Whether you’re just starting your channel or have been making videos for a while now, you’ve probably wondered about YouTube sponsorships.
Gaining sponsors is a process you develop over time. Here’s how to get sponsored on YouTube. Note that even if you’re in the very early stages of creating YouTube videos, these strategies will help set your channel up for success later on.
1. Determine the Value of Your YouTube Channel
A YouTube partnership alone isn’t going to bring in a lot of money directly. While the Partnership plan can help you earn income, you’re also going to pursue sponsorship from outside brands.
First, you’ll need to identify your channel’s strengths. YouTube Analytics provides a lot of data to guide you. Determine what type of content is popular with your audience. You’re looking for both popular topics in general and specific videos which were big hits.
Before pursuing sponsorship, you’ll need a fairly significant backlog of content. The exact number of videos will vary depending on specifics such as length, complexity and topic. Generally speaking, a few months of content is a good starting point.
2. Identify Your Audience
Even if you don’t have a huge subscriber base, sponsorships are still possible. The key is to identify and understand the people who do watch your videos.
A YouTube channel with a smaller, active fan base can often be more appealing to brands than a channel with a larger but less engaged following. A dedicated, engaged audience which fits into a brand’s customer profile is often considered a great source of potential revenue.
You want to develop a complete picture of the core data and demographics of your audience including:
Even if you’re not very familiar with analytics, YouTube provides an easy way to gather this info.
3. Research Potential Brands
Now you’re going to identify which brands and businesses you’ll want to approach for sponsorship opportunities. Remember: Your core audience might be someone else’s dream customer base. So let the audience data you’ve collected help guide you to brands.
There are two reasons brands might want to reach your audience. First, their product or service might directly relate to your channel and your audience. For instance, if your videos are all about golf, a golf club manufacturer might be interested in connecting with you.
A brand or business might not necessarily have a connection to the main topic of your channel. Instead, the brand’s customer base and your audience will overlap demographically.
For instance, Linus Tech Tips is a popular tech channel with over three million subscribers. A significant number of those subscribers are young men who shave. That’s why Dollar Shave Club is a frequent advertiser on Linus Tech Tips.
Sponsorship platforms are also an option. These are services which help bring brands to you through a sponsorship network. Some popular options include Famebit, Grapevine Logic and Channel Pages. Many of these platforms have subscription minimums and other requirements.
4. Reach Out and Contact Brands
Sometimes, sponsors might approach you with opportunities. But you’re far more likely to get results if you take a more proactive approach. Once you’ve identified brands which are a good fit, you’ll approach them with an email query.
Introduce yourself and don’t be shy. Show the data on your subscribers. Explain why your audience is a good fit for their brand goals.
Sponsoring a product should be a win for everyone: you, the sponsor and your audience. So emphasize the benefits the brand will experience by working with you.
In many cases, views matter more than subscribers. Highlight videos on your site which have a lot of engagement. Brands want to reach an audience likely to take action when they see content they like.
You’re not going to hear a “yes” from every brand you approach. That’s okay. You can increase your chances for success by tailoring a unique proposal for each brand. Avoid the “form letter” approach as it won’t be able to highlight the specific benefits of a partnership.
You’ll also want to develop a separate email address for business inquiries. A popular YouTube channel will usually get a ton of viewer mail. Publish your business email on your YouTube channel. Even if your channel is fun and irreverent, you’ll still need a solid and professional way for businesses to contact you.
5. Develop Content around Brand Sponsorships
You want at least a general plan ready to go whenever you do hear a “yes” from a brand. The best type of sponsorships are naturally integrated into your existing style and format.
If you’re a reviewer, brands might send you free products. Most reviewers are popular because they’re considered impartial by their viewers. While you never want to give a positive review in exchange for a free product, most viewers understand reviewers accept free products from brands.
Product shout-outs, mentions and endorsements are also options. You’re essentially paid to talk about the brand in a positive way. Usually, the best endorsements are for products you’d use naturally as part of your channel. Some brands might want to pay you to use their products exclusively.
A lot of YouTube sponsorship is a bit more nuanced than simply running ads on your screen. You’ll want to include any product or brand promotion in a way which makes sense for your video style.
Don’t be afraid to go with your gut. You know your audience and your industry. What types of products do you already use? What brands do you personally like? Genuine enthusiasm for a product can shine through in an endorsement.
Final Thoughts on YouTube Sponsorship
Learning how to get sponsored for YouTube can be bit overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting your channel. But the basics are pretty simple. Always focus on creating quality content.
Your sponsorship opportunities are based on your audience. Make sure all of your content makes your audience the priority. Develop a strong connection between yourself and your audience, and sponsorships are sure to follow.