Influencers and content creators are marketing’s most valuable secret weapon.
As it turns out, YouTube is the #1 purchase-driving social platform on the internet! That’s why brands are turning to YouTube sponsorships as a way to promote their products.
If you’re a content creator who’s built a YouTube following, it’s time to start cashing in on it! All it takes is one good brand deal to get the ball rolling, and it’s easier than you might think to land one.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- How sponsorships can help you make more money on your YouTube channel.
- How to prepare your channel for sponsorships.
- How to find and pitch potential sponsors.
Why Sponsorships Are the Best Way to Make Money on YouTube
Sponsorship deals are the best way for YouTube content creators with small channels to make money.
Brands are spending more money than ever on paid partnerships, instead of traditional advertising.
Appearing on your channel is some of the best publicity they can get. In fact, Google found that YouTube creators are 4X more effective at creating brand familiarity than celebrities.
Plus, 68% of YouTube users watch content to help them make a purchasing decision.
Fans feel very connected to the YouTubers they love. The best creators have formed authentic bonds with their fans, which means fans trust what they have to say, and turn to them for brand and product recommendations.Sanjay Nazerali
dentsuX Global Client & Brand President
Partnering with content creators is a smart business move for brands. It helps them reach a wider customer base and build trust in their product.
So if you’ve spent time building an audience on YouTube, you’re in a great position to start building a stronger source of income too.
Brand deals are a better way for content creators to make money than:
- Google Adsense.
- the YouTube Partner Program.
- a viewer-supported platform like Patreon.
Let’s face it, trying to make a reliable profit with those programs can be tough. They come with tons of rules and regulations, and they take a hefty chunk of your earnings.
But paid sponsorships are more sustainable and put you in control of your own earnings.
So if you’re searching for where to find YouTube sponsors, we’ve got you covered! We’ll give you the complete rundown later in this post.
But for now, the important thing to remember is they’re out there, and they want you to represent them.
Now, we’ll tell you exactly how to get started.
The Sponsorship Checklist: Is Your Channel Ready to Monetize?
If you’ve built a following around your video content, chances are, you’re ready to start making money on it.
But to increase your chances of getting a sponsorship, it’s always a good idea to do a quick review and make sure you’ve got these 3 elements covered.
1. You Have An Established Brand
You can show businesses why your channel is a good fit for their product when you have a solid understanding of your brand identity.
When talking to potential sponsors, you should know how to define this clearly.
Your brand identity is the personality and presentation of your YouTube channel, including factors like:
- Your story and narrative.
- Your voice and how you communicate with your viewers.
- The visual look and feel of your channel, including logos and color palettes.
Your brand identity also includes an understanding of your audience and your niche.
You’ll need a clear audience persona, which is a profile of your typical subscriber. You can describe them with 5-10 defining characteristics, like “tech-savvy” or “values self-care and wellness.” You’ll also need to be familiar with their…
- viewing habits
- wants and needs
- preferred social networks
…and other information that shows sponsors what to expect from them as potential customers.
Your niche is the core “theme” of your channel. This core theme should cater to a specific audience, and all your videos should relate back to this topic.
These YouTube channels are thriving within their niches:
- Practice With Clara: Yoga, mantra, and meditation.
- Your Book of Memories: Scrapbooking tutorials.
- DanTDM: Online gaming and comedy.
When your brand has a clear niche, you’ll attract sponsors who are targeting customers in the same demographic.
If you’ve got these 3 things covered, awesome!
Otherwise, here’s what you can do right now to improve your chances of getting a sponsorship.
The Fix: Use Templates to Map Out Your Strategy
When filling them out, ask yourself questions like:
- What’s your story as a content creator?
- What makes your channel stand out in your niche?
- What attracts viewers to your channel, and what do they value about it?
This can help you better identify your brand and audience so you can tell sponsors everything they need to know about your channel.
2. You Know Your Subscriber Count and Engagement Rates
Knowing your metrics is important, especially if you have a smaller audience.
Brands are looking for more than channels with massive numbers of viewers. They really want to see that people are actively watching and engaging with your content.
So you need to be able to show them the whole picture of your channel.
Make sure you know current statistics like:
- Your number of subscribers and followers.
- Total watch hours and live streaming views.
- Engagement levels (including likes, comments, and shares).
- How quickly your audience is growing.
And if you want to increase these numbers before looking for sponsors, here’s how to do it.
The Fix: Start With Your Current Data to See Where You Can Improve
To find these numbers, go to your YouTube analytics page, which is located under the YouTube Studio tab in your creator account menu.
Then, read our post on the 29 Best YouTube Tools to Grow Your Audience & Revenue, which can help you increase your subscriber count using YouTube’s built-in tools.
