Only ten years ago, apart from funny cats and dogs videos, Youtube was a place where a few strange people were sharing their favorite products, lifehacks, and tips. At that time, nobody knew what they were doing – not even themselves, as it was a pure hobby and an excellent way to socialize with like-minded people.
However, very soon big brands recognized the marketing potential of their videos and these people turned into superstars and high earners overnight.
Nowadays, there is no doubt that YouTube is a lucrative business. Millions of views and high engagement are bringing multiple-digit paychecks. As Forbes reports, highest paid Youtubers generate millions of dollars annually from different business deals.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the number one on the list – a seven year-old kid “Ryan ToysReview” earning $22 million last year for reviewing his favorite toys for his 19 million followers.
Others with significantly lower following, for example ChinesePod with 114k subscribers make $389.8K in revenue annually (report by Owler) for teaching its audience Mandarin Chinese.
One could reasonably ask: where do all these checks come from? Well, even though YouTube pays for the views, the major source of income for these creatives comes from sponsorship deals with different brands.
And these brands are paying for conveying the message to their potential customers. However, they are very picky when it comes to choosing the creator they will work with. The campaign will be effective only if on the other side of consumer’s screen is an authentic influencer who knows how to communicate with the customer and “inspire” him/her to buy the product. So, is the number of subscribers prevailing factor in brand’s decision to hire a creator? Absolutely not. The most important factor to get sponsored on YouTube is to have an engaged audience that fits brand’s target customers.
If you are particularly interested in YouTube as a source of your income let’s unwrap the process and learn how you can get sponsored on Youtube. Of course, there are two particular scenarios:
- You have already built your audience, but haven’t monetized your channel yet
- You’re just starting from
How to Get Sponsored on YouTube if You Have Your Audience
If you have a significant number of subscribers, it is time to consider your channel as a business. Since you have a chance to show off, you should prepare a Media Kit.
In case you don’t know the term, it is a document with your name, picture, and details on your content. What follows is crucial, and that is the information about your audience. Besides the number of views and frequency of videos, it will be professional if it is a detailed report on the interaction, niche, and demographics of followers.
Why would you need this Media Kit? Well, there are three ways to get sponsored on YouTube, and each requires a Media Kit:
1. Reach Out
The most effective way is to reach out to brands you wish to promote. This can be the most enjoyable experience. It is because you can choose the brand you like to get sponsored on YouTube. Promoting and earning from the brands you like is a dream come true.
To do so, you will need to reach someone from the marketing department. And they will decide whether you are compatible with their brand. Besides your motivation, it is crucial to know what the brands are searching and to negotiate the business deal professionally.
2. Brands reach out to you
Although this happens less often, the number of subs itself can get you sponsored on YouTube. In this case, someone did your homework and found your audience suitable for promoting your brand.
But beware of brands that don’t answer the “why you chose me” question. This type of deal usually isn’t “a start of a beautiful friendship.” Not to mention those who ask you to promote for free. It is because your channel took hard work and created value, and it is not something to share unless it is someone that will give you a kidney. (Why should I work for free?)
3. Agencies that connect brands and influencers
If you are not very business savvy, or you want to spend most of your time creating content, consider hiring an agency. Nowadays, agencies are a perfect partner in monetizing your channel and bringing it to the next level. They can reach out to the brands on your behalf, negotiate deals and manage payments.
Keep in mind that agencies search for channels they can monetize. And the amount of profit drives their engagement. If you are a “gold mine” you will get the superb service by their agents. But it can go both ways and end up without real dedication to you.
Influencer / Brand Collaboration Agencies List
Here is a list of some of the leading agencies that connect brands and YouTubers:
ACTIVATE started as Bloglovin’, a platform to drive content discovery and promote incredible content creators. Nowadays, ACTIVATE platform also allows work with curated networks of creators. ACTIVATE also allows access to their Studio team of influencer strategists that helps brands, media companies, and agencies build out and execute their influencer initiatives. H&M, Gucci and Reebok as clients attract different types of fashion influencers.
