StyleHaul: the multichannel network that hosts Zoella's YouTube channel
StyleHaul: the multichannel network that hosts Zoella's YouTube channel
A view from James Stafford

Zoella's network StyleHaul gives ten tips on vlogger campaigns

Working with vloggers does not need to be difficult, provided brands go in with the mindset, writes James Stafford, European vice president at the network that hosts Zoella's channel, StyleHaul.

A growing number of the brands are working with vloggers to push their message to a younger, non-TV watching audience. Here are ten tips to make sure the experience is exhilirating rather than scary.

Don't stress out

There has been a lot of panic and a bit of bad advice given lately which make vlogger and social media campaigns seem like a wild west of marketing. It's not - it's just a new area. A reputable company will have clear guidelines and case studies to show you.

Have clear objectives

Brands have to know why they want to partner with a vlogger and what they hope to achieve. If you want a 'cheap' video or a sort-of-commercial, then you're not approaching the partnership in the right way.

A vlogger's audience loves them for a reason, because they’re authentic and honest - respecting this bond is crucial.

Value engagement over scale

Someone who can motivate their audience to like, share and comment their content should rightly be valued far more than just purely how many views the video generates. Having a conversation with an audience is at the heart of influencer marketing. 

Allow editorial independence

This is set in stone - brands can never (and should not) try to influence the style, creative or editorial direction of a video. Not only does this breach the rules, but it goes against the whole point of collaborating in the first place.

Add value to the audiences

if you find yourself saying "how can we get the vlogger to..." then you are doing it wrong. Try instead to think "how can we create an experience that the fans will love, and brings my brand to life in a meaningful way?"

Disclose the endorsement

Millennials (by definition) weren't born yesterday. We mandate that sponsored content is clear within the title, allowing the audience to know before they click, as well as called out in the voiceover in the first 30 seconds.

A clear text disclaimer in the description box should also make a sponsored video clear in terms of its content. This is just good manners, as well as good compliance practice. 

Watch the vlogger’s stuff

you’d be surprised how often we work with brands who have no idea what they have just bought, and as a result try to make changes to style, tone and editorial that just don't make sense for that community. If you can't name the top five vloggers that your customers are watching, you're already behind. 

Don’t forget about ad compliance settings

Have you ever had a situation where ads from your competitors are running against videos you've collaborated on? Or have you reached out to a vlogger directly and asked for a video in exchange for tickets, product or money? Then you've violated YouTube terms of service.

Sponsored content needs to be flagged as such, and controlling the ad settings is something only the official MCN can control.

Think about context

Over 80% of our network views happen on mobile or tablet. 

Have a call to action

Trying to construct a brand collaboration, while promoting the contest, and the giveaway code, and the five hashtags and handles is a recipe for an ineffective campaign. Be clear and simple to connect with.