Campaign Teardown

NordVPN Campaign Teardown

By Editorial Staff

With the massive growth of the internet over the years, virtual private networks, or VPNs, have experienced an impressive boost in popularity. More specifically, NordVPN has become one of the top trusted VPNs in the technology industry. Knowing that internet users want to enjoy the internet without limits, the VPN company has aimed to increase their social media presence across numerous platforms. Namely, NordVPN has invested millions of dollars into YouTube and YouTube influencers in order to promote the brand and its services.

With this in mind, NeoReach conducted the Social Intelligence Insights Report for Q3 2020 to provide analyzed data from the US and Canada that was pulled from over 8,800 YouTube videos indicating brand partnership. Through this report, it was found that NordVPN landed the #1 spot on the list of the top spenders on YouTube, putting much of their marketing strategy into influencer marketing on YouTube.

NordVPN Campaign Teardown


Trusted by millions of users worldwide, NordVPN is used to shield internet users’ online activities from intrusive advertisements and service providers by encrypting internet traffic. Overall, NordVPN is a great tool if you’re looking for a way to stay private online, hide your IP address, and enjoy a fast and secure internet connection. Not only is NordVPN an extremely popular internet tool, but it has consistently earned positive reviews on the Apple App Store.

Currently, NordVPN has a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store from 116.2K ratings. Plus, according to SimilarWeb, NordVPN has drawn in 11.8M website visits just in the last six months. A portion of this impressive website traffic is due to NordVPN’s influencer marketing methods on YouTube, as 85.3 percent of NordVPN’s social traffic comes from YouTube.

Top Spender

Top Spenders on YouTube in Q3:

Top 10 Brand Spenders on YouTube Influencer Marketing Graph


  • Reese’s
  • Bang Energy
  • Honey
  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN

NordVPN was one of the top five big spenders on YouTube in Q3. With 138 total influencers across 874 YouTube videos, these five brands earned $50M in aggregate Influencer Media Value. Additionally, these videos drew in more than 300M views and 50M likes, comments, and shares. From these high numbers, the top spenders on YouTube have proved that the best influencer marketing strategies return a 5-10x ROI on their marketing budgets.

To further put it in perspective, the top 10 spenders of Q3 amount for only 33 percent of the total estimated spend. Together, these 10 brands achieved a total reach of nearly 6B and spent a total of $65M on YouTube sponsored videos. This reach comes from only 654 influencers across 1,677 videos.


Top 10 Spenders on Youtube Table

As seen in the figures above, NordVPN easily became the top brand spender overall in Q3, spending $2.1M more than Honey. NordVPN’s best performing integrated sponsored YouTube video gained 5.3M views and 613K total engagements. This video alone accounted for $1.1M of NordVPN’s Q3 spend and achieved a reach of 105M.

To promote their services, NordVPN almost exclusively ran Limited Time Offer campaigns with a direct link to the purchase page that potential customers could access from the influencer’s caption. In a weekly breakdown of YouTube’s highest campaign spenders, NordVPN came out on top as the top spender 5 out of 14 weeks. Bang Energy spent the most in the first week of July at $5.8M, then NordVPN closely followed with $5.7M later in the month.

Best Performing Integrated SPonsored Video Nord VPN Table



Q3 Weekly Top Spenders Timeline Graph

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Working with Influencers

 Over the years, the technology industry has continuously avoided traditional tech media in favor of influencer marketing. Instead of promoting articles or positive written reviews about their app and services, NordVPN has turned to YouTube in order to reach millions of potential users that are already using the internet consistently.

Just like marketing experts have seen with the gaming industry, consumers prefer to see products in action for themselves rather than reading about their features. This has been a common trend in multiple industries, as consumers not only find written technology reviews outdated and irrelevant, but they also trust their favorite influencers over traditional advertisements and celebrity endorsements.

With a reach of 6B on YouTube, technology brands saw huge success by sponsoring influencers and videos on YouTube. With the technology industry’s leading brands spending over $68M on influencer marketing, these brands saw significantly high numbers in terms of views and engagement to prove that YouTube is an effective channel for marketing in the digital age. The top five technology spenders on YouTube that held the majority share of the tech industry’s investment in Q3 were: 

  1. NordVPN
  2. Honey
  3. ExpressVPN
  4. Raycon
  5. Skillshare

Top 5 Tech Spenders on YT Table


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 interested in technology but spanned across multiple niches including gaming, sports, comedy, and technology. By doing so, NordVPN was able to work with popular creators that each draw in different viewer demographics that were all interested in technology content to reach a variety of potential new users that would most likely download a VPN.

The information featured in the table below was pulled from the standout sponsored content posted between July and September of 2020 on YouTube by standout creators identified in the Q3 2020 report. 


Influencer/Handle NameTotal Views on Sponsored VideosSubscriber Count
Steve and Larson's Going in Raw105K194K
Chrome Unboxed720K159K

  • Felix Kjellberg, otherwise known as PewDiePie online, is a Swedish YouTuber who specializes in comedy and video commentary. He is currently one of the most popular YouTubers with 108 subscribers and more than 26B views on his channel.
  • TopTenz shares the most entertaining and educational top 10 lists. Currently, the channel has 1.8M subscribers and 614M total views.
  • Mayuko Inoue is a content creator and Software Engineer that shares her experiences navigating the world through technology. She shares career advice, lifestyle videos, and videos about mental health and other causes she supports. She currently has 384K subscribers and 16M channel views.
  • Steve and Larson’s Going In Raw podcast is the number one place you can find news all about pro-wrestling. The podcast’s YouTube channel has 194K subscribers and 57M channel views.
  • Chrome Unboxed is run by a team of tech enthusiasts with a passion for sharing Chrome and Chrome OS content. They post news on Chromebooks, reviews, unboxings, editorials, and so much more. The channel currently has 159K subscribers and 24M channel views.

Final Results

 With marketing trends in the technology industry straying away from traditional media (NordVPN only receives 1.6 percent of their website traffic from display ads), technology brands like NordVPN have turned to influencer marketing to bring in high returns on their investments.

Nord VPN Campaign Metrics Table


From NordVPN’s high investment of $12M spent on influencer marketing – which was 17% of the tech industry’s total spend on YouTube – the VPN company came out as the highest tech spender and the highest spender on YouTube in all of Q3. Check out the table below to find all of NordVPN’s impressive metrics from their sponsored YouTube videos, such as 5.7M total likes, a reach of 2.2B, and 70M views.

This article was written by Selena Ponton

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