Video is officially a marketing essential. And if your brand isn’t using video as part of your digital strategy, you’re missing out.
Research shows that video marketing is the second most important type of content B2C marketers use today.
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
And the B2B landscape is no different. Video marketing makes brands relevant and marketers are channeling more resources to accelerate their sales cycles.
What’s driving this marketing behavior?
A few factors.
First, people are spending more time watching video content. For example, research shows that 79% of internet users have a YouTube account. Also, YouTube has over 1.9 billion active monthly users worldwide, with 90% of the US internet demographic being between 18 and 44 years old.
Image Source: Oberlo
Secondly, your ideal clients have easy access to video via their smartphones and social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other platforms have committed to video in a big way. Concepts like live-streaming have taken off, making it easier for brands to put out more content than ever before.
But what if your obstacle to using video is something else? What if it’s more than one thing preventing you from using video marketing?
We found that no brand is immune to the challenges of integrating video. In fact, brands typically fall into three categories:
- New to video: These companies have no idea how to use video and don’t have an audience.
- Have some content: They’ve dabbled but are not getting the traction they need to grow
- Veterans: Businesses looking for ways to grow even more
What’s more, brands need clout when it comes to video marketing. In each category, they still need to establish a stronger sense of credibility to reach larger audiences.
For our brand, Uscreen, a video monetization platform, growth on YouTube was essential. We also knew that credibility was extremely important to our target audience. But like any brand new to video marketing, we didn’t have an engaged audience on YouTube. So, we began looking for the perfect influencer and found Nick Nimmin.
Nick has a YouTube channel with over 430,000 subscribers. He creates content on YouTube tips, video tips, video ideas, and almost everything video creators need to make a perfect video for YouTube.
Image Source: Nick Nimmin
Nick helped boost our engagement on YouTube by creating a series of videos for our channel. Topics range from how to come up with endless video content ideas, to how to monetize your videos and engage your viewers.
Image Source: Uscreen
You see, clout matters more than most realize. Without the right amount of credibility, brands need to answer two very tough questions about their future with video:
- Why should audiences look at your branded content?
- How will you reach them if they don’t look at your content because they don’t know or trust you?
This is where influencer video marketing becomes a powerful tool.
Why influencer video marketing is perfect for brand growth
Image Source: Mediakix
And when it comes to influencer video marketing, brands stand to gain a lot. Influencers can help businesses at all stages of their video journey.
The credibility issue? Solved.
Working with a credible influencer leads to transference. Audiences will look at their influencers and pay attention.
The upside? Your brand could attract a larger audience for your videos and enhance its credibility.
Beyond the credibility issue, there are other equally valuable gains to be made by working with the right influencer.
Stronger content ideas are abundant
Businesses often have content ideas of their own, but struggle to actualize them. Working with an influencer does away with that challenge. Influencers have established audiences. They’ve also spent a lot of time learning about what their viewers aren’t interested in and what they will be willing to spend time watching.
This type of insight is gold for brands wanting to use influencer video marketing. You’ll be able to rely on deep insights from your influencer with content designed to generate results.
Video marketing can get expensive. You could easily spend thousands of dollars to create an in-house recording studio. And don’t forget the costs of hiring video editors, videographers and copywriters.
It all adds up pretty fast!
Influencers make for an attractive option because they’re capable of doing it all. They have their own equipment and know-how to find strong angles and develop content. They’re also capable of editing video.
All you’re paying for is their time and expertise.
Strong advocacy to a wider audience
Influencer video marketing also works so well because you can brand content. It’s possible to arrange deals where influencers wear swag and have it strategically placed in videos. Deals could also involve promoting your content on social media for even greater reach.
Access to a wider audience is a given, but it’s worth unpacking a little more. For your brand to grow, you have to reach new people. You’ve also got to do so by maximizing your budget, and that’s why working with the right influencers is so important.
When you pair-up with an influencer that has a captive audience aligned with your industry, you’re in a prime position for growth. Your access to an audience that’s more likely to purchase what you have to offer makes it easier to accelerate your marketing cycle, leading to more sales in less time.
It’s clear that influencer video marketing is the way for brands to go. But how do you get started?
Also, what should you look out for when trying to find influencers? And what kind of growth should you expect?
