Campaign Teardown

Express VPN Campaign Teardown

By Editorial Staff

When it comes to virtual private networks, or VPNs, Express VPN is the #1 trusted leader in the industry. With its popularity and growth, Express VPN has made a name for itself on social media – especially YouTube. According to SimilarWeb, 89.68% of Express VPN’s traffic on social media comes from YouTube. With this in mind, NeoReach conducted our Social Intelligence Insights Report for Q1 2020 to provide analyzed data from the US and Canada that was pulled from over 6,000 YouTube videos indicating brand partnership. Through this report, it was found that Express VPN landed a spot as one of the top 5 spenders, putting much of its marketing strategy into influencer marketing on YouTube to promote the brand, its products, and its benefits.

Download the full Express VPN Campaign Teardown

Express VPN

Express VPN is a virtual private network (VPN) that provides a secure, encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet. Using its services, you can help protect yourself online from any interference or censorship from outside sources, such as hackers or your internet service provider. VPNs are also widely used by consumers to ensure access to sites and services that otherwise might be restricted in their countries. For example, if you’re dying to see what Netflix looks like in other countries, a VPN comes in handy. With its relevance to the internet, Express VPN dedicates much of its marketing to online spaces, gaining up to 10 million website views in the last six months from methods like advertising on other websites and social media.

NeoReach Social Intelligence Insights Q1 2020 Top Spending Brands on YouTube

Top Spender

Express VPN came out on top as the highest spender on YouTube in the tech industry. By partnering with 11 influencers over a span of 133 total videos, they successfully sponsored the highest-grossing sponsored video in the tech industry, gaining up to 300K impressions. They also drew in some impressive metrics.

Express VPN Q1 campaign metrics from YouTube sponsored videos

Of all the 133 videos that indicated a partnership with Express VPN, the tech company gained a reach of over 211 million, more than 21 million views, and 590K likes. They also drew in an influencer media value (IMV) of more than $2 million. On average, Express VPN had an IMV of $18,948.13 and 160,985 views.

Reaching a total of $8.5 million, the top 5 tech spenders on YouTube for Q1 2020 achieved influencer marketing success with a variety of strategies. The top 5 spenders in the tech category account for 51% of the total industry YouTube spend and 51% of the total industry views. Express VPN’s combined spend drew in 66 million views on YouTube for Q1 of 2020. As the largest YouTube spender in the tech category with just shy of a dozen activated influencers, they achieved massive success with the chosen creators.

Top 5 tech spenders on YouTube

Working With Influencers

According to the Social Intelligence Insights Report, the tech industry was one of the top 10 industries with the highest spending on YouTube. As the highest tech spender, Express VPN made it a mission to work with well-known influencers. To promote its services, Express VPN both sponsored entire shows/series, like Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire, and provided discount codes for the influencer’s viewers. This unique discount code provided new users with a 12-month plan that included 3 months of free service. For more broken-down information, check out this table that details the total number of videos each influencer posted for Express VPN.

Influencer HandleNumber of Videos Posted
The Daily Wire61
Ben Shapiro61
Rooster Teeth3
Mother's Basement1
Nomadic Fanatic1
Warrior Poet Society1

Express VPN Campaign Teardown top influencers activated

Standout Content and Influencers

Throughout the campaign, there were standout influencers that produced either the most content or produced content with the highest amount of views, reach, and IMV. These videos were mainly geared towards older male audiences but spanned across multiple niches including news and politics, comedy, science and technology, gaming, travel, how-to videos, and anime. By doing so, Express VPN was able to work with popular creators that each draw in different viewer demographics to reach a variety of potential new users that would sign up for a 12-month plan. However, in the future, it could be beneficial for Express VPN to work with more female creators to further diversify its YouTube spend and draw in more consumers.

The information featured in the table below was pulled from the standout sponsored content posted between January and March of 2020 on YouTube by standout creators identified in the Q1 2020 report.

Influencer/Handle NameTotal ViewsTotal IMVTotal Reach
The Daily Wire306,844$39,394.521,820,000
Ben Shapiro299,470$34,463.60979,000
Mother’s Basement140,622$20,734.76954,000

The Daily Wire is an American politically conservative news and opinion website founded in 2015 that features podcasts from multiple creators. The Editor-in-Chief, Ben Shapiro, is a conservative commentator that comes in as #2 for standout creators during this campaign. Express VPN sponsors The Ben Shapiro Show, which Shapiro posts on both The Daily Wire and his personal channel, which collectively have more than 3M subscribers.

SmarterEveryDay is a science channel run by Destin Sandlin, who posts on various other channels to share his love of science and technology. On his channel, he has 8.4M subscribers and 783M views. TheJWittz is run by Josh Wittenkeller, an American video maker who focuses most of his videos on all things gaming within the Nintendo universe, including facts, reviews, news, collectibles, and more. His channel currently has 1.58M subscribers and 352M views. Geoff Thew created his channel, Mother’s Basement, in 2015 as an outlet to post about anime, video games, film, and pop culture. He currently has 1.02M subscribers and 170M views on his channel.

Final Results

The Express VPN Q1 Report Data states that this campaign drew in $2,520,101.38 in IMV and 21,411,036 total views on YouTube. The Daily Wire and its Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro came out as standout content creators and brought in the highest numbers in terms of IMV, reach, and engagement.

In August 2019, it was reported by Sensor Tower that Express VPN earned $100K in estimated monthly revenue and was downloaded 200K times. In June 2020, when the video content for the campaign wrapped up, it has now been reported by Sensor Tower that Express VPN’s revenue grew to $600k and downloads grew to 300K.

Download the full Express VPN Campaign Teardown

This article was written by Selena Ponton

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