Unlike Instagram & TikTok, YouTube videos have the potential to drive thousands of recurring views from search/browse, long after the content is published.
Working with the right YouTubers, you can build up a compounding channel that drives traffic & conversions every month on autopilot.
But... how do you find the right creators? How do you know who creates content in your niche, and perfectly reaches your target audience? 🤔
If you're looking for a scalable strategy to find ideal YouTube influencers, you're in the right place. Let's go!
9 ways to find YouTube influencers
Before we begin, it's important to know your target audience. Knowing who you want to target through YouTube influencer marketing will help you make the right choice.
You should be selective about who you collaborate with, as it directly impacts your brand image and revenue.
Let's look at the ten ways you can find the best influencers for your next campaign.
1. Use an influencer search tool
Let's start with the most reliable way to find YouTube influencers — using a tool like Modash.
It has a YouTube influencer database of 7.5M+ creators (and 250M+ total when you include TikTok & Instagram), and allows you to apply filters to find the right fit for your brand.
I'll show you an example so you can see how it works. P.S. - this is the tool that NordVPN uses to find YouTubers for 100+ monthly collabs!
One quick thing to understand here: your perfect YouTubers are in this tool. You just have to figure out the right filters to find them. It may take some trial & error.
Here we have our desired subscriber count, a minimum engagement rate, and topics (AI).
Second, I can also add filters related to the audience (as well as the creator). For example, we might look for male audiences in the US.
Then, run your search! You'll get every creator in the world that fits your critera. It looks like this. You can open up any of the profiles to analyze the creator. You'll find their performance metrics (e.g. engagement rate, avg. views), top content, audience demographics (ages, genders, locations) and more to confirm that they're a good find. Lastly, Modash can find their YouTube channel email in one click ready for outreach.
Test out 1 to 2 filters at a time and keep narrowing your search until you shortlist a few influencers who best fit your brand.
Modash also has features for:
- Integrating with Gmail, so you can manage your influencer outreach within the tool
- Integrating with Shopify, so you can track promo code redemptions per creator
- Tracking live influencer content (who posted? what did they post? how did it perform?)
You can give Modash a spin with a 14-day free trial, no credit card needed 🙂
2. Search on Google
Google is a great place to find anything — including YouTube influencers.
This is a more time consuming method, but it's simple and free.
If you're searching like this, I recommend that you be as specific as possible. Avoid broad searches like "fashion influencers". Include 'YouTube", and include at least a niche or a country/location. You'll likely find pre-curated lists that are pretty close to what you're looking for.
Here's an example: "Serbian YouTube influencers"
Don't forget to check out "Video" tab and sift through the top videos to find relevant influencers / channels too.
Using a country, niche (or both) modifiers helps you to avoid getting generic/irrelevant results like PewDiePie.
3. Search on YouTube
Another free method: search on YouTube directly! Here's the top ways to find YouTubers directly on YouTube:
1. Search relevant keywords
If you're an eyelash brand, you might consider searching something like 'eyelash extensions tutorial' or 'best eyelashes for X'. Any creator who's produced good quality content on these topics before might be a good fit for your brand.
You can find highly relevant results on YouTube by using hashtags. Creators are now adding key hashtags in the video descriptions and titles to make their content more discoverable. You can see thousands of relevant YouTube creators by searching through the hashtag results.
2. Use the Trending tab
You'll find 'Creators on the Rise' and recently popular content, some of which may be relevant to your brand/niche. If you're looking for very niche creators, this probably isn't ideal. But if a broad category like Music, Gaming, or Movies would apply to you -- it's worth a look.
3. Search YouTube hashtags
If you are a skincare brand, the hashtag #skincare alone gives you 827K videos and 180K channels. Sift through these results and find the influencers whose content and brand identity align the most with you.
If an influencer has used a hashtag relevant to your business, it shows that your product or service is most likely relevant to their audience. Connecting with influencers who are already creating relevant content creates authenticity within the content, generating conversations and interest in your brand.
Also search for ad disclosure hashtags like #sponsored, #ad, or #paidpromotion. These posts are specifically tailored to market and advertise a product and are usually created by influencers.
A huge advantage of this method is that some other business has already done the hard work and research to find these influencers. Their research has shown them the influencer is legit, has good reach, and has the right audience. So by searching for sponsored content, you can find reliable influencers for long-term collaboration.
✅Pro-tip: Instead of focusing your search to the influencers in your niche, make a list of all the industries that intersect with yours and search for influencers in those industries as well.
If you are looking for influencers to market your luxury hand sanitizer, don't try to look for hand sanitizer influencers. There simply aren't any (or enough) creators who talk exclusively about hand sanitizers. Think about making a list of all the people who will use such a product — celebrities, public figures, and models. Now, find influencers who are on these people's radar and connect with them.
4. Create a brand ambassador program
A brand ambassador program is one of the most effective ways to work with influencers genuinely interested in your brand. With a brand ambassadors, you can do long-term collaborations with influencers who love your products.
With an ambassador program, you make it possible to start receiving inbound interest from influencers. The goal is to build a brand ambassador program that focuses on the perks of being an ambassador and highlights the exclusivity of the program. You want to create FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), so relevant influencers apply for the program.
Build a dedicated landing page for the ambassador program so if someone looks at your brand name + ambassador name, it pops up. They might assume you have no such program without a landing page, and you will miss out on the opportunity.
Gymshark has one of the most sought-after ambassador programs, and anyone can apply to become a "Gymshark Athlete." Its ambassador program is focused on investing in people who love their products — regardless of their follower count. And the result is a consistent increase in sales with a 68% growth in sales to £437.6 million, up from £260.7 million in 2020.
