they can expect when they receive an item for the first time. The creator guides viewers through the process, narrating the experience. 

For instance, lifestyle influencer Sammy Louise created an unboxing video sponsored by FaceMasksClub, a subscription service in the beauty industry. Sammy unboxes the package and shows the viewers all of the items they get in the box. She then encourages her viewers to buy their own box from the link in the description.

Unboxing videos work because they showcase a real product through the lens of a real person. 

2. Hauls

Haul videos are similar to “unboxing” content. However, instead of focusing on a single product, creators generally cover a much larger selection of brands and items. Haul videos are excellent for showcasing new products in virtually any niche. 

One great thing about haul videos is it’s usually relatively easy for small companies with limited budgets to be showcased as part of a “haul.” For instance, in this video by Laura Lee, the creator shows a huge range of products to more than 4.61 million subscribers. 

She moves from one box to the next, introducing the brand and showcasing the items that came with the package. This gives companies a great chance to stand out with minimal investment.

3. Tutorials

Tutorials or how-to videos have become extremely popular in recent years. Studies suggest searches for the term “how to” have increased by 70% year over year. With tutorials, you can show customers how to use your product or service in a fun and engaging way. 

They’re ideal for complicated products, but they’re also great for showing off the various use cases for your products, giving consumers more reasons to buy. For instance, this Design With Canva channel made a comprehensive “Canva tutorial” video for their subscribers.

It shows customers everything they can do with the platform. Though the video isn’t sponsored, it does include affiliate links to drive consumers to the platform. 

Tutorials are ideal because they focus on addressing a customer’s problem and providing them with insights into how your solution can benefit them. 

4. Reviews

Reviews are another exceptional option for a YouTube influencer marketing campaign. They help to introduce your business to consumers and provide a clear insight into the pros and cons of your products. While a sponsored review video will usually be positive, it’s important to ensure your influencer makes their review seem authentic. 

A great example comes from Renee McLaughlin, a health and fitness professional who reviews “Amazing Amino Acids” and recommends them to her followers. 

The YouTuber offers a discount code in the video subscription to help drive customers towards the product and encourage them to make a purchase. Provided they’re done correctly, review videos are an excellent way to showcase your product in a genuine and authentic way.

5. Day in the Life Vlogs

Day-in-the-life vlogs are designed to show the viewer the typical routine of an influencer doing various activities. This often includes the influencer using various services and products. The idea behind these types of videos is to help consumers to imagine themselves using your product during their everyday lives. 

For instance, US-based influencer Amanda Castillo created a video showing off her life as a marketing specialist. The content highlights Amanda’s routine, from getting ready for work to coming home and relaxing. There are various insights into the products she uses, too. 

The video description also includes coupon codes for multiple products, highlighting opportunities for consumers to purchase the same items they’ve seen. Day in the Life videos are great for placing your products in front of customers in an organic and engaging way.

6. Giveaways and Contests

Everyone loves an opportunity to get something for free. Contests and giveaways are a great way to engage your audience and convince them to actively share your video. You can even ask customers to complete specific tasks to enter the competition, like tagging a friend. 

For instance, J. Force Gaming’s Joben hosted a video giveaway of an iPhone and PS5 for his audience of 182k subscribers. The content includes all of the details of how to participate in the event and encourages customers to comment on the content. 

Though this video wasn’t sponsored, it’s an excellent example of what companies can potentially accomplish with a giveaway video. Contests are a great way to drive sales, leads, and engagement to your store and can help increase long-term relationships. 

How to Develop a YouTube Influencer Marketing Strategy

Although creating a successful YouTube influencer marketing strategy is a little more complex than building an influencer campaign on a channel like TikTok or Instagram, the process is still relatively straightforward. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Set clear goals for your campaign

The best way to start any marketing strategy is with a clear set of goals for what you want to achieve. Choosing specific goals will also help you to decide what kinds of KPIs and metrics you should be monitoring to ensure success. 

You might decide your goal is to improve brand awareness, which means looking at metrics like impressions, clicks, and unique views. If your aim is to drive sales, you’ll focus on conversion rates and clicks on tracked links. 

Make sure you have a plan in place for monitoring the success of your campaigns. This could mean using YouTube’s business analytics or leveraging third-party tools. 

Step 2: Set your budget

Although working with an influencer is often cheaper than trying to hire a celebrity, even the smallest influencers don’t work for free. This means you need to establish how much you’re going to pay your influencer for their work. 

Rates vary depending on the influencer you choose, their engagement levels, and their number of followers. For instance, Nano-influencers can charge up to $200 per video, while mega-influencers charge anywhere up to $20,000 per video. 

In some cases, you may also need to consider offering additional benefits to influencers to encourage them to work with your business. This could include offering early access to new products or tools or providing items for your influencers to review for free. 

Step 3: Choose the right influencers

Probably the most important step in any YouTube influencer marketing campaign is ensuring you choose the right people to work with. It’s important to find a creator who has an excellent online presence, which means plenty of followers and lots of engagement. 

However, you’ll also need to ensure the influencer you choose targets the right audience and shares your company values and vision. During your search, it’s worth checking out the social media marketing strategies of your competitors. 

The influencers they use are likely to be similar to the kind of people you’ll want to connect with for your own brand. You can reach out to these influencers directly or consider looking for people they’ve partnered with in the past. 

Step 4: Create a campaign

Once you’ve found the ideal influencer, the next step is deciding on the type of campaign you want to create and what it should involve. Although you might have an idea of the sorts of videos you want to produce, it’s worth giving your influencers some creative freedom. 

