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Here's How to Crush It With YouTube Influencers The best alternative to Facebook and Google ads are collaborations with YouTube influencers.

By Mark Fidelman Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It's no secret most traditional online marketing tactics just don't work anymore. Google's Display Benchmarks Tool shows the average click-through rate of standard display ads clock in at 0.06 percent, and 47 percent of consumers employ ad blocking technology, as noted by the Reuters Institute.

These trends pose significant challenges to online marketers and underscore the need to employ alternative methods to drive conversions. When properly managed, influencer marketing becomes a powerhouse solution that offers high ROI, has an incredibly long shelf life and conveys massive credibility. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust influencer endorsements more than typical adverts, according to influencer marketing platform MuseFind.

Related: 10 Telling Examples of the Power of B2B Influencer Marketing

In the world of influencer marketing, YouTube is the zenith of social networks. That is not to say, however, that leveraging YouTube personalities is an automatic win. There is a minefield of brand and performance risks that must be navigated to ensure prolific, long-term success. YouTube influencers have reached their level of acclaim by promoting themselves in an authentic manner; people watch them because they say and do as they please.

Here is how to successfully maneuver in this delicate but powerful space.

Lay the groundwork.

In order to reach your goals, pinpoint campaign objectives that serve your company's broader intentions. Assign KPIs like cost per view, cost per conversion and other vital metrics.

When developing messaging, think in terms of providing a framework; this is not a scripted video. Leave it up to the YouTubers to build an authentic story around your framework and brand guidelines. If copy points are too rigid, there's a good chance the video will come across as an advertisement, which can harm campaign performance significantly.

Related: How to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

Craft an inclusive budget.

Your budget will largely dictate the size and number of influencers you recruit. Acquisition costs fluctuate significantly depending upon Youtuber's reach, audience engagement, niche, sponsorship type, and many other factors. Generally speaking, integrated video sponsorships should range from $0.04 to $0.07 cost per view (CPV), whereas dedicated videos land at about $0.08 to $0.15 CPV.

Assemble the right team of social authorities.

Influencer identification and selection is without a doubt the most time-consuming step, but it is also the most imperative; this stage can make or break a campaign.

Start by outlining what entails a "brand match." This should include everything from the influencer's location to the size, age, sex, level of engagement and geographies of her audience. You also want to ensure her other content is appropriate for your brand and your audience.

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Stop Ignoring Influencer Marketing

Contact influencers that meet brand requirements with a clear and concise pitch letter. Outline sponsorship requirements, expectations, and benefits. Since established YouTubers have the luxury of handpicking brands they want to endorse, finding influencers who generally like your brand and respond with creative storyline suggestions or bonus promotions is, more times than not, a clear indicator of how successful the collaboration will be.

Find the folks who genuinely love your offerings and can't wait to tell the world, and let them.

I'll address additional success factors, including A/B testing and measuring results, cutting the fat, refining, repeating and scaling up, in my next article.

Mark Fidelman


Mark Fidelman is a globally recognized marketing leader with a focus on influencer marketing and mixed reality. He’s interviewed thousands of Global 3000 CXOs and speaks and writes regularly about how they are impacting today’s business. Follow Fidelman on twitter at @markfidelman.

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