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How to Pick a YouTube Influencer

YouTube has transformed the way that over a billion users consume content. Since March of 2014, YouTube watch time had gone up 60% and the number of YouTube viewers increased 40%. These numbers represent fans like me, who choose to watch countless hours of the Shaytards, Phillip DeFranco, and Mamrie Hart instead of programs and movies on Netflix.

The growth of YouTube places increasing power in the hands of its content creators, who can activate their hundreds, thousands, or even MILLIONS of subscribers to show love to YOUR brand. But how do you know if a YouTube influencer is the right fit for you? Look beyond subscriber count and do some quick research to find answers to these questions:

  1. Does the influencer’s audience match your target?
  2. What is this YouTuber’s public perception?
  3. Does the influencer’s content fit your brand voice?
  4. How does this YouTuber measure up against other YouTubers?

Analysis of Rhett & Link

As an experiment, I analyzed the social media activity around Rhett & Link, my favorite YouTube creators. Rhett & Link have been taking YouTube by storm since 2006 with popular videos like “The Facebook Song” and “Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek.”

With approximately 9.5 million subscribers, Rhett & Link have lent their voice to big brands in the past, including GEICO, Airheads, and Wendy’s.

 

 
To better understand the duo’s online influence, Zoomph collected over a month’s worth of social media data related to R&L from Twitter, Instagram, and their Facebook fan page.

Who are Rhett & Link’s target audience?

If you invest in an influencer to share your message, it’s vital to make sure you’re reaching the right ears. Your YouTube influencer’s audience should include your target audience–the people you value as clients, or the people you’re aiming to reach.

A demographic analysis tells me that the majority of Rhett & Link’s engaged #SoMe followers are white female millennials.
 

r&L

 
I’m also able to break down the personas of R&L fans. The Zoomph Author Bio Word Cloud reflects that fans proudly call themselves “Mythical Beasts.” They also define themselves as gamers, college students, music lovers, and YouTube fans.

(In other words, if your key demographic is female college students or millennial gamers, you can’t go wrong with Rhett & Link.)
 

word cloud rhett & link

What is R&L’s public perception?

An influencer has the power to affect the public’s perception of a brand, so it’s important to make sure that they’re seen positively in the public eye.
 

Read also: A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

 

Analyzing the social media sentiment around a YouTuber will help you gauge the YouTuber’s online reputation. Overall, Rhett & Link attract mostly positive sentiment:
 

sentiment r&l

 
Of course, it’s still important to address the red on this chart. Do the negative comments show reason for concern?

When I zoomed into this sentiment report, I saw that the top adjective associated with negative content was “sad” – only because GMM doesn’t air on the weekends. #NoBiggie

Does R&L’s content fit your brand voice?

What kind of content does an influencer share? As with sentiment, understanding the type of content that a YouTuber publicizes will help you understand what your brand would be associated with if partnered with him/her.

Using Zoomph’s ZPoints, our influencer discovery score, I found the most popular posts by R&L on different channels:
 

i'll take 14, thank you.

Posted by Rhett and Link on Saturday, February 13, 2016

 
Rhett & Link share innocuous jokes and fan content. So if your brand’s in an industry that lacks a sense of humor, partnering with an influencer who posts about fluffy cows and silly characters might not be the right fit.

Comparing R versus L

There are many potential influencers who could be a fit for your brand, so how do you choose? A simple solution is to compare your candidates’ social media activity side by side.

I used Zoomph’s workflow features to automatically tag unique mentions of both Rhett & Link. If the packaged deal were to split, who would be the better half to approach?

This data shows that Link is more popular with 2.8K more unique mentions and 7.2K more ZPoints than Rhett on all observed channels.

Other key factors to consider are the breakdowns of audience demographics and social networks. Does one influencer attract a greater following on Twitter? Or get more engagement from Gen Z? Rhett & Link have demographically similar audiences who engage on the same networks.
 

overview r & l

Conclusion

Rhett & Link would be great ambassadors for any brand targeting female college students or millennial gamers in an industry where humor is appreciated. This duo posts positive, family-friendly content that is unlikely to cause a PR crisis for any company.

The message to Rhett: Time to step it up on social 😉

 

Want an easy way to discover and track YouTube influencers in your industry?

Learn about our YouTube analytics

 

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