To understand how you can maximize revenue from your YouTube channel (regardless of the number of subscribers you have), you first have to determine which revenue streams you can generate with your channel. There are lots of ways you can monetize your YouTube channel. Think of advertisements, sponsorships, affiliate links, selling merchandise, and donations. However, it is of essence that you pick the revenue streams which are the best fit for your audience. Nowadays, audiences worldwide are getting more and more skeptical of online advertisements, instead they are relying more on the opinions of people they trust. According to Nielsen, the global level of trust in brand sponsorships is 61%, much higher than the level of trust in online video ads, 48%. Our expert team at Fangage therefore believes that sponsorships are definitely worth exploring for each YouTuber aiming to make revenue. Besides, sponsorship deals are great networking opportunities for your business. For these reasons, we’re going to provide you with a step-by-step guide of how to get YouTube sponsorships for small channels.
1. Track Analytics
For the sake of keeping this article brief, we are skipping the subject of how to grow a fanbase on YouTube, since this would be a full article in itself. However, we can assure you that you don’t need tens of thousands of followers to pull this off.
What you do need, is statistics.
If you only have 1000 followers, but these are all potential customers in the eyes of the company you want to work with, chances are they are open for sponsoring your videos. It’s not about the size of your following, it’s about the value they bring to a certain potential sponsor company.
These companies are interested in analytics from your channel, the most important ones being:
• Watch time
• Audience retention
• Subscriber growth
• Likes vs. dislikes
• Referral traffic
• Website conversions
If these numbers are doing well and your audience aligns very well with a certain brand, this brand then has the opportunity to acquire customers from your channel, a valuable prospect.
The more specific analytics you can provide a company, the better. Tools like Fangage offer you the possibility to acquire far more specific data about your following than most social media platforms do. This is very valuable information to have at hand when negotiating with potential sponsors.
2. Start Small
If you have a small channel, you shouldn't aim for the big brands. There is simply too much competition there. Starting out with small-scale and medium-scale brands, you have a much higher chance of getting some initial exposure.
Don’t limit yourself to the big names. While these deals are obviously far more enticing money-wise, you have to remember you are building a brand for the long-term. You should pick smaller brands that match well with your brand identity, because authenticity is a big factor in building trust with your audience, which in turn is of value for the big brands later on.
3. Types of Sponsorships
There are many different types of sponsorships you could focus on, all with different rewards.
1. Product Sponsorship: the company sends you free products for you to discuss in your videos.
2. Paid Sponsorships: the company pays you a sum to promote their brand or products in your videos.
3. Affiliate Sponsorships: this one is very accessible for YouTube channels of every size. You can sign up for affiliate programs like Amazon Affiliates and through customized links in the description of your video, you can earn a pay-per-click or pay-per-conversion commission of the sales made via the link.
Now, there are lots of variations to these methods. An example of this could be to include a discount code for your followers exclusively. Good companies are often open to negotiate on these kinds of things, so you can get as creative as you want with this.
4. How To Approach Potential Sponsors
How you approach potential sponsor companies, depends on the type of sponsorship you are pursuing. Besides, you need to determine which channel the company prefers for communication with partners.
1. Direct Approach: the most traditional approach, which works very well for smaller YouTube channels. Make a list of brands that match with your audience and include e-mail addresses. Then, pitch yourself with a very appealing e-mail. Remember, this is your sales pitch! So, don’t waste their time and present your analytics on top. This way, they immediately have an idea of what value your audience has to them. Keep it brief and promote yourself further in an enclosed media kit, in case they are really interested. If you’re going with this approach, make it something they will remember.
2. Sponsorship Platforms: there are lots of platforms specialized in connecting creators with sponsors.
3. Grow Your Channel: brands are not always waiting for sponsorship proposals to roll in. However, usually only the bigger channels are recognized in this manner.
4. Attend Events: there are various events organized worldwide where lots of creators and potential sponsors are in attendance. Bring your A-game and see if you can reel in some sponsorships there.
We hope our step-by-step guide will motivate you to take the first steps towards your first successful sponsorship deal as a YouTube creator. We hope it is clear to you that the size of your audience is not solely representative of the value you can bring to a potential sponsor company. Quite the contrary, you can win at this game by playing it smart, choosing the right brands, acquiring and offering important data, and choosing the right approach.