Sponsored content is a great way to earn extra money for your channel. In fact, they can even work as an alternative to traditional advertisements. When you’re implementing this kind of content for your channel there are things you should keep in mind. Following these dos and don’ts should save some headaches down the road.
Don’t go against your brand
Getting sponsorship offers can be exciting, but you shouldn’t jump on every opportunity that comes your way. Doing videos that go completely counter to your normal branding might alienate your current audience.
Imagine a YouTube channel focused solely on paranormal content suddenly doing sponsored videos for dating simulator game. There’s a big disconnect, which could easily turn subscribers away.
Do stick to what you know
As with any video you produce, always make sure you stick to topics you know. Whether that’s toy reviews, video game walkthroughs or how-to videos on building stuff, people subscribe based on a creator’s knowledge of specific topics.
Sponsored videos should be no different. Being selective ensures you’re able to make engaging videos that still appeal to your subscribers. Ryan’s World toy reviews manage to blend sponsored and original content almost seamlessly.
Don’t change your style
One of the greatest assets to your channel and brand is your personality. People subscribe because they like how you present information and react to things. It’s the unique factor setting your channel apart from everyone else. Some creators are under the impression that doing a sponsored video means changing how you do things, but don’t change your style.
Do bring your best
There’s no reason sponsored videos can’t fit in with your regular posts and serve to build your overall channel needs. By maintaining the same tone, quality, and topics, they can fit neatly into the rest of your videos. Bring the same effort to sponsored videos as your regular content, including your overall production values. If you “cheap out” on sponsored videos, the odds of landing more sponsorship opportunities are slim.
Don’t be shady
Even though you’re making sponsored posts accessible to viewers, don’t hide the fact you’re getting paid outside revenue for it. While sponsored content isn’t bad, if it feels like you’re being disingenuous, it will turn away subscribers.
Gaming YouTuber PewDiePie faced backlash, along with many others, when Warner Bros. paid streamers to talk positively about the game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor in 2014/15. While he technically disclosed the fact his video was sponsored, it was hidden to the point that almost no one was able to find the information.
Do be transparent
Always make it clear when a video is sponsored, as opposed to your regular content. Doing this in both the description and video itself shows you’re serious about being upfront with your viewers and no one can accuse you of shady practices.
Don’t jump the gun
In the excitement of landing sponsored content, it’s important you don’t get ahead of yourself. Your channel should already be working on a set schedule and your time is valuable. As such, don’t disrupt your plans and begin developing sponsored content without a contract of some sort in place.
Don’t disrupt your plans and begin developing sponsored content without a contract of some sort in place.
Do get it in writing
Before you begin putting in the work for a sponsored video, make sure all the details are in place. From the specific requirements to how and when payment will be made, everything should be agreed upon and in writing before getting started.
Things can fall apart for a number of reasons. Sometimes budgets shift, the needs of the client change, or they just completely change their mind and decide not to go forward with your sponsored video. There’s no point in putting in all the work on a video for it to fall apart, costing both time and money.
Don’t leave work unfinished
Just as you don’t want sponsors to leave you in the lurch, don’t shirk your responsibilities and leave sponsored content unfinished, or posted late, or missing things sponsors requested and you agreed to.
These kinds of half-measures result in a multitude of problems. More than potentially missing out on pay, it can kill working relationships entirely— or stick you with a reputation that will make it difficult to secure sponsorships down the road.
Do complete content as agreed
If you agree to a sponsored video and have all the details worked out: Do it. Make sure the sponsored video gets finished and posted within the timeframe specified, with all the agreed-upon elements in place. Even if something falls through on the sponsor’s end, the long-term gains of a strong work ethic and good reputation are worth it.
Sponsored content is a great way to expand your reach while boosting your channel’s revenue in other ways. Treat this with the same care and attention as you would the other videos on your channel. Following these simple dos and don’ts should put you on the right track to making them work for you.