The YouTube Gold Play Button is an award for YouTubers who surpass 1 million subscribers. Seemingly, a lot of golden coins come in a package with it, but not necessarily. The real gold comes with the proper mix of audience, subscribers, views, duration, and comments.
However, a successful recipe is modern day alchemy, and influencer agencies claim to know how to turn subs into gold.
How do they do it? Well, it is a mixture of know-how, software, contacts, and skill that YouTubers usually lack. Agencies are specialists of corporate value – justifying marketing and bureaucracy.
It is because specialization needs focus, and as an influencer, you should focus on your audience and building your community. Letting the agency do the other work for you.
In this article we discuss:
- Challenges of Influencers Working with Brands
- Services That Agencies Provide to Influencers
- Advice from ACTIVATE, one of the leading agencies
Challenges of Influencers Working with Brands
There are many pain points of Brand and Influencer collaborations:
- Influencers’ Compatibility
- Non-Professional Influencers
- Negotiations and Bureaucracy
Brands are spending big bucks advertising with Influencers. However, vast amounts are misplaced, and many promotions are fruitless. It is because it’s often a complicated and time-consuming task to discover the perfect match on their own.
Large brands are specialists in cultivating their brand image. And as they may know the exact influencer avatar to match their campaign, they often lack the search and analytical skills required to find them.
There is also the question of whether an Influencer would be professional enough to carry out their campaign or even read their emails.
Dealing with an influencer who doesn’t know business communication can be a pain. Both sides will experience irritating questions and time-consuming message exchanges.
A senior marketing professional for a large brand is not on the same page with the 20-year-old make-up vlogger. A lack of time makes a quest for a deal with a professional who understands what they want and delivers.
Brands treat an Influencer as a marketing product. However, influencers often treat their channel as a reflection of themselves. As a result, when discussing value, different perspective creates conflicts during the negotiation.
Negotiations and Bureaucracy
Content creators are generally inexperienced in negotiating deals and communicating with brands.
Often influencers don’t understand how much the brand will pay nor what they expect in return. Moreover, some expectations are high without connection with reality. Reaching the expectations is not something that brands want to micromanage. Their goal is to set the price, deliverables, and receive updates on the campaign success.
On the other hand, it is not an interest for the brands to pay you as little as possible, too. There is always a fear that influencer may not conduct the campaign in a proper manner. This is why negotiating the correct amount is important for both parties, so don’t sell yourself short.
Services That Agencies Provide to Influencers
For the above reasons Influencers often don’t have a pleasant experience working directly with clients and vice versa.
For most YouTubers, collaboration with brands and companies isn’t the reason they started. At first, it was all about wholeheartedly giving value, but with a hint of narcissism.
However, being an influencer can be lonely, a 1-person business where influencers fill all the job positions. They are the CEO, the admin, the PR person, content writer, editor, presenter, and IT department all at the same time.
An Influencer Agency solves problems by taking charge of some of the positions.
These are some of the services that influencer agencies provide:
- Content mentorship/Guidance
- Statistical Analysis
Influencer agencies not only act as a market place but also as a service provider. Honing media kits and defining content briefs is maximizing the effect of promotion. As part of their service, some influencer agencies feature online platforms helping create a media kit.
This is by far one of the most important benefits for both brands and YouTubers. It is because marketing and advertising are all about metrics and their successful use.
Influencer agencies use sophisticated analytical software for deep insights of the channel. Furthermore, they provide success analysis of finished campaigns available for both parties.
Don’t count on luck – you should define your plan for success. Seemingly, the experience of influencer agencies can help you create a strategy of making a channel desirable. And the constant reassurance and affirmation help improve the confidence of an Influencer.
Everyone can negotiate, but most do it poorly. Agencies are professionals doing it every day, with a full understanding of your market value. Would you bet on yourself in a tennis match with the guy that is on the ATP list? I doubt so. If negotiations are not your strongest skill, then save yourself the time, effort and lost revenue by letting an agency do it for you.
SEO is a science in itself, and extremely profitable when done well. You may have the best video ever, but if it is not in anyone’s search results, then no-one is going to see it. Many successful content creators owe their success to SEO. If you can have someone brush your content to make it more visible on Google/YouTube – it will be worth it.
Every branding book you would read states high importance on niching down instead of being general. Second, focus on storytelling that enhances your brand. Many Influencers fall into the trap of diversifying, where their message or image becomes “messy.” In this case, an agency will guide you and help you to refine your content.
All of this can help you to focus and stand out with well-organized content. Finally, the most important, when in the early stages, agencies can and will help you get into the industry faster. You will have a chance to pick up all the information to build a stable career out of content creation.
Advice from ACTIVATE, one of the leading agencies
To clarify these issues, we reached out to Activate, one of the leaders in Influencer marketing. So, our non-sponsored recommendation is one of the top-rated influencer agencies.
ACTIVATE is a fully end-to-end influencer marketing platform. The platform covers influencer discovery, program workflow, measurement, and analytics.
They also support cross-platform collaborations (Instagram, YouTube, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and more) with an opt-in network of 150,000+ vetted and authenticated influencers.
ACTIVATE started as Bloglovin’, a platform to drive content discovery and promote incredible content creators. Nowadays, the ACTIVATE platform also allows work with a curated network of creators.
They range from “vegan foodies”, “outdoor enthusiasts”, ‘‘bohemian style” and more as well as pinpoint niche groups of influencers leveraging its geo-targeting and micro-survey capabilities.
ACTIVATE also allows access to their Studio team of influencer strategists that helps brands, media companies, and agencies build out and execute their influencer initiatives.
Last year, the ACTIVATE platform enabled over 75,000 influencers to collaborate with brands, media companies and agencies — ranging from Reebok, Estee Lauder, Soylent, Tinder, FabFitFun, Brooks Brothers, Thrillist, Apartment Therapy, SHE Media, Ketchum PR, and more.
The Greek word “techne” stands for craftsmanship and art as well. It is because ancient Greeks believed that every craft could reach the level of perfection. When it happens, Greeks think that craftsmanship becomes an art.
Same goes for influencers and the humble beginnings for most of them. You will be amazed to watch the first video of some of your favorite YouTubers. It is because of the improvement in their approach but also the advances in tech and the platform itself.
VloggingHero is covering the equipment and technical improvements. For the rest, our recommendation is to reach out to an influencer agency.
It is because the battle for attention will rise over time. The Internet is changing as well, and if not drivers of the change, influencer agencies will follow, for sure.
Whenever the change comes, all you need is to focus on your channel and increase the number of your followers. And influencer agencies are masters of this craft, too.
Read our article: How to get sponsored on YouTube