The Power Of Influence In YouTube Endorsements


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Why Brands Partner With YouTube Influencers

Would you sooner trust a recommendation from a long-time friend, or an advertisement on television? An endorsement from someone you trust instills a feeling of confidence and reassurance when it comes to making consumer choices and buying a product. 

As Gen Y and Z are two of of the most sought after demographics, advertising partnerships with YouTube personalities are one of the most common forms of advertising in today's market. As both demographics are deeply invested in bloggers/influencers, they are most likely to follow suit from the advice and suggestions of these figures. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded explores the power of influence in YouTube endorsements and why they work so effectively.  

The Power Of Influencer In YouTube Endorsements

Ads That Captivate Followers Organically 

If you have any familiarity with the world of beauty influencers, the name Jaclyn Hill should sound familiar. She has 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube, countless partnerships and over 417+ million accumulated views. She started creating makeup and glam videos over seven years ago, building an extremely strong fan base along the way, and has been known to mutually boost her brand and others.

In 2015, Hill collaborated with Becca Cosmetics, a smaller Australian makeup line to create the product "champagne pop," which sold over 25,000 units at Sephora alone in just the first twenty minutes of the launch, breaking record sales. This drove Becca Cosmetics to be bought by major Makeup mogul Estée Lauder for $200 million. This would not have been possible without the mass exposure and clout that Jaclyn brought for the brand. 

A common form of promotion that brands will offer in influencer partnerships is an affiliated discount code. Influencers get personalized codes that they will put in their video descriptions so their viewer gets a discount when they make a purchase, a margin of the sales made with that code will go back to the influencer.

In one of Jaclyn Hill's most viewed videos, "My All Time Favorite Drugstore Products", she included seven different discount codes. At 3.4 millions views, and thousands of comments similar to this one, "OMG I am making a list and running to the drugstore. If it's Jaclyn approved, I know I'll like it." (- YouTube user Serein Wu), Hill secured guaranteed profit for both her and the affiliated brands. 


A crowd of fans follow Jaclyn Hill to her Sephora Meet and Greet for her palette launch.

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The Difference That Intimacy Makes In Marketing

What makes YouTuber influencers so effective at marketing products (both sponsored and un-sponsored), is the trust and relationship built with their viewers that cannot be attained with A-list celebrities endorsing a product in a commercial.

Viewers feel as though they have a sort of relationship with them because of how personally YouTube influencers address their viewers. When they mention products they like or dislike, it's taken more seriously rather than from a company with no face. This is why brands have taken to sponsoring YouTube influencers to integrate their product in their videos to millions of viewers for thousands of dollars.

YouTube viewers tend to form loyalties with their favorites, in part because they often grow up with them, watching them slowly gain popularity and rooting them on and looking up to them.

While their devotion may seem crazy, it can all be seen in the comments. One fanatic user H GQ comments "I trust her so much like I would put my life in her hands", receiving over 100 likes, on a video from Olivia Jade advertising a tanning product. 

Youtuber_Olivia_Jade Youtuber Olivia Jade Endorsing Lancer Skincare Line In Her "Current Skincare Routine" Video, 2016.

The Most Effective Ads Are The Ones We Don't Notice

Often viewers have no idea to what degree a paid endorsement is being executed because of the off-the-cuff and organic delivery YouTuber influencers will use while explaining the product in a casual, relatable way that people connect with.
In one of Olivia Jade's "favorites" videos, she spends almost a full minute talking about the product Loving Tan  [00:52 - 01:46], something the brand could most likely never afford in television airtime or mainstream advertisement. This brand has partnered with countless YouTuber influencers, seamlessly reaching their target audience.
Other times, YouTube influencers will creatively incorporate products sent to them into a full length video (for a higher price) also because it's in their best interest in terms of content creation. When you search Tanning Tutorial on YouTube, six out of ten of the first displayed videos are sponsored by Loving Tan, which is a huge deal in advertising as these will be the first thing people see, therefore buy. Just those six videos (not including hundreds of other videos in which this product is used and endorsed) has racked up a combined 6,066,000 views. This view count means much more than sponsored social media ads numbers because YouTube view counts are all voluntary, self-initiated views. 
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How To Select The Right Influencer


Finding the right influencer to work with can be difficult, there are questions every brand needs to ask themselves before offering a partnership, like:
  • Does my product's target audience align with this influencers' viewership?
  • Does this influencer provide a positive message for the product?
  • Will their endorsement be worth their fee (or sending them product)? 
  • Is their a discrepancy between their followers/subscribers numbers and their actual views/likes? (being aware of possible phony accounts)
  • How will the integration of my product in their video/post be effective in bringing in sales?
Ensuring you have the right answer to all of these questions is exactly why brands choose to work with agencies (like ours) to execute a seamless sponsorship that will guarantee the most effective results in increasing both brand awareness and ROI. 

The Next Step 

Interested in doing a little further reading on influencers and the impact they can have on your brand? We've written many other blog posts on the subject based on our own experience working with them!

As influencer marketing is still a fairly new field of advertising, we know a lot of brands are still learning about the best ways to utilize it and we've created an influencer marketing school. Check it out now and enroll today!

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