YouTube Influencer Marketing: The Definitive Guide for 2023

03 May 2023

Building and running a YouTube influencer marketing campaign may seem intimidating.

But you’re reading the right guide.

You’ll learn:

  • How to leverage YouTube’s unique advantages for influencer marketing
  • Actionable steps to build your YouTube influencer campaign
  • Real examples
  • Useful tools
  • And how to scale your campaign

Keep reading below.

What Makes YouTube Influencer Marketing Different?

YouTube users behave differently than on other platforms.

And that creates multiple advantages for your YouTube influencer marketing campaign:

  • YouTube users crave longer-form content: You and your creators have more time to educate or connect to your audience. Even YouTube stories expire after seven days, compared to those on Facebook and Instagram, which disappear after 24 hours.
  • YouTube users actively search for influencer content: These people aren’t “fed” content by the platform. They actively look for content their favorite influencers post. Therefore, they’re a more captive and qualified audience.
  • YouTube users are easier to retarget through influencer campaigns: Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so YouTube knows what products its users have interacted with.

Pro tip: Since YouTube is a part of Google, YouTube influencer marketing will also boost your SEO considerably.

Why Use YouTube Influencer Marketing?

We’ve already discussed some unique advantages of YouTube influencer marketing.

Now let’s see the stats:

  • YouTube has 2.1 billion active users per month.
  • Over 70% of shoppers across all age groups are on YouTube.
  • These people watch over 1 billion hours of combined video content daily.
  • 59% of customers deem YouTube ads more relevant than TV or streaming app ads.
  • 80% of people who plan an upcoming purchase watch related YouTube videos before purchasing.

Other statistics show that:

How to Build Your YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaign

The previous two sections discussed the particularities and advantages of YouTube influencer marketing.

Let’s see how you can implement all that:

1. Set Your Goals and KPIs

YouTube is better for:

  • Educational content: Especially if you have a product or an app with a high learning curve. This content increases the rate of conversions and active users.
  • Desire and social proof: These lead to increased purchases in conversion and retargeting campaigns.
  • Massive exposure: YouTube content is easily shared and gets traction fast. Besides, YouTube boosts your SEO if you use the right keywords and content, tapping into all recent YouTube UI changes.

Pro tip: If you want to build an engagement campaign on YouTube, we recommend YouTube Lives. But more on these formats in a minute.

First, look at this Sephora-sponsored video:

Mega-influencer James Welsh takes its viewers through the first Sephora shop in the UK, but the goal is to increase sales.

After establishing your goals, set key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Comments
  • Number of subscribers
  • Number of video views
  • Revenue per mille
  • Total watch time
  • Traffic source
  • Video engagement
  • Viewer retention

2. Research

This stage involves auditing yourself, your audience, and your competitors.

  • Check your company and previous campaigns.
    • Write your three top essential values.
    • Analyze your social media campaigns for the past three years.
    • Write down the highest and lowest-performing strategies.
    • Analyze your customer database to create a customer profile.
  • Use social media listening tools to analyze your audience’s online behavior:
    • Make a list of the ten most important topics for your audience.
    • Shortlist five of their essential values.
    • Use this information to zero in on their pain points.
  • Conduct YouTube competitor analysis.
    • Look at their topics, engagement rates, posts, followers, and impressions.
    • Compare those results to yours.
    • Read their posts to identify your competitor’s unique selling points.

Side note: Here’s how clear stats should look when you’re performing competitor analysis on social media:

3. Decide Your Strategy

Use the research above to determine the:

  • Solutions your audience ideally needs for their pain points (according to their values).
  • Strategic opportunities that your competitors have missed to find your unique selling point.

And then bring these two together.

Let’s get back to the Sephora example:

  • Sephora addresses mainly middle to upper-class women who value beauty and status.
  • Its competitors have similar products.

That’s why Sephora’s USPs are:

  • High-quality at affordable prices
  • Constantly interacting with its customers

3.1. Pick Your Content Format

YouTube content comes in three formats:

  • Long-form videos: Best for in-depth presentations in education and sales campaigns
  • YouTube shorts: Best for retargeting and raising curiosity
  • Lives: Best for engagement

Most of Sephora’s sponsored YouTube content is long-form:



This beauty brand is well-known, but it has to create desire to gain a competitive advantage. Long-form videos allow it to:

  • Present its products in more depth.
  • Build social proof through longer reviews and trials done by trusted beauty influencers.

