Report: Google expands effort with YouTube Labs to link brands, influencers
- Google recently paired several L’Oreal brands, including Essie, in the U.S. with YouTube creators and an agency to produce a series of videos as part of an exclusive arrangement last year, as reported in Ad Age.
- The new business venture, called YouTube Labs, has also been tested by BMW, Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez in Europe, and will be open to other companies this year, per the article.
- While Google does not earn a fee for the service, the videos are treated as paid ads when placed on YouTube. Brands can also use the videos on other sites.
Google has clearly recognized that social influencers are a hot commodity, and wants to make sure it plays a part in the burgeoning ecosystem around putting brands together with the right creators. The push follows Google’s acquisition last fall of Famebit, an influencer marketing platform.
The social influencer landscape grew quickly in 2016, with loose alliances of creators as well as traditional agencies and dedicated influencer agencies all offering to help brands connect with bloggers and video bloggers to create content.
Google’s work with creators via YouTube Labs will likely put additional pressure on an already over-saturated market. Some rationalization is expected to take place in 2017, as vendors merge or go under. The role of third parties could also evolve, taking on more or less creative responsibilities.
The growth in influencer marketing is coming at a time when brands are under increasing pressure to meet evolving consumer demand for digital content. And not only that, but the content must come across as spontaneous and authentic to counter the growing mistrust of traditional ad formats.