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The twenty-first year of the twenty-first century: it was the year everyone was waiting for, or rather everyone was waiting for 2020 to end. 2020 was a year spent indoors with our eyes glued to our screen, and although 2021 brought newfound hope and fresh beginnings, it was not much different from the isolation before. To see how time and context affect the Creator Economy, NeoReach continued to analyze data from thousands of sponsored YouTube videos for the annual influencer marketing report. The Influencer Marketing Report 2021 displays the ways industries have integrated their products to content creators and, therefore, to their audience of millions.
After compiling and evaluating over 20 million YouTube videos through our Social Intelligence API we have gathered data for the 2021 influencer marketing report. We assessed the data from all sponsored videos from influencers in the United States and Canada that have garnered at least 10 thousand views; this includes 28,000 videos in total. From this, we created a vast influencer marketing report where we underscored the top industries, spenders, and trends in influencer marketing on YouTube during 2021. Here is the data we found:
Top Industries on YouTube
3,387 played a role in the 2021 influencer marketing report. The grand total spent by the brands comes to $603,912,228.10 on influencer marketing. This reached an overall view count of 4.1 billion. Through the data analysis from each brand’s sponsored videos on YouTube, we were able to identify the top 19 industries of the year and their total metrics.
The top five industry spenders came from the Tech, Gaming, Food & Drink, Fashion, and Beauty Industry once again. The Tech industry spends significantly more than the other top industries, accounting for about 44% of the total spending on YouTuber influencer marketing for 2021. In these top five industries, brands spent $442M and had an outreach of 3 billion views combined.
Considering specific industries, we analyzed the ways in which YouTubers contended for sponsorships: the objectives, calls to action, and content types of the brands’ influencer marketing campaigns. This is what we found:
We divided each sponsored YouTube video into a specific campaign objective:
- Branding & Awareness
- Download or Install
- Limited Time Offer
The majority of campaign objectives sought to promote a limited-time offer.
There were four calls to action gathered from each sponsored YouTube video, including:
- Click Link in Bio
- Direct Purchase Page
- Enter Giveaway
- Fill out Contract Form
Over 80% of the data displayed a majority using a call to action for a Direct Purchase Page.
We also assessed each video based on the type of content of the sponsorship. In other words, we looked at when and how long the sponsorship took place in each video. The sponsorships were then divided into five categories:
- Dedicated content
- End Card
- Integrated content
- Intro card
- Description Only
For a deeper look into how partnerships can launch profit and awareness for the brand and influencers, check out our case studies here.
Let’s now take a deeper look at the top three highest spending industries on YouTube influencer marketing in 2021: Tech, Gaming, and Food & Drink.
Since the beginning of 2021, the Tech Industry has proven to have the highest spending on the YouTube platform, with an IMV of $195.2M. The Tech Industry alone had a total reach of 14 billion, with exactly 6,619 videos. The specific numbers are as follows:
- Express VPN
- Nord VPN
- Linus Tech Tips
- Ben Shapiro
Coming in second is the Gaming Industry reaching over 6 billion viewers in 2021. The Gaming Industry’s IMV holds at $86.5M, accounting for 14% of YouTube’s Influencer Marketing.
Bisect Hosting surpasses Epic Games’ 2020 lead in sponsorship spending, with an IMV total of $6.4M.
- Bisect Housing
- Epic Games
- Rais Shadow Legends
- AFK Arena
- Matt Stonie
Food & Drink
Last, but not least, is the Food & Drink industry as the third-highest spending industry on YouTuber influencer marketing 2021. The IMV for the Food & Drink industry comes in at a cool $66M, which is nearly 11% of the total 2021 spending. Though in context, the Food & Drink industry is only 33% of the Tech industry, the totality of their reach still comes to a substantial 8.7 billion viewers with 3,343 videos.
- G Fuel
- Hello Fresh
- Bang Energy
- Magic Spoon
- Built Bar
- WWE (wwfannation)
Top Spenders on YouTube
Throughout our research, NeoReach has identified 10 brands as 2021’s highest overall spenders for the Influencer Marketing Report 2021. Honey has, once again, led first in the amount spent on sponsorships and branding, as most YouTube viewers would know, investing an impressive $29.1M in 2021 on influencer marketing. Express VPN was the second-highest spender with nearly 180M views. The top 10 brands combined, however, spent over $164M. Moreover, these top 10 brands reached over 14.3 billion users in 2021.
Through the sponsorship videos, they amassed over 1 billion views from 1,870 influencers and 5,947 videos. See the top 10 brands and their metrics:
Brand to watch for in 2022:
- Meta PC
- Genshin Impact
Looking to break into the YouTube influencer marketing scene? Read up on the best campaign practices here.
Every quarter in 2021, NeoReach produced a quarterly influencer marketing report. For this year’s influencer marketing report 2021, the statistics and numbers retrieved through the analysis from each report were used to understand the yearly trends, as well as predict some influencer data for the coming quarters. We found that the total IMV remained quite stagnant throughout all four quarters. However, the ‘reach’ between Q1 and Q3 did have a slight fluctuation.
The transition in the marketing world to focus their efforts on modern media as opposed to traditional media demonstrates the far strides content creators, specifically YouTubers, have made to pave the way for influencers today. The medium that influencers and their platforms provide for large industries that range from Tech & Gaming to Beauty and Fitness is staggering and should not be overlooked. As the lines between our real lives and our digital lives blur, the influencer marketing report 2021 is becoming necessary to compartmentalize and grasp the ways multinational companies are further influencing our lives.