Paid promotions are killing Youtube influencer marketing

News and Articles | Dec 12, 2022

Youtube influencer marketing

When you think of Youtube influencer marketing, what comes to mind? For many, it is all about finding the Youtuber with the highest number of followers. But now, it is becoming clear that a Youtuber's following is only a small part of the process.

You won't be successful simply by choosing the influencer with the most followers. Recent years have shown us that authenticity is the point around which influencer marketing success is centred.

Without authenticity, your brand is just running a paid ad campaign. While this can be a valuable part of a business's marketing strategy, it is not why brands turn to influencer marketing. Instead, influencer marketing is meant to rely on the appeal and trust placed in recommendations offered by influencers. 

Youtube influencer marketing specialists, Surpass Agency, have long been advocating for matching well-suited influencers and brands and choosing influencers who genuinely connect with their audiences over simply opting for a person with many followers.

Most Youtubers become popular because they film and discuss things they are passionate about. Content ranges from gaming to fashion and everything in between. Each Youtuber has their own unique appeal and audience. What connects every influencer is that their reputation suffers if they film too much promotional content.

A recent study by Shunyuan Zhang found that influencers lost an average of 0.2% of their subscribers within 3 days of posting sponsored content. Zhang suggested this loss of subscribers is caused by feelings of inauthenticity. Social capital is the foundation upon which influencers build popularity, and this is negatively affected if audiences view influencers as untrustworthy.

Interestingly, promotional content was generally less damaging for audiences with a smaller following. Those with fewer followers also tend to have more loyal followers, so promotional content is less likely to put off their audience than a bigger influencer with a somewhat shallow connection to a broader audience.

It's one thing to post promotional content but quite another to do it badly. You might notice that some Youtube influencer marketing campaigns feel more like an advertisement than others. For instance, if a game or tech-related brand sponsors a gaming influencer, the promotional content likely won't feel as out of place as if an unrelated brand sponsored them.

Audiences also tend to be more accepting of promotional content if it is honest, i.e. if the influencer discloses the sponsorship and what it means for the content. This openness is at least unlikely to undermine the trust influencers work to build with their influencers.

Ultimately, it's not just what Youtubers and influencers post that matters - it's how they talk about it. Notably, influencers who talk more about a product or brand in promotional content tend to be viewed as more authentic than those who only introduce the sponsor as something their audience might want to buy. When influencers talk more, it appears they speak more freely and not from a script.

If you want to learn more about how to use influencer marketing right, you need expert help. For instance, Surpass is a gaming and Youtube influencer marketing agency focused on building sustainable brand-influencer relationships. Contact Surpass for assistance building your influencer marketing campaign today.