YouTube, Vine & Pinterest Influencers Talk Shop at Code/Media Conference

YouTube partners and other rising social media influencers are finding lucrative opportunities representing brands, but they also have to remain authentic.

When it comes to sites like YouTube, Vine, and Pinterest, influencer marketing has become a lucrative business for the content creators involved in the process. Several of these influencers spoke at Recode’s Code/Media conference and provided an insight into their respective business models.

The creators spoke as part of a panel at the conference aimed at giving the industry an insight into the lives of the content creators who use social platforms. Panelists included: Vine Marketer Jethro Ames, Vine comedian David Lopez, Pinterest “Pinfluencer” Katherine Accettura, and YouTube fashion and music vlogger Spankie Valentine.

Ames stated that he worked as an independent contractor, so agencies come to him to broker deals. The other participants worked with intermediary companies such as HelloSociety, Famebit, and Niche which was recently acquired by Twitter.

All the participants talked about the importance of keeping the marketing transparent when it comes to their audiences. Lopez remarked:

I still try to make it funny. I make brand vines, and if it’s funny [my audience] love it anyways.

Valentine noted that the creator’s voice must remain authentic:

Whether you’re working with a brand, It’s important that it’s within your own voice and how viewers are used to seeing you, so […] I wouldn’t put content on to my youtube channel that’s completely outside of what my fans are used to seeing because that would be disappointing to them.

YouTube realizes the importance of working with these kinds of top creators. According to TechCrunch, YouTube content head Robert Kyncl also spoke at Code/Media, noting that the company plans to do more to connect brands with top partners — or people who participate in revenue sharing — on the site. Through Google Preferred, YouTube will give brands access to the top 5 percent of content creators.

The program has been very beneficial to those creators already participating, many of whom have seen a 70 percent growth rate. This could do a great deal to address the complaints from some creators that it’s almost impossible to make a living on the site.