Many of you have spent quite a bit of time wondering, How do you make money on YouTube? This question is on many vloggers’ minds because they spend so much time creating top-quality video content for free that they can’t help but wonder if it’s worth their time. When you spend hours upon hours creating content, you deserve to earn income from that content. You need to find a way to get paid for YouTube videos, and you probably already know that sponsored content is one of the best ways to make money on YouTube.
YouTube is now one of the most popular content marketing platforms brands use to promote their products. With over 2.3 billion users worldwide, the marketing power of YouTube videos is undeniable. A video can capture the essence of a brand while simultaneously triggering emotion in the viewer and teaching them how to use the product in question. Video marketing is one of the best ways to increase sales. Why do you think brands are constantly looking for new influencers and brand ambassadors with a quality YouTube channel?
Every day, brand representatives search for YouTubers like you to sponsor. If they find a vlogger they like who produces high-quality content that matches their niche market, they’ll often approach the vlogger with a paid sponsorship offer.
You’ll notice that sometimes vloggers will have a very short ad at the beginning of their video along the lines of “this video is brought to you by” or a “this video is sponsored by” statement at the end of their video. Or, the vlogger will promote the brand within their video by doing a product review or a product demonstration.
What Are Sponsorships?
Simply put, YouTube sponsorships refer to a partnership and collaboration between a brand or agency and a YouTube content creator. It’s a win-win situation; YouTubers get paid for promoting the brand’s products or services, and the brand gains more visibility and exposure having sponsored it.
Though brands and agencies spend millions of dollars on video marketing through sponsorships, getting sponsorship for a small channel might sometimes seem like a very difficult goal. However, it’s not uncommon for small YouTube channels to get huge sponsorships on the platform. Anyone with an engaged audience, great content, and a consistent posting schedule can score a sponsored deal.
Product sponsorships or affiliate sponsorships are a lucrative way to earn money on YouTube. In fact, it’s the main source of income for many YouTubers today. And it can be for you, too, even if you’re just getting started.
Types of Sponsorships
Before we delve into the secrets of getting sponsored, let’s discuss the different kind of sponsorships available to YouTubers.
When a brand sends you a free product to use and review, that’s a product sponsorship. These types of sponsorships are often the first kind a content creator will experience.
With an affiliate marketing arrangement, you will receive an affiliate link or exclusive discount code to a product. If a viewer makes a purchase using that link, you will earn a commission.
These kinds of sponsorships are amazing for small channels.
Paid YouTube Sponsorships
Paid sponsorships are the highest level a YouTuber can achieve. With a paid sponsorship, you will get paid to review or promote a product.
These sponsorships are rare, but once you start growing your channel, rest assured they will come along.
Below are some tips that will help you attract sponsors to your YouTube channel:
Encourage Engagement in Your Comments Section
Your YouTube channel doesn’t need to be huge or have many subscribers to attract sponsors. As long as it’s clear that you have a loyal and engaged audience, you’ll still attract sponsors if your YouTube channel is small.
A trustworthy vlogger with a small YouTube channel with a loyal and captivated audience is called a “micro-influencer.” Since micro-influencers are very good at gaining their followers’ trust, many brands prefer to sponsor micro-influencers on YouTube rather than sponsoring a big YouTube personality. Micro-influencers often have a more intimate and authentic relationship with their viewers due to their smaller size, attention to detail, and niche focus.
The key is to encourage engagement by asking your viewers questions in your videos and asking them to comment on the video with their responses. A beauty blogger might ask their viewers, “What’s your favorite long-wear lipstick and why? Comment below!” Alternatively, you can encourage your viewers to comment by asking you a question. You can say, “Do any of you have questions about my skincare routine? Comment on this video, and I’ll answer your questions!” Once a potential sponsor sees how engaged your audience is by noticing all the comments on your videos, it won’t matter as much how many subscribers you have. So, if you want sponsorship requests, always encourage engagement and conversation via the comments section.
If you’re successful at this, you’ll probably end up with more subscribers and viewers. Why? Because YouTube’s algorithm will notice how many comments you’re getting on your videos, and that will bump up your video’s visibility on YouTube.
Image: Uby Yanes on Unsplash
A YouTube channel with strong branding will always be attractive to potential sponsors. This includes a captivating brand story, brand image, your brand personality, and your niche market of choice. Your personal brand as a YouTuber should reflect your voice, values, beliefs, attitudes, personality, style, image, and vision. Below are some examples of what makes for strong branding:
- Define your brand narrative and core values
- Decide what niche you want to focus your video content on
- Decide what you want to be known for and what makes you unique
- Decide what specific problem you want to solve for your viewers
- Perfect your brand image (including your color theme, logo, and video background design.)
- Establish a brand persona (what is the personality and attitude your brand is known for?)
- Create a signature style (perhaps you always dress a certain way, for example.)