If your channel could benefit from more engagement, check out our breakdown of how to Get More Views on YouTube. We show you the best ways to get followers more actively involved.
3. You’re Creating Quality Content
Sponsors are looking for professional-looking channels that will show their brand and products in the best light.
So your channel should be full of sleek, high-quality content.
- Engaging scripts that communicate effectively and keep viewers hooked.
- Eye-catching visuals, thumbnails and titles.
- Clean editing styles and transitions.
- Great sound and picture quality.
But if you’re currently looking for ways to improve your videos, we’ve got lots of resources to help you.
The Fix: Invest in Video Production Skills and Equipment
Check out our starter guide on How to Make A YouTube Video in 10 Simple Steps. Then, when you’re ready to take it to the next level, you can also look at:
- Our recommendations of the best video production equipment to have on hand.
- Our tutorial list of 9 ways to combine videos when editing.
- A roundup of video trends to look out for in 2022.
As always, practice makes perfect! The more quality content you make, the more attention your channel will get.
Now, you’re ready to start your sponsor search.
How to Find and Pitch New Sponsors in 4 Easy Steps
Once you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to start finding brands and closing deals.
Now, we’ll break down the 4 steps you need to take to successfully land a sponsor.
1. Decide Who You Want To Work With
When choosing brands to work with, you want to pick ones that fill your needs and the needs of your audience.
For example, filming free product reviews for a natural skincare company makes sense for a beauty channel, but would be less effective on a tech channel geared towards gamers.
It’s also important to focus on sponsors that align with your brand.
For small YouTube channels, this means targeting up-and-coming businesses in your niche, instead of, say, Fortune 500 companies.
Your target audience relates to you more than those established corporations. The personal connection you’ve built is the reason they watch your content, so give them endorsements for products you use and enjoy in everyday life.
Plus, when you’re sponsored by growing brands, you have the opportunity to grow with them.
2. Create A Media Kit
A media kit is a small portfolio that gives sponsors a snapshot view of your YouTube channel and your brand.
It introduces you, tells the story of your channel, and explains all the reasons they want to work with you.
It should include all the information we talked about earlier in this post, including:
- YouTube account information.
- Brand graphics and logos.
- Audience persona.
- Data insights for your channel.
- Content niche and the type of videos you make.
Websites like Canva offer free media kit templates to get you started.
And remember to present yourself with confidence. Your media kit should do more than reflect your brand, it should showcase it!
3. Find Sponsors Online
You could hunt around on YouTube to find brands you want to work with. But, to save time, we’ll give you some online resources and databases that will help you narrow down your search.
Here are our top 5 recommendations:
1. TinySponsor: This platform is great for smaller or newer channels as there’s no minimum subscriber requirement or monthly fees. Just create an account, fill out a profile, create some package pricing options, and TinySponsor will recommend you to brands.
2. AspireIQ: Advertised as a “creator marketplace,” AspireIQ is the only online influencer database that offers a comprehensive search engine and personalized recommendations for brands, which makes finding the right partnerships a lot easier.
3. ChannelPages: This tried-and-true platform offers multiple ways for brands and creators to search for each other. Brands can also post sponsorship opportunities, which creators can then directly apply for through the website.
4. Grapevine: On this platform, you can create an account for free if your channel has at least 10,000 subscribers. Then, you have access to their entire network of brands looking to connect with content creators.
5. YouTube BrandConnect: This service was formerly known as Famebit, before recently being acquired by YouTube. This means your channel must meet YouTube eligibility requirements. Once approved, BrandConnect helps you find sponsors and deals.
During this process, make sure your YouTube profile and video descriptions include your business email address.
That way, sponsors who come across your channel can reach out to you directly.
4. Build Relationships To Personalize Your Outreach Strategy
You’ll increase your chances of getting sponsored if you get to know the brands you’re targeting before making your pitch.
Building a relationship will show them you care about their business, and that goes a long way.
Start by following the brands you want to work with on YouTube and other social media platforms. Check out their content (and the content from other creators they’re sponsoring) to familiarize yourself with their strategy.
Then, engage with their posts and videos. You can even reach out with casual direct messages, but remember this stage is all about making a connection. The time to sell your services will come..
Instead, tell the brand what you like about their content. Show them you understand what they’re about.
When you’ve established a good connection, write a professional email or message that explains how you can meet their needs and why you’d be a great brand partner.
And remember that sweet media kit you put together earlier? It’s the icing on your sponsorship pitch cake, so include it with every email you send.
Wrapping This Up
When you land your first product sponsorship, you’ll instantly start building momentum.
All it takes is one brand deal to establish credibility and start reeling in more interested viewers, and this means even more sponsorships.
It’s a snowball effect, but with dollars and followers.
It’s a big step towards a career in content creation, and now, you’ve got all the tools to make it happen!