YouTube vs Social Media Influencer Marketing

Maya Odedra
Influencer Executive
Influencer Matchmaker

Although the likes of social media influencer marketing and YouTube have been around for way over a decade now, it is still considered a relatively new industry in comparison to its more traditional counterparts. 

What was once a question of ‘influencer marketing vs traditional advertising’, is now ‘YouTube vs social media influencer marketing’ - who knew that just a mere ten years ago, there would be a plethora of types of advertising under the umbrella of influencer marketing?  

This simply demonstrates the sheer power and impact of the industry, and that social media is no longer one small means of advertising, but in fact, opens up the doors to many other, alternative types of advertising within the same realm, too. 

But, let’s take things back to basics, shall we? 

YouTube vs Instagram Influencer 

While many assume they are the same, a YouTuber and Instagram influencer are two different things. Whilst YouTube has 122 million active daily users, Instagram also has more than one million daily active users, proving the impact of both platforms. Typically, YouTuber’s are recognised as ‘creators’, meanwhile those that take to Instagram, are seen as ‘influencers’. 


What is a creator? 

A creator, more commonly known as a YouTuber, is a type of influencer that predominately works across video sharing platform, YouTube. 

Whilst they do post to other social media channels, YouTube is their main way of sharing their content.  

YouTubers and creators share content about a variety of things. From fashion and beauty, to lifestyle, comedy and parenting – the opportunities available for both brands and creators is endless.  

Renowned for the personal and human touch that video provides, online video creators are much more relatable than a traditional celebrity or TV star. 

Some of the most popular creators helped to form the entire influencer marketing industry, such as Zoe Sugg, Alfie Deyes, Joe Sugg, and Louise Pentland.  


YouTube influencer marketing campaigns: the strategy 

When it comes to a YouTube influencer marketing campaign, there are a number of strategies for brands to consider. 

YouTube gained popularity for its innovative visual elements and previously offered something that was unable to be provided elsewhere. As big and as grand as traditional television is, YouTube still provides an element of intimacy and relatability - something that has made influencer marketing all the more powerful.  

When it comes to a YouTube influencer marketing campaign, there are a few things for both the brand and the influencer to consider, with the main thing being whether they would prefer to share an integrated video or a dedicated video. 

However, dedicated videos are a lot more traditional and although not as widely used anymore, they can still pack a punch.  

A dedicated video is quite simply what it says on the tin – an entire video dedicated to one product, brand, launch, or campaign - without mentioning any other, especially that of a competitor.  

An integrated video is when a sponsored section is added into another video in a natural and authentic way without mentioning any of the brands or products competitors. For example, adding a sponsored makeup tutorial or clothing haul into a daily vlog. 


What is a social media influencer? 

An Instagram influencer is a social media influencer that focuses primarily on photo and video sharing platform, Instagram. 

With 91% of businesses using social media platforms as part of their marketing strategy, it is becoming all the more apparent that social media influencers are key to a successful marketing campaign. 

A social media influencer is categorised by a number of things, but mainly, follower count. Mega, macro, micro, and nano are all a category of influencer. And the term typically covers everyone from Instagrammer and podcaster to reality stars and even celebrities.  

Social media influencers can promote campaigns and content across many platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.  

Instagram influencer marketing campaigns: the strategy 

More recently, Instagram has proven to be one of the most popular social media platforms for influencer marketing.  

Research suggests that Instagram is the primary social media platform for brand collaborations, coming out on top with an impressive 78%. As well as this, 83% of social media users discover new products and services through the app and more than 80% use Instagram as a deciding factor for purchases. 

Now, with many different features and functions, Instagram is the ideal platform for brands and influencers to share fun, innovative and engaging content in the form of images and videos. 

The likes of Reels allow brands to implement a campaign that is on trend, short, sharp and snappy, whilst grabbing the attention of the user almost immediately. Ideal for effective transitions, before and afters, and fashion and beauty-related content, Reels is the ultimate tool for creatives. 

Similarly, many brands and influencers are opting to utilise Instagram Stories as a way to share sponsored campaigns and content. Much more personal and humanistic than that of the main feed or ‘the grid’, Stories allows influencers to connect with their audience on a deeper level with a more relatable and authentic tone. Much more raw and honest, Stories is a stripped back version of the main Instagram feed, providing an influencer’s audience with the opportunity to see the behind the scenes of their lives, which is one of the main reasons this particular feature proves incredibly popular among both followers and influencers.  

And then of course, there is the main feed. Picture perfect and polished, the Instagram grid is renowned for being home to lavish and extravagant snaps. Great for showcasing the finished look using beauty products, or providing social media users with a detailed look at a product, service or brand, they give off a similar vibe to something you would see on TV or in a magazine.


Which is better? 

When it comes to which is better, there is unfortunately no definitive answer. It entirely depends on a brand’s goals, budget, and the campaign itself. 

For example, if a technology or gaming brand was seeking to work with an influencer on an ‘unboxing’, or gameplay – then a YouTuber, or creator would be the better choice.  

Whereas for a brand looking to show new additions to its clothing line, demonstrating the various ways to wear such pieces, then an Instagram influencer could be best suited – as would Reels. 

So, there is no real answer as to whether YouTube or social media marketing is the right choice. Both are incredibly beneficial for brands of all shapes and sizes, it all depends on goals, and what it is they are trying to achieve. 

How to decide 

If you’re a brand looking to work with a creator, YouTuber, Instagram influencer or are seeking to implement social media marketing, then enlisting the help of an agency may be for you. 

It can be overwhelming trying to find a suitable marketing strategy, without having to find a suitable influencer, too.  

An influencer marketing agency can take care of it all. From helping a brand establish its goals, to sourcing the influencer and handling all logistics, an agency allows a brand to focus on the most important part – business.  

For more information on how Influencer Matchmaker can support your business, then contact our team of experts today by emailing or give us a call on 02039 580 427.