COVID-19 forced people into their homes for good in 2020. Stuck inside, people had to find ways to entertain themselves. So, they turned to a free source of entertainment, YouTube, and subsequently the YouTube Influencer.

Just how big is YouTube?

YouTube was already growing before the pandemic hit. According to Business of Apps, it had more than 2 billion monthly active users in May 2019, and that number was on the upswing. What’s more, that’s approximately half of the people in the world that can connect to the internet.  


How can I tap into the YouTube audience?

So, how do you reach those people? One of the best ways is to use a person who already connects to them—an influencer.

YouTube hosts content created by people for people. It’s a site that allows an everyday average Joe to bring entertainment to the masses. Some of those average Joes have millions of people who watch what they do.

These are called influencers.


What is influencer marketing?

These influencers make money off of the followers that they have. They market to their followers on behalf of companies.

Through influencer marketing, you pay the influencer to promote your product.


Why is a YouTube influencer so powerful?

What makes influencer marketing so powerful is that it tends to have a better return on investment (ROI) than other forms of marketing. We summed that up pretty well in a previous post, but here’s a summary.

An influencer holds more significant sway over his or her audience. People follow the influencer because they want to know what he likes and dislikes, and uses. Viewers look up to this influencer. This dedicated following leads to a greater return on investment than an ad you pay for on social media.


Why should I use a YouTube influencer?

Influencers exist on virtually all social media platforms. There are TikTok influencers, Facebook influencers, Instagram influencers, etc.

However, Think with Google says the reason you want a YouTube influencer is that they are more influential than traditional celebrities. YouTube influencers cause viewers to take action twice as much as their celebrity counterparts. Six in ten viewers say they would take advice from a YouTube influencer.


Why shouldn’t I use a YouTube influencer?

Still, a YouTube influencer will not be the right fit for all companies. YouTube is a video medium, so products and services that shine in a video medium work well on YouTube. Advertising for your tax services business may not work as well.

When deciding if an influencer is the best thing for you, think about whether your product works well in a show-and-tell format. Does the product do something remarkable? Is it fun to watch the product in action? Are there visible before and after results?

If your product or service is visually stimulating, then YouTube is probably an excellent place to showcase it. If it’s boring to watch or talk about, then it may not do you much good.


Is every YouTube influencer equal?

If you decide to use a YouTube influencer, you don’t just pick one out at random. For one thing, not all influencers fit into your brand. As I explained in a previous post, you need to find an influencer that fits into your brand and represents your company well.

If you pride yourself on being a family enterprise, you don’t want to hire an influencer that likes to cuss or plays mean jokes on people. Those kinds of influencers will not resonate with your audience, and your product likely won’t resonate with the YouTube influencer’s audience.

You need to know your niche and then connect with an influencer who holds sway over that niche.


How do I know how influential a YouTube influencer is?

The amount of sway an influencer has will depend on a few things.

How many subscribers does the influencer have?

How many total video views does the influencer have?

These are good indications of exactly how powerful an influencer is in the YouTube market.

If this is an established YouTuber, you probably want to know what kind of return on investment this influencer has had on previous campaigns. Ask for concrete examples of promotions that this YouTube influencer has done and how many sales or promo codes resulted from that campaign.

That will also indicate just how well a YouTube influencer can influence their audience.


How much does a YouTube influencer cost?

You also need to take into account your budget. The more powerful an influencer is, the more their endorsement is going to cost you.

The breakdown of YouTube influencers nets out to approximately $20 for every 1,000 followers an influencer has on YouTube. That means if a YouTube channel has 200,000 subscribers, you will likely pay $4,000 for an advertisement.

The good thing about YouTube is that you can find influencers that can fit your budget. The site Influencer Marketing Hub breaks the division of YouTube influencers into the following categories:

  •       Nano-influencers: 1,000 – 10,000 followers
  •       Micro-influencers: 10,000 – 50,000 followers
  •       Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 – 500,000 followers
  •       Macro-influencers: 500,000 – 1,000,000 followers
  •       Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers

Maybe you can’t afford a Macro- or Mega-influencer, but a Micro-influencer may fit your budget perfectly.


What is the return on investment for your YouTube influencer?

While YouTube is a different medium than Facebook or your local newspaper, measuring the return on investment (ROI) is much the same as those other marketing campaigns.

First off, what are you looking to accomplish? Do you want more subscribers for your YouTube channel? Are you looking for an increase in sales? Do you simply want to keep your product or service in the minds of your customers?

Knowing what you’re looking for will help you determine if the ROI on an influencer is good or bad.


Ways to team with a YouTube influencer

There are many different ways that you can team up with a YouTube influencer. The cost of your campaign will vary depending on the type of promotion.


Unboxing on YouTube

If you have a product, then an unboxing video may be the easiest way to team with an influencer. An unboxing video is relatively simple. You send the influencer the item, and then that influencer unboxes it on video, taking the time to check out the cool features and play with the thing.

Think of this as your Home Shopping Network (HSN), but at a hyper-targeted audience.


YouTube Influencer Reaction Videos

Sometimes those unboxings can turn into reaction videos, where you get a genuine reaction from the influencer. These work the best with YouTube influencers who have built their brands off of emotional and outrageous responses.

Just be prepared for some crazy responses to your product or brand.


Giveaway or Contest from Your YouTube Influencer

This one is also pretty straightforward. The YouTube influencer directs their viewers to subscribe to your website. When someone subscribes, you enter them to win a prize.


YouTube Influencer Advertisements

Simple and straightforward, you can use the influencer as an advertisement. In some cases, influencers are willing to take a cut of the sales instead of payment. For example, you give the influencer 10% of every sale made with the influencer’s promo code.

This can be an excellent way to keep costs down on the front-end and see a larger ROI.


YouTube Influencer Testimonials

One of the most potent types of advertisement is the testimonial. That’s when an influencer endorses your product on his or her channel.

Testimonials are powerful because the influencer isn’t just promoting your product, but they also endorse it as something they use and like.


YouTube Influencer Tutorials

Sometimes it’s better to show how the product works to make the sale. Tutorials are an effortless way to incorporate an influencer into your videos and advertisements.


YouTube Influencer as a Brand Ambassador

If you find an influencer that does particularly well in helping you boost sales, you may want to sign them on as a brand ambassador. That means that your team with the your influencer long-term.

When done correctly, a brand ambassador partnership can be beneficial for both you and the influencer.



For many businesses, a YouTube influencer can be a way to tap into a previously untapped market. You have the opportunity to piggyback off of someone’s loyal and dedicated following and build some dedicated fans out of it.

Just be careful to choose an influencer that will work well with your brand. You don’t want to put off your current customers to find new ones.


Written by Erika Towne