YouTube Sponsorship for Small Channels
Getting your channel sponsored can sometimes seem like a lofty, impossible goal. When you think of sponsors, you think of big bucks and massive TV commercials, not small content creators. If you’re a content creator, you’re in luck: in this article, we’ll be going over the best ways to YouTube sponsorship for small channels. To start, we’ll cover a few prerequisites and things to consider.
In this part of the article, you may notice that there’s a lot that intersects with ways to get your YouTube channel noticed. This is because what makes your channel attractive to sponsors is ideally what also makes you appeal to an audience. You’ll definitely want YouTube subscribers before approaching sponsorship deals, so be sure to read all of the content we have online if you need more information! Before getting sponsored, you’ll need to have the following bases covered.
Build A Backlog Of Content
A vital step for any channel hoping to grow is having a large backlog of content. Not sure what content to make? We’ve assembled a list of 101 YouTube video ideas that should definitely get you started. Whenever new subscribers finally find your channel, it’s important to have more content for them to browse to determine if they like you enough to subscribe to you. This applies doubly to sponsors: if you reach out, they’ll want to take a look at your channel to see if they find it appealing or not. Are they okay with this channel associating with their brand? Is there enough content, is it good enough? You can’t hope to get YouTube sponsorship for small channels without a portfolio of your work.
Create Quality Content
Another tip that ties in with getting noticed on YouTube in general is ensuring a higher quality bar of content. It’s okay for your earliest videos to be a little bit amateurish- in fact, for fans and sponsors alike, it’s a good idea to keep that around. A large jump in quality from early content to newer content can show a great amount of skill and work being put in, which inspires loyalty from brands and viewers alike.
Before getting sponsored, you need quality content that’s consistently getting you views.
Higher-level sponsorship doesn’t normally come for free- sponsorship is usually meant to be a two-way street, meaning that they benefit from sponsoring you. The only way they benefit from sponsoring you is if your viewers benefit from watching you. Are they engaged with your content? Do they like what you’re putting out?
A happy audience can be marketed to. That’s what sponsors look for. You can’t get YouTube sponsorship for small channels unless your channel is worth marketing to.
Make It Fit
You know what viewers don’t like? Product placement that doesn’t really fit or make sense in the context of the channel.
The only time you should be able to get sponsorship from products and brands that aren’t related to the content you run is when you’re a fairly large channel and it’s a niche product looking for widespread appeal. For instance, Dollar Shave Club is a frequent sponsor of LinusTechTips. Why?
Despite not being immediately related to technology, the world of tech is largely dominated by males. This isn’t a social statement- this is a statistic. These males need to shave, and because they’re younger and tech savvy, they’re also looking for interesting ways to save money- not just on tech, but on day-to-day life. While a smaller tech channel probably shouldn’t be pulling a sponsorship like this- as it won’t appeal to all of their viewers- larger channels like LinusTechTips can operate under a wider umbrella.
Your focus is getting YouTube sponsorship for small channels- for now. You want to stick with products and services that fit with what you’re covering, whether that’s gaming, technology, comedy or fashion.
Affiliate sponsorships are perhaps the easiest ones to get, but also arguably the least profitable. Affiliate sponsorships work through the distribution of affiliate links and affiliate codes. Basically, these affiliate links and codes can be used by your viewers to get discounts or provide you with a kickback.
One form of affiliate sponsorships is by simply giving out a code for a site that provides a discount, usually anywhere from 5 to 15 percent. Your viewers have a good incentive to use these codes if they’re interested in shopping at that product or site, and while that discount doesn’t translate directly to money for you, the partner in question will see how much revenue they received from traffic you gave, and reward you accordingly.
Another form of an affiliate sponsorship is through an affiliate link. These can work similarily to affiliate codes (by integrating the same benefits into a URL), but they can also provide free kickback to a content creator if what that site wants in return isn’t purchases, but traffic.
This can be a harder form of YouTube sponsorship for small channels, but it’s a manner of growing your channel, especially if you’re running a channel with room to expand. The types of content creators that can most often take advantage of these kinds of sponsorships are review channels. For instance, tech YouTubers typically grow by doing tutorials and product reviews- channels like Paul’s Hardware and MKBHD started small and had to purchase their own products, but by getting sponsorships, they got free review copies of hardware to review for their channels.
This doesn’t just apply to tech, either: just about any product can get a sponsorship deal, so long as it fits with your channel and what you’re trying to do with it. For the gamers out there, a lot of your favorite game reviewers- say, Jim Sterling- enjoy the benefits of being recognized as a part of games media, which allows them to receive advance review copies of most titles so there’s a review for the product available before or on launch day.
Finally, this is the highest form of sponsorship: when sites, products and services forgo affiliate links and review copies to just pay you to talk about them and their products. This usually comes in the form of brief advertising spots at the middle and end of videos- once again, LinusTechTips is a great example of this in play- but it’s important to note that while this form of sponsorship will make you the most money, it’s also the hardest.
This may not be completely viable as YouTube sponsorship for small channels- but it can be a goal to work toward, with the help of other forms of sponsorship and channel growth. We all start somewhere.
Apps and Sites That Can Help
Famebit and Grapevine
Apps like Famebit and Grapevine are usually presented as the most prominent ways to drive YouTube sponsorship for small channels. While they aren’t the be-all, end-all solution, they are fairly good, and remain open for you once your YouTube channel starts growing larger. Major content creators can still make usage of sites like these, but so can small YouTubers who just want to get their first sponsorship deals. This form of YouTube sponsorship for small channels works through a marketplace of affiliate and product sponsorships. These are some of the easiest ways to make those connections.
You’re on our website, so of course we’ll mention ourselves. Here at Grin, we’re focused on helping you grow your YouTube channel by socializing with other content creators and encouraging collaboration, one of the major ways to grow your channel.We don’t work with sponsors yet, but collaborating with other YouTubers means you can learn from each other and increase your footprint until you start hitting the point where sponsors want to work with you. Building your channel and building your brand are one and the same, and that’s what we’re here for.
What You Can Do
Reach Out to Brands On Your Own
The best way to get a sponsorship, especially for product reviewing, is by reaching out to the brand or business on your own to find out what you can do for each other. Do note that this will require having a sizeable portfolio of quality content if you want them to work with you- head back to Prerequisites before you start doing this.
Build It, And They Will Come
Quality breeds traffic, and traffic breeds attention from sponsors and brands. Once you start getting big enough, you’ll start receiving emails and Facebook requests from brands and businesses who want you to sponsor them. “Build it, and they will come” may be a quote from a silly movie (and it definitely shouldn’t be your only form of reaching out!) but you’re doing something very right once this starts happening to you.
Finally, you can start learning more about YouTube sponsorship for small channels and getting noticed on YouTube. To do that, head over to our blog and read up on our latest articles covering tips, tricks and full-blown guides to making you a bigger, better content creator.