3.2. Pick Your Message Format

The most common formats on YouTube include:

  • Reviews: Best for explaining unique features that a product has. Use this tactic in the consideration stage of your sales funnel.
  • How-to videos and tutorials: These videos work best in the awareness and evaluation stages.

This influencer shows you how to use the Crockpot:

  • Hauls: Hauls create desire. They’re best for the evaluation, intent, purchase, and loyalty stages.

This Zara haul highlights products from the Zara collection:

  • Unboxing: These videos are best for the middle of the funnel stages. Your prospects watch unboxings to see what’s in store for them.

This influencer has created a YouTube Short to brag about the gifted products Baby Noomie sent her:

Pro tip: Notice the personalized letter in the right corner and the shopping option included.

  • “Get Ready with Me” and “Day in the Life”: These videos are best for the top-of-the-funnel phases. You need influencers that can create social proof.

This nano-influencer created a Day in the life of a video editor. However, this video promotes a brand called Epidemic Sound, which offers a royalty-free video library:

Pro tip: Again, notice the referral URL included in the post.

  • Giveaways: Best for purchase and loyalty stages, giveaways boost your sales in the short term.

This micro-influencer discusses the Toshl Finance app, creating a giveaway for viewers who send their budgeting screenshots:

  • Hacks: Hacks are best for the top and middle of the funnel stages when you want to showcase your competitive edge.

These macro-influencers show their audience return hacks after buying Target products:

4. Write Your Creative Brief

This step is straightforward. After putting together all this information, write your creative brief.

This document should include:

  • Your campaign’s unique selling proposition
  • Number of deliverables and formats
  • Short description of what the content should focus on
  • CTA that you need to be included
  • Examples of content that the influencers can draw their inspiration from
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Hashtags and keywords the influencers should include

5. Find and Hire Influencers

Remember: You should set your strategy before hiring influencers.

Here are the steps to consider:

1. Determine what type of influencers you need: Stats show that macro-influencers with 100,000 to 1,000,000 followers have the highest engagement rate on YouTube:


2. Look for influencers online:

  • Use an influencer marketing platform.
  • Look for influencers on Google or YouTube:
    • Use [keyword you want to rank for] + influencer + [area], like so:
  • Browse local blogs in your niche if you have a local business.
  • Cross-check your database of customers and employees to see if any of these people is a YouTube influencer.
  • Browse social media by [your brand name] + influencer to find creators already mentioning your brand. Then, check to see if they can create YouTube content as well.

Pro tip: Vet your influencers to ensure they have no fake followers and their engagement rates are high.

3. Send them an outreach message:

  • Personalize your message. And in case you are planning an email outreach campaign, consider following the SPF record checker to ensure that your personalized messages reach the influencer’s inboxes.
  • Outline clear expectations and mutual benefits.

4. Decide the details:

  • Create and send them a thorough contract.
  • Agree on the payment method (i.e., affiliate commissions, per post, or through product seeding).
  • Discuss deliverables and deadlines.

6. Implement the Campaign

Once everything is in place, implement your campaign:

  • Assign tasks and deadlines to everyone on your marketing team.
  • Implement an effective editing system with feedback loops.
  • Keep track of your published and upcoming posts.
  • Nurture the relationship with your influencers.

Pro tip: A social media tool like Metricool streamlines your tasks and automates all processes from planning to posting, replying, and measuring. Therefore, this all-in-one tool can save you hours of work.

7. Monitor and Optimize

  • Monitor the KPIs you set in the first phase of this campaign.
  • Keep track of the sales codes and UTM links for your influencers.
  • Monitor your highest-performing content creators.
  • Get insights from their content and try to reproduce the same content with other creators.

Scale Up Your YouTube Influencer Campaign

You can scale your YouTube influencer campaign:

  • On other social media
  • With YouTube ads using influencer content

Pro tip: Metricool helps you run & monitor campaign performance on multiple social channels.

But before scaling your campaign, you have to implement it.

This guide taught you how to conduct in-depth research that leads to top-performing strategies and the tools that streamline your campaign.

So don’t wait any longer: start your campaign today.

David Morneau David Morneau , 03 May 2023


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