Strong branding builds trust with your audience because they’ll be able to rely on your channel for its consistency, always knowing what to expect. Your attitude in your videos is consistently high-energy, your background is always the same, and you always dress in your signature style. For example, if you always wear white, your text visuals are always in the same font, and your video background is always pink, your videos will start to be easily recognizable. If your video content is always aesthetically pleasing and your branding is strong, sponsors will want you to represent them because you’re clearly a professional.
When you establish a clear brand persona, you’ll help other brands (and potential paid sponsors) decipher whether or not their core values and message aligns with yours. This is a crucial concept when it comes to matching YouTubers with sponsors.
Your branding should include quick video intros and consistent video image thumbnails throughout. Maintaining a consistent brand image helps your channel look more organized and professional, and also helps ensure you stay recognizable.
Create Quality Content
Another important aspect of getting brands to sponsor your content on YouTube is to create and upload quality content to your channel. Brands are looking to invest in sponsored videos for product sponsorship and gain more exposure. But they won’t invest in channels with low-quality content that does little to reflect the quality of their own products and services. Therefore, it’s important that you take time to audit the quality of your video content before reaching out to brands for sponsorship or listing your channel on a YouTube influencer program.
If you want to create better YouTube content, there are two areas you want to invest in: quality equipment and quality editing. You may not be able to invest in a high-end Canon camera, but if you do your research, you’ll find that there are many high-end, low-cost alternatives. Similarly, you can shoot quality YouTube videos on your smartphone with some useful accessories and solid editing. If you don’t want to handle editing yourself, outsource your editing to a budget-friendly freelancer.
Sample Sponsorship Content
Even if you don’t have any paid sponsorship agreements or affiliate links in place yet, I’d highly suggest promoting a product in one of your videos (for free) so that you can show brands that you’re a great brand ambassador. If you’re in the beauty niche, your sample of sponsored-post-style content could be something simple, such as a hair tutorial video that includes the promotion of a hair curling wand. In the video, you can promote the wand you’re using, demonstrate how to use it, and show off the final result (your gorgeous, curly hair.) Remember to ensure the lighting is good, the video background is clean or well-designed, the editing is professionally done, and the background music is on point.
It’s important to be able to show examples of product demonstrations on your YouTube channel if you hope to attract sponsors. They’ll want to see evidence that you know how to promote a product, demonstrate it, and sell it. Sponsors are also looking for high-quality video content that is professionally edited. It’s worth the investment of paying a video editor or learning how to edit videos because sponsors are typically looking to hire YouTube professionals.
Sponsors are looking for YouTube partners they can trust. If they see that right on schedule, you upload a new video every Monday, making you seem reliable and trustworthy. Consistency makes you stand out, so it’s smart to have a posting schedule that you stick to. Perhaps you’ll upload a new video every Monday and Wednesday, or just every Monday. Either way, it’s important to ensure your videos are consistent in the following three ways:
- Consistently high-quality (each video looks professional.)
- Consistently content niche (similar subject matter in each video.)
- Consistent posting schedule (new uploads on the same days of the week each week.)
Assess Your Audience
A sponsor will only work with you if they believe your content will appeal to their target market. Before you start a YouTube channel, you have to know your audience. Brands will want to know if you have a similar target audience or, rather, if your content can appeal to their audience. A roofing company would want to work with a baker on a YouTube sponsorship deal as they are likely to have different audiences.
But this is where things can get a little tricky. As you examine your audience, you have to evaluate your audience segments. Audience segmentation is the process of dividing a larger audience into smaller groups of people. For example, consider the energy drink Red Bull. Red Bull’s marketing strategy doesn’t revolve around targeting consumers who like caffeine—instead, they target adrenaline junkies and other nontraditional markets.
Another example is Surfshark, a VPN service. Their target market isn’t just individuals who care about securely browsing the Web—they also target travelers who want easy access to content from their home country.
It’s not enough to just upload a couple of videos on your channel and wait for brands to start reaching out. Brands and businesses typically leverage sponsored video content with high-reach YouTube channels. As such, you must ensure your channel has a decent number of engaged subscribers.
While there’s no exact number of subscribers YouTube creators need to have before getting sponsorship, you can probably start earning money with a couple of thousand subscribers on your channel.
Sponsors may also consider the number of views on your videos and your engagement rate. Build a community of engaged subscribers if you want to have sponsored video success. There is no magic number of subscribers necessary to score sponsored deals. Some brands and agencies work with YouTubers who have a few thousand subscribers, while some channels have over 100,000 subscribers and don’t have any sponsored deals.
Connect With Youtube Sponsors Today
Once you feel comfortable with your channel content and growth, you can start connecting with sponsors and gaining real-world experience. If you’re just getting started, finding paying sponsors can be a bit confusing, but the fact is, it’s much easier than you might think.
If you’re having trouble on your own or with sponsorship platforms, get the ball rolling by signing up with Scalefluence, an influencer marketing platform that connects YouTubers with sponsors that suit their brand persona.