Who comes to mind when you think of YouTube sponsorships? Perhaps one of the following:
They have millions of subscribers and the money that comes with that since they are some of the top names on YouTube. Since 2010, PewDiePie has earned $124 million as a gamer and comedian. The net worth of Liza Koshy is $4.16 million. Logan Paul earns about $36,000 a day.
What a hard day’s work!
YouTube sponsors generally come to mind when people think of large channels like those above, but that’s not always the case. Even small YouTubers can secure lucrative sponsorship deals, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it.
Types of sponsorships on YouTube
You can monetize your YouTube channel with three main types of sponsorships.
Product sponsorship is when a brand sends you a free product to review. YouTubers often receive products as sponsorships at the beginning of their careers.
A product sponsorship can be as small as receiving a free article of clothing, or as large as getting a free trip or other experience.
Social media outreach led to a product sponsorship for Breakaway on a Budget from a travel backpack company.
In addition to three free bags and a discount code, they received three free bags to review on their YouTube channel.
You may also receive a discount if you purchase a high-ticket item under a product sponsorship.
For example, when bored progression reached 10,000 subscribers they received sponsorship from GoPro.
You get a special link or code to promote a product as part of an affiliate marketing arrangement. If someone purchases the product using the link, you get a commission.
Small channels can benefit greatly from affiliate sponsorships. There is often no limit to how many subscribers you can have in an affiliate program.
Dylan Thompson, for example, created an advertisement for Allbirds shoes. Affiliate links are included in the description and disclosure that they receive a small commission for purchases.
Even with a relatively small following, affiliate marketing can generate significant income from referral commissions.
Paid YouTube sponsorships
YouTube’s paid gigs are its highest level of sponsorship. As part of a paid sponsorship, you promote a product or service on your channel.
It is rare to get product or affiliate sponsorships, but they are more likely to come your way as your channel grows.
Now that you know what types of sponsorships are available on YouTube, here are the steps you need to take to land a sponsorship.
How to get YouTube sponsorships
1. Make your channel look professional
Dressing for success is the first step in pursuing YouTube sponsorships. When brands contact you, you want them to feel excited about working with you because your channel looks professional and welcoming.
Include a banner image, channel trailer, related video playlists, and an about section in your channel information.
Before you approach brands, you should already have several videos on your channel, and you should show brands that you post consistently.
Make sure your video thumbnails and descriptions are great. For creating eye-catching banners and thumbnails, free tools like Canva are great. See our guide on adding thumbnails to YouTube videos.
Think of your channel as your portfolio, which brands will view before deciding to work with you. Having a professional-looking channel will open up more possibilities.
2. Grow your subscribers
Even if you don’t have a huge following, you need some to get sponsorships. You will need to show that your videos have views to brands in order to get their products and services in front of prospects.
It is a good idea to aim for 1000 subscribers before you begin pitching or applying for jobs.
These are some ways to grow your following on YouTube if you’re a newbie:
- Produce quality content. Maintaining consistency keeps your YouTube algorithm and followers happy. Aim to post a video every week on a regular basis.
- Focus on a niche. If you stick to a single topic like gaming, gardening, or gear reviews, you will be able to attract your target audience.
- Learn about YouTube SEO (search engine optimization). You can find out how many people are searching for a specific keyword with tools like TubeBuddy and VidIQ, so you know what topics to target.
- Make it easy for people to sign up. Encourage them to subscribe throughout your video. In your video description, include a link with a call to action (CTA).
Make sure you provide your audience with as much value as possible. It is much more valuable to have an engaged following of people who share your passion than a million lukewarm viewers.
3. Reach out to brands
It’s time to start reaching out to companies and brands now that your channel is optimized and your follower count is on the rise.
Creating a media kit is the first step. Think of it as a resume for your YouTube channel. There are many free media kit templates available online, such as on Canva.
Here’s what your media kit should contain:
- Hours viewed and number of subscribers
- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter statistics from recent days
- Demographics and content niche information about your audience
- If applicable, provide examples of previous collaborations you have undertaken
Next, think of brands that align with your existing audience and your content. Pick out products you know you like and use.
You need to be discerning here. Consider a channel on gluten-free recipes. Your audience might feel confused and annoyed if you suddenly post sponsored videos about clothing.
Consider which companies and products will provide your viewers with the most enjoyment, value, and relevance.
Find out if they have a system already in place by searching for phrases such as “[brand name] YouTube sponsorship application” or “[brand name] influencer program”.
