Influencer marketing is a hot, hot topic. You've heard the stats--it delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing, influencers are trusted by 80% of consumers, and 94% of marketers say it's an effective campaign strategy. And the next big thing in influencer marketing? Video. Because after all, 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019.
There are brands who have already found this trend and started capitalizing on it. The founder of Love With Food, a small healthy snack subscription business, grew her company to $5 million in revenue (a 15 percent year-over-year increase in sales) and decreased her customer acquisition cost 30% by devoting most of her marketing budget to Youtube influencers.
Diageo, the company that owns Scottish whiskey brands Lagavulin and Oban, created a yule log video--a 44-minute video starring Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation sitting by a fireplace and sipping his drink. Thanks to the seasonal relevance and Offerman's brand, the video went viral. It was a trending topic on Facebook the day it launched, generated 1.1 million YouTube views in two days (which increased to 2 million in one week--all before paid media), and increased YouTube channel subscribers from 5,500 to 23,000.
It might seem intimidating to tackle another marketing channel, but you can replicate that success for your brand. Here are three steps to building your video influencer marketing engine:
As Eisenhower said, planning is everything. Know what you want to get out of your campaign before you start it, and have a clear vision of what a successful campaign will be. Do you want the primary metric to be an increase in Instagram followers? Or are you just looking for engagement? If you're at an e-commerce company, is the end goal purchases off your website?
Think about who you want to reach, which channels and mediums you want to build up a video following on, and how video influencer marketing will mesh with your company's long-tail strategy. Come up with a plan for the type of content you want--whether that's a review, a funny shoutout, or something custom--since that will impact the next step: finding influencers to fit the content you want to create.
Before you reach out to influencers, there are a few things you need to consider. Are they willing to promote your content, and will they be available to put in the time to create content if necessary? Is their audience relevant to your brand? Do the influencers already know you (or your competitors)? And of course--are they good on camera?
Then it's time to put together your influencer list. If you know your industry well and are already connected with the movers and shakers (or have a way to get to them) then you can personally reach out and invite them to help with your campaign. Otherwise, it might make sense to use an agency, influencer marketplace, or influencer directory to help you narrow down your list. One that is commonly used is FameBit. Savvy video producers can also help connect you with top influencers. For example, we've helped brands build an infuencer network around their video content. If you take a more grassroots approach, some platforms, like Instagram, can make it easy to find and contact influencers, since many users have their email address in their bio.
Now comes the fun part--creating your videos. The way to do this will vary from project to project depending on the type of content you've chosen. If you've asked influencers for reviews or videos using your product, they'll be the ones to film it, since they know what appeals to their audience and are experienced at shooting. You can offer them a few phrases to use when talking about your product or even a script, but make it clear those are suggestions and let them take it in their own creative direction. Part of what you're paying for in a good influencer is their ability to make your product sound appealing to their audience and also their creativity in how they create videos.
If you're doing something custom (for example, like the Diageo project), you'll likely want to bring in a video team. Custom projects can have an incredibly high ROI if you have the resources for them. Influencers are excited to be in bigger productions, your team can control the message and stay on brand, and your video will have a higher level of quality and more creativity. A good production company can help you take your video to the next level with creative script writing and professional production techniques.
At this point, you've created amazing content with the help of a few carefully chosen influencers, and you can watch the results roll in. Compare them with the goal you defined at the beginning and find a few levers to pull moving forward. Would more influencers be better? Should you try a different channel for your audience, like Facebook or Instagram over YouTube? If you iterate on your previous campaigns, you'll find the mix that works best for you and start building an engaged audience.