Below is a step-by-step process for working with influencers. It covers how to identify your goals and how to track the impact of your influencer content.
I’ll also dive into how to identify the right influencers for your business. We’ll look at what to consider when reviewing their content, how to tell if they have the right audience engagement, and how to spot any red flags that could hurt your brand.
Step 1: Identify your goals
Video, like any other marketing approach, must be tied to business goals. Will you use it to create more awareness around your brand and products? Or is your focus to generate leads and sales?
Whatever your goal, ensure that it’s established before you start searching for influencers.
Can you have more than one goal?
Should you create videos for all goals at the same time?
It all depends on where your brand is on its video marketing journey. Less established brands need to grow their audiences. This means focusing on awareness content to attract viewers. Once you’ve grown an audience, you’ll be able to share more targeted content with them to fill the middle and bottom of your marketing funnel.
More established brands may already have a large audience and simply need to start converting them. Here, focusing on Middle-of-Funnel (MoFu) and Bottom-of-Funnel (BoFu) video content ideas is a smart move.
For example, ConvertKit is an email marketing tool. It’s designed for online entrepreneurs who need to build audiences. ConvertKit partnered with Pat Flynn, a highly successful online entrepreneur and influencer. Flynn created a demo video showing how easy it is to use ConvertKit.
This partnership is a perfect example of influencer video marketing used to generate leads and sales.
What kind of growth can you expect from influencer video marketing?
This is always a tough question for brands. For most, figuring out what kind of growth to expect is new territory and really hard to determine.
Here are a few tips on how to define your brand’s growth goals:
Think about the size of your market
Chances are, you’re in a competitive market, and more so because digital marketing has made it easier for more brands to position themselves competitively. By assessing the size of your market, you’ll be able to determine what growth looks like and possibly also assign milestones.
For example, if you sell video equipment, you’ve likely established how large your market is. One of the ways to verify this kind of information is to compare it with the size of audiences who follow influencers that create content related to your products.
Think Media creates YouTube reviews about camera equipment. They have over 879,000 subscribers.
How do you use this information?
Image Source: Think Media
If you’re starting out or have under 10,000 subscribers, partnering with them should help give your subscriber count a bump up.
How much should you expect? Consider how many subscribers you typically attract and then consider incremental growth.
Growth could be anything from 2% to 5% or more.
Why so conservative?
Video marketing is a long game. Your channel growth is based on the creation of content that reaches more viewers. While hoping for a 10% to 30% growth spike would be wonderful, aligning your growth with modest figures (tied to already established growth values) is more realistic.
If your subscriber count goes beyond 5%, great! But let the growth be a bonus and not a thumb-suck that could lead to disappointing results.
How will you measure growth?
Once you’ve decided on which goal to focus on, it’s time to zero-in on the metrics you’ll track. These must be directly related to your goal.
For example, if your goal is to grow awareness for your YouTube channel, tracking the number of views and new subscribers you attract are both good places to start.
If you want to generate more leads for your brand, you’ll need to track click-through rates for content associated with your videos. These can be links served-up during your video, or those included in your video description.
You want to establish how much traffic your influencer’s videos generate and how that translates into completed forms and sign-ups.
Image Source: Think Media
Step 2: Identify the right influencers
Finding influencers is relatively easy. Much of the heavy lifting can be handled by platforms designed to locate and/or identify them.
For example, Social Bluebook is a platform that connects influencers of all sorts with brands. For influencers looking to monetize their videos, it’s the ideal way to do so. And for brands looking to grow their market share, access to a pool of vetted influencers streamlines what could be a tough process.
Image Source: Social Bluebook
To get started, brands sign-up as advertisers. You are then able to find creators, request proposals from as many creators as you can find, and manage campaigns directly through the platform.
How to ensure an influencer aligns with your brand
While platforms like Social Bluebook exist and use APIs to verify influencer stats and other important figures, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at your pool of talent. You want to be certain that the person you chose to associate your brand with is indeed the right fit.
What should you look out for?
Here are 3 tips for finding the right influencers to represent your business:
#1. Examine their content
Watch at least 10 of their videos to get a feel for their content and delivery style. As they’ll be creating videos for your brand, you want to ensure that their video quality, tone of voice, the way they present themselves and the quality of the content they share is aligned with where your brand wants to go.
