The Two Biggest Mistakes Brands Make with Influencer Marketing on YouTube

The Two Biggest Mistakes Brands Make with Influencer Marketing on YouTube

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In the last few years, Influence marketing has become one of the most powerful ways to bring attention to your brand. Lets face it, no matter how small or large you are, or how boring your industry is, you can always capture the attention of customers through an entertaining video that inspires, educates or makes people laugh.

However, crafting a memorable and influential endorsement, one that meets the right objectives for the brand, and which drives customers to action, is not easy. When YouTube Marketing is done incorrectly, everyone involved can be left wondering what went wrong as ad dollars slide down the drain.

Mistake #1: YouTubers Are Not Your Hired Actors

Brands often make the mistake of treating YouTubers as paid actors, giving them word-for-word scripts about how to film a video about their brand. In other words, brands often miss the point of what makes YouTube marketing different and more powerful than television advertising. When a brand asks a YouTuber to follow a video script, they are essentially asking the YouTuber to produce inauthentic content that will likely anger their audience and underperform for the brand.

The power of influence marketing is that you are aligning your brand with an influencer’s personal brand (their personality), gaining access to an already engaged audience that aligns with your brand. When this is done properly, marketing messages come across as organic and genuine. This is much different than posting a banner ad or releasing a commercial.

Mistake #2: Brands Shouldn’t Get Hung Up On Dedicated Videos

Brands are often so hung up on the length of their endorsement that they forget to think about whether or not they are engaging the audience. The important thing to remember is that every product placement will drive engagement from a dedicated video. While dedicated videos tend to perform well for subscription commerce brands that send a lot of products in one box, they tend to come of as boring and inauthentic when a brand wants to promote a single product.

In many such cases, a brand will get more views and higher engagement by being integrated in a creative or comedic sketch, a haul, or favorites feature, showing how the product fits into the YouTuber’s personality and lifestyle. Importantly then, brands need to be flexible and pay attention to which types of endorsement perform on which channels. An excellent example of this is one of the most viewed videos ads of October 2014 – the collaboration between Buzzfeed and Friskies:

Influencer Marketing – It All Comes Down to Trust

At FameBit, we work with hundreds of brands and thousands of YouTubers on sponsorship deals that make sense for both the brand and YouTuber. The brands that continually have the most success with these types of campaigns are the ones that allow YouTubers to position the product how they see best fit for their audience. Again, these are not brand commercials. The more organic and integrated a sponsorship is within a YouTuber’s video, the better for everyone and here’s why.

The YouTube audience comes to watch their favorite YouTuber, they don’t come to watch commercials about a brand, which is why true view ads are almost always skipped after 5 seconds. As a brand you should be picking influencers based on if you think their style and audience are a great match for your brand culture. Then, provide the influencer with talking points, company background, product, and the keys to the creative kingdom. For marketers and brands this often feels unnatural and difficult to do , but the brands that can relinquish control are almost always super satisfied with the outcome of their campaigns. This is why FameBit has a 98% success rate on campaigns!

Here are some of our recent favorites from organic brand integrations with YouTube Influencers. The first is the Fu Music Video for, and it’s a perfect example of what can happen when you try something outside the box. was looking for new and fun ways to get their brand out in front of the millenial audience. Enter The Fu. While pairing up a straight razor company with a music duo that creates parodies of pop songs may seem unconventional, their products made the perfect instruments and the video received over 25,000 views in the first 24 hours.

The second example shows that sometimes no direction is the best direction. Dollar Shave Club made their splash two years ago releasing an absolutely hilarious YouTube infomercial for their brand and since then YouTube has become a regular part of their marketing strategy. Looking for new YouTube videos, FameBit teamed up Dollar Shave Club with comedic YouTuber Matthias. Very minimal direction was given and what resulted is pure comedy gold that does a great job highlighting the brand without feeling like a paid advertisement.

Have you seen some great, or even terrible, examples of Influencer marketing on YouTube? Let us know in the comments below.


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