$18K Youtube Influencer Partnership - Case Study

June 7, 2024
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10 Min
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Peter Nettesheim
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$18K Youtube Influencer Partnership - Case Study 

In this case study we will walk you through a $18K Youtube partnership. It was a risky step as it wasn’t certain that it would be profitable and provides an interesting insight into how the negotiation with high profile influencers can go with plenty of learnings which can be implemented for your next influencer partnership.

Context:

  • US based client 
  • CMS: Shopify 
  • Sector: Home & Living 
  • Channel: Influencer Marketing
  • Platform: Youtube 

For this client we were tasked with getting 10 videos / month through Youtube influencers. We explained that we recommend to start with a gifting and affiliate offer and negotiate up to keep the initial cost low and identify high performing Youtube channels with which we can build valuable long term partnerships to maximise ROI over time. 

In September last year we identified a Youtuber who generated a bit more than $10K with a single video. We used Influencer Hero’s affiliate marketing integration to track clicks & sales. 

For this specific Youtuber we had to pay $2,411 in affiliate commission after offering a 20% commission + products worth $240 (retail value). We typically offer 10% but had to negotiate with this creator so we increased it and also offered some additional products to make it more attractive. 

Q4 was just around the corner and we knew that if we could receive additional video’s during the holiday season it would bring a lot of value, so we asked for another video inclusion. 

The response from the influencer: 

“Good afternoon,

My usual fee for creating sponsored content is $9,000, applicable for a 90-second segment. For our initial collaboration, I accepted not to request a standard payment to showcase my ability to drive meaningful conversions through my content.

My YouTube channel gets around 4.8 million views per month. I'm excited to continue to work with your brand!”

We knew that with the numbers from our initial video it wouldn’t be profitable for us to pay $9K for a video inclusion so we had to negotiate. 

We offered the influencer two options: 

  1. $4K in fixed payment 
  2. $1.7K in fixed payment + 10% affiliate commission 

We also offered additional new products and asked for a 30 second slot instead of 90 seconds. 

We didn’t receive a reply. Despite many follow ups and trying to get their attention we didn’t receive any reaction from the influencer. 

On November 7, 17 days before Black Friday we increased our offer and placed $10K in the subject line to increase the change for a reply and asked for 4 video inclusions. 

Tip: with performing influencers bundle multiple posts into packages so the total offer looks impressive while your cost per post can be lower and increases ROI. For our full article on how to maximise ROI with performing influencer click here.

We were certain that no influencer would reject an offer of $10K. We anxiously waited for a reply. Still no reply. We couldn’t believe it.

It was November 19, 5 more days until Black Friday and we weren’t able to close the deal. 

On November 20 we further increased the offer to $18K + $598 (in outstanding commission which accumulated over time since the first video went live) + over $1.5K worth of products (retail value). 

We knew that if we weren’t able to get to an agreement now it would be too late. Compared to sponsored posts on Instagram, creating a Youtube video takes time and we knew that creators often prepared their video’s weeks before the actual posting date. Time was ticking. 

We had to wait 2 more days until we finally received a response. The husband of the influencer apologised for the late reply and accepted our offer.

Although we were happy that we closed a deal we had no idea if this package would be profitable and how to explain this to the client if it wasn’t. We walked our client through the numbers and explained that the conversion rate on these videos can be a lot higher during Black Friday and Cyber Monday where millions of people are looking for gifts. We also explained the long term benefits of these video’s as we already saw sales accumulating over time from the initial video. We got the approval from the client and closed the deal! 

It was November 22 and we only had 2 more days to Black Friday. We had to push for getting the video inclusions during BFCM as we know that most people buy their gifts on those dates. We explained to the Youtuber that we would be willing to proceed under the condition to get 2 of the video inclusions during the weekend of BFCM between 24 - 27 November. 

The problem: the video’s for those dates were already created and the Youtuber asked to do the video’s in December. We knew that the package was already cut throat and were dependent on the multiplier effect during the holiday season to get this package profitable so we insisted. 

The influencer then offered to do a voice over section and edit a section in which she recommended the product. It wasn’t ideal but it was better than missing out on the biggest shopping season of the year. So we agreed.

The first video brought in $8K in revenues during the first 24 hours and we knew from the previous videos that a lot of the sales came over time so we were up to a good start. We asked for the remaining 2 video’s during Christmas. 

The result: $73.3K in attributed revenue until date. With an industry average un-attribution rate of 30% the total revenue from this collaboration was above $104K ($73.3K / 70%). 

Resulting in a healthy 5.7X ROAS. 

If you take the brand awareness and long term benefit of the videos into account closing this deal was a success despite the high cost. One of the biggest benefits of partnering with influencers on Youtube is the evergreen nature of the video’s. When the right keywords are used the video’s rank Google SERP and continue to accumulate views over time leading to consistent clicks and conversions. It is also a great medium to showcase and review products. 

This case study shows that you sometimes have to take risks to achieve great results.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this $18K YouTube partnership case study demonstrates the potential rewards and challenges of influencer marketing. Despite initial setbacks and high costs, strategic negotiation and leveraging the holiday season led to impressive returns. The collaboration resulted in $104K in total revenue, highlighting the long-term benefits and evergreen nature of YouTube videos. This case study underscores the importance of perseverance, flexibility, and strategic planning in achieving successful outcomes in influencer partnerships. Taking calculated risks can indeed lead to significant rewards.

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