You can apply for sponsorships with GoPro, for example, if you are a content creator, athlete, or adventure enthusiast.
Sponsorships can also be found by visiting a brand’s website and scrolling down to the footer. Search for links that say “partnerships” or “affiliates”. There should be a page where you can apply to work together.
As an example, the website of the Allbirds shoe company links to an affiliate program in its footer. For commissions, you can become a social media ambassador or a media publication here.
There is no application page on the brand’s website you want to partner, but you can always reach out by email. You can find an email address related to press, partnerships, marketing, or ambassadors on their contact page, not just the company’s general email address.
4. Use YouTube sponsorship platforms
YouTube sponsorship platforms are another way to find brands to collaborate with. Companies can reach out to creators through these platforms.
Famebit was YouTube’s influencer platform until its acquisition by YouTube BrandConnect. Through this platform, brands and YouTube partners can work together directly.
Join the YouTube Partner Program if you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours. The platform is only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada currently.
Grapevine Village is a marketplace where creators can find brand opportunities, organize logistics, and get paid, all on one platform.
In order to sign up, you’ll need 10,000 subscribers on YouTube or 10,000 followers on Instagram, so you can use this platform as a long-term goal.
On Channel Pages, creators create a profile that brands can discover during YouTube influencer research. You can also apply to opportunities posted by brands.
5. Take your business beyond YouTube
Lastly, it makes sense to explore other channels. If you build your social media accounts and start a blog, you will be able to offer sponsors more reach and more bang for their buck.
Jessie on a Journey, for example, partnered with a tour company while visiting the Galapagos Islands. The blog post and YouTube video she created about the experience resulted in more views from a wider audience.
How much do sponsorships on YouTube pay?
Sponsorships on YouTube can be extremely lucrative if you have a lot of followers.
YouTube channels with over a million subscribers made an average of $7332 for a sponsored video in 2020, according to a worldwide research study. An average sponsored video earns $1306 for a channel with 100,000-1 million subscribers.
How much can a creator with a smaller channel earn?
Based on a Klear study of over 2,500 influencers, Klear found the following average influencer rates:
- Nano (500–5K subscribers): $315 per video
- Micro (5K — 30K subscribers): $908 per video
- Power (30K — 500K subscribers): $782 per video
- Celebrity (+500K subscribers): $3857 per video
How much you earn depends on your niche and audience size. Among brands spending the most on YouTube influencers were those in the gaming and technology niches.
Although influencer pay rates aren’t standardized, having some ballpark figures is helpful. Learn more about how much influencers make.
You can make good money with YouTube sponsorships, but smaller creators would be wise to consider other monetization streams.
Other ways to monetize your Youtube channel
Sponsorships from YouTube are a great way to make money, but they’re not the only option. You should absolutely diversify your business model if your sole method of generating revenue is through sponsorships. We’ll look at some ways you can make money with your YouTube account.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing involves placing affiliate links in YouTube videos via annotations or descriptions. Users click on these links and (you guessed it!) tracking codes are generated.
In affiliate marketing, the goal is to get your audience to purchase the product you are linking to. The user is redirected to an affiliate landing page when clicking on an affiliate link, where they will be encouraged to buy the product.
If a user purchases through your affiliate link, the tracking code will keep track. You will be paid a commission if they do.
The following are some of the most popular affiliate programs for YouTube:
If you have a large audience of motivated buyers, affiliate marketing is a great way to make money. In general, commissions range between 5-15%, so if you want to generate a significant amount of income, either you will link to expensive products or you will have to persuade a lot of people to buy.
2. Selling your own digital products
Selling your own digital products is the most profitable way to make money on YouTube.
The best part about digital products is that they require almost no start-up capital and provide a passive income stream. You won’t have to do anything to keep it making money.
You have a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to digital products. Virtually anything can be made into a digital product. Here are a few examples:
- Software (website templates, plugins)
- Video tutorials
- Photography products (stock photos, Lightroom presets)
- Digital art and graphics
- Audio files (drum kits, samples, stock music)
3. Offer memberships and paid communities
Finally, paid memberships and communities are another popular way to monetize a YouTube channel. Most likely, your subscribers share a common interest. They follow your channel for a reason, after all.
By creating a paid community, you will be able to provide exclusive content to these followers, and they can dive deeper into their shared passions, meet others like-minded, and network.
If students want to improve their musical knowledge, you can offer piano lessons, courses, and memberships.
Learn more about how to monetize your YouTube channel.