To YouTube Or Not to YouTube?

CPG brands have been investing in YouTube advertising opportunities including pre-roll, ads and influencer videos for a couple of years now. The rise of YouTube influencers and the cost of associated sponsored videos have increased dramatically over the same period.

So, with all of the money that brands are spending on YouTube, it begs the question: Is it worth it? 

To answer this question, you must first:

Have a frame of reference for how to set sponsored videos up for success and 

Understand what you are going to measure to determine success.

Measuring the success of a sponsored YouTube video (or videos) depends on the goals of the campaign. There are several factors that can affect the success of the video, including: 

Video Concept Fit w/ Influencer Content: Does the video tell a story in a style similar to other videos on the channel, or does it feel more like an ad? 



Required Brand Integration: how extensive/specific the brand’s talking points are and the amount of control the influencer has over the creative concept. Is the creator talking about the product benefits that appeal to the consumer (i.e. this product saves me time, makes my life easier) or the product features? 

Type of Influencer & Their Audience: especially how their audience typically interacts with them.

Promotion Tactics Outside of Publishing the Video – media, giveaways, social promotion, brand engagement with the video.

Overall metrics to consider for sponsored influencer videos include:




Click Thru Rate

Conversation Rate 



Coupon Code Usage 

Realizing that some videos have more than one objective, here are thoughts about measurement

• Objective: Raise Awareness

Tracking Views: Since almost all sponsored YouTube videos are designed to raise awareness of a product or initiative, this is the clearest way to quantify the awareness generated for a campaign. 

Comparing views to subscribers Influencer’s subscribers build over time, but keep in mind that also inactive viewers are included and, as you’ll notice with long-standing YouTube channels, as an influencer’s overall subscriber number grows, the ratio of views to subscribers decreases.

Looking at an influencer’s recent videos and the typical views and interaction they receive can help to create a baseline for success for a branded video. Some topics on YouTube tend to receive more traction than can be expected with brand integration. Determining which recent videos may have had a media buy behind them should also be considered.

Value of Video Increases Over Time: Yes, YouTube videos are the gift that keeps on giving. YouTube videos live on in SEO and on the influencer’s channel and drive views and awareness over time, without any additional brand investment. 

Objective: Engagement

Measuring comments and likes on a video shows how the influencer’s audience is engaging with the content and how well the content was received. 

In-video direct calls to action to comment or like the video help increase video comments 

Approval Rating is determined by dividing the number of likes on the video by total likes + dislikes. Driving media can decrease the approval rating as more views are coming from ads. 

And remember, 80% of engagement comes from 20% of an influencer’s audience

Objective: Direct Call-to-Action (CTA)

CTA: Sponsored videos with a specific CTA, such as “follow this link to get a sample” or “click here to learn more,” can use links to measure clicks 

Vanity URL: use to promote a vanity URL and have it appear onscreen so it’s easily remembered.

Coupon Code Link: If a coupon code is available, include it in the video as part of the call to action allowing redemption to be tracked.

Allowing the YouTuber as much creative control as the brand is comfortable with will result in content that will be well received and highly viewed by the influencer’s audience.

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