How to Get Sponsored on YouTube: Definitive Guide
Even if you don’t know all that much about social media, you’re probably at least aware that YouTube is wildly popular. It exploded onto the scene some years ago, and while it’s certainly a way that ideas and videos get shared, it’s also potentially a way to make money.
Sponsorship is one of the primary methods through which that happens. You may know that YT is one of the best ways to promote a brand, put your ideas out into the world, and allow your company to gain prominence. You might not be certain about how sponsorships work on this platform, though.
We’ll speak about that in the following article, and when we’re done, you’re sure to know all you need to about sponsored content and how to get YouTube sponsors.
What Are YouTube Sponsorships?
A YouTube sponsor is an entity that collaborates with you on your channel. These sponsors often look for channels that have become popular, but they also generally want to feel the same way that you do ideologically.
Attracting a sponsor on YouTube can be a way for you to monetize this particular social media platform. That is what many influencers and companies try to do: they want the money that comes from these lucrative YouTube sponsorship deals.
Main Types of Sponsorship on YouTube
You could say that there are three main sponsorship varieties on the YouTube platform. They are:
- Paid sponsorships
- Product sponsorships
- Affiliate sponsorships
The paid YouTube sponsor is perhaps the most straightforward of the three. With this variety, the sponsor pays you money directly. You return this favor by mentioning the company within your video, reviewing one of their products, or recommending their services.
The product sponsoring method is when you get small, free products that a company sends to you. You pay them back by doing a tutorial about the product, setting up a popular “unboxing” video, or else you might review the product in question.
The final method is the affiliate sponsorship. Of the ways to get sponsorship for YouTube, this is arguably the easiest way to go about it. In the video’s description, you’ll place a prominent link. You’re attempting to get people to click on that link, and when they do, and they buy the product, the company pays you, incentivizing the whole process.
As we mentioned, the paid sponsorship for YouTubers can seem the most attractive, because you’re getting cash put directly into your pocket. That’s the real advantage: you don’t have to worry about someone clicking on a link and you trying to convince them to buy that way.
However, you should also keep in mind that this is probably the most challenging sort of sponsor to attract. Only the most successful YouTubers, such as those who have been doing it for some time, are likely to garner much of an income stream this way.
The product sponsorship often works best for small YouTube channels that are not so well established. Getting companies to send you a new product is often easier than it is to get a business entity to shell out money and pay you directly. That often only happens if you’re a well-regarded influencer who already has a significant following of subs.
Remember, though, you don’t necessarily need to keep those products after you review them. You might turn around and sell them on eBay or other similar buying and selling marketplaces once your interaction with the company is finished.
The affiliate sponsor type of deal often works best if you consider yourself to be an excellent salesperson. If you get a sponsor on YouTube that wants to pay you this way, you’re not guaranteed any amount of money. You need to talk up the product or service in such a way that it will entice some new buyers.
The average YouTuber needs a little push before they’ll buy through an affiliate link. They may not be looking for things to purchase when they start using the platform. It is your job to convince them that this is a product or service they just can’t live without.
What Do You Need to Apply for YouTube Sponsorships?
If you’re wondering at this point about how to get YouTube sponsors, you should know that it’s not so easy. Some influencers or companies have YT channels for years, and they have to work very hard to build up their subscribers, thereby making themselves look good to potential collaborators.
Generally, you want three things before you can start pulling in money regularly through this platform. You’ll want to have:
- High-quality content
- A similar or identical target audience to your potential sponsor
- An established persona for your brand
Sponsors on YouTube will look for your content to be consistently of stellar quality. That’s not such an easy thing to crank out day after day, week after week.
As we mentioned earlier, you’re also going to be able to attract sponsors for YouTube easiest when you’re in the same niche as they are. If you’re talking about minibikes during your program, and you have a company wanting to collaborate on social media that sells TV dinners, that’s probably not a logical match. A company will want to court the same audience, or your channel is not worth their time.
As for establishing your brand identity, that’s something you can either take care of before you ever start a YT channel, or else you’ll have to do it once you’re there. The first method is much easier. Either way, an established brand identity almost always means a higher subscriber and viewership count. That’s one of the primary factors that enable you to get sponsored on YouTube, almost one hundred percent of the time.
Ensure that You Are Familiar with YouTube Rules
It also makes sense that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all the platform’s ins and outs if you want to make money this way. There are many potential mistakes that you can make if you’re just starting out in this venture. Watch tutorials about YT sponsorship, read some articles about it, and go on the YT website itself to learn all you can before you proceed.
Create Quality and Outstanding Content
A moment ago, we touched on how to make your network as influential and thought-provoking as possible. That is what you’ll need to do if you want the opportunities that this platform can provide for the most skilled and creative content creators.
To get sponsored for YouTube, there’s no better formula than creating engrossing content. Your videos should seem like must-view TV. Think about programs that reached the upper echelons of societal influence, such as American Idol in the early seasons, or HBO shows such as The Sopranos in its heyday, or Game of Thrones.
It’s not easy to be the creator of that kind of phenomenon, but you have to do something along those lines. Your content cannot be derivative, and it must be enthralling to the point that word of mouth gets going, and yours becomes a household name. Think about the Kardashians, or The Jersey Shore before them. That’s the kind of wildfire-like buzz you want your brand and videos to create.
Grow Your Channel Audience and Engagement
There are various ways you might expand your audience and get more engagement via YT. You can do it organically by driving up your views with each new video you release. However, you can also buy YouTube views, likes, subscribers, and comments.