#2. Analyze audience engagement
Engagement is a huge ranking factor for online content, especially video. Generating as much as possible helps rank videos faster. But it can be hard to manage and is often something many creators neglect.
As you look at engagement and your prospective influencer’s experience, you want to see likes, shares, and comments. You also want to see interaction between the influencer and their audience in the comments section. This is a great signal that shows the influencer has a strong connection with their audience.
#3. Spot red flags
Most influencers have their lives spread out across the internet. It’s just part of building a brand. It’s also helpful when considering who to align your brand with.
Take the time to research influencers. Check their social media accounts, the pages they follow, the content they comment on and like, and what they say. Carrying out this step may seem laborious, but it’s a safeguard to weed-out the potentially hazardous players from a pool of candidates.
If you spot anything that does not align with your brand, take a hard pass. Doing so will save you and your brand from any potential headache or damage control.
Step 3: Engaging influencers
You’ve just identified the perfect influencer, now what?
Engaging influencers should be strategic. Yes, you could use Social Bluebook or another platform, but if you’d like to handle it on your own, here’s how:
Build rapport and show appreciation for their work
Appreciation goes a long way. You’re not just liking and commenting for the sake of it. You’re leaving honest commentary related to their work.
Understand that you’re looking for a partnership
As much as brands would like to believe that they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to working with influencers, they’re not. Influencer partnerships are just that – partnerships. These are mutually beneficial transactions.
Influencers can choose who to work with. If they feel that a brand’s messaging, product or people are not aligned with their audience, influencers will forgo your offer.
Influencers are also busy people. Their time is consumed by creating content for their audience and growing their brands. The kind of engagement that is sure to catch their attention is related to their work.
As you show genuine interest in what influencers create, you’ll be able to open a door to a conversation.
Having built rapport, it’s time to take the next step and engage the influencer. You want to start a conversation about the opportunity or possibility of working together.
There’s a good chance that you may already know what you want out of the deal, but that could all change. Influencers spend most of their days learning about their audience. This means they could know far more about what would work and what wouldn’t help you grow your brand using video marketing.
How do you navigate outreach?
Make it an open conversation. Identify your goals and also ask for insight from the influencer. You want to show that you are really looking to partner with someone who can help produce results.
Stay away from mentioning exact figures related to the pay or growth you expect. Instead, focus on the idea of partnering, the opportunity to work on something really interesting, and that you’d like to have an open conversation.
Your first influencer video marketing project
Congrats! You’ve just secured your influencer and it’s time to crush your first project!
What happens next can be a great or not so great experience. Your goal is to ensure that it’s the former.
Working with an influencer requires a fair amount of flexibility. You need to be open to creative feedback and give your influencer the room to create.
While everyone loves a bit of flexibility, the best way to kick-off your project, and end it on a high, is to set some ground rules. These have to be agreed to by both parties.
Yes, this all sounds almost unnecessary, but hear me out. Rules of engagement can mean the difference between a lot of stress, money and time lost, and the creation of an impactful series of videos and a strong working relationship.
Here are pointers on how to set your rules of engagement:
- Establish a timeline. This is a simple one. Know when work is due and what your milestones are.
- Stay in contact regularly. Influencers are busy people, just like you. If you want to ensure that your project is still moving ahead at full-steam, set regular catch-up sessions. These should be used to discuss any challenges, answer questions or just offer support.
- Know what you’re responsible for. This sounds straightforward enough, but on the busiest of days, things fall through the cracks. Create a list of all responsibilities and assign them accordingly. If you’re going to provide product information or share research, make a note of that. If the influencer is to create a storyboard, make a note of that, too.
Influencer video marketing is a smart way for brands to produce content. Influencers have access to large audiences who they understand. They are also skilled enough to create the best content ideas, shoot content, edit and promote it. This makes creating competitive content easier and faster to produce.
But before you work with an influencer, you need a gameplan. You need to know what your business goals are and which metrics to use to track success. You also need to know how to identify the right people to represent your brand, how to engage with them, and how to work alongside influencers to produce amazing video marketing content.
Having established the above, you’re brand will be poised for growth. It will become easier to generate the kind of results you need to meet your business goals.
Guest author: Amir Shahzeidi is the digital marketing manager at Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving communities and businesses around their videos.