Influencers are the experts of their own channels, and they know what resonates best with their target audience. Be flexible with your script and suggestions, and ask your influencers for their input on how you can make your videos more appealing. You can also use a script generator to help you generate text content, such as video scripts, blog posts, and social media posts.

You can still set expectations for your influencers, though, letting them know what kind of engagement you want to drive and what features or benefits you want them to highlight most. 

Step 5: Promote the campaign

Although your influencers will do most of the work of attracting followers to your website and boosting your visibility, you should also be drawing attention to the partnership. After your influencer posts a video on YouTube, make sure you link to it on your other social channels. 

@Mention the influencer in your Instagram and Facebook posts, share snippets on TikTok, and consider providing a link to the campaign on your website. You can even include links to your video content in your email campaigns to drive more attention. 

Cross-promoting your influencer campaigns will help to give your campaigns a lot more reach and should improve the ROI of your strategy. 

Step 6: Measure the results

Finally, as mentioned above, you should never launch any kind of marketing campaign without a plan for measuring its success. This is true for your YouTube influencer marketing campaigns, too. Although it’s difficult to measure the success of another person’s YouTube channel, you can ask your influencer to share their stats and information with you. 

There are also other ways to potentially measure success. For instance, you can set up UTM links for your influencers to share with followers, which can help you track all of their clicks. Alternatively, you could create an influencer-specific discount code to track purchases. 

Most professional influencers will be extremely transparent with their results, so you should be able to see just how successful your campaigns are. 

YouTube Influencer Marketing Success Stories

YouTube influencer marketing is an excellent way to draw attention to your business, earn the trust of your customers, and potentially increase your sales. Let’s take a look at some examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns on YouTube. 

1. NordVPN and CyberNews

Virtual Private Network provider “NordVPN” has leveraged a host of influencer marketing, affiliate, and sponsored campaign strategies over the years. The company has also been extremely active on YouTube, earning around 85.3% of its website visits from YouTube. 

In 2023, NordVPN worked with CyberNews, a channel with 102k subscribers, to create a series of introductory and “how to” videos for their audience. One video covering how to use NordVPN earned 70,000 views, making it one of the most popular videos on the channel. 

The video even included an offer to access NordVPN for free for 4 months, encouraging a host of people to sign up and test out the service.

2. Honey and Mr. Beast

Mr Beast stands as one of the most popular creators on YouTube. With 180 million subscribers, his reach is phenomenal. Honey, by PayPal, recognized the opportunity to work with Mr. Beast on a comprehensive marketing campaign. 

Not only did the company ask Mr. Beast to produce a series of videos for their own YouTube channel, but they also worked with him on a video for his followers too. The “Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory” video, sponsored by Honey, earned 231 million views and is one of the most watched videos on YouTube in the last couple of years. 

Not only did the video attract a huge number of viewers, but it also led to millions of shares and impressions from customers. 

3. Nike and What’s Inside

World leader in athletic equipment and sporting apparel, Nike is no stranger to experimenting with a wide variety of marketing campaigns. They’ve worked with celebrities and influencers alike to draw attention to their products, including influencers on YouTube. 

6 years ago, when the company launched its new Nike Air “Vapormax” shoes, they teamed up with the popular YouTube channel “What’s Inside.” 

The creators cut into the show, showcasing the exact materials included in each product. Though quite an unusual video, it earned a lot of attention, including 7.3 million views and 58,000 likes. 

The content helped to drive increased sales for Nike, encouraging them to continue working with influencers on similar videos in the future. 

4. Society6 and Katherout

Ecommerce store and online artist community, Society6, took advantage of the opportunity offered by smaller influencers on YouTube when they worked with Katherout. The company sponsored a variety of videos, asking Katherout to showcase their products in a unique and interesting way. 

The great thing about this influencer marketing campaign is it allowed Society6 to focus on a very specific demographic: college-age students with an interest in fashion. 

Katherout’s videos looked at how college students could decorate their dorm rooms with the various products available on the Society6 website:

It generated thousands of views and plenty of shares. Plus, the video description helped draw attention to specific products in Society6’s collection. 

5. Foreo and Sarai Jones

An excellent example of the impact “A Day in the Life” videos can have on your marketing strategy comes from Sarai Jones and Foreo. Beauty brand Foreo chose to work with Sarai Jones, a popular lifestyle and fitness influencer with over 3.5 million subscribers. 

She posted a “night routine” video that walked viewers through the process of getting ready for a relaxing evening using Foreo’s products. Not only does she highlight the benefits of Foreo’s products in the video, but she also includes links to the products in her video description.

The content attracted 163k views and earned nearly 7,000 likes from viewers, drawing new opportunities for the brand. 

Unlocking the Benefits of YouTube Influencer Marketing

YouTube influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most compelling ways for business leaders to boost their visibility, connect with new audiences, and increase sales. 

With the right influencer marketing strategy on YouTube, you can showcase your products and services in unique and engaging ways, not only attracting customers but also building stronger relationships with buyers.

As YouTube continues to grow in size and reach, its potential for marketing leaders will only grow. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your brand with YouTube influencer marketing. 

Rebekah Carter
Former company
About Author
Rebekah is a dedicated writer with years of experience producing exceptional content for brands around the globe. Her commitment to producing the best possible content means she’s constantly developing new skills and experience.
Gain a competitive edge with the world’s best freelance marketers
Get started