Last year, the ACTIVATE platform enabled over 75,000 influencers to collaborate with brands, media companies and agencies — ranging from Reebok, Estee Lauder, Soylent, Tinder, FabFitFun, Brooks Brothers, Thrillist, Apartment Therapy, SHE Media, Ketchum PR, and more.
New Insights from Activate
We will have an entire article dedicate to the information that Activate has kindly provided to us. See our article on How YouTubers do better with an agency.
Different than others since it features a decentralized blockchain platform that connects YouTubers with the blockchain community. They feature a range of options and have their token based on Ethereum platform. Additionaly, they have an academy for those that have knowledge of blockchain but not about influencers marketing.
New Insights from Boostinsider:
Adam Charles, marketing manager of BoostInsider shared with our readers that “Anybody can learn to read numbers & spend budget… but it takes a true intuition for how an audience will respond to content that will sink or swim a campaign. You must know what makes your audience tick, and you can only do that by being apart of the community yourself!”
On the question “when you choose them, is it a hunch or the metrics?” Adam responded: “Well, my company makes all of the metrics. And you can view them for free on CryptoInfluence.io.”
And continued that “but, mostly its a hunch. I know most of the influencers personally. So I know what their personalities are like and what they are capable of. I usually combine that with the metrics to make my decision.” Adam Charles also replied on a question “does the length of the video and number of subscribers matter?” that “length of the video is important for YouTube SEO.
The longer it is the more likely it is to be found in searches. The number of subscribers does not matter much when it comes to SEO, only because all blockchain influencers are under 500k. It would come into play once they started hitting millions.”
Adam Charles then continued that “the most important stats is an influencer’s average views. You want to know their average views after 24hrs – 1 week – 1 month. So you can plan your marketing efforts accordingly.
For instance, say an influencer gets an average of 55k views after 1 month…that is what you are paying for. If you get anything less than that then your campaign has failed. If you have gotten anything more than it has succeeded. You should try to arrange a deal where they get paid half up front & a half later once they meet or exceed their average.”
Influence 4 You
Keep in mind that if your audience is local, you should address local agencies, too. An example of this is a French agency that also has 125k influencers and brands like L’Oreal and Body Shop as clients.
New Insight from Influence4You
As Julien Rigoulay, Influence4You Sales Director was kind to respond to our questions, he shared with our readers that they perform a search for the right influencer for the brand according to strategy.
Julien also mentioned that “anyone can register on our platform from the moment they have 2000 subscribers on a network.” And “what interests us is their hypeauditor note and the community they actually have.”
On the question “What should a YouTuber do to be more attractive to brands?” Julien advised that “they should have a community that generates commitment, real followers and a growing community.”
We are thanking Julien and Influence4You for sharing this valuable information and an interesting tool – https://hypeauditor.com/
First, a platform owned by YouTube that has Canon, Adidas, and Sony as clients. But, don’t try to sign up unless you have at least 5k subscribers. They connect prominent YouTubers with brands and charge 10% service fee both from brands and from creators.
Conceived as a public digital Media Kit, this platform will urge you to create one. Following the demands on the website, you will open up a plethora of possibilities to present your channel.
Find Your Influence
For those brands that aren’t tech savvy, there is a platform for various services for brands. If you want to join as an influencer, you will wait for a week or more to get your profile approved. They perform thorough research before recommending an influencer to get sponsored on YouTube. And they are charging brands services such as commercial quality video production. Their focus is on brands such as Lenovo, Walmart, Honda, Best Western, Bacardi, and Hallmark.
Digital marketing software and services provider, Adly features campaign builder, real-time reporting and “audience IQ” data. Their clients have high business IQ as these are Samsung, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Hyatt, Loreal, and Unicef among others. There is no other mean to register but to contact them via structured mail to discuss the collaboration.
