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You put a lot of hard work and creative energy into your videos. It only makes sense that you want to make money doing something you love and already devote a lot of effort to. Anybody can monetize their YouTube videos, but it takes a very long time to earn anything through a YouTube partnership. If you have built up a significant following – not necessarily a huge fan base of over a million subscribers, but a significant following – then YouTube product placement could be a good career move for you.
The main danger in doing product placements and branded videos is that some of your subscribers might decide you have ‘sold out’. The best way to avoid this perception is to only represent brands and products you genuinely believe in. If the products you integrate into your videos are ones which you actually use and which make sense for your channel then you should not lose subscribers, aside from the few who will be angry at you for trying to make money off of your videos no matter how you do it.
This article will explain how you can find sponsorship opportunities, how these deals may affect your channel, and the difference between product placement and reviews.
Huge YouTube stars are approached by major brands for sponsorship deals, but you can get money for product placement and branded content even if you do not have a subscriber count in the millions. There is a service called Famebit which matches small to mid-sized brands with video creators who have significant followings, but who are not yet megastars. It is a great solution for YouTubers who are interested in product placement, but who do not want to hand over their channel’s financial reigns to an MCN.
Brands post details about the campaigns they want to run on Famebit and describe the kind of channels they are interested in working with. Video creators browse through the posted campaigns. When a creator finds a campaign they want to be a part of they write a proposal telling the brand what kind of video they would make for them. This is a chance for you to flex your creative muscles and come up with a fun, unique, way to work the brand into your own video style.
If your proposal is accepted, the company pays Famebit and Famebit holds your money until after you have made and posted the video. Famebit takes a 20% commission.
If a video is sponsored by a brand or includes paid product placement then you need to disclose that information to YouTube. There are convenient checkboxes for this in the Advanced Settings tabs of your videos. Sometimes YouTube will disable monetization for videos that contain product placement because they want to avoid running competitor’s ads during branded videos. If a soda company is paying YouTube for advertising and their ads show up in videos which advertise a rival soda company they will be understandably upset.
Sponsored content can go beyond causally including a product in your video. Sometimes what an advertiser wants is a video that is about their brand/product rather than a video that just has their product in it. An example of a sponsored video is a comedic vlogger using the advertised product as a key prop in a funny sketch, or a beauty guru doing an entire video on one brand’s new line of lipsticks. When you create these kinds of branded videos you should always disclose your relationship with the advertiser. For this purpose, YouTube allows you to use graphic title or end cards which include the brand’s name and logo.
When a brand asks you to create a sponsored video it is important to remember that they are coming to you because of the success of your existing content. They should not ask you to change your video style to suit their message because they should have chosen only vloggers whose styles already mesh well with theirs. You should not give up creative control, and they should not ask you to. If you have an opportunity with one brand then you have good reason to think you will have other opportunities. Hold out for the right ones.
One thing that separates a review from product placement is whether or not you have been paid by the brand to make the video that the product is in. Payment is not always monetary; free products count as payment if you are sent more than just the one you are reviewing. If you allow a brand to pay you then you should not try to pass your video off as an unbiased review.
The second major difference between a review and product placement is that while a review is very detailed, product placement is not usually. There is some highly detailed branded content out there, but most product placement does not actually require you to talk much about the product. Commonly, product placement is done via a casual – on-topic – mention of the item within the context of one of your usual videos. You do not need to wax poetic about how much you love the product, just show it and mention using it. In order to preserve the trust viewers have in you, do not agree to do product placement for items you do not genuinely enjoy or which are unrelated to your channel’s theme. People will be able to tell if you are lying.
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