OPINION: OP Talent on how to create a successful influencer campaign

Set up five years ago, OP Talent was the first dedicated management company for top YouTube gaming influencers. We manage a large proportion of the UK’s top YouTubers and have been at the forefront of online brand marketing. Our talents are responsible for billions of video views and have millions of followers on social media platforms, making them some of the most influential channels in the world today. 

We work extremely closely with our creators to develop into directions they want to grow. From chart-topping music to best-selling books and worldwide live events, it’s these projects that really showcase the popularity of our YouTubers and raise the eyebrows of traditional media.

From OP Talent’s inception, the video games industry was the bedrock of our initial foray into creating sponsorships for YouTubers. At the time, there was a lack of understanding of the impact that key influencers could have in helping brands reach their audiences in authentic and meaningful ways. Now, years later, we are nearing 1,000 brand projects, a proportion of which have been with top games publishers, developers and peripherals companies. 

To create a successful influencer campaign, brands should work alongside the talent. In order to maintain the authenticity that their fans love them for, the creative and messaging have to fit. The talents are a brand in their own right and must be true to their own identity or risk alienating their millions of fans. Fans are there to see their heroes, so the most successful campaigns marry the talent style and brand messaging organically.

"To create a successful influencer campaign, brands should work alongside the talent."

Liam Chivers, OP Talent

YouTuber demographics and styles differ vastly, and it is essential to ensure the brand matches the talent. Our talents predominantly serve a male and mixed demographic but we are seeing increasing diversification in their audiences. This is something I believe will increase over the next 12 months. 

It is our job to educate brands and marketing agencies of the best ways to construct campaigns around our talents, as well as the best practice to ensure the right fit, messaging and content to suit the channels and what’s best for the brand.

The work we create can vary from some wonderful real-life produced content, to game plays and video integrations, which have resulted in more and more businesses seeing the value of influencer marketing. I think this is something that will only increase further. 

Due to the sheer size of the platform that gaming enjoys on YouTube, I see many publishers who only run occasional campaigns joining the top global brands we work with that are already vested in the space in a much bigger way.

Without question, the games industry is lucky. Not only is gaming the biggest genre on YouTube, but it also has the biggest global influencers making gaming-related content. Likewise, their target market consumes so much of their content on that platform. It’s a powerful coincidence, and an opportunity that most businesses acknowledge and are taking very seriously.

Founded in October 2012 by Liam Chivers and acquired by Endemol Shine UK in 2015, OP Talent has pioneered YouTube and online influencer management in the UK. Prior to establishing OP, Liam worked as sales director at Bertelsmann for a decade 

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