There are sites that exist that will allow you to artificially inflate or boost your likes, subs, views, and from which you can buy comments. Doing so is neither illegal nor frowned upon by the YT platform, so it’s definitely in your best interest to do that.
Once you do, you’ll have a much better chance of getting YouTube sponsorships. This can be a way you can jump to the front of the line within your niche if nobody knows about you prior to starting up a channel.
Know What You Can Offer to a Brand
To become part of the thriving YouTube sponsorship program, you need to know your strengths. That means you should establish a brand identity and lean into it.
If your videos list a product’s positive features, and you feel like you can do that better than anyone else, that might be one way to go. If you’re great about telling shoppers where they can find the best deals, do that.
Maybe you provide tips or a guide that can make a viewer’s life better. Those sorts of channels can be wildly popular. You can often attract companies that make clothing, perfume, deodorant, and similar items as potential sponsors.
Understand that what you do on your channel is not going to appeal to every single sponsor. You don’t need to. Just stay in your lane and try to be the best you can at one particular thing. Spreading yourself too thin to try and attract every conceivable sponsor for your YouTube channel makes no sense.
Is It Possible for Small Channels to Get Sponsored?
This is perhaps the most common question having to do with YouTube and sponsoring and money-making opportunities. The unequivocal answer is yes, you can certainly get sponsorship for small YouTubers if you can attract a particular audience.
Keep in mind that “small” when you’re talking about this platform probably means a few thousand views for your videos, at a minimum. If you’re only pulling in a dozen views for each new video that you put out, no one will ever want to advertise with you. Think about it: how useful can your channel possibly be for marketing purposes if only a small handful of people have ever visited it?
If you’ve got a small channel, and you’re trying to get a sponsor’s attention, you’ll need to figure out some sort of hook or gimmick that is going to bring in some more views. Try to devise the kind of content that is likely to go viral. That is probably your best bet. Many YT videos do well when they incorporate:
- Babies or young children
- Exciting, daredevil-style acts
- Lifestyle advice
Think about whether what you’re putting out can possibly feature any of those, and that can be a good first step toward a larger viewership.
What Do Sponsors Look For?
If you want to attract sponsorships for YouTubers, you’re going to need to do a few specific things. We’ve mentioned some of them already, but, to recap, you’re going to want:
- A similar or identical target audience
- A rock-solid brand persona that leaves no room for doubt as to your values
- A skillful way of integrating your brand with potential sponsors
How to Find Sponsors for YouTube Channel?
You cannot sit back and wait for sponsorships for YouTube to come to you. You can attract them by marketing each new video offering through your website and other social media platforms on which you are active. That’s why it’s helpful to have a website for your business or if you are an influencer.
You can also create a network via social media platforms on which you’re active. It helps to know what platforms your potential sponsors will want to use. You might use Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, and others. The more active and widespread you are, the more likely you’ll attract a business’s notice that wants to collaborate with you.
Reach Out to Them Directly
Don’t forget, once you have established yourself enough, you can reach out to businesses directly and ask them if they’d like to sponsor you. You can go on their website and reach out via email.
You might mention how many views your videos get, or how many followers you have. That should impress this business entity, and they may respond favorably.
Use Sponsorship Platforms
You can also find potential sponsors by using platforms where they are actively looking for brands or individuals with whom they can collaborate. There are ones like YouTube Brand Connect and Grapevine. These ones serve the same purpose as FameBit, which was taken over by Google back in 2016.
Grow a Channel, Leave Business Contact, and They Will Come!
When you grow a channel organically, that can be one of the most satisfying ways to get sponsorships on YouTube. Creating awe-inspiring content is the best way to do it.
This is the simplest way to attract new collaborators, since all you have to do is drive up your positive engagement numbers. However, as we’ve mentioned, that’s tough to do in a crowded marketplace where every niche has competition.
Guide on How to Pitch Your Channel to Brands: Do That Correctly
If you want free YouTube sponsors, you have to know how to pitch your brand once you have created a persona for it. Do the following:
- Talk about how to find your channel via your other social media platforms and website
- Talk to potential sponsors about why their products match your audience
- Mention your average video viewership numbers
- Talk about your average watch time: the higher it is, the more easily you can convince a potential sponsor
- Mention your sub count: the higher it is, the better
- Talk to possible sponsors about the demographic that watches your videos, mentioning such things as gender, age, geo location, income level, etc.
- Go over your common video topics that should be in line with what the potential sponsor makes or sells
It’s also helpful if you want free YouTube sponsorship to create a handy one-page media kit for potential sponsors. Think about this like a thirty-second elevator pitch, but one that you have expanded and written down.
Sponsorship Tips for Video Content Creators and Collaboration Examples
If you want to be more attractive to sponsors:
- Be true to yourself, since sponsors appreciate authenticity
- Turn out consistent content, since an inactive YT account often means you’re running low on ideas
- Try to create topical content that has to do with current events, if possible
Think about YT collaborations such as Dude Perfect and the Gillette company. It surely does seem like these two were made for each other.
The athletic element of Dude Perfect was ideal for a shaving cream company. You need to try and establish a working relationship like that one.
YT is one of the most competitive platforms, but there’s also no doubt that it can be astonishingly lucrative if you put your mind to it. The most important element is to not get discouraged if you aren’t an overnight success. Remember, no one is.
Try to make some practice videos and find your groove and your voice. Just like any other creative expression form, such as books, movies, plays, etc., you might not create magic instantly, but if you keep at it, you should find your groove. That’s when you can start making money through YT, which remains consistently one of the most popular and enduring platforms.
Sarah AndresCONTENT WRITER & STRATEGIST