In an effort to make money with their videos, many vloggers seek to find YouTube sponsorship opportunities that will fund the dream of working for themselves.
So is it possible for an average person to become an ‘Influencer’ and make money this way, even if they don’t already have millions of subscribers and followers?
It’s true that having a lot of subscribers and a lot of views will help you make more in the long run, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started today.
Keep reading and we will explore how anyone who makes good content and follows the right steps can get their own YouTube sponsorship.
Influencer Marketing & YouTube Sponsorship?
We already are accustomed to seeing famous actors or models endorsing products on television. Over the last decade, both companies and vloggers have realized that YouTube content creators have an even bigger influence on getting consumers to buy products than celebrities do.
92% of consumers trust an influencer over an ad or celebrity endorsement. This number rises every year. When you consider the dropping rate of traditional cable subscriptions, and low tolerance for online ads, there is a clear shift in how brands can get their message across.
As a result, Influencers are gradually taking over as the new voice of brands in many industries. Whereas a makeup company may have once hired a handful of ultra-famous models and celebrities, today they are looking for an army of people with relatively small, but highly engaged fan bases.
Here is an example of a sponsored video by Shoptagr from YouTuber Rachellaa. She doesn’t mention in the video that it is sponsored, but does disclose it in the written description (which is important for legal reasons).
You can see why someone who understands a product speaking passionately about it and showing off the details is a very effective Marketing tool! Even if you do not have a massive following, you can still find a YouTube sponsorship because of that power.
As many as 90% of people trust brand recommendations from their friends rather than typical television advertisements. While YouTubers might not be your ‘friend’, millions of viewers feel a connection with the channels and the creators that they follow. Many people look for answers about how to do things, and what to buy, and online personalities undeniably influence those decisions.
Just how influential are these people?
A key differentiation is that YouTube creators interact with fans more than the traditional celebrities. YouTube channels also tend to focus on a specific niche specialty, which is easier for audiences to follow and grasp. Therefore, brands naturally are interested in working with YouTube creators related to their industry
Why become an influencer?
Life as a YouTube Influencer can be a lot of fun, and very lucrative.
To start, you are getting paid to talk about things that you love. Gamers get paid for talking about games, fashionistas get paid for talking about fashion and so-on. It is a genuine dream come true for many YouTubers when brands begin to come to them asking to make a video about their brand, and sending them new things for free in the hopes that it will end up on their channel.
Pewdiepie (the richest YouTuber in the world) has 55 million subscribers. He is the most well-known YouTube influencer, and he endorses products in the gaming category. Despite the millions of views he gets, YouTube ads account for only a very small amount of his earnings.
Another prominent YouTuber is Zoella. At age 27, she has 11 million subscribers worldwide, she has an estimated networth of over $3 million, largely thanks to money earned from the brands that she discusses in her regular lifestyle and beauty vlog.
So how do you achieve Influencer status, and start to earn money through sponsors on your YouTube channel?
It is intimidating, but believe it or not, this level of influence has never been more attainable. If you are able to grow a large following (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc.) then you may have the opportunity to endorse brands and earn through YouTube too.
How to get YouTube sponsorships as an Influencer?
It is important to remember that you cannot be an Influencer just by randomly endorsing products. Nobody will want to watch if you are just in it for the money.
This is a slow and steady process. In order to be an Influencer, you need to have an audience whom your videos leave a lasting impression on, and who will trust your opinion.
Find a niche:
Instead of making random videos regarding a million different issues, limit your content to selective subjects. Find your niche and stick with it. When a brand looks for an Influencer, they will see your content, how deeply invested you are in it and the size of the audience engaged in your content. You will know your subject matter and be genuinely excited about it. On the other hand, if your channel is focused general subjects, is extremely difficult to find a sponsor.
For example, Kayley Melissa has a channel almost entirely dedicated to hair -- and has 1.5 million loyal subscribers!
Build your channel:
In order to gain a sponsorship, you need to sustain a loyal audience. Target on building your channel. Create videos with engaging, helpful content and be consistent to build trust. It helps to look professional so think about upgrading your YouTube camera. Pre-plan your videos well, so that you don’t waste your viewers’ precious time.
When you are speaking, let your passion and knowledge shine through. Interact, engage and connect with people. Respond to questions. Gain momentum. The better your content is, the more your views will increase. Remember, every new subscriber makes you more valuable for sponsors!
Here is a detailed list of ways to build your YouTube audience.
Find YouTube sponsors:
We understand -- getting an endorsement deal is a bit intimidating at first. The good news is that once you get started, it will start to feel easy.
Start by researching the brands that you genuinely love. Find out if they have programs for sponsors. These will be listed on their website as sponsorship programs, partner programs, referral programs, or affiliate programs. If they have something on their website, then go ahead and sign up. For an even better relationship (and more money long term) reach out t
Tweet them, private message, or email them. Be persuasive. You might have to pitch to many companies and face rejection. Don’t give up. Show that you genuinely are interested in working with them and why they need you and your audience to boost their sales. Over time, people will take a chance on you and your success will start to snowball.
Attend conferences or events in your area related to your niche. If you cannot secure a major brand sponsor right away, try to contact local businesses to start. Smart small and focus on gaining experience. Personalize your content for them and talk about how you can help them. If they see your content is good enough, they will surely provide you with good opportunities.
If you have already begun to build a following and have 5,000 or more subscribers, a service like Famebit is a good place anyone can go to get matched up with sponsors. You can find brands in your niche and easily discover new opportunities.
After gaining popularity, when you finally have attained a sponsorship, don’t start thinking that that you’ve already won. Don’t lose your integrity just for making a few bucks. Be selective, and choose only the brands that suit your niche.
For long term success, take the money they give you and use it properly. Give them twice the effort they expected and investing into your video quality. Endorse products while being fun and entertaining.
The most important thing is to never let your audience down. Be approachable and responsive enough that if your audience does have questions about the product, they know whom to go to. Even more than that, be genuine.
Be honest to yourself:
It is easy to let yourself loose while trying to impress sponsors but that can be your downfall.
Once your audience trusts you, you have the power. If you lose that trust, your ability to make money on YouTube can disappear.
You should only endorse brands you trust, brands that you would use yourself. Be honest from the very beginning, and don’t forget what your channel was all about before attaining sponsorship. People will appreciate your honesty and value. If you are endorsing something that you believe in and know that your subscribers will love, then it is a great partnership where everyone wins.