“In vino veritas.” And in Grape Vine Logic you can find analytics to review strategy and boost your campaign execution. As soon as you register, the 4 million dollars they already paid to influencers will get you motivated. However, you would need 10.000 subscriptions to register and the brands they worked with are L’Oreal, Coca Cola, and LG.
When you sign up with this agency, you will create a free profile you can upgrade for as low as $1 per month. Similar to freelance platforms, you will get more bids and priority treatment. Their clients are Unilever, Google, SubWay, Walmart, E-bay, Toyota, and Yahoo.
Having Forbes as a client and being a YouTube-certified partner means that only verified YouTuber can join this platform. They have curated playlists tied to themes and inviting similarly sized channels to collaborate.
If an agency can help you gain more subscribers, you should go for it. Still, as an established YouTuber, you may address brands better if you are on your own. And if you are a newbie, you should research the best models to grow and focus on growth, and prepare to hop on to possibilities for earning.
How to Get Sponsored on YouTube if You Are Starting From Scratch
In a matter of months or a year, things can drastically change on YouTube. Therefore it is not an issue if you don’t have a vast number of followers. Your steps to get sponsored on YouTube will be similar to the above mentioned.
Again, you would need a Media Kit, but only in steps three and four:
1. Build up your channel to suit your audience
Impact of creating a quantity of content won’t change in 2019, 2020 or 2025 because of human behavior. If you know how to produce quality based on your audience demand, you will soon get sponsored on YouTube.
It is because your channel will be appropriate to get sponsored on YouTube if someone is waiting for your videos daily, even if you are a small channel.
If you chose this life path, you should be a part of the YouTube community. Comment, mention and connect with another YouTubers. Keep in mind that Gary Vee won’t shoot a video with you immediately, but be patient. It is because success on YouTube can’t come instantly.
3. Brush your reaching out techniques
It’s always the perfect time to practice your sales pitch. Doing so will help you define the meaning of your content. When you are ready to get sponsored on YouTube, you will have no trouble reaching out to the brand you like.
Moreover, you will improve your connection with the audience by being free to communicate. In the end, it is all about customer experience, and the goal is to find out what your audience wants.
4. Have more views to show in your Media Kit
There are many models to do it, and all include hard work. First, you should follow advice on how to get your thumbnails to look better or create better titles. Monitor your data and improve your channel according to findings.
Recently, YouTube dashboards started showing data about click-through rates (CTR). It is an insight into the percentage of people that clicked on your video after seeing it. As a new YouTuber, this can be an insight that your predecessors didn’t have. It can help you gain more views by following good practices.
5. Be ruthless to your content
Define what your audience wants, and follow that path. Don’t be emotionally attached to the subjects that don’t get any views. As a result, you have to cut loose content that is not doing good for the channel even if it is a content you enjoy.
You can always open up another channel and promote separately. But finding your niche is the crucial part.
As mentioned, if you have viewers that have specific interest and you satisfy their needs – bingo! You can get sponsored on YouTube instantly.
Here you can find a guide for choosing a niche in the above-mentioned pet training world that tends to get sponsored on YouTube. www.allisonlindstrom.com
There is a video on tips to reach 1.000 subs in four days without any content. However, this is not a path to get sponsored on YouTube since brands are aware of these fraudulent activities. Reaching out could be a derogatory move, and it will cause you harm in the long run.
A regular, generic way can gather 10.000 subscribers in a year. Instead of using hacks, go for a proven model. First, focus on building up a community of like-minded people, and establishing your niche.
Second advice is quantity (not excluding quality). When you analyze your click-through rates, you will find out what your audience needs. And then you can produce it more and more. Consistency is getting the results, but be aware that the discrepancy is also highly notable.
When dealing with brands always define whether it is integration or a dedicated video. Both can deteriorate the relationship with your audience if the differ from the original content. So, keep in mind that your audience will get you sponsored on Youtube, and cherish the opportunity they gave you.
There are many ways you can earn, and working with agencies is just one of them. Whatever model you choose, you should work hard, produce content, reach out and network and the success will come.