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Leveraging Affinity Data to Identify the Right YouTuber for Your Audience

BBTV recently claimed the top spot as the leading global multi-channel network (MCN) surpassing audience size and views of other top MCN’s such as Disney’s Maker Studio, Fullscreen, and Machinima, Inc. The BBTV audiences are absolutely massive; in December alone BBTV accrued more than 315 million unique views. Not only is BBTV the leading MCN, but they are also dominating in online videos and have secured the spot as the fifth-largest Internet video operator globally behind Google, Facebook, China’s Sohu.com, and LeTV.

The sheer size of these audiences can not be ignored. In a world facing a consumer attention crisis, ad blocking, and ever increasing channels to reach your audience, YouTubers are a channel of choice to reach a trusting and relevant audience.


Finding the Right YouTuber For Your Brand

The options available today can be overwhelming when looking to partner with a YouTuber. The larger MCN’s have thousands of options. So how do you narrow it down to the right YouTuber for your audience and your goals?

There are many ‘How To’ articles out there today that provide ways to find the ‘ideal’ YouTuber to partner with. They suggest looking at:


Content Relevance: Is their content relevant to your audience? What other brands have they worked with?

Engagement: Are people commenting on their videos? What is their ‘Thumbs Up’ ratio?

Reach: How many subscribers and views do they have? What audience demographic information is available?

Frequency: Are they posting regularly or are they sporadic with their posts?

Authenticity: When talking about products or making recommendations, how authentic are they?


These are all great ways to narrow down your search, but they are also very manual, involve guesswork and gut checks, and can be extremely time consuming. These methods are also subject to opinion. Today, many decisions regarding Influencer or YouTuber selection is based on opinions and subjective methods. While agencies and MCNs can provide you with basic reach metrics and demographic information about the individual’s audience, this doesn’t provide enough information to predict success. You want to make certain that the person you are picking isn’t just great for their audience, they are ideal for your audience.

By leveraging the social graph (how people are connected on social), you can use affinity data to understand which YouTube personality is the best fit for your target audience. The social graph and affinity data allows you to understand the interest-based communities that exist in your audience by identifying what each of those communities are interested in and what resonates with them.

As an example, I ran a social graph analysis of the  @Smashbox Twitter audience using Affinio (as a reminder, BRaVe is an investor in Affinio). Smashbox is a cosmetics company that was born out of a legendary photo studio.. Below is the audience visualization of the Smashbox Twitter audience that reveals their interest-based communities.

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As you can see, while all of these people share a common interest in Smashbox, these interest-based personas are all unique in their own way. How are you able to definitively pick which YouTuber you should partner with that will target the  ‘Spa + Skincare’ community?

To demonstrate, I picked 10 top beauty vloggers that Smashbox could consider partnering with. Below is a chart that shows those YouTubers in the first column and Smashbox’s interest-based audience segments (or tribes) across the top row. The darker colours represent a high relevance to that segment.

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As you can see, each Beauty YouTuber is relevant to the ‘Beauty’ tribe, however, in the ‘Makeup Artist’ tribe, you can see that only half of these vloggers are actually relevant. This helps you eliminate four of your potential picks. For the ‘Spa + Skincare’ tribe, you can see that there is one obvious pick.

Social graph affinity data empowers brands to make a data-driven partnership decision. Leveraging this data allows brands to make better, faster, smarter decisions that are guaranteed to resonate with target interest-based audience segments.

What about the other side of the business? While MCNs help brands partner with the ideal YouTuber, they also work to help build their client’s business. This data can also be used to identify the ideal brands to partner with for a YouTuber’s audience.

As an example, let’s do the same analysis for beauty vlogger, Marlena. She is a massively popular beauty vlogger with 1.28 million subscribers on YouTube. I chose 10 top cosmetic brands to see which one would be the best for her audience. As you can see below, most of the brands would be a fit for her audience, but Urban Decay and Smashbox hold the most appeal across the board:

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Leveraging affinity data takes the guesswork out of identifying the right partner. It’s never been more important to ensure that you are reaching the right audience and resonating with your consumers. Using data to ensure you are reaching the right audience in the right way helps brands build meaningful connections with their ideal audience.