Anna Engelschall is a digital content creator and a Gymshark athlete with 643K followers. As a brand ambassador, she often posts pictures and workout videos in Gymshark attire.
5. Find influencer lookalikes
Suppose you have already had success with past YouTube influence campaigns, and you're looking to collaborate with more similar influencers. In that case, you can use the influencer lookalike tool in Modash to find similar influencers.
To (figuratively) clone your favorite YouTube influencers, add their channel URL in Modash's discovery tool. You will see a list of lookalike channels who create similar content, and reach similar audiences. For example, let's say you want to reach soccer fans, and you've just collaborated successfully with this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/7mlc. By searching their profile in Modash, I can see over 4,000 similar YouTubers straight away:
To make my search more refined, I can add filters on top once again. For example, I may want to add a minimum engagement rate, or specify a location, subscriber range, or anything else.
6. Use a YouTube influencer marketing agency
Time is limited, and you still haven't found influencers who can be a perfect fit for your brand. So, what do you do now?
Look for a YouTube influencer marketing agency. These dedicated influencer marketing agencies can help you find the best influencers according to your requirements.
Hiring an agency gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your campaign instead of spending all your time on influencer research.
Depending on your goals and budget, an influencer marketing agency can help you with everything, including:
- Researching your target audience
- Influencer matching
- Content creation and management
- Tracking relevant metrics, including ROI
- Campaign analysis
7. Ask for recommendations
Influencers know other influencers. And sometimes, they like to collaborate and feature each other in their content.
So, if you have found an influencer you are interested in or have worked with someone in the past, ask them to refer some great and relevant influencers your way.
Another way to utilize the influencer's network is by looking at their videos and other content and checking out the other influencers they have teamed up with.
8. Explore other platforms
Just because you are looking for YouTube influencers doesn't mean you have to stick to the platform to find the best fit.
It's quite common for influencers to have accounts on different social media platforms. Someone with a huge following on YouTube doesn't always mean they will have the same number of followers on Instagram or Twitter. But what they will have is a dedicated and engaged community of followers.
Many influencers have a dedicated blog where they post updates in detail while also posting videos on YouTube. Look at the blogger Tanesha who runs the blog Girl With Curves — sharing tips and recommendations for fashion, beauty, and wellness. She also runs a YouTube channel with the same name with 12.2k subscribers.
Similarly, you can check out other platforms like Instagram and see whether an influencer you like has a successful YouTube channel. Holly Gabrielle, who has 90K followers on Instagram, shows her daily life through amazing vlogs on her YouTube channel with her 432K subscribers.
10. Check out the speaker lists for industry conferences
This one might be a less popular way of finding influencers, but it certainly works — especially for B2B companies.
Combing through the speaker lists for conferences and summits in your industry is a great way to find potential collaborators and influencers relevant to your audience. These speakers are already producing the type of content that's relevant to your business and have the reach to your relevant audience.
Remember that reaching out to these speakers doesn't guarantee they will want to collaborate with your business. But it can definitely give you a larger influencer pool to work with and is a great way to diversify your possibilities.
How to vet YouTube influencers
With these ten brilliant and easy ways, you are on your way to finding your next influencer to collaborate with.
So, what's next?
Simply finding an influencer with thousands or millions of followers isn't enough. You have to make sure their values align with your brand.
Here are a few things to remember before collaborating with influencers.
1. They create meaningful content
Before moving ahead, see the kind of content they are creating. Scroll through their social media feed (preferably all the platforms they are on) and get a feel for their brand identity and the values they stand for.
Does their content inspire conversation among your target demographic? What kind of engagement do they get on their posts? Do they engage with their followers and respond to the comments?
⚡Example: Jessica McCabe is a mental health influencer and runs the channel How to ADHD. She has a warm energy and transparent attitude, and her conversation with her followers is always engaging and welcoming.
2. They have credibility
Influencers need to have credibility in their industry to show they have expertise on the relevant topics. See if they have authority over the topics that matter the most to your brand.
Do their posts and comments sound informed and show a proper understanding of what they are talking about?
⚡Example: Jason and Nikki Wynn are travel influencers who run the Gone with the Wynns channel on YouTube. They have several years of experience in sailing and traveling and are pretty well-versed in the world of traveling.
3. Relevant audience
The influencers you select should be able to authentically reach your target market. The goal of influencer marketing is to put your brand in front of people who are willing to learn more about your products or service.
You can review audiences with data (quantitatively), and also by looking at engagements & comments (qualitatively).
To get quantitative data (such as a Youtuber's audience breakdown), use Modash’s influencer analytics tool. With it, you can check:
- Audience location (country or city)
- Audience demographics (age, gender) and language
- The growth rate of the influencer’s audience
- ... and more
⚡Example: Jess Owens on YouTube makes videos about her favorite books, shares the most anticipated book releases, and comments on the drama in the book community. She has 38.3K subscribers, and her audience is primarily women (89.91%) in the United States, aged 18 to 24, with an interest in books.
Qualitatively, you can also look at the comments section and see the kind of interactions happening there. If more comments are negative or are making fun of the content the influencer is posting, it might show that the influencer doesn't know their audience's preferences.
Watch the video
You found the perfect influencers. What's next?
With the help of the ten steps mentioned above, you have found the perfect influencers who share your brand value, have a dedicated following and are collaborative.
Now, you want to ensure your collaboration runs smoothly without hiccups. Check out our in-depth guide to ensure a smooth recruitment process here.
And to make sure your campaigns run smoothly, sign up to Modash to get access to an all-in-one influencer marketing platform that helps you find influencers, manages them for a smooth collaboration process, and monitors all your campaign analytics. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today.