According to a recent study, 86% of marketers incorporated influencer marketing in their strategy last year, and are making plans for increasing their allocation for it in the coming years.
As a content creator, that means you have a better chance of landing a sponsorship deal now more than ever.
Sponsorships are a great way to turn your passion into a lucrative career. Find out how you can get brands to sponsor you by following the straightforward steps below.
Establish Your Brand Persona
Before you begin hunting down those sponsors, make sure you have a solid brand persona as a content creator. By establishing this as early as possible, you’ll have a much easier time finding the right companies to work with.
The key thing to remember about sponsorships is compatibility, so you want to make sure you only work with companies whose branding aligns with yours.
When laying out your brand persona, take a good look at your audience. Knowing who you actually create content for will help you identify what type of YouTuber you should be.
The secret to her highly lucrative career? A focused, specific brand persona. Rosanna is a baker who likes cooking up nerdy creations based on pop and gaming culture.
This makes her popular both to bakers and nerds alike. This tells us being as specific as you can be with your brand persona pays – and it pays in millions.
Do Your Research
Once you’ve laid out your brand persona, you can proceed to begin your research. At this point, you want to build a list of potential sponsors whose image and goals align with yours.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to become the face and voice of a successful company on YouTube. This means you have to grow a massive list, but you must tread carefully and only select companies you truly believe in.
Once you’re happy with your list, go through the companies and do your research on every single one. Knowing as much as you can about your potential sponsors should help you write a highly-personalized proposal later on.
Write a Winning Proposal
Some companies receive thousands of sponsorship proposals on a daily basis, so you can bet whoever is manning their email knows how to spot a template letter at first glance.
Your proposal is your first point of contact with the company you want to work with, so it only makes sense that you put a good amount of time into crafting it.
To point you in the right direction, we’ve created a rough outline of how your proposal’s structure should be.
Give them a brief yet concise overview of who you are as a YouTuber. Make this no longer than three sentences.
Why Should They Work With You
Prove your worth and give them reasons why they should work with you. This is where you can highlight some of your achievements as a content creator to impress your potential sponsor.
Now that you’ve gotten their attention, you have to seal the deal with a winning content idea that will show them just how brilliant you are as a content creator. This is where your familiarity with the company’s past campaigns will come in handy.
Before you end your email, make sure to give them all your social links so they can get to know you better.
Say Thank You
Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to read your email, and let them know how eager you are to hear from them so you can start working on the idea.
Find an Agency
Influencer marketing agencies match companies with content creators who are looking for sponsorships. This is an easy way to find great sponsors without having to do all the research yourself.
These agencies assess your profile and match you with a potential sponsor based on your niche and brand persona.
Among the more popular agencies out there are FameBit and Grapevine. Some of these agencies may take a portion of the project cost as form of payment. Some have specific qualifications they require from a content creator before getting them in touch with brand partners.
Image credit: FameBit
Before signing up, make sure to read all of the guidelines and be aware of the fees involved to avoid issues.
DIY Sponsorship Hunting
If the idea of paying and working with an agency doesn’t appeal to you, you can always look for sponsors on your own. Fair warning, sponsorship hunting will require a good amount of research so make sure you have enough time on your hands.
During this process you will be sending out a lot of emails, so it might be worth it to look into some email management tools to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
Tools such as IFTTT, the features in Google Inbox, Sortd, and Hubspot Sales all have free packages that help you organize your inbox and be reminded of follow-ups – making it easier to stay on top of all your correspondence with different companies.
It takes more than just a killer pitch to land that sponsorship deal. You must also have an impressive social proof to help seal the deal. You should be able to prove to a company that you can help them amplify their marketing message, and you can’t really do that with an underwhelming online social proof.
But building an impressive social proof can be a long, tedious, and unpredictable process that nobody wants to wait for.
If you want to bump up your influencer status to impress companies, you might want to buy yourself a few hundred thousand views for some of your videos. High-quality YouTube Views from a reputable provider are delivered as promised, watch through most or all of the video, and come with refund policies and prompt customer support that protect your best interests.
Buying high-quality Views will give your online credibility the nudge it needs to help you build an organic following that will impress authentic viewers and companies alike.
Execute With Caution
When creating sponsored content, you must be aware of the policies and guidelines YouTube has in place to avoid violations. YouTube has strict rules in place about paid product placement and endorsements that you should be familiar with before proceeding.
One rule you need to be aware of is the prohibition of graphic overlays that carry a company’s logo unless they pay Google to advertise on your video.
Image credit: Digiday
You can learn about the different guidelines YouTube has in place about paid product placements and endorsements here.
Remember to tread with caution, failing to read the fine print may cost you all your hard work.
Take Inspiration From Some of the Best Sponsored Videos on YouTube
To inspire you, we rounded up a few of the most successful sponsored collaborations from other YouTubers below, and highlighted what made them so great. Take notes so you can recreate their success on your channel.
Share Your Unbiased Opinion
Tech unboxing videos are among the most popular content on YouTube, and companies are busy leveraging on this. Unbox Therapy, one of the most popular, has over 8 million subscribers and their videos reach an average view count of 1 million. Its star is Lewis Hilsenteger.
With a massive following like that, he is the perfect spokesperson for recently released gadgets. Get your product on his show, and watch the visitors roll in.
Create a Cinematic Experience
With a little creativity, you can find a cinematic angle to every product or service there is. JacksGap is a travel channel that is hosted by identical twins Jack and Finn Harries.
Together with global brands like Marriott, they create stunning videos that showcase the beauty of different destinations. They make things look very attractive!
Address Your Viewers’ Woes
Ingrid Nielsen is one of the most recognizable YouTubers out there. She uses her extensive expertise in beauty and brand deals to improve the lives of her viewers through tutorials.
Being no stranger to a busy schedule, she knows exactly what women on the go face when getting ready. She uses the products she sponsors to better the lives of her viewers – one great hair day at a time.
Look at Sponsorships as Long Term Relationships
If you want to turn your passion for content creation into a sustainable career, you have to look at sponsorship opportunities as long term relationships with brands and companies.
This way, you’ll never run out of ways to monetize your videos. Establishing good relationships with the companies you work with means you don’t always have to start from scratch when looking for sponsors.
Buy yourself an impressive social proof by purchasing high-quality YouTube Views from a tried and tested provider. Aside from helping you establish a more influential status, they’ll also draw authentic, organic viewers to your videos.
Only make videos that are compliant with YouTube guidelines to avoid violations that may cost you your sponsorship deal and credibility.
Now all that’s left to do is land those sponsorships, and let your videos work for you.